Our Battery Partner, GTS Power, run two innovative systems to keep up user productivity and reduce enterprise mobility downtime. They are battery Test and Replace and Battery Colour Coding. Here we can see how their system has helped a major retailer overcome some serious issues in their inventory
A well-known, Top 10 retailer was experiencing significant problems with its voice and data (barcode scanners and printers) mobile devices in its scores of Distribution Centers and thousands of stores nationwide. Its voice devices, the Spectralink 84xx series WiFi phones, were an obvious problem because they were regularly failing mid-shift, which not only caused staff productivity losses, but hurt the overall customer experience and resulted in lost sales.
The retailer knew that it was losing productivity and paying too much for mobile device service costs on its scanners because of similar mid-shift battery failures. But, they could not easily quantify the scope of the problem or figure out a solution other than paying the exorbitant cost of a wholesale refresh of all of their mobile batteries. They simply had no other choice at the time.
GTS then offered its powerful Test & Replace solution as a fast and easy way to identify failing, “bad” batteries and replace them with new ones. A pilot program was started in the retailer’s distribution centres covering all three models of their mobile devices. At that time, GTS did the testing, replacing and recycling for the sites and it was a fast and unqualified success.
The DC’s immediately realized significant reductions in staff downtime from mid-shift device failures and also experienced savings in unnecessary device service costs due to misdiagnoses of device “failures” when it was actually a battery problem. The retailer also discovered that they could buy fewer batteries overall by identifying and removing only the bad batteries while keeping the good ones and re- apportioning battery inventory only where and when it was needed.
The Test & Replace solution is now used on all of the retailer’s voice and data mobile devices in the DC’s and stores, including their Spectralink 84XX, Symbol MC9000, Symbol LS4278, and Motorola MT2070 devices. As an added bonus, the retailer now recognizes that the battery testing is so simple that they are having their own teams and consultants do the testing, replacing and recycling onsite.
But, this retailer had yet another mobile device battery problem. Due to the harsh, round-the-clock usage patterns of the mobile devices in the DC’s, the retailer often sends their “nearing end of life” batteries to the stores where the use of mobile devices is less intense as a way to extend the useful life of a battery. However, the retailer struggled to identify the batteries likely to be at the stage of limited usefulness where they would be transferred from the DC’s to the stores.
As a custom manufacturer of mobile batteries and chargers, GTS offered an innovative, low-tech solution called Battery Colour Coding. This solution allows a buyer to order a unique colour each year instead of traditional black batteries. The key benefit to the retailer is the ability to see how old a “colour- generation” of batteries is and easily remove them from service as a group or downgrade them in its hierarchy of battery users. For example, in 2017, GTS is offering blue batteries in addition to the standard OEM colour. In 2018, GTS will make green batteries in addition to the standard colour, and so on.
In 2018, this Top 10 retailer can send all blue batteries that have not yet reached the natural deterioration point identified by the Test & Replace process to the stores for less stressful use. Because these batteries are “due” to fail in the months ahead anyway the less harsh store environment actually maintains their lifespan. This is a great way to extract maximum value from an existing mobile battery inventory which is often otherwise just an uncontrolled and mismanaged asset.
With this powerful combination of GTS Test & Replace and Battery Colour Coding mobile power solutions, this Top 10 retailer has an impressive mobile power management system in place and is reaping significant benefits with decreased labor, battery and service costs now and into the future. The retailer no longer needs to worry about their mobile batteries or chargers as they have a complete, holistic solution available from GTS that highlights innovative thought leadership in this industry. As GTS often tells their clients, “GTS thinks about mobile batteries and chargers 24×7 so you don’t have to.”
If you are experiencing similar problems you can speak to our engineers at Pen Mobile Solutions about Test & Replace and Colour Coding batteries. We also offer free battery testing as standard.