11 Years In Business
Login | Sign Up |
Adbarcode's Linked-In link
Adbarcode's Facebook Link
Home Catalog Location Brands Blog Contact Us
corner image

We stock commonly replaced Parts & Printheads for all the popular barcode printer models from TEC, Zebra, Sato & Datamax

PARS, PAPS, CCDS
Pars Labels
Adbarcode can print out the required barcode labels for cargo transport to and from the USA & Canada
Corner Image

Total Cost of PDA Ownership

Jan 10, 2005


White Paper Rugged Handheld Total Cost of Ownership

Edited BY AD Barcode INC. Summary and Comments

In order to objectively assess the business case for deploying handheld devices, it is critical that the enterprise understand the ramifications of their choice of device.

A common reason for deploying handheld devices is to increase productivity. Productivity has measurable value in revenue, customer satisfaction, market share and other desirable business metrics. Accordingly, counter-productivity has associated opportunity costs to the business. Costs incurred through device down-time are important to include when building a business case for deploying handheld hardware.


These costs are far reaching affecting not only the direct user, but indirectly the entire organization from those who support the failed devices to those who must manage around the failure.

Rugged Specifications

In order to measure the ruggedness of handheld hardware, standard tests, performance criteria and rating systems have been developed. These tests are designed to mimic some of the environmental strains to which hardware might be exposed during deployment. In the case of commercial units, many of these test results are not published, if indeed these tests are even performed, as these devices are not designed to be sold for industrial use. VDC estimates testing device ruggedness to be as much as $100,000.00 per design. It is unlikely that such testing would be done for products that are not required nor expected to support claims of ruggedness.

Commercial devices

Are designed for use in a non-rugged office environment where rugged features are not important considerations for consumers. Interestingly, enterprise consumers, including commercial device users, cite ruggedness and durability as the number one product feature deemed critical to operational efficiency. However, if commercial devices are deployed outside of their intended application, the lack of rugged features can seriously shorten their lifespan, thereby adding to the total cost of ownership.


Note: In research done by VDC, the most common reasons cited for choosing rugged handheld devices over commercial handhelds were:

1. Ruggedness/Environment is too harsh for commercial grade

2. Sustainable increase to productivity

3. Lasts longer - Lower TCO.


From the Field A company that provides residential and commercial water service uses handheld devices for their field service technicians who read, repair and change water meters. Originally, the company deployed a POPULAR commercial device to improve the productivity of their technicians; however, they were unhappy with the ruggedness of the device. The device failures prevented meeting their efficiency goals. Even after deploying ruggedized sleeves the drop rating did not improve sufficiently. Eventually the company upgraded to a rugged handheld and effectively eliminated the device drop issue.

I Bet their IT Dept. and Project Manager were POPULAR accordingly

Apparently,the VDC found that the expected failure rate of commercial handhelds compared to rugged devices can be as high as 4 to 1.

In their 2003 TCO study, VDC found that downtime for mobile workers using commercial devices can be as much as 48% higher than for rugged users.

In this regard, implementing rugged hardware is a proactive strategy to protect against the costs of future failures. By implementing a commercial device with "after thought" ruggedness bolted on, the enterprise is adopting a reactive strategy through which they will manage failures and their consequences, when they arise rather than trying to avoid them altogether. This reactive strategy has the net-affect of deferring the costs from the point of purchase over the lifetime of the unit.

This is a very brief overview of "HandHeld Total Cost of Ownership"

the whole document is very statistical and informative and suggested reading for
"Anyone"buying a Handheld device needed for Business

for more of this document see

http://www.wirelessworkforceonline.com/nl/173831/1589798