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Honeywell Operational Intelligence Performance Management Module Provides Advance Device Analytics

Honeywell Operational Intelligence Performance Management Module Provides Advance Device Analytics

This is a four-part series looking at how Honeywell is revolutionizing IT asset and service management with Operational Intelligence. Operational Intelligence includes four modules to give you a robust tool to manage and optimize assets across your locations throughout the operational asset lifecycle. These include: 1) Service Management, 2) Performance Management, 3) Configuration Management, and 4) Worker Performance. Part 2 will introduce the Performance Management module.

Across the supply chain, organizations deploy fleets of mobile devices made up of assets from multiple manufacturers – ruggedized mobile computers, tablets, barcode scanners, and printers. Each device comes with its own operating system, software, contracts, agreements, and repair processes that must be carefully managed. Many of these devices can collect rich telemetry and event data that can be used to provide actionable insights into how devices are used, how to decrease operational costs, and how to improve productivity. Sadly, organizations are challenged in accessing these insights because they are using separate tools and aggregating the information with spreadsheets and in-house developed tools.

Operational Intelligence Overview

Honeywell Operational Intelligence solves these needs and problems by providing IT and site leaders and services providers a centralized, cloud-based platform to manage the complete lifecycle of their assets. Operational Intelligence aggregates lifecycle and workflow information into a single flexible tool to capture data, enforce processes, and provide visibility across the entire device workflow for your heterogeneous environment. Operational Intelligence is also capable of communicating with Honeywell devices to gather deep metric and telemetry data; provide software, configuration, OS, and firmware updates to the devices; and track indoor device location.

Operational Intelligence is a powerful analysis software engine that provides dashboards to support your troubleshooting efforts. At Honeywell, we believe in the power of intelligence and design products to give you more of it. Over the last several years, Honeywell has been systematically adding powerful “self-analyzing” toolsets to all of our hardware products. These embedded tools are capable of methodically capturing hundreds of performance data points from our devices as they are being used in your operations. When this data is compiled and analyzed, it opens amazing insights into many problems common to AIDC technology users.

Operational Intelligence includes four modules to give you a robust tool to manage and optimize assets across your locations throughout the operational asset lifecycle. These include:

  • Service Management: As a vendor-agnostic solution, systematically standardize, manage, and optimize the process of servicing your IT assets.
  • Performance Management: Track, analyze, and report on the operational performance of your IT assets. Remotely download software and configurations.
  • Configuration Management: Reduce time spent on individual device updates and security risks by keeping devices automatically updated.
  • Worker Performance: Analyze worker performance and workflow efficiencies by tracking device and application use.

A Closer Look at Performance Management Module

Operational Intelligence helps to dramatically reduce a huge blind spot that you have with not knowing what is happening to every device in your fleet. You can track, analyze, and report on the operational performance of your IT assets. Remotely download software and configurations. With the Performance Management module, you gain access to:

  • Utilization Analytics. Engage with an integrated dashboard delivering key performance indicators that allows you to evaluate the health and utilization levels of your IT assets.
  • Event Monitor/Usage Analytics. Manage real-time alarms and notifications generated by user-defined performance disruption events.
  • Advanced Analytics. Track device location to reduce loss and inventory-count times. Analyze device drop and fall events to improve care and reduce wear for longer lifespan.

Some of the module highlights include:

  • Automatically collects performance data from Honeywell devices such as mobile computers, printers, and barcode scanners
  • Supports detailed device performance analysis dashboard including battery health
  • Generates alerts and notifications of user-defined trigger events
  • Advanced features like locationing (ability to track a mobile computer moving inside a building) and mobile computer drop detection

Analytics used for predictive device health and maintenance

All devices come with specifications that guide the user for optimal use and preventative maintenance to gain the longest life possible. Operational Intelligence gathers rich telemetry and event data and combines it with other disparate data sources to provide actionable insights on how the devices are used, how to decrease operational costs, and how to improve productivity. The following are some examples of the data that is collected from different devices and its value to you:

 

Honeywell mobile computers incorporating Operational Intelligence capture information about:

  • Battery Health. A common problem with mobile IT assets is the batteries. Over time many customers complain that their batteries seem to not support a full day’s work and they don’t know if they need to purchase new batteries or simply do a better job fully charging the batteries that they have. Operational Intelligence opens the entire history and health of your mobile device batteries for full analysis, allowing you to correct charging procedures or locate and remove batteries past their useful life.
  • Drop and Fall Drop Detection. Operational Intelligence has the unique ability to track and measure when Honeywell devices are dropped. Not only does it detect and log the drop event, but it captures the height of the fall or if the device may have been forcefully thrown on the floor or against a wall. This is powerful information when diagnosing damaged equipment and finding ways to prevent future equipment damage.
  • Scanning. Scanning information such as scanned barcode volume can be a proxy for site productivity. For example, in the warehouse it can define the throughput of packages. In retail it could denote how your sales are doing.
  • Operating System. Keeping track of the device OS and firmware versioning provides visibility into security vulnerabilities that can be used to keep security patches up-to-date to enforce compliance and mitigate risk.
  • Applications. Many devices in the mobile computer space run custom applications. Operational Intelligence helps with monitoring these applications. You can understand how the user interacts with the application while performing their duties within the workflow. For example, support teams can be alerted when software issues arise or data can be sent back to the development team to assist with software improvements to make it easier for the end user to use the applications. This instance information can show if it is only happening on one device or is aggregated across all devices, indicating it is an issue with a specific software release.

Honeywell printers incorporating Operational Intelligence capture information about:

  • Printheads. Printhead usage to detect faulty dots signifying when maintenance or replacement is required to reduce device outages. Also provides historical data that can be used to keep the printhead spare pool stocked to support usage trends.
  • Labels and Media. The number of labels printed and how much label media has been printed from a linear meter perspective. By understanding how much is being printed and historical data, it can indicate when to provide preventative maintenance, such as replacing of printheads. When the printer is nearing the media/ribbon being out or some other issue that takes it offline, you can receive alerts allowing you to take proactive action to mitigate possible operational slowdowns.
  • Printer Usage. Look across multiple printers and understand how they are being used. For example, do you have one printer that is doing 80% of the printing? Could you balance the load to other printers and thus extend the life of the printhead? Do you have enough printers to support the workload? Many organizations have printers that are unmanned. You can know when the printer is nearing or out of media and/or in need of maintenance, thus increasing printer performance and usage.

Building a use case for battery analytics

Batteries are one of the most common issues users of mobile technology face. Operational Intelligence gives you access to the data needed to truly know what is going on with your batteries and your workers.

Every time a worker turns on a Honeywell mobile computer, Operational Intelligence can see not only the device but the battery in the device. We know and track if the battery was fully charged when the device was turned on, and we know the health of the battery 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 often 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 as well as which batteries are never getting used.

Knowing that you have “some” bad batteries is not enough to help you find and eliminate them. So, we added a powerful “Find My Device” feature to Operational Intelligence to help you locate the exact location of the computer using each of your known bad batteries. So, you know the state of the battery, the serial number of the battery, the computer that the battery is in, and 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 value time and productivity.

An example of Operational Intelligence battery analytics follows:

Customer Description: Large retailer that has 500 mobile computers deployed across 100 stores.

Customer 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 simply purchase new replacement and spare batteries each year at an annual cost of $60,000.

Customer Deployment Results. Every time a worker turns on a Honeywell mobile computer, Operational Intelligence can see not only the device but the battery in the device. We know and track if the battery was fully charged when the device was turned on, and we know the health of the battery 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 often 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 as well as which batteries are never getting used.

With this data in hand, the retailer discovered that only 20% of their batteries were beyond their useful life and needed to be replaced. This saved the customer almost $40,000 per year buying batteries they did not need. They also discovered that 30% of the time, their workforce was starting their day with a battery that was only partially charged. They could also see exactly how many times each day their workers were running out of battery power before their shift was complete. And finally, they 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 virtually eliminate battery issues from their operations. They also have the power to constantly check in on their workers to see if they are following the new charging procedures.

Developing a use case for device locationing

Missing equipment is a very common issue for many companies using mobile AIDC technology. It is so easy to set the devices down during a break or when workers are sidetracked on other priorities and discover later that the device is missing. Honeywell has developed new features in many of our mobile products that are intended to help customers both locate and track their missing equipment.

Honeywell mobile computers in combination with Operational Intelligence have the unique ability to provide location tracking information while the devices are in use. An example of Operational Intelligence locationing follows:

Customer Description: Large retailer with 2,500 mobile computers deployed across 500 stores.

Customer Issue: Customer is experiencing 20% lost or stolen mobile devices over a 3-year period, 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.

Customer Deployment Results. To enable this feature, a team member walked each store with a Honeywell mobile computer and identified key 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 various departments in the store. 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 department of the store for all available mobile devices. Store staff were instructed to always dock their mobile devices between normal usage tasks and always at the end of the day after store closing. Additionally, store staff were trained to never turn off the mobile devices, so they would always be sharing their location status.

The Store Operations team has three primary triggers for a lost device event: 1) Employee reports a lost device during the work day, 2) Device not docked at the end of day, and 3) A device misses two consecutive docking events throughout the work day. 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: 1) Mobile device was found among on-shelf merchandise but obscured from view, 2) Mobile device was found at the point-of-sale counter instead of being properly docked, 3) Mobile device was found in excess inventory boxes in the backroom, 4) Mobile device was found in discarded boxes intended for trash, 5) Mobile device was located in the washroom or employee breakroom area, and 6) 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, the more predictable it became to anticipate mobile device docking events. Measuring these docking events greatly helped to 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 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.

Conclusion

Honeywell Operational Intelligence is a cloud-based platform to manage the complete lifecycle of your assets. Operational Intelligence aggregates lifecycle and workflow information into a single, flexible tool to capture data, enforce processes, and provide visibility across the entire device workflow for your heterogeneous environment. Operational Intelligence is also capable of communicating with Honeywell devices to gather deep metric and telemetry data; provide software, configuration, OS, and firmware updates to the devices; and track indoor device location.

Operational Intelligence is a powerful analysis software engine that provides dashboards to support your troubleshooting efforts. At Honeywell, we believe in the power of intelligence and design products to give you more of it. That’s why we have been systematically adding powerful “self-analyzing” toolsets to all of our hardware products. These embedded tools we call “Edge Intelligence” are capable of methodically capturing hundreds of performance data points from our devices as they are being used in your operations. When this data is compiled and analyzed, it opens amazing insights into many problems common to AIDC technology users.

Operational Intelligence delivers results that have been previously unattainable with any one solution. These include:

  • Assign assets to unique departments and locations for accountability.
  • Receive real-time status updates on assets returned for repair to reduce help desk status calls.
  • Define self-service checklists to follow prior to RMA issuance to reduce NFF returns and create accountability.
  • Simplify the RMA process by consolidating and standardizing the lifecycle management processes by digitizing your service and repair workflow, ensuring global consistency and simplifying the process for all employees.
  • Control corporate shipping methods through automated integration to understand and reduce shipping costs.
  • Minimize size of spare pools, reducing upfront capital expenditure.
  • Properly allocate devices to locations and departments based on usage to improve productivity.
  • Track connected mobile devices in operation and unconnected mobile devices through their service repair workflow and back into operations or spare pools to reduce lost devices.
  • Reduce wasteful spend on unnecessary equipment purchases by analyzing device utilization and alerting supervisors to underutilized devices that could be relocated.
  • Receive device lifecycle analytics to make informed decisions to refresh devices, spot reoccurring device issues, and identify individual problem devices.
  • Track and locate devices to minimize lost devices.
  • Minimize productivity loss with real-time notifications for printer jams and out-of-media and ink issues.
  • Increase device uptime and availability by providing predictive notifications about pending maintenance needs or consumable replacements such as batteries, labels, printheads, and more.
  • Track dropped and high-impact events on the devices to understand the care and use of the devices.
  • Understand battery usage to drive behavior changes to extend the lifespan of batteries.
  • Receive recommendations and make informed decisions regarding battery replacements based on health.
  • Device OS and firmware update capabilities and versioning tracking so you can have visibility into security vulnerabilities and can patch devices to enforce compliance and mitigate risk.
  • Integrated dashboards, KPIs, alerts, and notifications to provide device usage and productivity degradation events to improve utilization and productivity.

If you want to learn how Operational Intelligence can help you better manage your mobile assets, contact Honeywell today at https://www.honeywellaidc.com/solutions/workflow/operational-intelligence.

Barry J. Ewell
SPS BLOG EDITOR

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.