How Honeywell Operational Intelligence Helps Increase Battery Life Spans
Barry J. Ewell
July 14, 2021
At Honeywell, we believe in the power of intelligence and design products to give you more of it. For several years now, Honeywell has been systematically adding powerful "self-analyzing" software to all our hardware products. Honeywell Operational Intelligence can methodically capture hundreds of performance data points from our devices as they are being used in your operations. When this data is compiled and analyzed, it provides amazing insight into many problems common across enterprises using ruggedized mobile devices.
Operational intelligence is a centralized, cloud-based platform to manage the complete lifecycle, operational visibility and performance analysis of assets, people and tasks. With embedded hardware sensors designed into Honeywell products, the solution continuously extracts performance data periodically
sent to the cloud for analysis. Operational intelligence provides an intuitive user interface to your IT assets' performance metrics. It delivers actionable insights that bridge the gap commonly missed by Asset Management or Mobile Device Management solutions.
Many companies lack the needed information about their mobile device assets. This makes it harder to maintain the ruggedized devices, which can affect long-term performance and productivity. According to industry studies, up to 30% of devices go missing, 25% are sent unnecessary repairs, and 10% fail before a full day's shift. Let's take a closer look at how Honeywell Operational Intelligence can become a solution to increase device battery life span and find missing devices.
Operational Intelligence is a Solution for Increasing Battery Life Span
Batteries are one of the most common issues users of mobile technology face. So, we have developed a solution to this mystery to give our customers access to the data intelligence they need to truly know what is going on with their batteries and their workers. The profile for the company in this use case follows:
- Description: Large retailer that has 500 mobile computers deployed across 100 stores
- Issue: High number of complaints that batteries are not lasting long enough. Because the retailer can't really tell what is going on with their batteries or their workers, they purchase a new replacement and spare batteries each year at an annual cost of about $60,000.
Every time a worker turns on a Honeywell mobile computer, Operational Intelligence can see the device and the battery in the device. We know and track if the battery was fully charged when the device was turned on, and we see the battery's health, such as how many charge cycles have been used and how many remain in the battery. Operational intelligence can graphically show you how often your workers begin their day with a partially charged battery and how frequently during the day your workforce is swapping batteries. Because Operational Intelligence knows your inventory of batteries, we can also show you a detailed listing of which batteries are not worth recharging and which batteries are never getting used.
With this data in hand, we solved the battery mystery we started with above. We discovered that only 20% of this retailer's batteries were beyond their useful life and needed to be replaced, saving the customer almost $40,000 per year buying batteries they did not need. We also discovered that 30% of the time, their workforce started their day with a healthy but partially charged battery. We could also see exactly how many times each day their workers were running out of battery power before their shift was complete. And finally, we noticed that most of the battery swaps during the day were being made when the battery was still in a usefully charged state.
With this intelligence in hand, this retailer could weed out their bad batteries and adjust their battery maintenance processes to eliminate battery issues from their operations virtually. They also have the power to constantly check in on their workers to see if they are following the new charging procedures.
But we know that knowing you have "some" bad batteries is not enough alone to help you find and eliminate them. So, we added a powerful "Find My Device" feature to Operational Intelligence to help you locate the computer's exact location using each of your known bad batteries. So, you know the state of the battery, you know the serial number of the battery, you know which computer that battery is in, and you know the location of that computer. Operational intelligence can also alert your staff when a bad battery has been discovered so you can take steps to remove it from your inventory before it gets used over and over, wasting valuable time and productivity.
Operational Intelligence is a Solution for Missing Devices
Missing equipment is a very common issue for many companies using mobile ruggedized devices. It is so easy to set the devices down during a break, or when workers are sidetracked on other priorities and discover later, the device is missing. So, we incorporated features into many of our mobile products intended to help customers locate and track their missing equipment. The profile for the company in this use case follows:
- Description. Large retailer with 2,500 mobile computers deployed across 500 stores
- Issue. Customer is experiencing 20% lost or stolen mobile devices over three years, or approximately 7% per year. These lost devices are costing their operation over $100,000 per year in replacement equipment. The customer has no data to help them locate or determine why they are losing equipment.
Honeywell mobile computers, in combination with Operational Intelligence software, have the unique ability to provide location tracking information while the devices are in use. To enable this feature, a team member walked each store with a Honeywell mobile computer and identified critical areas in the store they wanted to designate as a zone. Store sizes varied, but they found that 20 to 30 zones per store was the average. In this example, the zone sizes are sufficiently small that if a device were ever lost, finding it within the zone would be relatively easy.
This approach helped the Store Operations team track equipment as it moved throughout the store's various departments. The frequency the zone location is sent from each device is configurable, but in this case, they settled on once every minute.
While it was believed that this tracking feature alone would have tremendous benefits in locating lost equipment, this retailer also added an additional component to their solution. Honeywell mobile computer docks were purchased and placed in every store department for all available mobile devices. Store staff were always instructed to dock their mobile devices between normal usage
tasks and always at the end of the day after store closing. Additionally, store staff were trained never to turn off the mobile devices, so they would always be sharing their location status.
Store Operations has three primary triggers or a lost device event:
- Employee reports a lost device during the workday
- Device not docked at the end of day
- A device misses two consecutive docking events throughout the workday
Any of these events triggers an Operational Intelligence alert to the Store Operations team and includes information about the missing device's last reported zone location along with the time stamp. Store Operations then contacts the department in the store assigned to that device and initiates a "search and rescue" mission to retrieve the unit.
Common causes of lost devices were discovered to be:
- Mobile device was found among on-shelf merchandise but obscured from view
- Mobile device was found at the point-of-sale counter instead of being correctly docked
- Mobile device was found in excess inventory boxes in the backroom
- Mobile device was found in discarded boxes intended for trash
- Mobile device was located in the washroom or employee breakroom area
- Mobile device was last tracked leaving the store through one of its customer exits.
As the Store Operations team patterned and standardized their store associates' processes, it became more predictable to anticipate mobile device docking events. Measuring these docking events helped identify potentially misplaced equipment before it was lost in the trash or shipped inside merchandise intended for the warehouse or another store. Identifying and acting quickly was a
critical cost savings to their operations.
Overall this system has been a tremendous learning experience and has not only dramatically improved their recovery of lost mobile computers but is also supporting other workflow and process initiatives that they were unable to accomplish with their previous source of data. Operational Intelligence
is providing workflow intelligence as never before and is opening the door to new operational efficiencies.
Honeywell Operational Intelligence is a centralized, cloud-based platform to manage the complete lifecycle, operational visibility and performance information of assets, people and tasks. It bridges the productivity gap commonly missed by asset management or mobile device management solutions. The software platform enables workers and enterprises to predict upcoming problems before they happen and gain critical business insights. The software now has an Automation Solutions alerting workers on how to resolve and address business issues – be it hardware issues or ensuring social distancing guidelines are being met – when they happen.
To learn more about how Honeywell Operational Intelligence can help drive operational performance and lower TCO for ruggedized devices, contact a Honeywell representative at 800-537-6945.
Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Content Marketing Communications Specialist for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions. He has been researching and writing on supply chain topics since 1991.