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A defense company with over 60 years of experience came to us to fix an incredibly wide breadth of problems faced solely due to asset tracking issues. Despite many groundbreaking technological feats across the years, the company was losing sizeable amounts of profit due to mistakes being made over and over again. The problem was, nobody knew how to fix the problems.
Some of the major problems faced by the company with an out of date asset management system included:

Lost data when scanning or capturing
Device failure, frequent maintenance, and low speed
Barcodes did not work 100% of the time, losing data and efficiency
Need for a signature capability for true “Proof of Delivery”
Not helpful in finding lost packages

After consulting with AB&R, we offered them three different solutions to choose from.
Solution 1)
Replace the current system with new asset management software. Buy a completely new set of asset management software and equipment to provide optimal data compilation, asset tracking, and value retention (of both assets being tracked and the company itself). This route is the most expensive, but offers the most comprehensive and optimized solutions to the problems faced by the company, and add by far the most value. AB&R recommended the Intermec CN4 and the Motorola MC65 as rugged mobile device options for the new system. The Intermec CN4 is a rugged device built to withstand harsh conditions, featuring the ability to integrate with asset management software, a scanner, digital camera, phone, data communications capabilities, radio options, imaging, and more. It offers scanning and signature capture to gather data, and an application that allows mobile workers to capture full page papers to convert into electronic docs immediately, uploading the information to office applications in real time. The Motorola MC65 is a faster, more durable, and complex version of its predecessor, the MC55. It offers a wide breadth of capabilities ranging from walkie-talkie usage to mobile integration with widespread asset management systems. It is equipped for data capture with 1D and 2D scanning capabilities, auto-focus camera, and the SE4500 imager. It comes with an improved batter with a standby life of 100 hours.
Benefits of Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Device Deployment, Maintenance, and Updates: A new asset management system can be deployed with ease, only requiring one program to be uploaded to a device, which once completed, automatically connects to the main server and loads the remaining files needed to run the application. Maintenance is made significantly easier with the addition of real time data on the device such as battery, memory, usage, etc. to help determine the asset life cycle. Updates are a simple upload to the management server, from which updates are deployed to all the devices it links to. The process of owning mobile asset management devices is simplified from start to finish.
Support: Any device on the main network is visible on the system software at any time, allowing support to make any fixes, debugs, etc. as needed without hassle.
Security: “Lock Down” prevents devices from being used for anything other than their primary purpose, and “Wipe” allows for lost devices to have their data removed remotely.

For a software system that works with the device chosen, we recommended Avalanche. Used by nearly 100% of North American retailers to manage costs and assets, it is a highly esteemed system with proven effectiveness. Savings reach up to 60% per year, giving any business the chance to completely revamp its margins in the right direction. Aside from providing easy setup, frequent system maintenance, and helpful security features, Avalanche facilitates effective management within all phases of the supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery. With advanced task scheduling, the ability to set and enforce wireless network security configurations, automated mobile device and data protection and encryption, messaging, location services, asset tracking, and wireless heat map coverage, the software is extremely diverse and useful. Perhaps its greatest advantage is the real time data services provided, such as performance monitoring, bandwidth management, custom reporting, and infrastructure management. The access to live data allows for statistical analysis, and thus, smarter decisions.
Solution 2)
Install a proof of delivery application for the current custom delivery system application, allowing for mobile scanning, ID scanning, a signature, or both. This solution is less expensive than the previous one, obviously, because it implements a much simpler system with fewer implications. The biggest change is the improvement in the mobile workforce. Its implementation will boost efficiency and lower costs of the company as a whole by eliminating human error and automating the proof of delivery process. The mobile device’s signature capture and scanner then is displayed on desktop via a separate interface. This provides for extra logon security and ascertains that the data recorded via mobile devices is stored safely on a network.
Solution 3)
Revise the current custom delivery system to meet the general standards of AB&R mobile applications: ease of use, application reliability, and expandability. Specific suggestions for improvement by AB&R include:

Reconsidering the programming environment/language
Evaluating the database engine
Optimize the user interface for data collection, keyboard usage, and ease of use
Adding “Proof of Delivery” to the custom delivery system mobile application

The Solution
The customer chose to implement option 3. AB&R rewrote the software system that the company runs on, creating a “master file” that resides on the device, allowing the underlying custom delivery system software to run on the latest mobile devices (Windows 6.5 or higher). These files make up both the software and the configuration of the image. Any changes made (minor debugging, new feature addition) are updates that require a completely new image or version. This allows version control on site, ensuring that all devices have the same level of software.

To explore available asset tracking solutions, go to our Asset Management Solution page.