Device Lifecycle Management Support Maintains Device Continuity for Leading Paint Manufacturer
CUSTOMER SINCE: 2015
DESCRIPTION: Paint & Coatings Manufacturer
A leading manufacturer of high-quality paints and coatings serves customers through a network of 7,500 local paint, decorating and hardware retailers. The company focuses on products that deliver a superior performance in both residential and commercial applications, and they are consistently ranked as the top choice for interior paints. With a market presence in more than 75 countries, the company has robust manufacturing and warehouse operations to support growing demand.
The company maintains strict inventory controls to oversee the raw materials that comprise their paints and coatings. Every material and chemical component must be scanned during manufacturing to ensure the end product performs as expected. Success in this industry relies heavily on technology and innovation.
Like many enterprises, the company planned to transition to Android devices, but the uncertainty around the pandemic put those plans on hold. As the pandemic unfolded, a surge in home improvement and renovation projects placed their products in higher demand. By the summer of 2020, it became evident that their industry was performing better than forecasted and Android devices were needed to support operations.
Although TRG initially worked with the customer to repair and maintain their legacy barcode equipment, the partnership grew over the years as they sought to maintain device continuity. As their fleet grew, we provided support for all levels of device lifecycle management, device upgrades and MDM platform management.
Learn how TRG supports this customer with device procurement, break/fix services, MDM services and more.
Maintaining Device Continuity
Many enterprises opt to use legacy equipment to maintain device continuity, even after OEMs cease service. Our relationship started by servicing and maintaining legacy devices, but this quickly led to support with device procurement. TRG sourced ‘new to them’ devices and with our help, their fleet eventually doubled in size.
At the time, the customer’s key concern was to maintain an all-matching fleet as this helps streamline operations and ensure efficiency. All devices purchased were either pre-owned or refurbished, so equipment was initially sent to TRG where it was staged and kitted. As a result, devices arrived at the customer’s facility ready to use immediately.
Break/Fix Support for Legacy Devices
While maintaining a legacy fleet has its perks, it does require occasional troubleshooting to address physical breaks and internal component issues. As their devices age, physical breaks become less common but internal component support is necessary.
To reduce downtime when equipment requires servicing or repairs, TRG manages a spares pool for the customer. Repairs are managed through TRG’s ServiceHub, a proprietary online asset management platform developed by TRG. With ServiceHub, customers can submit repair tickets and track real-time progress in a single pane of glass for the workflow.
Devices for Manufacturing and Warehouse Efficiency
The manufacture of paint and coatings is a complex chemical process completed in large lots. Strict inventory controls ensure that raw materials are managed during each stage of product development. Every chemical component including the finished product requires accurate scanning and tracking. As vendors transitioned to 2D barcodes, the customer required devices that could quickly and accurately scan two types of barcodes.
Utilizing the right devices can increase productivity and reduce errors, which is critically important in this industry. As their enterprise mobility partner, we helped establish a pilot program for them to test Zebra and Honeywell devices before making an investment. As users provided feedback, we worked collaboratively to understand which device was the best fit for the application and adjusted settings to optimize the user experience.
The Honeywell CK65 quickly stood out as a favorite thanks to its lightweight, easy handling and scanning capabilities. Zebra’s MC9300 was a close second, so TRG coordinated additional testing of the two devices at their manufacturing plant and five warehouses.
A Split Refresh Solves Multiple Needs
The results of the pilot program generated a split decision. Employees at their manufacturing plant favored Honeywell’s CK65s, preferring the lightweight design and function keys. However, the warehouse employees preferred the Zebra solution for their specific needs.
The company was torn with how to proceed with the refresh. Most companies aim for device continuity throughout their enterprise to streamline servicing and repairs. However, the manufacturing employees were adamant about using the Honeywell CK65 for its enhanced scanning capabilities, rugged construction and battery life.
Although it’s atypical, the customer opted for a split refresh, using two different devices based on the needs and feedback of their employees. The customer was able to proceed with confidence knowing that service repairs for both devices would be handled by TRG without incurring additional cost or demand on their internal IT teams. To further support the transition, TRG also handled all profile generation for the customer’s legacy devices so that creating profiles for the new devices will be seamless in the future.
Windows to Android Migration
Microsoft ended support for all remaining versions of Windows, creating yet another challenge for the customer. Because of this, they sought to eventually upgrade their facilities to higher functioning Android devices. These devices offer a powerfully secure enterprise-grade operating system, and companies who implement them are rewarded with greater speed, higher accuracy, better communication and improved efficiency.
By mid-2020, the customer experienced a significant uptick in business as consumers were motivated to upgrade their living spaces. While the uncertainties of the pandemic caused the company to put the project on hold, the paint and coatings industry fared considerably better than forecasted. Following a profitable summer, they decided it was time to move forward with the device refresh and migration.
The timeline for procurement became a significant factor since the budget was approved for fiscal year 2020. With many technology supply chains in flux, TRG worked closely with the Honeywell team to ensure a swift delivery by the end of the year, overseeing device staging, configuration and deployment at all locations. Since receiving the devices, the customer has already experienced an uptick in performance and seamlessly integrated the devices into their workflows.
MDM Platform Improves Efficiency
Because of our well-established relationship, the customer also approached us for help with MDM services. TRG manages profiles and configuration for all mobile devices using the golden images developed specifically for the customer. Developing and implementing golden images as pre-configured device templates reduces the time spent on configuration, eliminates common errors and helps the company manage their fleet of devices more efficiently.
TRG also helps the customer by managing their MDM console, which they run on SOTI. SOTI MobiControl is an enterprise mobility management solution that secures and manages devices across all major operating systems (OS) throughout their entire life cycle. SOTI allows the customer flexibility to manage all their devices, regardless of manufacturer, helping them achieve device harmony throughout the split upgrade.
We were able to quickly solve another issue that occurred after the manufacturing plant received the new devices. Between the pilot program and the rollout, Honeywell released two more versions of firmware that were not part of the initial demo. The newer version of the firmware caused issues with older devices that required troubleshooting. Thanks to our close partnership, TRG worked directly with Honeywell and their developmental team to create a patch that resolved the issue.
Planning for Future Enterprise Equipment Needs
Looking to the future, TRG is already identifying new ways to support the customer as they grow. After recently acquiring a national chain of retail stores, they will likely need to add devices as they take over operations. TRG’s extensive knowledge across industries means the customer can rely on us to ensure consistent device performance throughout the acquisition.
Find a Partner with a Comprehensive Breath of Services
By partnering with TRG, the customer received a range of support as they grew without having to search for new or additional vendors. They were able to extend the life of legacy devices, source and procure new hardware and manage their MDM platform all from one point of contact. Without TRG’s help, a split refresh wouldn’t have been feasible and it would have placed additional pressure on their internal IT team.
Contact us today fto see how an enterprise mobility services provider can help your business boost operational efficiency.
TRG is a global managed solutions provider focused on mobility, point of sale and payments. With facilities across the United States, Canada and Europe, we provide the most comprehensive suite of lifecycle management services – from warehouse to boardroom and deployment to retirement. Our mission is to Make Technology Simple, helping customers accelerate projects, drive application success, improve employee/customer experience and maximize ROI. We’re relentless in our drive to find innovative, effective ways to enhance customer operations and challenge conventional thinking along the way.