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Per Holmberg

What we have learnt from 25 years’ experience of rugged computers

Rugged computers were borne out of a need for tough-wearing devices that could withstand extreme conditions. JLT was one of the pioneers of the technology when the company started 25 years ago in Växjö, Sweden. From the very beginning, we have been committed to producing first-class products and deeply understanding our customers and their needs.

It all began in the forest

Both the story of rugged computers and JLT began in the forestry industry. Thanks to the technology, machine operatives out in the forest could get up to date information on current orders. This meant they could fell the right sort of trees and process them to the right dimensions reducing wastage and saving time. Having a device tough enough to work in forestry machinery really was a revolution, which quickly spread to other sectors.

When the technology evolved into a PC platform similar to a desktop computer running Windows, warehouses saw the potential to modernize and move away from using pen and paper to fulfil orders. Now forklifts could be equipped with a computer linked directly to the ERP-system. Productivity rocketed and errors dramatically reduced as warehouse workers got access to the tools and information they needed, when they needed it, to do their job.

And it’s these benefits that businesses still see today, even though they’re more likely to be replacing old technology rather than making the initial move to digital systems.

Rugged computers were borne out of a need for tough-wearing devices that could withstand extreme conditions. JLT was one of the pioneers of the technology when the company started 25 years ago in Växjö, Sweden. From the very beginning, we have been committed to producing first-class products and deeply understanding our customers and their needs.

The three pillars of JLT

So, what makes our rugged computers stand out from other players in the marketplace?

Firstly, unlike other companies that have outsourced certain functions to Asia, we have chosen to keep the development, production and service of our solutions within our absolute control, which means we can deliver on our core values of ruggedness, reliability and performance, while being flexible enough to meet specific and unique customer requirements.

Secondly, our knowledge. We know how businesses work and we know how important IT is today. IT is not an optional add-on anymore. Most often it gives a company a critical advantage. For example, in logistics and supply chain the boom in online sales and the trend of moving distribution and warehousing closer to the consumer is making every second count. So, having a first-class, reliable truck-mounted computer that run smoothly in its business environment can give companies the edge on their competitors.

We also have deep technological knowledge and keep up to date with the latest advances. We constantly update our devices to work with the ever-evolving wireless networks. We’ve added high performance processors and CPU system to increase speed and capacity while reducing the amount of heat in devices. We’ve adopted capacitive touch screens, to bring a new way of interacting with the devices even in the toughest environment and introducing virtually unbreakable surfaces to prolong the life of the computers.

Finally, there’s flexibility. We don’t take a one size fits all approach. We work in partnership with companies to find the optimal, complete solution specifically designed for you.

If you need fast deployment, we can preinstall specific software on the computer and do the customer staging in our factory, and then kit it and ship it direct to you with all the mounting gear, cables and instructions. So, when it arrives at your site, you can quickly install it on the forklift and get picking within hours. This hassle-free approach saves both time and money.

We can build computers to your specification to make sure your new hardware integrates with your old legacy peripherals. And we are flexible when it comes to service too. We know how important it is to minimize downtime, so we can provide optional swap out units on site. Or if sending a unit back for repair is too costly or takes too long, we can train local staff to carry out service and maintenance on site.

So this is how the three pillars of JLT work. We take this control, knowledge and flexibility and distil it into products and services that really meet the needs of businesses today, whatever the industry or working environment.

Ruggedness in the future

But what about the next 25 years? At JLT we want to move from just developing the best products to being the best partner for businesses, so together we can improve their productivity and profitability.

We also see great potential in data and have started integrating technology and sensors to our products. In the future customers will be able to measure the usage of their rugged devices and the machine they are fitted to, as well as monitoring the environment in which the devices are used. This level of insight ramps up the potential for taking efficiency and productivity to new heights. Warehouses can optimize collection routes, carry out preventative maintenance and reduce accidents.

In a nutshell we are committed to going beyond being a supplier of rugged computers to become a trusted business partner that companies know can deliver.

If you want to find out more about what we offer or if you want to discuss a rugged solution to improve your productivity, please contact us.

Per Holmberg

Per Holmberg

CEO, JLT Mobile Computers Group

March 12, 2020

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