Mobile computing: VDC Research surveys mobile and wireless users

After a tough 2009, the market for mobile computing and wireless solutions is bouncing back, says VDC Research. Participate in a survey and have your voice heard.

By ·

There is a revolution going on in mobile and wireless computing inside and outside the four walls of the plant and warehouse. VDC Research (, the Boston-based research firm, is surveying the end user market – that means folks like you, our readers at Modern Materials Handling – to find out how requirements and needs are changing.

“Our clients manufacture and design solutions for the market,” says David Krebs, director of VDC’s mobile and wireless practice. “We’re trying to collect the information about how end users are currently using the equipment and where are the gaps. That’s everything from the design of the device to the applications that end users are using or want to use.”

You can have your voice heard and possibly win an Amazon gift certificate by clicking on the following link and participating in the survey. VDC will be taking input over the next three to four weeks.

What does Krebs see happening in the market? It will come as no surprise that there has been some contraction in the supply chain end of the market. “We started tracking the softness in the market in mid-2008, and were expecting that to continue in 2009, but the extent to the fall off last year was surprising,” says Krebs. While VDC was forecasting a pullback of 15 to 20%, the market for wireless and mobile computing solutions in the warehouse in established economies saw a 35 – to 40% decline last year.

It may come as no surprise that the retail and automotive sectors were particularly hard hit, but Krebs says that no industrial vertical was spared. “There was so much uncertainty in the market, that people simply postponed purchasing anything,” he says. Much like the supply chain software market, the severity of the slump appears to have been a one year event. By the 3rd quarter of 2009, after four soft quarters, enterprises began spending again. While business is no where near pre-recession levels – and Krebs doesn’t expect to see those kinds of numbers until 2012 – he says the first quarter data for 2010 was surprisingly strong. Business isn’t great, he says, “but there’s evidence that people are opening up capital resources and investing again.”

A couple of factors are driving that growth. For one, Krebs says, the fundamentals around mobile and wireless investments are sound: these technologies drive improvements in productivity and support decision making.

For another, end users are now combining technologies, like barcode scanning and voice or RFID, to create new solutions. “Multi-modal is a theme that we’re following,” says Krebs.

The last is the growth of solutions to meet the unique requirements of specialized industries, like the cold chain, ports or pharmaceuticals. “The nuances within those industries are very pronounced, and we’re seeing real solutions around supply chain optimization and inventory management,” says Krebs.

On Friday, we’ll look at how mobility is impacting the supply chain. In the meantime, be sure to click on the link to have your voice heard in VDC’s survey.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Efficiency improvements in Track/Trace Enhances Customer Loyalty
Consumer satisfaction with the quality of your products is clearly important, but the service you provide before and after the sale is equally important to any business, but often overlooked as benefiting the bottom line.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...