Managed Services: Pool exchange

Optimise workflows and replace or repair faulty devices as quickly as possible with intelligent IT service management

Circlon | operate, the ITSM platform for mobile devices, allows device management to be carried out smoothly and efficiently, even when there are considerable quantities to manage. Since last year, Hermes has been using a total of around 45,000 Zebra and Huawei devices. With such a large inventory, it is very important that the replacement device pool is optimally coordinated and that the transparent exchange and repair process functions perfectly. Since 2017, Hermes has equipped 15,000 parcel shops with Zebra touch computers of the TC56 series for internal goods logistics in a large-scale campaign as part of the changeover to the Android operating system. Shortly afterwards, 11,000 Huawei tablets were added for route planning, as well as another 18,000 Zebra TC75x series devices for the driver fleet.


Efficient management of cycles via our device pool

Hermes now has around 45,000 devices that are recorded in the Circlon | operate system during the rollout. A device generation should remain in use for at least 5 years before new hardware is considered. This requires good service throughout the entire life cycle for the maintenance and repair of the existing devices so that daily operations can run smoothly. If a device fails, for example due to rough handling or battery problems, Hermes receives a replacement device from our device pool within a very short time thanks to the device management in Circlon | operate. The repair process of the defective device is handled automatically as far as possible and the repaired device is quickly returned to the Hermes pool inventory. This efficient cycle typifies our approach.


Clear processes in case of repair

In the event of a repair, a ticket is triggered directly by the route supervisor at Hermes in the Circlon | operate portal. In order to avoid sending in a repair (if possible), the portal clearly displays all the devices at his location and shows him how to perform the repair himself. If this fails, the Hermes route supervisor creates a description of the fault. For this purpose, the system shows him the most common types of error, which he can easily assign and complete with additional information on the error via a free text field. At the same time, the ITSM system creates a return material authorisation (RMA) number and the delivery note. While the Hermes route supervisor is opening the ticket in this way, we already receive the message that an RMA has been triggered for a faulty device. In turn, this message enables us to immediately announce the repair process to the manufacturer Zebra to increase the planning capability in the Zebra repair centre. The information is transmitted automatically via Circlon | operate. Now the shipment of a replacement device from the pool inventory is prepared immediately, i.e. a fully configured device that is technically identical to the defective device is sent on its way to the Hermes branch in an environmentally friendly, protected reusable shipping box with all the necessary documents. The replacement device arrives there the very next day. The entire process is logged in detail in the ITSM system. Hermes now immediately returns the defective device to us in the reusable shipping box with the delivery note and the RMA. This is how simple a device exchange can be handled today.


We handle the repair process

Our experts carry out an incoming inspection of the device sent in by Hermes, checking in Circlon | operate whether the details of the device fault are actually correct – in individual cases the fault description is corrected and made more precise. To reduce costs and the burden on the environment, the device goes to the collection point. Starting from a certain quantity of devices, a collective delivery note is created and the devices are sent to the Zebra repair centre by collective delivery. Here, the preliminary information about the device defect, which has already been sent online, is available and can be retrieved. This means that the repair centre is informed in advance and can efficiently schedule and carry out the repair. After the repair by Zebra, the device is sent back to us, equipped with customer-specific software (staging) and returned to the Hermes device pool following cleaning and testing. This process is also shown in detail in Circlon | operate and can be viewed by the Hermes route supervisor at any time. It is always possible to see how many devices are currently in the device pool and being repaired, and where and in what condition the faulty devices are at any given time.


Work productively while the repair is carried out in the background

Process automation results in many advantages, first and foremost great time savings due to shortened service processes. Roland Lazina, Head of Process and System Management at Hermes Germany, comments: "Thanks to the fast delivery of a replacement device, we can continue to work seamlessly and do not have to worry about anything regarding the repair of the defective device. We can call up all current information on the RMAs in the system at all times and use it for reporting, for example for evaluations and reports, as well as for future planning and optimisation. Time-consuming phone calls are usually no longer necessary, nor is the tedious updating of Excel files for the individual processes." Due to the process automation and the complete user guidance when filling out the masks in the ITSM system, the susceptibility to errors decreases considerably. The ability to plan the processing of a device exchange or repair process is improved, as an RMA is initiated at an early stage and thus all follow-up processes are triggered automatically. In addition, the entire process reduces costs and protects the environment by saving packaging material and by reducing the transport volume due to the collective deliveries. The closed loop system in the repair process, which is fully mapped in Circlon | operate, is one of our core competencies and is optimised not only for Hermes, but for every customer and individually adapted to the respective processes as required. Are you interested in new ways in the digital age using intelligent IT service management for your mobile devices? For more information on our services, click here.
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