Magazine Article | May 20, 2013

Why MDM Is A Mobile Solution Must-Have

By The Business Solutions Network

By uncovering a customer’s mobile computing pain points, this VAR won a 55-unit mobile computing install, plus an MDM (mobile device management) upsell.

If there’s one thing data-tracking solutions provider BarcodesInc has learned in its 13-year existence, it’s that there’s often more to an end user’s initial inquiry than the potential customers are even able to articulate themselves. That’s why this mobile computing reseller asks its clients probing questions to help both parties gain a deeper understanding of clients’ business needs.

The value of that approach can be seen in the work BarcodesInc did for Bergstrom Climate Control, an international designer and manufacturer of cab climate systems for commercial vehicles. The 1,400-employee HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) company has 10 facilities located throughout the world. A big part of the manufacturer’s business entails meeting with its clients on-site and evaluating and/or troubleshooting its commercial vehicle climate-control needs.

Mobile computers play a key role in the HVAC company’s business. Warehouse workers use handheld computers for receiving inventory, scanning invoices, and reading bar code labels.

Mobile Computing Consultation Pays Off
Bergstrom had initially purchased new rugged mobile computers directly from a rugged handheld manufacturer, but was disappointed with the results. The manufacturer didn’t have a very good understanding of the HVAC company’s business, and it missed a couple of the customer’s key business needs.

“Our account manager and solutions architect met with the customer and uncovered that the customer wanted to be able to read bar codes from a distance of 25 feet away in its warehouses, and it wanted 43-button keypads so that it could set up shortcut buttons for its terminal emulation software,” says Gary Gebenlian, head of e-commerce at BarcodesInc.

BarcodesInc helped the customer identify a mobile computing device that better met its needs, which turned out to be the Motorola MC9090-G rugged wireless portable data terminal. “We also upgraded their terminal emulation software to Wavelink because it came preloaded and preconfigured with the Motorola devices, which saved them significant configuration time and costs,” says Pat Wade, mobility specialist at BarcodesInc.

During the solutions provider’s consultation with Bergstrom, it discovered one more pain point the customer was struggling with. “Previously, whenever the client needed to update a mobile device or troubleshoot a problem, the mobile worker had to send the device into a service location, which led to hours of unnecessary downtime and lost productivity,” says Gebenlian. “We showed them how, for a small monthly fee, we could install a SOTI MDM agent on each device, which would enable them to configure, deploy, maintain, and support their mobile devices remotely.”

While it’s difficult to gauge exactly how much time and labor savings the MDM solution provides, Wade says that it’s not uncommon to have to reconfigure a device once per month. “That process can take an hour easily — and much longer in some instances,” he says. “This solution conservatively saves the client more than 50 hours per month, which doesn’t even take into consideration additional downtime and lost productivity that occurred while the device was being shipped to or from the centralized location to be configured.”

The biggest lesson learned from BarcodesInc’s project with Bergstrom Climate Control was the key differentiator between being an order taker and a trusted business adviser. The former leaves customers with a subpar technical solution and little appetite for further engagement. The latter leads to customers being more satisfied, buying more products, and spreading the word about your helpfulness and expertise.