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3 Ways Manufacturing can Utilize Charging Stations

by Natalie Schlueter

With the increase of 1:1 devices in the manufacturing industry, it is clear that reducing costs and increasing output is the main goal. Technology in the manufacturing industry creates differentiation, maximizes innovative ideas, and provides easy solutions to streamline the processes to assist the workflow.

Ultimately, technology provides a clear solution to decreasing lead times, compete with others, and provide great customer satisfaction and service.

As technology evolves, so does the need for devices. Increasing device capability means there needs to be an increased consideration of charging stations to support these devices. After all, technology can only do good when it is charged.

How can manufacturing ensure that the fleets of devices are charged and ready to go whenever needed? Find out below, with three ways manufacturing can utilize charging stations to manage workflow, increase organization, and maintain accountability with expensive devices.

1. Check-In / Check-Out or Chain of Custody

Check-in / check-out workflows work best with charging lockers that provide customizable RFID or PIN codes to each individual employee to be able to access their specific device if needed.

At the beginning of the shift, employees can come to the locker, check in with their personal RFID or PIN code given by IT or other management of the manufacturing floor, take the device, inspect the device, and use the charged solution throughout the day.

At the end of the day, the employee can come back, return the device to the correct bay, plug it in, and let it charge overnight with the reassurance that tomorrow morning there will be a device for them, therefore being able to do their job.

A charging locker provides added security and cloud functioning as well to automate device syncs and updates overnight in order to provide devices in complete working order the next day. According to IT Governance, it is estimated that 34% of data breaches are caused by human error, physical theft, or unauthorized use. This is a large number that can be decreased or avoided completely with a solution that has personalized, secure access to devices throughout the day.

Not only does the locker act as a chain of custody link to be able to keep track of who returned / did not return their devices, it also provides a way to ensure that each device will stay in its place overnight with all of the updates needed. The cloud function allows IT administrators or other management to view who removed devices from the locker and at what time. Safety and security are a top priority when deploying a chain of custody workflow.

To see the Bretford TechGuard Connect® Lockers in action in a manufacturing environment, view below:

2. Break / Fix Programming

How many IT tier 1 support tickets do you or your organization’s IT team receive daily? According to Zendeck, internal support teams receive an average of 492 tickets per month. Imagine how long an IT member is spending on tier 1 tickets with no system in place to support the easy transfer from broken device to loaner device.

A gigantic amount of time can be lost if there is no easy fix in place. This means that employees are wasting time trying to navigate a broken device and IT techs are trying to figure out the best solution to a problem that has not yet had an efficient handling process. It can be a tricky situation.

TechGuard Connect® Charging Lockers can provide easy access to both employees and IT teams to access devices and swap for loaners to continue work throughout the day and expedite processes. These lockers also have API integrations to help teams quickly manage small updates and systems processing for their own individualized needs.

3. Devices Ready When Needed

Utilizing charging lockers can provide stability, security and individualized care for each employee. Sometimes an environment is functioning at such a fast-pace that security is just not feasible to achieve the job goals for the day.

If your organization is less concerned about security and more concerned about availability, then a charging cart or charging station would benefit the situation.

Save time and maximize space with small footprint solutions that can be mobile to meet the needs of a quick-paced environment. Your employees are consistently moving throughout the day to achieve goals set out for them, so should their devices.

Utilizing compact charging carts or charging stations in a centrally located area will allow for employees to use devices when needed. Of course, this system only works if all devices are up for grabs, or if the devices are numbered and the honor system is used.

If there is a small fleet of devices being managed, then a smaller solution with less security might be ok. If a large fleet is being used for a large amount of employees, there might be a larger need for security solutions.

What can Charging Solutions Provide to Manufacturing?

Charging solutions look great on the outside, but what are the bottom line metrics that charging stations for manufacturing can provide? Here are just some of the many:

  1. Access Data Easily: with provisioning solutions like the PowerSync Pro™ 2nd Generation charging station, IT teams can automate the data transfer and update of many devices at once with GroundControl or Apple Provisioning Utility (APU) extensions.
  2. Increase Efficiency: With smart, cycle charging and LED light indicators on some charging solutions, your employees can easily manage their time by knowing exactly when their device will be charged.
  3. Manage Communication: With an entire fleet of devices constantly charged, it is easy to manage and access all communications happening within the work day. With a 1:1 device deployment set-up, every employee can feel they have a strong grasp on the conversations flowing and are in the loop about important updates.
  4. Control Order Fulfillment: With ready-to-go devices in a strong mobile device management system, managers can control the speed of fulfilled orders to satisfy customer needs and see all updates as they arrive. This can minimize error and increase efficiency to ensure best processes moving forward to expedite requests.

Be Prepared with Your Mobile Device Management Strategy

Without the proper examination of a mobile device management strategy, or MDM, when deploying 1:1 devices in a manufacturing setting, IT teams and managers can potentially have chaos on their hands.

Finding a charging solution to maximize the expense per employee that your organization just invested in will help alleviate tension from cost, and increase the effects of the new devices implemented. Do the job well and right with solutions that support your needs.

menu charging lockers

Easily manage chain of custody and break/fix programming with the TechGuard Connect® charging lockers that is managed by Bretford Connect®, Bretford’s cloud system. Push updates and manage workflow automatically

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