How to Calculate Dimensional Weight: Pricing Space for Postal Shipping Success

Imagine the ease of moving a truckload of large buoyant polystyrene balls. Compare that to moving a truckload of fuel-sapping bowling balls. Both shipments occupy the same space in the truck…

Yet, the discrepancy in total cost for shipping heavy bowling balls – such as higher fuel use, added vehicle wear, greater loading and unloading time and energy, and so on – clearly demonstrates the need to put a dollar value on the cargo space occupied; no matter how light a shipment may be.
Space on a transport carrier is a precious commodity. Freight shipping being charged based on a parcel or pallet’s actual dead weight is now the exception rather than the rule.

Capacity Crunch: The weight versus space issue

Several years ago, commercial freight transport companies across the globe, led by US giants FedEx and UPS, realised that shipping lightweight packages based on a fee to transport actual ‘dead’ weight – rather than the total space occupied in transit – was shrinking profits.

The widespread rise in online e-commerce orders prompted the need for a better, more uniform pricing strategy to safeguard carriers against losing money when transporting increasing numbers of lightweight packages.

Consequently, the equitable concept of charging freight based on volumetric or dimensional weight was created and rapidly adopted by the postal, supply chain, and transport and logistics industries.

Dimensional Weight Formula: Levelling the space playing field

Applying a dimensional weight formula, in effect, establishes a minimum charge for the cubic space occupied and calculates a theoretical ‘weight’ for the package.

Typically, shipping carriers will establish a dimensional weight, or ‘dim’ weight, for larger lightweight packages, essentially as a penalty on a dead weight shipment that is oversized. For most customers, this makes sense. A parcel or pallet occupying valuable space on a transport carrier should cost more; usually upon reaching some defined weight-to-space ‘tipping point’.

Logically, the higher value of actual weight or dim weight calculations, is the billable weight.  So, most courier and shipping companies will capture both measurements, then apply their own dim weight parameters to determine how to charge.

For example, a postal carrier generally calculates the dimensional weight of all parcels over one kilogram, then charges according to whichever is greater; dead weight or dim weight. In most shipping operations, the dim weight calculation is rounded up to the next kilogram.

Cubing Freight Parcels

To determine a package’s dimensional weight, first you need to know the cubic volume of your package. This is the volume of space your parcel will occupy during each phase of transit to its final delivery.

Simply, measure the length (L), width (W), height (H) of your parcel at the longest, widest, and highest points in metres, centimetres or inches.

Then, multiply L x W x H to determine the parcel’s volume in cubic units, otherwise known as the cubic volume.

For example, a small box with L = 20 cm, W = 20 cm and H = 20 cm would be:

Next – to calculate a final nominal ‘kilograms’ of dimensional weight – you need to apply what’s known as a ‘Dimensional Weight Factor’ or ‘Dim Factor’ to your parcel or pallet’s cubic volume.

Dim Factor Explained

But, first, let’s discuss what a Dim Factor actually is…

The Dim Factor is a mathematical value of the allowable volume of a package per unit of weight (e.g. 5000 cm3/kg) or the allowable weight of a package per unit of volume (e.g. 200 kg/m3).

Every shipping company, in theory, can pre-determine and set their own dim factors to calculate the value of cargo space on their carrier vehicles, and subsequently extract that cost from the customer.

Although international air freight pricing, for instance, is overseen by regulators, i.e., the International Air Transport Association, transport carriers are not required to use designated or standard dim factors.

In fact, shipping companies can apply different dim factors depending on variables such as mode of transport, final destination, express delivery services, shipping zones and so on. They can even offer a competitive dim factor for high-volume freight customers or negotiate a specific dim factor for an uncommon type of freight customer.

Major carriers assess their operational expenditure plus commodity and market competition to develop economically viable dim factors and other rules for charging shipping rates.

In short, the dim factor ensures every vehicle carrying cargo makes a profit above and beyond the associated delivery costs incurred.

How to Calculate the Dimensional Weight of a Package

Because dim factors are specific to a shipping carrier, they may be expressed in metric or imperial units depending on local conventions and/or shipping destinations. As long as package dimensions are measured in the same length units as the dim factor, the dimensional weight formula will work accordingly.

Most carriers don’t explain the units of measurement associated with their dim factor, because it’s confusing!  Instead, they provide handy online tools to automate the full dimensional weight calculation for their customers, such as here and here.

However, it’s useful to know how an online dim weight calculator makes the dim factor units ‘cancel out’ in order to determine the theoretical dimensional weight of a package.

A carrier’s dim factor (DF) can either be a divisor or a multiplier of the parcel’s cubic volume, depending on whether the volume is in cubic centimetres or cubic metres, respectively.

Similarly, for volumes in cubic inches or cubic feet, the dim factor is a divisor or multiplier, respectively.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why some companies divide cubic volume by a dim factor whereas others multiply cubic volume by a dim factor – below we demonstrate how it works using an example.

The commonly used dim factors 5000 cm3/kg and 200 kg/m3 have different measurement units, but are effectively the same for resolving how much physical space a package occupies as volumetric weight.

Your sample parcel or pallet has centimetre dimensions of length (L) = 100 cm, width (W) = 100 cm and height (H) = 100 cm.  In metres (m) these same dimensions would be: L = 1.0 m, W = 1.0 m and H = 1.0 m.

As you can see, both calculations result in 200 kg as the nominal dimensional weight, which would then be subject to the carrier’s cost per kilogram rate.

This is the weight the package would theoretically weigh if it had a packing density of 200kg/m3 or a specific volume of 5000cm3/kg.

Note: In this example, if the actual weight of the package’s contents is heavier than 200 kg, then the shipper would likely charge based on the higher dead weight value. Furthermore, carriers applying a dimensional weight formula for shipping freight will round dim weight values up to the nearest kilogram or pound to maximise returns on the volumetric space occupied.

Saving Space Saves Money

In summary, lightweight items packed in oversized boxes force shipping carriers to reach their maximum dimensional or volumetric capacity well before they reach their actual weight capacity. Generally, carriers re-coup losses using the above freight dimensioning calculations and dimensional weight formula.

An understanding of dim weight calculators, the dimensional weight formula and dim weight pricing for shipping is vital for e-commerce businesses; particularly in negotiating shipping rates with carriers, as well as optimising how efficiently items are packed to achieve a lower dim weight.

Miscalculated dimensions can result in increased shipping costs and freight non-compliance problems, so knowing how to correctly and accurately perform dimensional weight formula calculations will reduce charge back fees and ease frustrations.

For greater efficiencies and automation in warehouses, in pick-up and delivery businesses, and in any business sending parcels and pallets to customers, there are low-cost dimensioning calculator systems and accurate dim weight pricing tools available.

In addition to appropriately billing customers for the space their parcel or pallet occupies, real-time dimensioning technologies enable your organisation to forward plan resources. For instance, you can allocate covering space on consecutive carriers, arrange personnel to be ready at subsequent destinations and/or assign space for the incoming shipment in distribution centres and retail outlets.

To hear the latest exciting news on real-time workflow-driven dim weight solutions and how they can be successfully applied to your postal, distribution or delivery operation, contact Leopard Systems today about implementing a scalable cubing solution that will enhance your business operations and reduce revenue leakage.

Cleaner & Greener: How To Drive Down Fleet Emissions & Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Last year, Australia’s transport sector produced almost 19% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; increasing by 2.8% from the previous year¹ .

This climb in carbon emissions is attributed, in part, to the escalating use of diesel vehicles and freight activity, buoyed by strong population growth and a steady economy.

Hence, urgent action and a continuing commitment to reduce GHG transport emissions is required – especially from future-focussed companies operating large vehicle fleets – to combat climate change at a national level.

Plus, environmentally aware transport and logistics fleets are realising the significant business benefits of ‘green fleet’ management. These include:

  • reducing expenses
  • saving resources
  • improving operational efficiencies
  • enhancing your eco-friendly corporate identity

Here we highlight how transport and delivery operations can harness real-time fleet information from vehicle telematics to reduce your environmental impact:

1. Halt Harmful Fleet Emissions

Vehicles contribute to global warming by emitting harmful GHGs, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons, into the air. Diesel-fuelled vehicles are a key source of GHG transport emissions and airborne particles².

In fact, more Australians die prematurely each year as a result of urban air pollution³, from cardiac arrest, stroke, lung cancer or other respiratory disease⁴, than our national road toll⁵.

In contrast, many major cities overseas are banning or taxing diesel vehicles to reduce pollution for public health reasons, and because low-tailpipe-emission alternatives, such as electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles, and clean diesel technologies, are more readily available⁶.

To reduce harmful GHG transport emissions from your fleet:

 

> Keep vehicles maintained in peak condition for peak performance.

Proactive servicing of vehicles, to a realistic and cost-effective schedule, will ensure each vehicle operates efficiently and uses fuel maximally, i.e. best kilometres per litre.

 

  • For instance, driving with correct tyre pressures, to reduce the drag of under inflated tyres, or to reduce the wear of over inflated tyres, will improve fuel economy and lower fleet emissions.
  • Check and change or repair to improve, when appropriate, critical mechanical components such as engine oil, oxygen sensors, air filters, spark plugs, fuel injectors, brakes and so on.
  • Modifying exhausts with Diesel Particulate Filters may reduce the negative health effects from particles released during the diesel combustion cycle.
  • Inspect brakes as deteriorating brakes don’t release properly and can force a vehicle to work harder to accelerate, thus wasting fuel and increasing carbon emissions.
> Examine how your drivers operate your vehicles and help them drive with a lower environmental impact.

Driving behaviours, such as speeding, incorrect gears, harsh acceleration, harsh braking and harsh cornering, all waste fuel and resources, as well as increase fleet emissions.

But the good news is, these aggressive behaviours can be modified. On-board telematics devices effectively gather driver data to help companies implement performance-based driver education.

Plus, better driving leads to less collisions, resulting in lower repair bills, fewer material losses, less workplace injuries, and it reduces downtime; which all add up to a much lower carbon footprint.

GREEN INSIGHTS FOR FLEETS

Leopard Telematics, powered by Geotab’s GO telematics devices, captures rich engine diagnostics and vehicle data from your fleet. This allows you to proactively maintain a servicing schedule; keeping your fleet functioning well, keeping transport emissions low and avoiding possible breakdowns.

Leopard Telematics also tracks aggressive driving behaviours and fuel use, providing useful measures to support and train your drivers to drive more efficiently and safely. Rich telematics data also helps vehicle fleets manage travel times, optimise asset use and maximise productivity.

Find out more >>

2. Crackdown on Congestion

With all major cities in Australia experiencing population growth, our roads and transport systems are under pressure. The resulting traffic congestion is a major contributor of carbon emissions. Compared to slow vehicles moving at 20km/hour on congested roads, vehicles travelling smoothly at 60km/hr emit 40% less carbon into the atmosphere⁷.

Additionally, road congestion is estimated to cost the Australian economy over $16 billion each year in lost time, lost productivity, vehicle expenses and the negative health impacts of air pollution⁸. Justifiably, reducing your company fleet’s effect on road overcrowding is paramount.

To minimise road congestion and contribute to Australia achieving a better road network:

> Avoid heavy traffic by using GPS vehicle tracking systems and route optimisation technologies, such as telematics, to intelligently access road systems.

Smart navigation planning reduces kilometres travelled and, when implemented for transport or service fleets, prioritises delivery and work locations in a manner that’s time- and fuel-efficient.

When synced with real-time map and traffic information, vehicle drivers have access to useful information about potential hazards, road blocks and other road conditions.

In turn, this enables wiser decisions to avoid slow routes and not, inadvertently, add to the road congestion problem playing out in a specific location.

> Hand-in-hand with the detrimental effect of congestion increasing carbon emissions is engine idling.

Whether stuck in a traffic jam, or performing a stationary task with the engine running, e.g. doing paperwork or talking on the phone, idling comes at a high cost to your business and the planet.

  • An idling light commercial vehicle can waste 2-3 L of fuel per hour, and large trucks, i.e. semi-trailers, can burn up to 4 L of fuel per hour when not moving⁹.
  • Aside from fuel waste and carbon emissions, there’s also more engine wear, engine hours, noise pollution and poor air quality due to idling.
  • Cutting idling time by just one hour per week per vehicle could have substantial cost benefits to a large fleet – saving via less fuel burnt, fewer oil changes, less maintenance; not to mention the environmental benefits.

Before implementing an idle reduction strategy, you need to know what’s happening in your fleet. You can only manage what you measure; tracking real-time engine idling data via telematics is essential to understand where, when, who and how most of your fleet’s idling occurs, to then improve your operational efficiencies and lower transport emissions.

USE TELEMATICS TO EASE CONGESTION &
REDUCE IDLING


Leopard Telematics, powered by Geotab, can be applied to prevent your fleet vehicles from driving on already-congested roads or avoid known high-traffic routes, thus having a positive impact on traffic flow for all road users, while simultaneously reducing fleet emissions via operating with a steadier speed profile and minimal idling.

Leopard Telematics also gathers accurate engine data on time spent idling and, when integrated with GPS systems, offers insights on specific locations where longer periods of idling occur.

This valuable information offers insights to manage and reduce idling. Strategies for idle reduction management may involve in-cab driver alerts, exception rules for operational idling, installing idle-off devices, better route planning and optimised loading/unloading for delivery vehicles.

Learn more >>

3. Fight Fuel Waste

On the whole, maintaining peak engine efficiency, driving economically, avoiding congestion and reducing idling all contribute significantly to reducing transport emissions.

Yet, there are more ways to optimise or reduce how much fuel your fleet uses, and, in doing so, help combat climate change:

 

  • When carrying extra equipment on a truck, e.g. cooling units or mounted cranes, check with suppliers to make sure you’ve got the right size engine to carry the load and use fuel efficiently.
  • For medium and large trucks, the after-market addition of aerodynamic aids such as cabin roof deflectors, ‘nose cones’, side fairings and other air deflectors will lower your air resistance and reduce fuel consumption, particularly for vehicles travelling over 80km/h for long distances.
  • Also, low-drag tyres may offer better fuel consumption depending on the type of vehicle and operational requirements.
  • Opting for less polluting modes of transport or fuel may be applicable to some fleet operations, and takes planning to assess your fleet’s suitability to transition. The most obvious is changing part or all of your operations from diesel or petrol fuels to no-emission Electric Vehicles (EVs) or lower emission Hybrid vehicles; especially eco-friendly when the electricity generation is from renewable sources.
  • Advanced fuel technologies, such as biodiesel, LPG, CNG and Hydrogen, if applicable to your operation, or sub-sections of your operation (i.e. clean ‘last mile’ deliveries by foot/bike couriers or cargo bikes) may be worth considering to lower fleet emissions and reduce fossil fuel consumption.
POWERFUL ENVIRONMENTAL GAINS WITH FLEET TELEMATICS

Leopard Telematics, powered by Geotab, gathers precise data on driver behaviour, idling time, vehicle servicing, distances travelled, fuel use and much more – to create an accurate picture of your fleet’s overall environmental impact.

With such valuable information, compiled over time, your company can set realistic goals and establish a robust ‘green fleet’ plan. Measuring and monitoring the success of your sustainability strategy will keep your company on track to achieve even greater environmental stewardship.

Read more >>

Smart GPS tracking and vehicle diagnostic reporting technologies, such as Leopard Telematics, are making it easier for fleet operations to take control of their conservation efforts and understand their impact on the environment.

Contact Leopard Systems for more information and support to create a greener, cleaner fleet

  1. Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: December 2018, Commonwealth of Australia 2019. Accessed at http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/408fcc37-dcfd-4ab8-a4f9-facc6bd98ea6/files/nggi-quarterly-update-dec-2018.pdf
  2. Coleman S (2016). Built environment: Increased pollution. In: Australia State of the Environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. Accessed at: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/built-environment/topic/2016/increased-pollution
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease series no. 19. Cat. no. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW. Accessed at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-disease-study-illness-death-2015/
  4. Keywood MD, Emmerson KM, Hibberd MF (2016). Ambient air quality: Health impacts of air pollution. In: Australia State of the Environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. Accessed at: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/ambient-air-quality/topic/2016/health-impacts-air-pollution
  5. Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Road crash casualties and rates, Australia, 1925 to latest year. Produced and published by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Canberra, 2005. Accessed at: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2005/pdf/1925-present.pdf
  6. Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Heavy-duty vehicles initiative: Reducing Emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Fuels. Accessed June 2019 at: https://ccacoalition.org/en/initiatives/heavy-duty-vehicles
  7. Haynes, K. E., Li, M. (2004) Analytical alternatives in intelligent transportation system (ITS) evaluation. Economic Impacts of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Innovations and Case Studies. Research in Transportation Economics, Volume 8, 127–149
  8. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2015 Traffic and congestion cost trends for Australian capital cities. Information Sheet 74, BITRE, Canberra. Accessed at: https://bitre.gov.au/publications/2015/is_074.aspx
  9. NSW Government, Transport Roads and Maritime Services. Green Truck Partnership, Technology Study: Engine Idle Management. Accessed at https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/about/environment/air/meta-study-engine-idle-management.pdf

Understanding Your Fleet Telematics System: What Are Your Vehicles Telling You?

Managing and maintaining a large fleet of profitable vehicles is no easy task. As a vehicle fleet manager, you’re on a perpetual quest to simultaneously maximise productivity and reduce expenditure.

Therefore, to create a more cost-efficient, reliable and safe fleet operation that outperforms rival companies – a deep understanding of how your fleet is functioning is crucial.

In fact, the intelligent use of tangible information about your company vehicles will inform and clarify business decisions that help generate better returns.

FLEET TELEMATICS SYSTEM FOR INTELLIGENT INSIGHTS

Fortunately, modern fleet telematics solutions unlock new revenue streams by using accurate real-time data to improve productivity.

Investing in a cutting-edge fleet telematics system will likely pay for itself when the data gathered is applied effectively and proactively to solve problems and streamline operations.

With a fleet telematics system device in every vehicle, sending real-time data to a secure cloud-based management system – that generates relevant reports, automated alerts and key performance metrics about fuel, repairs, usage and operation – you’ll feel ‘in touch’ with your entire fleet.

In essence, your vehicles are communicating real sure-fire ways to optimise efficiencies and save money; your fleet telematics system simply provides the means to help you listen.

So, what are your fleet vehicles telling you?

Here are several key responses to know and act on:

1. WE NEED TO USE FUEL EFFICIENTLY

Fuel economy is a major, if not the most important, factor for companies to manage and control when running a profitable fleet of vehicles. The cost of fuel is high and fluctuates unpredictably, therefore every effort to save fuel will help boost profits.

On-board fleet telematics GPS vehicle tracking, when integrated with map navigation systems, offer powerful ways to enhance fuel efficiencies such as:

  • Optimised routing and navigation planning substantially reduces travel distances and fuel use
  • Re-routing trips in light of traffic data avoids congested roads and reduces the likelihood of being stuck in traffic idling, thus saving time and fuel
  • Smart route planning for delivery vehicles arranges drop-off locations in the most energy- and time-efficient order
  • Intelligent dispatching using vehicle GPS data matches the closest operators to each job location in real time, reducing the distance to jobs, saving time and delighting customers through responsive service delivery.

Furthermore, because fleet telematics systems calculate individual vehicle fuel consumption with great accuracy, and can sync with company fuel accounts and on-board payment cards – fuel theft can be detected and, better still, prevented.

Likewise, data relating to fuel slippage and other fuel performance factors is valuable for informing decisions on better vehicle use and minimising fuel costs.

2. WE NEED ENGINES THAT RUN WELL

Indeed, maximising engine efficiencies saves on fuel costs, yet well-running vehicles offer additional cost-saving benefits.

In short, an efficient, healthy and well-monitored engine spends more time on the road, and is less likely to breakdown and become sidelined for unexpected repairs.

Vehicle telematics systems help fleet managers keep engines in top working order and increase savings by:

  • Issuing service reminders at designated engine hours used, kilometres travelled and/or days since last service
  • Creating engine diagnostic, odometer, delivery and driving reports – to improve servicing decisions and ensure that only necessary or worthwhile ‘extra’ repairs are done
  • Detecting changes or abnormalities in specific engine metrics that may flag a problem, allowing it to be promptly fixed before becoming a bigger problem
  • Repairing engines for more efficient fuel use. 

Understanding the current engine status of fleet vehicles makes co-ordinating what vehicles to service when, versus what to keep on the road, easier. Proactive preventive engine maintenance via intelligent scheduling reduces the likelihood of inconvenient and costly breakdowns.

Additionally, the rich detail of engine data collected by the fleet telematics system, aside from enabling better servicing, helps optimise spare parts inventories – so everyday items such as replacement fluids, filters, belts, hoses and so on are on-hand ready for timely repairs.

3. WE NEED TO BE FULLY UTILISED

As a capital expense and depreciating asset, productive use of every vehicle in your fleet is essential.

To do this effectively, fleet managers need accurate up-to-date information to support decisions such as:

  • What vehicles are doing the most, and least, work?
  • How can we optimise vehicle use accordingly?
  • Which vehicle assets have expended their working life?
  • When should they be traded in?
  • What type of new vehicles will be best to replace old vehicles and add the most value to our operations?

A better understanding of vehicle and equipment asset usage via a fleet telematics system leads to:

  • Selling off what you aren’t using
  • Reducing and optimising daily running and maintenance costs
  • Reducing insurance and registration costs on idle or under-used vehicles
  • Identifying new ways to maximise fleet efficiencies.

Occasionally, some businesses lose track of what they own. Then – in order to fulfil their services uninterrupted – they pay to hire an equivalent asset, effectively spending double and sabotaging profits. Thus, clarity on held assets saves unnecessary rental expenses and improves business revenue.

Day to day, the GPS vehicle tracking from a fleet telematics system pinpoints all vehicle asset locations on a map in real time. This enables:

  • Vehicle assets and drivers to be monitored, and jobs to be assigned appropriately
  • Dangerous or unsafe roads or territories to be avoided; for instance, due to bad weather, road works, traffic accidents or other avoidable delays
  • Co-ordinated and rapid on-the-ground responses to arising issues based on mission-critical intelligence.

Plus, if a vehicle gets stolen, your fleet telematics system will instantly show you where it is, minimising recovery costs, recovery time, insurance claims and downtime losses.

4. WE NEED TO BE DRIVEN SAFELY & EFFICIENTLY

The final factor influencing your vehicle fleet’s performance and your bottom line is how your drivers operate your vehicles. Fleet telematics systems can be used to alter individual driver behaviour, enhance driver productivity and optimise whole-of-fleet efficiencies.

Aside from less engine wear and tear, less maintenance costs, less traffic fines and lower insurance premiums when your vehicles have good safe drivers, a fleet telematics system can further improve driving behaviour and unlock extra revenue.

Strict rules can be implemented to change driving behaviour for better fuel consumption and, more importantly, for safer driving to minimise accidents and the associated expense of repairs, downtime, injuries, increased insurance costs and so on.

A fleet telematics system can detect individual driver and vhicle data such as:

  • Speeding and harsh braking of potentially dangerous and costly driving, to highlight where driver improvement is needed, plus monitor and reward good driving habits
  • Unnecessary periods of engine idling and wasting fuel, to determine how to improve the way vehicles are used and, thus, adapt operations to ensure less idling occurs
  • Identifying vehicle faults via compulsory pre-trip inspection reports, to ensure that potential mechanical hazards are repaired and OHS compliance requirements are met before the vehicle is driven

Furthermore, a vehicle fleet telematics system designed to enhance driver safety and vehicle efficiencies provides:

  • Optimised routes and workflow predictions that support staff to work effectively, reduce overtime, reduce driving times and improve fuel efficiency 
  • Real-time in-cabin alerts that notify drivers of unsafe and/or inefficient driving so they can make prompt corrections and improve their driving
  • Vehicle re-fuelling data that is monitored, recorded and authorised to keep banking and personal information secure, plus minimise fuel losses from theft
  • Automated up-to-the-minute reports and monitoring to support drivers to comply with EWD fatigue management and other vehicle inspection laws, for peace of mind and better performance.

In summary, fleet telematics systems offer comprehensive fleet management control – to ensure better use of vehicle assets your company owns; continually unlocking extra revenue and optimising your fleet operations. Talk to Leopard Systems today  about implementing a scalable fleet telematics system that will enhance your business operations.

Leopard Systems Win Dual Asia-Pacific Awards For Top Performance

Leopard Systems, Australia’s leading enterprise mobility solution provider, received not one, but two esteemed awards at Zebra Technologies Corporation’s annual Channel Partner Summit held in China in May.

Leading a field of over 150 major Asia-Pacific APAC resellers and partners, Leopard Systems was recognised as Zebra’s highest performing APAC Partner Of The Year and APAC Service Partner Of The Year.

Ryan Goh, Vice President and General Manager of Sales at Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific, and Joe White, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Mobile Computing at Zebra Technologies Inc presented the awards to co-Managing Director of Leopard Systems, Robin Fowler, at a special ceremony at Guilin’s Shangri-La Hotel.

The accolades honoured Leopard’s success in attaining major contracts within the APAC region, and providing superior service support to their Zebra hardware customers. 

“This year everything aligned for us. We were fortunate to secure multiple 1000+ Zebra device contracts with several major Australian and New Zealand customers that added up to around 14,000 units sold, helping put Leopard Systems well ahead in the regional channel,” said Robin.
The coveted awards mark a prized achievement for Leopard Systems since revolutionising their support services in hardware fleet management and supply chain mobility over recent years.

“We’ve really concentrated on better serving our large corporate customers. Supporting and cultivating these partnerships has resulted in a significant number of new contracts providing Zebra devices, as well as accompanying service warranties, being purchased,” said Robin.

Further, recent changes to expand the Australia/New Zealand awards to include Asia and Pacific countries has substantially raised the bar for achieving industry recognition. Hence, receiving the APAC awards cements Leopard Systems’ strength and continuing focus to provide world-class end-to-end solutions.

At the Summit, Zebra Technologies announced a future priority to build cloud data services that greatly enhance the ‘supportability’ and functionality of their mobile computing, printing and scanning devices.

“It’s exciting to partner with a global leader such as Zebra Technologies because their innovations directly improve business for our customers. With better cloud data services, we’ll be able to manage and monitor device fleets in even more detail, with enhanced control, leading to greater business visibility, improved efficiencies and more opportunities for our customers,” Robin commented.

Leopard Systems offer innovative mobile device management services and sophisticated mobility solutions for largescale enterprises requiring high-level hardware, software, technical and professional support. 

Leopard Systems Awarded:
APAC Partner of the Year – 2019

From Left to Right: Joe White – Senior Vice President & General Manager Enterprise Mobile Computing, Zebra Technologies;  Robin Fowler – Managing Director, Leopard Systems;  Ryan Goh – Vice President & General Manager, Zebra Technologies APAC

Leopard Systems Awarded:
APAC Service Partner of the Year – 2019

From Left to Right: Bill Burns – Chief Product & Solutions Officer Global, Zebra Technologies; Robin Fowler – Managing Director, Leopard Systems; Ryan Goh – Vice President & General Manager, Zebra Technologies APAC

 

Enterprise Mobility Best Practice For A Major Australian Department Store Retailer

Enterprise mobility best practices for retail mobile devices

How To Securely Deploy & Manage 2000+ Mobile Devices Across Multiple Territories

Chosen as the trusted partner, Leopard Systems have been instrumental in delivering new handheld Android mobile devices, along with a mobile device management (MDM) and ongoing MDM monitoring solution, to one of Australia’s largest department store retailers.

With expanding operations in new locations and a growing need to enhance their enterprise mobility ‘best practice’ efforts including secure digital communications, rapid data access and reliable functionality, a robust and flexible mobility management solution was required.

Aside from a great saving on capital infrastructure costs through LeopardCare Monitoring, the retailer also achieved full visibility of their 2000+ mobile assets, actionable insights to fix issues quickly, and a seamless system for future device and software updates.
Consequently, Leopard Systems implemented their secure MDM solution, LeopardCare Monitoring, for the large fleet of handheld enterprise-grade mobile devices used across the retailer’s Australian and New Zealand operations. These mobile computers are primarily utilised by retail store and warehouse staff to deliver efficient product stocktaking and inventory management capabilities.

The challenge: Letting go of legacy

Building on the previous year’s procurement and roll-out of 2000+ rugged Zebra TC70 mobile devices, running the Android operating system, the challenge for the retailer was how to successfully transition away from an archaic, increasingly cumbersome mobile device management (MDM) platform, that had become historically entwined in the organisation due to the company’s old legacy Windows Mobile devices.

This ageing MDM application was severely impairing operations.  After persisting with the legacy platform for 12 months, the retailer consulted Leopard’s MDM specialists for advice and a strategy for the future. Unfortunately, the legacy MDM platform was limited in its functions and extremely vulnerable to security breaches.

Leopard Systems advised that the old mobility management application would not provide the best business outcomes for the retailer’s new Android devices.

Android is now the preferred platform for enterprise scale mobile fleets
Additionally, the excessive cost and capital expenditure to run dedicated servers for the old mobility platform was becoming a financial burden to the retailer. The costs associated with hosting, licensing and maintaining the servers, training and hiring staff to adequately monitor the entire system, forced the retailer to re-assess how MDM management could be better managed and funded in the future.

To retain a competitive edge in the retail market, plus harness the speed and efficiencies of new technologies, the retailer decided to update and migrate their mobility management to LeopardCare Monitoring – to optimise their investment in new Android hardware.

Navigating the Next Generation

By choosing to upgrade to Android, it was Leopard’s role to help the retailer navigate the next-generation of enterprise mobility best practice, and transition the new Android devices to a robust and secure MDM mobility management solution in readiness for years of efficient operation and business growth.

Compared to the previous system, the new Android devices can be updated remotely in a seamless and systematic way, thus keeping a large fleet of mobile computers connected operationally, up to date with security patches, firmware releases and new features. Remotely updating many devices simultaneously was impossible on the retailer’s old system.

Likewise, Android continuously updates every quarter, so ensuring these updates are correctly installed on every device is important to achieve the best mobility results.

The ‘enterprise mobility best practice’ solution

To deliver enterprise mobility best practice for the retailer, Leopard Systems sought to future-proof their MDM management within a flexible, robust and effective system, implemented in four weeks.

Dedicated Leopard Systems personnel and our comprehensive LeopardCare Monitoring service unite to deliver the latest enterprise mobility best practice. 

The retailer’s mobile device fleet was kept secure and fully operational via a hosted ‘paid connected device’ model, offsetting prohibitive licensing, server and human resources costs.

“Our technicians monitor the entire system 24/7 via incoming alerts and notifications to our Technical Services headquarters. We continuously detect the health of all the devices in our care. Our technical mobility management team then take proactive steps to rectify any issues arising before they cause user problems and/or business disruptions”, said Chris DeLeon, Systems Engineering Manager for Leopard Systems.
In the case of this major Australian department store retailer, Leopard Systems incorporated the following enterprise mobility best practices into their MDM solution:

  • Mobile security to keep company information secure and private by implementing correct measures for controlling access credentials, applying policies, preventing data leakage and eliminating virus attacks on networks, devices and apps. 
  • Cloud computing to affordably and rapidly store and retrieve company information, via various networked platforms and devices, from any Internet-enabled location for remote users.
  • Monitored infrastructure to adjust for real-time network bandwidth consumption and prioritise network traffic, across different locations and multiple devices.
  • Monitored fleet network to rapidly and effectively diagnose complex problems via remote real-time communications, and also to manage the mobility network effectively for superior coverage, up-time and visibility.
  • Mobility management interface to connect services and manage devices easily; linking databases, transactions, deliveries, inventory and other business systems for enterprise mobility best practice compliance, compatibility and administration.
  • Data analytics and reporting to understand and monitor device use in real time, as well as update and improve infrastructure and systems according to user experiences.

In essence, by setting up LeopardCare Monitoring for the retailer’s entire device fleet we achieved enterprise mobility best practices via a streamlined, fully monitored, cloud-based MDM solution.

LeopardCare Monitoring is a professionally managed service, powered by SOTI MobiControl, that delivers a robust enterprise mobility best practise tool for our clients.

SOTI MobiControl’s ‘single pane of glass’ management dashboard is designed to streamline our technicians’ capabilities and improve MDM troubleshooting of diverse mobile device types and operating systems in difficult environments (e.g. mobile label printers).

For example, we can detect how many devices have been offline, how many are in use, what’s their battery status, is a battery expiring due to age, etc, then take proactive steps if we identify an issue, such as sending out a ready-to-work replacement device, loaded with the latest company solution, ready to replace a failing device.

The convenience of being able to manage stock from the floor in a large department store
Often, we find problems before the customer is even aware of them, saving time that would be otherwise wasted fault finding and, therefore, keeping operations running smoothly.

Achieving best practice mobility results

With 1700 mobile devices currently up and running, and 300+ devices to connect in the next month or so, the retailer’s new mobile security and mobility management solution will support more than 50 retail stores and numerous distribution warehouses across Australia and New Zealand.

Compared to previously not knowing what type or how many devices were in each store, now the retailer has complete visibility of all device assets and insights on how well they are operating.

Importantly, new rugged Android devices with professional mobility management provides a future-proof mechanism for seamlessly updating devices in the field.

For example, the retailer can now easily and automatically upgrade each device to the latest operating system, because the network is well-equipped to handle the heavy load – i.e. a 1.5 GB file per device for up to 2000 devices simultaneously. This processing was out of the question on the former mobility management platform.

“Leopard’s core strength with LeopardCare Monitoring is our attention to detail during the Design and Implementation phases of delivering a solution. Understanding all the technical, business and operational factors allows us to prepare a seamless and robust integration with no impact on day-to-day operations and, ultimately, with the goal to provide an excellent customer experience,” said Mr DeLeon.

Furthermore, the consistent ‘managed service’ costs of LeopardCare Monitoring becomes an operating expense and helps with cashflow forecasting. By removing the expense of buying and running servers, purchasing licences for servers and no longer paying a full-time engineer’s salary to manage and maintain the system and infrastructure, offers major cost benefits. Before this, the retailer was paying these costs but not receiving the full benefit, nor the best solution outcome for their requirements.

Lastly, the peace of mind and confidence that every device in the retailer’s fleet is connected and being monitored 24/7 cannot be underestimated. Circumventing a device issue quickly and effectively is vital to achieve efficient warehouse and store operations for optimal stock inventory management.

For more information about mobile security and MDM monitoring for your Android devices, particularly if you operate in a retail environment, talk to Leopard Systems today.