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Identifying Compound Interest in Your Field Service Workflow

Posted August 29, 2012

How to attain best-in-class profitability by optimizing seemingly minor tasks

When asked what he thought the most powerful force in the universe was, Albert Einstein once replied, “Compound interest!” This post will demonstrate how compounding even small improvements in workers’ routines translates into huge profits. A field service workforce can attain best-in-class profitability by seeking out and optimizing seemingly minor tasks throughout a field worker’s day that are repeated over and over again, compounding not only throughout that worker’s day, but across all the workers in the organization. The optimization of those repeated tasks will lead to gains in field worker utilization and first time fix rate, which continue to be the key indicators of how well a service organization is running.

According to a recent Aberdeen report, best-in-class service organizations are achieving 74% field worker utilization as opposed to 60% for average companies and only 48% utilization for the poorest performing companies. In addition, best-in-class companies also lead in first visit fix rates of 90% versus only 71% for average companies.

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Denso Announces New BHT-1100 Handheld Wireless Barcode Terminals

Posted August 2, 2012

New DENSO BHT-1100 handheld wireless barcode terminal (Photo: Business Wire)Denso ADC, inventor of the QR Code, announced the release of the BHT-1100 series of handheld wireless barcode terminals. The new devices offer several outstanding features that make barcode scanning quicker and easier, thus increasing operator efficiency.

Denso’s Advanced Scan Plus CCD technology can read barcodes three times faster than a laser scanner and from up to 25 feet or more away, allowing the operator to quickly and continuously scan stock shelves from floor to ceiling without having to use a stepladder. In addition, the BHT-1100 terminals have an expanded scan pattern, resulting in accurate scanning of even smeared barcodes or those that have become partially obscured by dirt.

The terminals’ ergonomic design features a large, easy-to-read screen and a slim, easy-to-hold grip, to reduce operator fatigue. A specially designed scan angle, based on studies of units in actual operation, minimizes screen glare and provides high readability under varying lighting conditions, helping prevent eyestrain.

Wide-area 802.11b/g/n wireless coverage and high-speed data transmission make communication quicker and easier even in large stores or warehouses. An optional built-in digital camera allows the operator to take photos of defective goods during inspection, eliminating the need to carry a separate camera.

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Honeywell Announces Wireless Wide Area Network (Cellular) Connectivity Option for the Marathon Field Computer

Posted July 24, 2012

Today’s mobile data collection environments are  a nonstop series of challenges, and a nonstop quest for efficiencies.  Having the most capable tools in your workers hands allows them to maintain productivity and stay on track.

The Marathon field computer was designed to replace multiple devices with one ergonomic, easy to use solution that eliminates  the cost of purchasing and maintaining both laptop or desktop computers and a handheld device. The 7” touch screen display, laptop style QWERTY keyboard, numeric keypad, and optional data capture capability enhance worker productivity and reduce the number of costly errors. Further, the rugged design reduces down time and the total cost of ownership in the most demanding environments. Supporting Windows Embedded Standard, Windows XP Pro and Windows 7 Pro with mass storage to 64GB SSD, the Marathon also seamlessly integrates with enterprise applications and management systems.

The new Marathon WWAN offering supports both 3.75G GSM and CDMA EVDO  through a software configurable radio. Combined with 802.11a/b/g/n wireless local area network (WLAN), the Marathon WWAN enables anytime, anywhere communication capability with GPS location services.


CipherLab Launches the New CP50 Windows Industrial Mobile Computer

Posted July 19, 2012

Designed to enhance productivity in field mobility, transportation, and warehouse environments with multiple wireless communications, large memory capacities, and rugged designs.

CipherLab has recently launched their new CP50 Industrial mobile computer. The CP50 has specific designs to assist the harsh environments of the field, on the road, and in the warehouse. It comes fully equipped with a sizable 2 GB flash memory, which allows for mega storage of data. Top it off with multiple wireless communication options which enable field workers to have a wide range of connections on the field. Your field workers would surely be well prepared with this powerful device.

Along with all of its advantages, the rugged design of CP50 with IP65 is proven to withstand harsh environments. It passed 1.5 m drops onto concrete and 1,000 tumbles at 0.5 m ensuring durability. It also incorporates software tools for easy customization from CipherLab Smart Shells, Signature Capture, to FORGE Application Generator. The CP50 is built with both quality and toughness.

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Choosing the Right Connectivity

Posted June 7, 2012

”Always connected” was a phrase without meaning 20 years ago; today, being always connected is a necessity. Enterprises of every type know they need employees with more mobility – and more connectedness – than ever to grow their businesses and remain competitive. But which type of wireless technology to use is difficult to determine. This paper examines the wireless options for mobile computer connectivity and takes a close look at some nontraditional choices that can save you money while still delivering improved productivity.

Communicating within four walls usually relies on 802.11a/b/g/n (also called Wi-Fi or WLAN for wireless local-area networks). Going outside the four walls requires other technology, typically wireless widearea networks (WWAN) or satellite. Each has strengths and weaknesses.

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How to Use Mobile Payment Collection Technology to Boost Profitability

Posted May 31, 2012

Enterprise investments in mobile automation are enabling field sales and service professionals to complete their tasks faster than ever before. But are their organizations getting paid any faster? If not, they are missing out on some of the lowest-hanging fruit on the mobile automation benefits tree.

By equipping mobile workers to collect payment in the field, businesses can significantly and permanently improve their cash cycle time, reduce uncollectable invoices and even increase revenues by upselling and cross selling service plans, spare parts, accessories and additional products. These benefits are available to many types of businesses, including sales, service and delivery organizations.

Mobile payment collection represents low-hanging fruit because it often only requires a modest incremental investment in complementary components. If field sales and service staff already have mobile computers and wireless connectivity, the incremental investment needed to enable mobile payment collection can be recovered very quickly, often in months, and will provide a sustainable cash flow benefit. If mobile computers are not currently used, a payment collection application will shorten the time to return-on-investment (ROI) for a mobile automation initiative.

This white paper provides an introduction to how mobile payment collection systems work, explains what components are needed to enable mobile workers to process card and check payments in the field, and highlights the cash flow and other benefits that businesses of different sizes and in different industries can expect from enabling their mobile workers to collect payment at the time of service.

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Are your Smart Phones Smart Enough?

Posted May 25, 2012

How Development, Deployment and Management Capabilities Impact Productivity and Value

BlackBerries popularized the smart phone, then the iPhone revolutionized and consumerized the category. Droids are the hottest models today – but that could change tomorrow. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile models continue to outsell other handheld computers used in the enterprise. There is always plenty of buzz about what makes smart phones cool, but enterprises must focus on what makes users more productive.

Why do companies buy smart phones and rugged mobile computers? They do so to:

  • Improve productivity and efficiency.
  • Increase sales and revenue.
  • Improve customer satisfaction.
  • Lower operating costs.

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