This year was a first for Panasonic, as Chris Turner told me they’d not had much to offer the retail sector on the front line before now.
Their solutions have always been popular with warehouses and service men on the road, such as the AA, as they keep the computer protected in all weathers while still enabling the input of data. Yet these were seen as a little too bulky when facing customers as their resistance (they can be dropped from incredible heights) obviously meant their weight was substantial compared to other POS systems.
Now they’ve launched some products to change all this with nifty new systems that still hold the Panasonic protection guarantee but are smaller, smarter and lighter.
The Toughbook and the Toughpad are available in a range of sizes and on different platforms with 10” and 7” operating on windows and a 7” Android version. They can integrate seamlessly into the retail environment and as many warehouses and delivery drivers already use Panasonics range to record data and manage stock in any weather, they will also provide the blanket cover by connecting the dots between stock and sales.
The stand was certainly busy, as Chris’s attention was taken away quite a few times as passers-by were bowled over by the simplicity and sleek design of the Toughbook. Yet when we delve deeper we see that these Toughbook’s are not only sturdy, they have environmental advantages too.
For instance, Panasonic acquired Sanyo who make their own batteries. This enables them to supply battery packs so a device doesn’t have to be charged when a shift changes, a new battery can easily be added. The battery life has been designed to last the length of a standard shift, the typical 8 hours so it is always retail ready.
On top of this Chris demonstrated its unique energy saving feature where the light adjusts according to the immediate environment, this of course has another knock on effect which ensures only the optimum amount of energy is used when in action.
All of the Toughbook’s come with 3year standard warranty, they can be bought or rented and Panasonic offer same day support, so systems are always fixed quickly if anything does happen to penetrate the unbreakable shell!
Understandably, Panasonic are excited about their new client MacDonald’s who have taken on the Toughbook, as Chris says, “In the case of McDonald’s, the company needed a product that staff would be able to use around the restaurant as well as at designated desktop stations. Staff needed to use email, have access to a number of Windows applications and the crew and management scheduling system. Another requirement was that the computers could be used in the hot kitchens and cold walk-in fridges of the restaurant and would not break if dropped from a work surface which normal devices would struggle to cope with. The Toughbook’s can handle these tough environments as they are temperature and drop resistant.”
This is obviously a huge achievement and just the start as there are many hostile environments where access to the internet or critical business data is needed.
Personally I think they should launch these in Mothercare too, as they’d be ideal for parents with toddlers!