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.

Mobility Management: Powering MDM Monitoring with SOTI MobiControl

Enterprise Mobile Device Management gives a company transparency over the operation of their mobile fleet

Take meaningful action, with enterprise mobility management and mobile device management (MDM) insights, to safeguard capex investment, increase efficiencies, and improve team collaboration and customer satisfaction for your business.

Developing or expanding your digital mobility strategy to include an MDM solution is paramount to helping your company remain competitive and drive business growth.

What is Enterprise Mobility Management?

Broadly speaking, mobility management is a strategic whole-of-enterprise productivity solution for efficiently managing your mobile device fleet and users.

This includes the correct management and security of your mobility best-fit mobile devices, software applications, business functions and processes. Enterprise mobility management enables uninterrupted communications, information access and efficient transactions for your workers and customers.

MDM vendors for full-service mobility management

Leopard Systems’ LeopardCare Monitoring is a tried and tested professional MDM monitoring managed service, supported by a pro-active team of mobility management specialists.

With LeopardCare Monitoring all the hard work is taken care of; providing a preconfigured mobility management and support program to continually monitor your critical mobile assets, over their entire lifecycle, for function, security, stability and connectivity.

When a problem is detected, via automated alerts or real-time monitoring, our specialists act fast to fix the issue and minimise downtime. Likewise, tactical mobile device management prevents issues arising in the first place, thus delivering a positive return on capital investment and optimising productivity. LeopardCare Monitoring business advantages also include:

  • streamlining deployment, roll out and ongoing asset management
  • configuring all your devices for greater control, safety and compliance
  • deploying and managing apps on devices for business function and continuity
  • managing content on all your devices including software version control and patches
  • securing your devices and securing access to critical data
  • supporting your device users when needed to increase uptime and productivity
  • dedicated device lifecycle management to maximise ROI and efficiencies
  • seamless integration with enterprise business systems
  • data and reporting for enhanced intelligence, visibility and optimisation.

A cost-effective and dynamic subscription service, LeopardCare Monitoring bypasses the financial burden of purchasing licenses and installing your own infrastructure.

Instead, LeopardCare Monitoring is a pay-per-user cloud service with direct access to a full mobility management platform and dedicated MDM support scalable for any size business. See our available service plans, here.

SOTI MobiControl is the preferred MDM tool

For exceptional mobility management, Leopard Systems are proud to partner with SOTI; a proven innovator and industry leader for mobility and ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) management.

SOTI MobiControl and associated SOTI products are implemented within our LeopardCare Monitoring managed service to deliver a robust enterprise mobility management tool for our clients.

Why SOTI? SOTI MobiControl supports hybrid mobility fleets including intelligent IoT devices from over 170 manufacturers, including enterprise and consumer-grade devices running Android, iOS, macOS, Windows Mobile and, notably, Linux – a leading OS choice for IoT internet-enabled devices.

Importantly, SOTI MobiControl is ‘Android Enterprise Recommended’ for enterprise mobility management, which means it’s easier to deploy, manage and secure Android devices regardless of device make, model or operating system.

SOTI MobiControl also offers comprehensive Windows capabilities encompassing legacy Windows mobile devices through to desktop operating systems.

Co-Managing Director of Leopard Systems, Robin Fowler, explains, “We selected the SOTI MobiControl tool to underpin our LeopardCare Monitoring service based on its feature-rich structure. SOTI MobiControl has more mobility management features than many other systems.” 

“In enterprise mobility management some MDM vendor products excel in specific areas.  Therefore, you may choose a specialised product for one particular feature. However, when you line up all the MDM device management products available, SOTI MobiControl has all the industry-standard features you need and does them as well or better than any of their competitors. This is why we’ve chosen SOTI MobiControl as the best tool to power our LeopardCare Monitoring service offering.”

Flexible Mobile Device Management via SOTI MobiControl

Combining hybrid mobile device fleets of varying ages, hardware brands, operating systems and endpoint functions can become a difficult undertaking.

Such a project, fraught with technical incompatibilities, could lead to rollout delays and subsequent financial losses.

Yet, as industries and technologies advance, the unifying MDM solution, SOTI MobiControl, offers the power and flexibility to connect, support and manage diverse fleets within a hyper-secure environment.

Your mobility management system will be efficient to deploy and rollout thus reducing set up costs, and lowering staff training time since they’re familiar with operating mobile devices. This will lead to faster adoption of automated digital process across your workforce; accelerating operations and output.

Connect & Collaborate with Mobility Data Management

LeopardCare Monitoring, powered by SOTI MobiControl for enterprise mobility management and MDM, delivers efficient data collection and accurate data access. This supports real-time reporting and analytics, facilitating meaningful actions that boost operational speed and efficiencies.

The ease and convenience of mobile computers allows critical tasks to be performed from anywhere and at any time, enhancing productivity and staff engagement. By working in a systemised, streamlined and effective way, remote workers are happier and empowered.

In turn, customer service levels increase as access to relevant timely information can be used to inform a customer on the spot or streamline their experience with your business.

Effective enterprise mobility management connects operations and teams to facilitate better collaborations for service delivery, leading to increased productivity and minimal downtime.

Effective MDM Device Monitoring with SOTI MobiControl

LeopardCare Monitoring, powered by SOTI MobiControl’s location-based capabilities – including polygon-based (any shape) geofencing and notifications, speed lockdown and restriction of device functions when moving in a vehicle, and real-time location tracking of devices – supports asset management and staff safety measures.

Recording geo-specific data and monitoring locations can streamline processes through user-driven feedback on real-time problems or unexpected events. This achieves greater visibility and continual improvement gains.

For head office management and IT administrators, the intuitive SOTI MobiControl console helps you rapidly organise your mobility-managed device fleet.

Filtering by select parameters, such as location, business unit or IT function, you’ll quickly find out what’s happening or causing a problem. Segmenting and charting device data enables deeper analyses and business insights.

The easy-to-use console helps admin staff monitor and support remote workers to stay compliant with specific business requirements, all the while maintaining important data in a secure environment.

Mobility Management for Greater Business Growth

For the ultimate bird’s eye view of your enterprise mobility management and operations, LeopardCare Monitoring powered by SOTI MobiControl simplifies a complex set of business needs to reduce downtime and expenses.

You’ll see where your connected remote workers are, what tasks they’re doing, what real-time challenges they may be facing, all the while gathering up-to-the-minute data and valuable intelligence to safeguard your mobility investment, continually improve and scale your business.

In the face of new competition and the changing application of technology to business, an effective enterprise mobility management strategy investing in MDM monitoring will optimise operations and augment profitability. Ask us how today.

To learn more about LeopardCare Monitoring, visit this link or get in touch with our team today.

How To Guarantee A Better Mobility Rollout

Loading new hardware devices as part of a large mobility roll out for a mobile fleet

Because Mobility Partner Experience Counts

Fundamentally, a mobility technology partner brings together the necessary software, hardware, expertise, project management and support services to deploy an effective enterprise-wide mobility solution that aligns with your business goals, budget and timeframe.

Engaging a technology partner to roll out your enterprise mobility hardware update or new system offers practical benefits and cost savings that your company won’t accomplish in-house effectively.

Here we highlight five powerful reasons to partner with an experienced mobility solutions provider for your fleet hardware and system deployment.

Coordination

Coordinating your Android upgrade

Your mobility technology partner has knowledge of the latest hardware products to advise on best-fit devices for new and existing enterprise mobility systems. With strong ties to industry-leading hardware manufacturers and device management systems they will help you compare device offerings for many important parameters including competitive pricing on hardware and repair services.

As the world moves to the robust and reliable Android operating system, old Windows mobile devices are fast-becoming incompatible and obsolete.

Aside from co-ordinating your Android hardware upgrade, selection and ordering, your technology partner is well-informed to consult on any additional equipment your workers need, i.e. accessories, chargers, printers, attachments etc – to deliver a fit-for-purpose holistic solution.

Also, a rollout of new equipment can be coordinated to replace old equipment as each device eventually fails. Basically, the old ‘dead’ device is sent in and replaced with the fully-operational upgraded device. Your rollout will take longer, however your company will maximise the life of existing equipment and keep users supported, while purchasing new devices on demand.

Bringing important information together and liaising across all parties involved in your rollout, your technology partner coordinates a seamless deployment around your timeline and deployment schedule.

Learn the key essentials for upgrading your mobile computing fleet to Android.

Finance

Arranging a deal with no CapEx

Restricting sizeable capital expenditure (CapEx) is, understandably, becoming a priority for agile businesses seeking the flexibility and competitive edge to pursue emerging opportunities.

Reasons to reduce CapEx on mobility systems include:

  1. Fixed assets may not depreciate as expected; failing to meet the ‘useful long-term asset’ criteria for tax purposes
  2. Improved liquidity for funding shorter-term operational expenses (OpEx) and revenue-generating projects
  3. Leveraging a fast-tracked management approval process for OpEx spending
  4. Tax advantages in the current financial year for monthly or quarterly pay-as-you-go OpEx items
  5. Minimising the risk of unfulfilled ROI from aging CapEx purchases
  6. Avoiding CapEx losses due to inaccurate forecasting of the mobility system’s future capabilities.

A technology partner like Leopard Systems can help arrange finance contracts for your fleet of mobile devices, software expenses and supporting IT services.

> Lease contracts 

Similar to car finance, Leopard Systems can, on your behalf, arrange a lease contract, usually for three years, with monthly payments made by your company to the finance company.

Depending on how the lease is structured, at the end of the three years a residual payout figure may or may not need to be paid, and then your company will own the hardware assets outright. During the lease term, the monthly costs are treated as operating expenses (OpEx) for accounting purposes.

> Rental agreements

Alternatively, Leopard Systems can help arrange finance in the form of a rental agreement. In short, a rental fee is paid each month to a finance company who retain full ownership of the hardware. Because the rental items do not become a company-owned asset or liability, for accounting purposes your rental fees are ‘off-balance sheet’ payments, resulting in a cleaner balance sheet.

A rental agreement works well when, for instance, your company will be ready to refresh with new hardware in three years’ time, but needs interim hardware to operate now. You’ll likely get all new equipment for the same monthly cost as the old hardware.

When deploying a new or upgraded mobility system, a finance arrangement will save your company incurring operating costs until your devices are functioning in the field. For example, if there’s a rollout delay caused by a third party, i.e. a delay with your software vendor supplying your mobility software, then you won’t pay during this waiting period.

Protection

Secure warehousing to protect equipment

A technology partner such as Leopard Systems has the warehousing infrastructure and security to store your mobility system hardware investment during the setup and deployment phases.

Providing a clean, dry, fully insured and security monitored warehouse, your fleet of mobility devices are safely housed and, where necessary, staged ready for dispatch when appropriate.

Under the protection of your technology partner, your hardware can be tagged with an ID code for asset tracking and management.

In addition, warehousing with your technology partner allows your hardware stock to be procured and prepared ensuring no hardware delays affecting the rollout.

Shipping

Seamless shipping your fleet of devices

A reputable technology partner will handle all aspects of shipping out your devices so they successfully arrive at their destinations on time and fully operational.

All hardware bought into Leopard System’s secure warehouse undergoes a stringent process of asset labelling each device and recording device details into Leopard’s asset tracking system.

Leopard Systems is a trusted partner to many large mobile fleet supplying hardware and systems
Next, the rollout project is professionally managed to coordinate the delivery of hardware with your company’s requirements, such as timing with your in-house installation team, running training sessions and meeting your ‘go live’ dates.

Before shipping, each device in your fleet is fully configured and loaded with your mobility software, ready for immediate field operation when received.

Upon shipping to your required locations, your mobility devices are tracked and successful ‘proof of delivery’ is reported.

Discover what goes on behind the scenes of a successful mobile device deployment.

Support

Ongoing device fleet monitoring and maintenance

With in-depth knowledge of your company’s operations and business goals, an experienced mobility technology partner, such as Leopard Systems, is well positioned to provide various levels of device support and monitoring services.

From hardware repairs, reloading operational settings & applications onto devices, and asset tracking, to 24/7 mobile device monitoring and helpdesk technical support, your technology partner offers a single point of expertise to resolve device issues at the start of your deployment and beyond.

Available as professional support plans tailored to the size of your enterprise, or as standalone support services, your company will minimise business disruptions and maximise your ROI over the life of your new hardware.

Follow the links for more information about LeopardCare Monitoring and LeopardCare Support.

Partnering with a mobility technology solutions provider, such as Leopard Systems, to deploy your mobility fleet of devices enables your company to make the most of technical expertise, up-to-date hardware advice and managed warehousing for dispatch; generally not available within most organisations. Enterprise mobility deployment experience is paramount in successfully negotiating rollout challenges.

Contact Leopard today for more information.

Hazard Holiday: Why More Fleet Managers Should Use Telematics To Safeguard Drivers

Telematics helps to keep your fleet safe with data on the vehicle, the driving and routes

Holidays, more often than not, can be dangerous. In the lead up to the busy holiday period, when Australian roads become deadlier, fleet managers are being urged to take advantage of fleet telematics systems to help save lives.

Most Australian states and territories follow a ‘Towards Zero’ road safety strategy, similar to the ‘Vision Zero’ principle adopted by many overseas countries and US cities.

Simply put, the Vision Zero goal is to achieve zero road fatalities; because one road fatality is one too many. The Towards Zero campaign aims to ensure no-one is seriously injured on our roads.

Companies striving to operate safe vehicle fleets naturally align with Towards Zero’s key aims – to improve the safety of:

1) road users

2) road speed limits, and

3) road vehicles.

The fourth aim, to improve road and roadside infrastructure, falls outside the direct influence of supply chain operators.

Supporting Fleet Managers To Save Lives & Use Vehicle Telematics

While road safety education and action are helping to lower road fatalities, as it stands, over 1000 people lose their lives on Australian roads each year. And thousands of more road users suffer life-affecting injuries.

Importantly, vehicle telematics systems that monitor vehicles and support drivers have a clear role to play in curbing the future road toll even further.

For fleet managers — with a duty of care to your employed and contracted drivers, and a legal responsibility to ensure safe road activities within your entire supply chain — the operational visibility and data insights offered by a fleet telematics system can’t be ignored.

Vehicle fleet telematics systems provide numerous business gains, such as:

  • optimised routes and deliveries
  • better dispatching and customer service
  • greater efficiencies and productivity, and more…

But when it comes to protecting lives, how will a fleet telematics system make your drivers safer on the road?

What’s crucial for a fleet manager to know?

1. You’ll know where they are

Real-time GPS tracking of your moving vehicles using a fleet telematics system will give you a birds-eye view of the locations of your company’s vehicles and drivers.

Knowing where your drivers are is the first critical piece of information you’ll need to quickly help them if there’s an emergency.

Plus, if a vehicle ever leaves a designated ‘geofenced’ work area, the onboard telematics system can trigger an alert, to let you know when a vehicle may be stolen and driven to a non-designated area.

Telematics fleet management systems can also collect data from various vehicle systems, to indicate out-of-the-ordinary activities, for example, longer than normal idling, stationary positions or unusual speed readings – with an alert sent to notify head office.

If route changes occur due to unforeseen hazards, fleet managers will have this information automatically on hand to make timely decisions.

2. You’ll know how they drive

Fleet telematics systems can monitor driver behaviours and critical vehicle checkpoints such as speeding, seatbelt use, driving time for fatigue management, harsh braking, excessive acceleration and so on.

When compliance to meet safety and legal regulations is vital, what you measure about your drivers via vehicle telematics, you can then manage more effectively.

Road safety for mobile fleets is all about keep your fleet in good condition and being proactive
As your ‘chain of responsibility’ for on-road safety comes under pressure during holiday periods, fleet telematics systems help you set achievable safety and efficiency goals for your drivers. Think about instigating rewardable targets that engage your personnel to become consistently better drivers, for example, with behaviours that;

  • improve fuel economy
  • eliminate speeding
  • delay vehicle wear via less harsh braking and accelerating.
What’s more, telematics fleet management systems can be tailored to deliver automatic in-vehicle instructions and performance coaching to your drivers – to proactively train better, safer drivers of your road vehicles.

3. You’ll know the condition of your vehicles

Real-time data from your fleet telematics system provides pertinent details about the mechanical state of your vehicles. Vehicle fault diagnostics, engine hours, fuel consumption, instrument readings and sub-system data from each vehicle, plus pre-trip checks (e.g. for loads, load restraints, dangerous goods) and maintenance scheduling, offer valuable insights to improve fleet safety and productivity, as well as support management of your supply chain responsibilities.

4. You’ll know when something happens, or prevent it 

Although we strive for a safe road transport system that protects us from our own and others’ mistakes, unforeseen events and accidents still happen. Telematics can help to identify and monitor drivers who are tired and distracted and to assess unsafe road and weather conditions. Logging of work and rest times for heavy vehicle fatigue management and Electronic Work Diaries requirements can be extracted from vehicle telematics data. Add-on capabilities, available with Leopard Delivery and Leopard Telematics, such as in-cab cameras to view drivers and roads, means vehicle telematics systems may be effectively used to reduce fatigue- and/or weather-related incidents. Monitoring of heavy vehicle stability systems help to detect a vehicle approaching its handling limits. GPS tracking combined with collision detection sensors in the vehicle can be set to trigger an automatic accident notification with location data to emergency services and your head office. Furthermore, forensic acquisition of vehicle data could be helpful for understanding any potential losses and managing the subsequent investigation. Lastly, vehicle telematics systems can detect when a service is due or when a battery is close to the end of its service life, allowing appropriate tasks can be actioned to prevent your driver from being stranded due to engine problems. A well-designed vehicle telematics system will help improve driving and prevent accidents. Subsequently, this will enhance road transport safety, as a whole, and reduce safety risks across your entire fleet, for greater peace of mind.

Geotab & Leopard

Partnering with Geotab to deliver integrated fleet telematics solutions, Leopard Systems are proud to support the work of Vision Zero into Australia, alongside the Towards Zero road safety campaign.

Leopard Telematics™ provides a simple-to-use platform interface that delivers rapid alerts, for fleet managers to act on mission-critical events as soon as they occur. Integrating relevant telematics data with business systems offers fleet managers operational visibility for better decision-making. Driver scorecard reports from Leopard Telematics™ data helps fleet managers coach and incentivise for improved driving behaviours. Plus, provides customisable reports, to help you visualise specific information relevant to your unique operation. Contact Leopard Systems today to find out more about Leopard Telematics™ for your fleet.

How to develop an EWD solution that achieves your Fatigue Management responsibilities

An EWD can be an asset to managing your mobile fleet

Under the HVNL, written work diaries (WWD) and approved electronic work diaries (EWD) are required for fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle operators. How can you best develop an EWD for your fleet?

A technology provider’s view on addressing Australia’s heavy vehicle regulations within your enterprise mobility solution

Globally and in Australia, fatigued and drowsy heavy vehicle drivers are a recognised safety hazard and a major concern for the road transport industry.

Insufficient sleep, night driving and long work periods are all known causes of driver fatigue.

Combating fatigue and reducing fatal road accidents involving heavy vehicles is enforced under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL); passed in most Australian states and territories in 2014. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is responsible for administering the HVNL in accordance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012.

DID YOU KNOW?

In 2004, the Adelaide Centre for Sleep Research found that a person who’s been awake for 17 hours has the same driving crash risk as a person with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 (g/100mL); both are twice as likely to have an accident as a well-rested person with no alcohol in their blood. Worse, a driver awake for 24 hours straight has the equivalent driving crash risk as a person with a blood alcohol level of 0.10 (g/100mL), and is seven times more likely to have a crash.

Electronic Work Diaries

Under the HVNL, fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle operators, their employers and any party in the supply chain must ensure safe transport activities.

As part of that, fatigue management, including driver compliance with specified maximum work and minimum rest limits, is enforced by the NHVR’s legal requirement of written work diaries (WWD) and approved electronic work diaries (EWD).

Work diaries create an accurate daily record of an individual driver’s time spent working, driving and resting, including vehicle types, locations and distances covered, as evidence to obey the HVNL.

Approved EWD Systems

As the approving authority for Electronic Work Diary systems that meet the requirements of the EWD Standards, the NHVR, as of 29 November 2018, are yet to approve any independent enterprise mobility systems, integrated vehicle telematics systems or electronic recording devices as EWD tools.

This means a WWD, as the primary record-keeping method, must accompany any data and calculations generated from a non-approved electronic recording device or digital system, until EWD systems are approved by the NHVR as an alternative. The submission and approval process for electronic work diary systems is underway…

Road Safety Management

Since 1st October 2018, all parties involved in transport tasks are now legally liable for heavy vehicle road law breaches, even if you or your company are not directly responsible for driving a heavy vehicle.

Accordingly, consignors, consignees, packers, loaders, receivers, schedulers, as well as managers, directors, executive officers and corporate entities responsible for employees—all form an important ‘chain of responsibility’ (CoR) to ensure safe management of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle operations.

Thus, when approved by the NHVR, electronic work diaries will improve safety, enhance work planning and reduce lengthy paper administration tasks.

Importantly, approved EWDs will provide a simple, secure and automated way to record work and rest hours for heavy vehicle drivers, as a legal requirement, and could provide access to more business intelligence data, therefore, becoming a real-time fleet safety, compliance and performance management tool.

EWD System Development

As a modern transport operator, integrating EWD functionality into your current enterprise mobility system or adopting an out-of-the-box approved EWD solution, will ensure you’re ready to meet your CoR fatigue management obligations.

Such an EWD system must be built to Electronic Work Diary Standards as set out by the NHVR.

Therefore, it may help to select an EWD-knowledgeable technology partner to develop a solution tailored to your needs and submit your candidate EWD system to the NHVR for approval.

 

Telematics & Mobility

Installed telematics solutions, such as Geotab, extract vehicle usage, performance metrics and GPS tracking data via a device plugged into the computer system of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.

Such digital telematics solutions offer a convenient and automated way for the heavy vehicle driver to meet EWD requirements by collecting and recording accurate hours of driving, location and distance information when operating that specific vehicle. 

EWD can be an asset to your large mobile fleet

If the same driver is subsequently required to drive a heavy vehicle without telematics fitted, then a delivery tracking and fleet management solution, such as Leopard Delivery Cloud, operating via the driver’s smartphone and independent of the vehicle, could be used. This heavy vehicle driver tracking solution would log critical electronic work diary information for compliance, plus manage freight records and other logistics at the same time.

For drivers without access to vehicle telematics systems, the Leopard Delivery App may offer an easy way to collect accurate EWD information.

Sophisticated operations running complex vehicle fleets may well combine vehicle telematics and delivery mobility information to enable collection of EWD information in a consolidated and efficient way.

EWD System Technology Partners

In addition to productivity gains, Leopard Delivery has the capacity to intelligently extract, organise and manage EWD information from telematics sources and handheld equipment in compliance with NHVR’s EWD Standards.

Leopard Systems technology providers are available to partner with your organisation and help design or update your digital record-keeping solutions to meet EWD requirements. For peace of mind that your drivers will comply with EWD legal requirements, and that your organisation’s CoR obligations to your supply chain are met – talk to Leopard Systems today.

Find out what your organisation may need and speak with our specialists about implementing Leopard Telematics and Leopard Delivery for your heavy vehicle operations.

7 ways Push-To-Talk technology is replacing old-school radio comms to improve operational safety and performance

PTT provides multiple benefits for your fleet - from safety to convenience and management efficiency

Using Push to talk (PTT) technology instead of old radio communications, and replacing it with a digital PTT solution, could enhance your mobile fleet and logistical performance.

 

Smartphones. They’re an everyday fixture in our work and personal lives.

Yet many hazardous work operations need safe instant communications between staff, that typical touchscreen devices can’t provide, such as rapid voice broadcasts. Immediate voice transmissions cannot be received if you don’t have hands free to work the device or you’re in an environment where this action is impossible.

Therefore, many companies – for instance, logistics fleets, construction firms, field service teams and mining enterprises – are advancing operations by harnessing the speed, efficiency and agility that fast push-to-talk (PTT) communications achieve.

Here are seven ways implementing PTT technology, or replacing old radio communications with a digital PTT solution, could enhance your operational performance.

1. PUSH TO TALK & TRANSMIT

In short, digital PTT systems operate like two-way ‘walkie-talkie’ radio communication. A single push of a button allows a person to speak and transmit an instant verbal message to be received; by one other person, a group of people, or everyone on the closed channel. Not just live voice messages, next-generation digital PTT systems also transmit voice recordings, still images, video recordings and SMS-style text communications. PTT is used by dispatchers, team leaders and supervisors to communicate to their remote team, i.e. drivers, service technicians, sales assistants and warehouse staff on the floor.

PTT devices are small and convenient to use

PTT is used by dispatchers, team leaders and supervisors to communicate to their remote team, i.e. drivers, service technicians, sales assistants and warehouse staff on the floor. The turn-based single duplex method of verbal conversation, where only one person can speak at a time, manually controls the flow of information. This effectively prevents overlapping conversations and eliminates the misinterpretation of information.

In the past, traditional PTT systems used analogue radio systems on private licenced channels. But now that the number of available channels are declining, while the ongoing costs are increasing, analogue systems are almost unusable and soon-to-be obsolete. Legacy systems must upgrade to digital PTT systems to retain this vital communication service for managing operations.

2. PTT VIA DATA NETWORKS

Presently, PTT services are delivered via the digital/cellular mobile data network. This outperforms the analogue system by having an unlimited geographic range. This means it’s possible to talk, without interference or lag, from one side of Australia to the other, without the need for repeaters because cellular data or a Wi-Fi connection are used.
In fact, this type of coverage and the right network infrastructure makes digital PTT effective for operational teams to communicate with remote managers across the globe, at the touch of a button.

Digital PTT functionality can be added to smartphones and specialised mobile handsets, handheld devices, headsets, tablets, rugged water and drop-resistant handsets, and more. Additionally, numerous PTT services work on laptop, desktop and tablet computers via web-based portals.

3. CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS

You may be considering adding PPT technologies to your enterprise mobility system, as you move from retired radio networks to cellular networks, or as a new way to communicate with your mobile workforce.

Whether it’s instant instructions to your floor staff or in-cabin announcements to your vehicle fleet drivers, the principal advantage of PTT over making phone calls is rapid direct communication of critical information.

In addition, PTT features, such as voice-activated communication and Bluetooth connectivity, help to create a hands-free and tangle-free experience for the user.

PTT provides driver safety as they can easily communicate without having to use their smart phone device

4. DRIVER SAFETY

In Australia and other countries, using a mobile phone or hand-held smart device while driving is illegal. The laws may vary slightly from state to state and from country to country, but essentially touching the device while driving is prohibited, resulting in hefty fines and demerit points. From a safety perspective, driving while operating a mobile device is as dangerous as driving intoxicated; smart devices are a major contributor to injurious and fatal vehicle collisions.

Taking the same view of a worksite that operates machinery, forklifts and other vehicles, the distraction of a mobile device could reduce an operator’s concentration, resulting in workplace errors or accidents.

The good news is that PTT communication systems offer an excellent way for companies to reduce crash risks, comply with on-road communication standards and abide by road laws regarding mobile device use.

Importantly, when enabled by a PTT application on a device receiving incoming audible voice messages, a driver can hear an important message without removing his gaze from the road or taking his hands off the steering wheel to touch the device.

5. PLANT PROTECTION

In some workplaces, such as manufacturing plants, factory floors and retail departments, PTT technology allows a clear message to be delivered and for the receiver to acknowledge, in return, that they’ve understood the message. The digital conversion of a voice signal effectively filters out background noise, making it easier for the receiver to hear the message. Such clarity of information transmission prevents confusion, leading to error-free streamlined operations.

When quick messages need to be sent, for instance, to notify employees of a work hazard or an emergency situation, PTT achieves instant connectivity to staff. Compared to mobile phone systems, that take seconds to connect to the network and more time to establish a connection to another user; PTT is far superior when every second counts.

Also, a professional level PTT system allows a ‘group conversation’, where one user can connect to many colleagues at the same time, to work together more effectively. Plus, implement a chain-of-command group hierarchy that separates those who need to know one stream of information from those who don’t need to know and would otherwise find it distracting.
PTT applications are compatible with iOS and Android devices, including rugged devices, for when reliability and durability in extreme environments or remote regions is important depending on the type of work done.

6. ENHANCED EFFICIENCIES

Dispatchers communicating from internet-connected computers via a PTT application like Leopard Voice™,  receive rapid real-time location and status updates from field devices. This allows better visibility of ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ in order to enhance operations management and customer service.

PTT connects up operation management with your team on the ground

Leopard Voice™  flags which members of your team are available to talk, helping supervisors and workers identify who to communicate to, based on the situation. Plus, in a retail environment, PTT conveniently replaces annoying and disruptive voice announcements over public address systems, thus improving the customer’s experience of your business.  Leopard Voice™  flags which members of your team are available to talk, helping supervisors and workers identify who to communicate to, based on the situation. Plus, in a retail environment, PTT conveniently replaces annoying and disruptive voice announcements over public address systems, thus improving the customer’s experience of your business.

PTT securely connects your head office to job sites and fleet locations and allows tasks to be co-ordinated and situations to be responded to, in real time. This up-to-the-minute knowledge and connectivity enables faster decisions to be made, thus enhancing productivity across the board.

7. SYSTEM SAVINGS

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, adding PTT technology to your enterprise mobility solution will help your organisation save money in further ways;

  • No more fines for your drivers who’ve been caught illegally using a mobile device while operating a vehicle on Australian roads.
  • No need to pay for proprietary radio communications.
  • Stop paying for a separate phone SMS text messaging or calling service when you can use PTT to send the same information.
  • Better work processes reduce staff turnover costs.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction for increased profits.

As PTT improves operational efficiencies, more savings are achievable. For example, your head office can instantly contact a subset of employees with an urgent change that may reduce fuel, or stop a mistake from happening, which in turn saves additional rework to fix the problem.

In closing, PTT systems range from simple to multifaceted. They can be added to your existing fleet of mobile computers, in transport and logistics as well as retail operations, to provide additional functionality and, more importantly, improve business returns without a major investment to implement.

If your enterprise has specific operational needs, that require hands-free instant secure communications, talk to Leopard to find a PTT solution, such as Leopard Voice™  that can be configured to deliver this useful technology for your business and safety requirements. Alternatively, add cost-effective PTT technology to the enterprise mobility solution your team is already using.

 

To find out more, and discuss your software, hardware requirements and mobility strategy, contact Leopard Systems today.