Providing tablets or smart devices for an entire field team is a sizable investment! Like every aspect of life, it’s important to protect your valuable items.
While minimizing risk is usually the first step, to fully utilize the service software on these devices, technicians bring their tablet to work in the field. As we all know, worksites are not the traditional location for delicate electronics like these. We want to provide you with some tips on how to make sure your device is safe even on a construction site.
Protect Your Device
Obviously having a good case for your device is important. You want to make sure your tablet or phone is protected from a number of forces.
- Water - You will be in the field on rainy days, having a case that protects your device from water is a function you should always want!
- Drops - Nobody wants one clumsy moment to ruin your tablet. Make sure the case you get will protect from short falls.
- Screen Protection - If you have a waterproof case, your screen is most likely being covered, if not make sure have another layer of protection on your device.
- Dirt - Make sure there is coverage of all the ports of your device. Dust and dirt that get into the tablet can cause long-term damage.
Protect Your Battery
There is SO much information about different ways to extend battery life, and to maintain the charge on your devices. Here are some quick takeaways…
- Keep it cool - This might be the most important way to preserve battery life. Keep your tablet out of the sun, and don’t leave it in the car on a hot day.
- Don’t let the battery life get down to 0% - There is a lot of debate about why this is true or even if this is true. However, it is generally agreed that your phone should not REGULARLY go to 0%. If you run your tablet until it dies on a regular basis (everyday) different charging habits may be in order. Simple ways to help keep your device battery alive are:
- Charge in the Car - Drive time between visits is as an ideal time to add a little charge to the device. When you do this, make SURE you buy a charger that has protections against surges.
- Charge Anywhere! - Portable Chargers are relatively low cost, and can be charged and brought on site to allow your device to charge while your technicians are working.
- Use a standard charger whenever possible - Many phones have "fast charging" options which help your phone get to 100% more quickly. While this is helpful in a pinch, you really want to use a standard charger whenever possible (especially at night!)
- Avoid Inductive charging when possible - If your phone or tablet has an inductive charging option, make sure it is not the primary form of charging, as it generates a lot of heat, and as we mentioned, overheating your battery is not good for long-term maintenance.
- Make sure to give your device a break! - Make sure to turn off your phone/tablet at least once a week. When you do turn your device off, make sure it is charged before letting it rest.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff - There are so many different articles to read on this subject. At the end of the day, if you have mostly healthy charging/maintenance your battery will last for several years.
Protect Your Data
No matter the protections you take, accidents can happen. You want to make sure the information you gather isn’t lost.
- Use UNIQUE passwords - If your password is “Password” or “1234” you are gaining little protection there. You may want to encourage field techs to make their own unique password for their tablets
- Use the “Save” Button - Sounds simple, right? But making sure as you fill out forms or other information saving periodically will help with data recovery if a device battery dies, or the device is dropped.
- Use the Cloud - As cliche as the phrase is becoming these days using cloud storage can be a LIFESAVER! If a device is lost, you will still have the information collected. This can save a company hundreds of dollars if you don’t need to recover all the data as well as the device.
Protect Your Investment
Is it worth it to insure your iPads? This question depends from company to company. A roofing company that uses tablets to take photos on the roof (in the heat of the day) will have more need for replacements just from the demands of the job. Whereas a cleaning company who works exclusively indoors may not see the need for additional protections.
In addition to the manufacturer's or store warranty, you can buy insurance from larger insurance companies to protect USED devices. You can get protections against drops, water damage, heat damage, natural disaster, or theft!
We recommend looking into different options to see if the protections fit your company’s needs.