In many industries, employees use — and are entrusted with — expensive tools and devices that enable them to do their jobs more accurately and efficiently. Equipment including handheld bar code scanners, tablets, calibrated instruments, automotive tools, and in-store point of sale devices are distributed to employees on a daily basis in healthcare, manufacturing, fleet and field service organizations, retail, and a variety of other settings. If distributing and managing devices has become a drain on your time and resources, smart lockers can alleviate that burden.
Here are four reasons smart lockers may be the solution to your asset management challenges:
1. Manual device management is time consuming and labor intensive.Managers often manually issue devices and tools, recording — either on paper or a spreadsheet — the name of the employee and a descriptor or serial number of the device. Depending on the size of your workforce and how many devices are issued at the beginning and returned at the end of a shift, this can be a full-time job. It may also be a system prone to error, with the process taking place when workers are hurrying to their jobs or hurrying to leave for the day.
Automating the process with smart lockers — which require employees to use PINs or other authorization to check items out for use and back in at the end of their shifts — frees your managers to spend time on other activities and minimizes the opportunity for mistakes. Also, smart lockers can provide charging and calibration functionality, so only devices that are prepared for service in the upcoming shift will be issued.
2. Devices can be stored where it makes the most sense.Smart lockers can be located where they make the most sense, rather than near the issuing manager. This can eliminate employees wasting time to walk to get tools or devices and then walk to return it at the end of the shift.
3. Not managing devices is costly. If you have an unattended station where employees have access to devices, there isn’t any accountability when a device is missing or damaged. Many tech devices and tools your employees use are high-cost items that could be sold outside of work, and with no accountability, this could create temptation that leads to employee theft. Also, without management, employees could hoard devices so that they have a “spare” or might simply forget to return them. Searching for lost or missing devices is a top productivity drain on manager time, and replacing devices or tools that are never located can eat into your profits.
4. Smart lockers collect data.Smart lockers can show data on historical patterns related to metrics such as use, battery life, or damage. The Apex Axcess systems, for example, include Trajectory Cloud software that provides insights into stock replenishment, usage patterns, and device service requirements. Smart lockers can also provide an audit trail for needed safety or regulatory compliance. In addition, they can manage calibration, certification, and warranty requirements.
Device management can be challenging, and as technology advances and more devices are common in your workplace, the time it takes to manually issue devices, manage battery charging and device calibration, and to track missing devices is likely to become even more burdensome. Consider how you can eliminate the challenge, now and in the future, with smart lockers.