How many times have you said, “I don’t know what I would do without my smartphone?” Probably more than you can count, right? As humans in this 21st century digital society, our phones have become our wallets, calendars, maps, cameras, and personal assistants. They bring light to the darkness (quite literally, with the built-in flashlight), and they give us answers to the most challenging questions (by providing instant connections to experts and access to infinite data).
Of course, mobile devices have also become a lifeline for front-line workers. They are the reason nurses, retail associates, warehouse workers, utility technicians and first responders can do so much in so little time. In fact, many front-line workers complain when they aren’t given mobile computers to do their jobs because they feel like they’re operating in the dark. These devices – and the software running on them – are what tell people where to go, what to do when they get there, and how exactly to do every task they’re assigned.
That said, even digitally connected front-line workers complain from time to time that they can’t move as fast as they need or want because:
Their device or certain apps are running slower than usual or crashing often.
They can’t seem to get or maintain a stable wireless connection, so communications and data downloads or spotty.
Their device doesn’t hold a charge like it used to, so they have to constantly swap out devices, tether themselves to a station where the battery can recharge while they work, or revert to manual methods while the battery recharges.
That’s why a proactive insight tool like VisibilityIQ Foresight has become so valuable in recent years. It can mine over 250 data points related to device, application, and battery health to report on the current status of devices and predict forthcoming issues based on device usage, health and history. It can also empower both remote device managers and front-line device users to stay on top of health issues by providing daily, actionable reports that recommend specific actions to mitigate or fix issues. In turn:
Devices are less likely to crash, die or otherwise go offline – and workers are never slowed down or stalled due to technology issues.
You don’t have to replace as many devices each year because you can take more preventative health measures to avoid fatal issues from occurring once early warning signs of “potential issues” surface.
You can uncover device performance or repair trends that would otherwise go unnoticed and likely cost you a lot of time and money addressing as well as business opportunities that could generate new revenue.
Just ask the teams at Hellenic Train (formerly TrainOSE) and Computacenter.
Computacenter, a technology reseller, originally deployed the cloud-based VisibilityIQ Foresight service to explore ways in which continuous data insights could improve device management after upgrading to Zebra printers and Android™-powered handheld mobile computers at its new modern integration center. At first, it used Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight features and reports, such as Scan Metrics Reports, to track the number of successful scans per device per location. This enabled Computacenter to accurately analyze the number of packages handled daily, as well as break down, benchmark and study efficiencies and productivity in different areas to help with planning and remediation as needed. However, after realizing several other benefits from VisibilityIQ Foresight, company leaders organized a training session so different business functions, from IT to sales, and project managers to logistics, could start using the vast library of device data points for their specific requirements. Today, VisibilityIQ Foresight is analyzing and aggregating device performance metrics for all Zebra devices in Computacenter’s logistics center, including the recently deployed mobile computers and some previously installed printers.
At Hellenic, VisibilityIQ Foresight is enabling the operations team to view near real-time reports on the status and usage of mobile computers across its fleet as well as proactive recommendations about how to optimize device health. For instance, if a device is not being properly charged, is experiencing wireless hiccups, or applications are not performing as expected, these issues will be highlighted so steps can be taken to address potential problems before they impact device performance. Considering their mobile computers are the main component of a new state-of-the-art digital system used to issue and validate tickets on passenger trains across Greece, they can’t afford any decline in device performance.
We all know that trying to function without technology telling us where we need to go and what we need to do next feels nearly impossible. For many front-line workers, it is impossible. Plus, with the world in a steady state of uncertainty, business pressures mounting, budgets compressing and labor shortages compounding, you need your technology devices to work as well as they did on the first day they were put into service, even if they’ve been in the field for five years. You also need them to last for years – and possibly past their originally intended life cycle. This includes your front-line workers’ mobile computers and scanners as well as the various printers central to today’s digitalized and automated workflows. But the only way you’re going to be able to prevent device downtime (or worker downtime due to device issues) is to be consistently proactive with device health monitoring and management.
That’s why I often compare device management to patient management, especially when it comes to remote monitoring. If a patient has all the information and tools needed to manage and improve their health on their own, that’s the best-case scenario as it takes all the burden off the doctor to care for hundreds or thousands of patients every day. However, if a doctor wants to be able to check in on all their patients’ health status without picking up the phone to call them every time, they could login to a dashboard to see the data reported from patients’ connected digital health devices to make sure everything is okay. If something seems off, they could intervene as appropriate.
So, if you haven’t logged into VisibilityIQ Foresight lately, do so now – and again tomorrow and the day after. Or at least make it a habit to open the daily health reports sent to you and your teams and take the recommended actions. This will help ensure mobile devices and printers are powered up, connected and running at full speed around the clock, so your workers are never slowed down or drained from having to “figure things out” without their devices and you never have to suffer the financial consequences of a device performance issue.
In Case You Missed Them…
These YouTube videos will show you how to use different Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight reports to improve the performance of your devices and business.
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