Rapid Mobile Device Deployment: Nationwide 2000 Device Hardware Rollout Delivered In Weeks!

Getting ready for a big mobile device deployment

Who do you engage for mobile device deployment when you’re one of Australia’s largest logistics providers, at a critical expansion phase, coming into the busiest time of the year, needing 2000 new rugged mobile devices deployed fast?

On top of handling large device numbers in short time frames, an experienced hardware partner—who can proficiently manage the entire process without business disruptions—will prove vital to your success.

An established partnership between this national logistics provider and Leopard Systems allowed an innovative hardware solution to be delivered nationwide in record time, achieving their enterprise mobility objectives during peak season.

Yet some companies, without an enterprise mobility solution partner, buy devices that sit idle in warehouses for months…if not years…instead of getting their mobile devices rapidly deployed.

Therefore, we ventured behind the scenes of this unique large-scale enterprise mobility rollout – to highlight the value of partnering with an expert team; from initial hardware advice, through to a fully-functioning nationwide mobility fleet solution.

 

We spoke with Leopard Systems’ Operations Manager, Ben Green, and Systems Engineering Manager, Chris DeLeon, to find out how this important project was successfully delivered by the Leopard team.

Know-how from the start

 

It begins with meeting with the national logistics company to discuss exactly what they need, their equipment options and the project investment.

In short, the project required 2000 new rugged mobile devices for two autonomous business divisions. Additionally, there was a requirement for 3200 charging cradles and as many matching charger cables for the new devices along with the retrofit of 1200 vehicles already in the field.

Applying our deep knowledge of vendor hardware products, extended warranties, connected hardware services and other necessary requirements, Leopard Systems carefully scoped the project and presented the best possible contract and plan to the client. Every effort was made to meet the client’s enterprise mobility requirements, and ensure they had adequate services to address any technical issues and manage updates in the future.

Satisfied with the terms, the client approved Leopard’s proposal. Almost immediately, the equipment was ordered from overseas. The four to six weeks to ship the new equipment to Leopard’s Melbourne distribution and service centre was sufficient time to plan the deployment and prepare the software.

A plan for success

In collaboration with our client, Leopard Systems mapped out all contingencies, process steps, timelines and requirements of the project in detail.

The team determined the necessary services, how the new devices were to be processed through Leopard’s distribution and service centre, what software and peripherals (i.e. cables, sim cards, cradles) were needed, how the devices were to be shipped, where they needed to go, what cables needed to be customised, and so on.

“By scheduling and prioritising everything, we got well organised during the lag time. That’s the key to achieving a rapid large-scale rollout like this one. We know the final delivery date and work back from that providing for all contingencies to ensure we meet our client’s terms”, said Ben.

Such detailed planning reduces unforeseen risks and errors, and ensures a smooth, rapid deployment. In short, every device will reach its designated end-user, ready to go.

Robust software for rugged devices

Concurrently with the planning, the Systems Engineering team managed the production of the final software image for the new devices.

Leveraging Leopard’s proprietary automation technology, the Systems Engineering team compiled all the client’s important software components, device settings, network parameters and system configurations, to create a ‘staging image’ for the new devices prior to rollout.

 

Mobile devices in the staging area for testing

“Our role is highly technical. Although it’s a seemingly simple and efficient process for the client, behind the scenes all our expertise and experience come into play. We’ve been doing this since Leopard began; our technical knowledge guarantees a successful large solution rollout”, said Chris.

Every device detail and software setting were considered. Extra components were included in the staging image to allow future software fixes and updates to be handled remotely via Leopard’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) service. With Leopard’s ongoing support, this fleet of devices will have minimal field errors and negligible downtime.

Software gets the green light

Following the preparatory work, the staging image was put onto several test devices and sent to the client for thorough User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

A strict sign-off process ensures the client is 100% happy with how the software works on an actual device after full testing in their day-to-day operations. Once final client approval is provided, the exact software version is given the green light to be installed on all the devices.

“The new software must be completely tested by the client. The last thing we want is to send out 2000 devices with an error on it, and get 2000 complaints in return! Thankfully, the UAT devices and our approval process prevent this from happening, saving all parties a lot of headaches and concern…”, Ben commented.

All hands on-deck to unpack & process

When 27 pallets of hardware stock arrived at Leopard’s secure storage warehouse, the physical set-up of each device began in earnest. The distribution team unwrapped 20 boxes per pallet, then unpacked 10 devices from each box. Each device was tested for function and loaded.

Using Leopard’s exclusive staging process—installing mobility software, rapidly and accurately, for hundreds of devices per day—the client-approved software image was transferred onto 2000 new devices.

Additionally, an asset number was added to each device at this step, to ensure our client could easily track and manage individual devices in their new fleet.

 

Mobile devices are received, prepped to the customers requirements and then wrapped up ready for delivery direct to the fleets.

And, off they go!

After Leopard’s fast software staging and efficient cable modifications, which was completed in under two weeks, the deployment of this new mobility hardware solution to the field was rapid. Every device, cradle and cable were systematically inspected, tested and checked off before being repacked into boxes for rapid deployment from Leopard’s distribution centre.

Consequently, the client quickly harnessed more business revenue because they could respond to the needs of their market effectively and efficiently with the new hardware solution.

Getting cables ready to go for a mobile device deployment
Getting cables ready to go for a mobile device deployment
Cabling for a mobile device update and deployment

Deploying a box of value

Buying best-fit hardware devices is a key component to a successful enterprise mobility solution. In addition, the software, operating system and correct setting configurations to install are important, as are the technical support staff and in-house expertise to manage a largescale deployment and ongoing device services.

Fortunately, Leopard Systems have over 25+ years’ experience with the roll out and management of large mobility projects – just like this one.  Leopard’s tried-and-tested systems and processes along with the highly skilled and knowledgeable staff, work together to guarantee a successful deployment that’s fast and efficient.

As you’ve discovered, Leopard Systems don’t just ship you a box. They deliver a device that’s packed with value, ready to switch on and work in the field from the moment the box arrives.

 

 

If your company is facing a challenge to get your enterprise mobility solution off the ground, or you need to hasten your device deployment, speak to Australia’s largest enterprise mobility solution provider, Leopard Systems today.

Delivery tracking systems for your ‘Santa success’

Santa has his own delivery tracking system

Since that jolly delivery guy, the elven operation and last-mile reindeer only exist in the minds of excited kids on Christmas eve — is it really possible to transport goods with less stress this Christmas without a delivery tracking system? As a mid-sized transport company, you know all too well that delivering freight at Christmas time, or any peak period, can be anything but magical. Between lost deliveries and unhappy customers, missed pick-ups and angry shippers, wasted time seeking important information and wasted money redelivering parcels and freight, it’s not easy or fun being at the logistics end of ‘Santa’. But there are delivery tracking systems out there that won’t cost a fortune and are easy to get started with.

 

In the lead-up to Christmas in Australia, over 75% of internet users prefer online shopping over traditional shopping(1). Consequently, consumer and service level demand for ‘in full, on time’ deliveries will sky rocket, again. Transport and logistics companies need to be ready, with supply chain visibility, to meet these requirements. In fact, the Australian transport and logistics sector is dominated by businesses who move freight with limited supply chain visibility; restricted by the high cost of complex IT systems(2). To improve business results, suitable generic IT solutions that help businesses monitor supply chain visibility and delivery events in real time, were recommended(2).

 

A delivery tracking system makes proof of delivery easy

JINGLE BELLS (& WHISTLES) NEEDED FOR DELIVERY TRACKING SYSTEMS?

With deliveries from online sales set to boom—yet, many delivery companies find it difficult to make major technology investments like courier tracking systems—a low-cost delivery tracking system makes commercial sense. These businesses could start with an easy-to-use, fast-to-deploy proof of delivery app that resolves the fundamental challenges of supply chain visibility.

 

Logically, delivery companies recruit non-permanent contractors and temp-hire drivers to cover busy peak periods like Christmas. But how do you keep track of outsourced freight runs and ensure your contract drivers perform your deliveries correctly? Is there a way to help your temp drivers reduce the error-prone manual handling of delivery transactions, and simplify how they document completed jobs? If you could track every driver’s pick-ups and deliveries in real time, and record every end-customer’s receiving signature, wouldn’t that delivery tracking system information, alone, help your company better monitor the work done, and know what work you are paying for? Better still, what if your company could enhance your ‘completed run’ supply chain visibility via the very smartphone devices your contract drivers already own? And, what if you could quickly launch this delivery tracking system in a couple of days, not months?

 

PROOF OF DELIVERY APP: A GIFT OUT OF THE BOX

Notably, the Starter account of Leopard Delivery Cloud™ by Leopard Systems includes a run management dashboard (Job Centre) and unlimited mobile-linked driver accounts, straight out of the box. In a nutshell, registered drivers can immediately begin to feed pick-up and delivery information back to the Job Centre via a proof of delivery app on their own smartphone/tablet or a company supplied device.

 

On the road with a delivery tracking system makes it easy for the driver to adhere to procedures

When all in sync, your drivers use the Leopard Delivery Cloud™ app at every pick-up and delivery point. They scan the freight’s barcode, and record the quantity of items and location. Most importantly, your drivers collect the customer’s sign-on-glass Proof of Delivery (POD) or pick-up signature, via their touchscreen, to instantly verify the transaction took place. Back at head-office, the Job Centre allows management to see all the information entered by the drivers in real time and throughout the day. Every night the Job Centre creates spreadsheet reports of your company’s daily run details and collected proof of delivery app information for account management purposes. You can also easily add or disable driver accounts from the Job Centre delivery tracking system.

 

PROOF IN THE ‘SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY’ PUDDING

As is, Leopard Delivery Cloud™ Starter is a solid, low-cost supply chain visibility platform and proof of delivery app that’s quick to set up and straightforward to use. Starter tracks and records essential information for your freight deliveries and pick-ups, in real time. The seemingly simple requirement of POD or Proof of Pick Up, shouldn’t be underestimated in safeguarding your delivery service performance. In short, no-one is left in the dark about where an item is, or who’s responsible for it. What’s more, your drivers follow your company processes, which in turn, informs your performance and payroll obligations, plus promotes greater productivity.

 

The end result of a delivery tracking system - happy customer

The seemingly simple requirement of POD or Proof of Pick Up, shouldn’t be underestimated in safeguarding your delivery service performance. In short, no-one is left in the dark about where an item is, or who’s responsible for it. What’s more, your drivers follow your company processes, which in turn, informs your performance and payroll obligations, plus promotes greater productivity.

 

CELEBRATE THE SAVINGS

Leopard Delivery Cloud™ Starter, as a supply chain visibility platform, harnesses the unparalleled savings of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD). When your contract drivers use a device they’re familiar with – you save on training costs, delivery tracking systems and hardware purchases. In addition, Leopard Delivery Cloud™ Starter offers an extremely low-cost entry point for a supply chain visibility and logistics platform. With affordable monthly pricing based on the number of drivers linked to your proof of delivery app Starter account, your company can grow and contract your driver numbers in a scalable cost-effective way. This pay-as-you-go service is backed by Leopard System’s email support when you require help; saving you time through better supply chain visibility, as well as avoiding major IT infrastructure, delivery tracking systems development and maintenance costs.

 

Scanning bar codes with delivery tracking system an app

SUCCEED LIKE SANTA

To successfully deliver your goods, minus the traditional Christmas delivery stress, simply request a Starter Registration Form by emailing register@leopardsystems.com.au. Complete and return the form, then you’ll receive your Starter account login. Your account includes your Job Centre, plus multiple smartphone access details for your delivery drivers to install Leopard Delivery Cloud™ on their iOS and Android devices. From there you can get started straight away with your delivery tracking system. Add jobs to your Job Centre. Link drivers to your awaiting jobs list. Your drivers can start delivering your Christmas parcels and freight immediately. Sound good? We hope you enjoy the supply chain visibility benefits of a proof of delivery app that you can set up today. Good luck with your deliveries and Merry Christmas! From all the team at Leopard Systems P.S. We also offer Leopard Delivery Cloud™ as a full-scale enterprise mobility solution. The Starter account can be expanded to an all-inclusive range of capabilities such as turn-by-turn GPS navigation for drivers, real-time GPS map locations of vehicles for head office, real-time job forwarding to drivers, push-to-talk audio communications, OHS & chain of responsibility checks, ERP integration, proof of condition or damage photos, and much more… If your company needs a supply chain visibility solution with more features and more functionality, talk to us today. —–

 

1. ‘Australia B2C E-commerce Report 2016’, Ecommerce Foundation, accessed 23 October 2017,

2. Elphick-Darling, R. et al. ‘Investigating the Potential Benefits of Enhanced End to End Supply Chain Visibility’, Austroads, Research Report AP-R538-17, accessed 23 October 2017.

Using enterprise mobility and data to drive better customer experience

DRIVING LOYALTY:
How can enterprise mobility systems & data
deliver a better customer experience strategy?

In the face of rising customer demands, ever-developing technologies and
copious data, keeping your customers loyal to your brand—by providing a
first-rate customer experience strategy—is key. But how?

A customer experience strategy that leverages enterprise mobility systems and data offers your company a powerful market differentiator; to cultivate satisfied, loyal customers.

Download our white paper on the new digital influences on your customer’s buying behaviour alongside best practice enterprise mobility features to help you maximise your customer experience strategy.

 

Robin’s Zebra Conference Report:  2017 Zebra Technologies APAC Channel Partner Summit

Robin’s Zebra Conference Report: 2017 Zebra Technologies APAC Channel Partner Summit

Leopard Systems Managing Director, Robin  Fowler, jetted off to Japan last month for the Zebra Conference (APAC Channel Partner Summit) to find out what’s new and on the horizon for rugged mobile computer solutions, rugged mobile devices and fleet management.

 Here’s what caught Robin’s attention at the Tokyo Zebra Conference meeting:

Rugged Mobile & Reasonable Entry Point

A game changer in the enterprise mobility space, there are exciting times ahead for companies seeking a cost-effective entry point for their rugged mobile computer fleets. Zebra Technologies have ‘in development’ a compact rugged mobile device that provides all the features and benefits you’d expect from an enterprise-grade rugged mobile device — hard-wearing, beneficial accessories, 3+ years Android security support, integrated barcode scanner and more—but at a fraction of the cost of a typical enterprise-level rugged mobile device.

Taking smartphone consumer-grade devices head-on, or sitting somewhere between traditional BYOD and enterprise-grade mobility hardware, Zebra’s new and robust rugged mobile offering, when released, will create real opportunities for mid-tier tech-savvy companies seeking a low-cost entry point for their rugged mobile investment.

Additionally, larger organisations with an otherwise small rugged mobile resource pool may find this new low-cost alternative – announced at the Zebra conference – a quick and smart return for their capital investment.

For more info on Zebra’s new low-cost rugged mobile computers, get in touch with Leopard today. 

Link-OS Barcode Printers

Zebra’s Link Operating System (Link-OS) delivers an innovative software environment to intelligently power Zebra barcode printers and other Zebra smart rugged mobile devices, with connectivity to the cloud.

This year, at the Zebra conference, the company’s innovators have developed a new version of Link-OS to enable a corresponding new range of barcode printers seamless communication with the cloud and cloud-based applications. Importantly, this solves the pervasive challenge of rugged mobile printer device management faced by many organisations that rely on any sizeable fleet of barcode label printers.

Now, via cloud communication channels, Zebra’s Link-OS barcode printers will be easily updated for software applications, accessed for rugged mobile device management, tracked for asset management purposes, as well as perform logic processing directly from individual printers.

Contact us for further details on Zebra’s Link-OS barcode printers.

Zebra Partner Cloud

Lastly, at this recent Zebra conference, it was revealed that Zebra Technologies is now offering a hosted cloud environment, with all the usual benefits of ‘cloud computing’ systems, but specifically for users of their applications and members of their partner community.

This will provide cloud capabilities for those who haven’t yet moved to similar cloud environments, and who use Zebra systems and support, such as the Link-OS devices mentioned above.

Finding Best-fit Mobility Hardware

Leopard Systems have a long-standing association with Zebra Technologies for hardware and mobile device management systems. The Zebra Conference Partner Summit is a highlight on the Leopard calendar.

Our market-competitive approach to your enterprise mobility hardware procurement and rugged mobile device management will help you make an informed choice on the best-fit, best-priced rugged mobile hardware for your next enterprise mobility project.

Get in touch today to discuss your enterprise mobility needs…