Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fujitsu helps BearCom keep track of digital radios

Steve Rogerson
November 23, 2016
 
Japanese company Fujitsu is helping a North American provider of two-way radio wireless communications equipment manage and track its portfolio of rental wireless devices that are used to support many of the largest events in the country.
 
BearCom has chosen to use Fujitsu's GlobeRanger IoT tracking system. It is deploying the GlobeRanger iMotion IoT platform and GR-Aware asset tracking system to simplify the process of managing some 25,000 rental wireless devices.
 
These assets, which include high performance digital radios, are used by a broad cross section of customers including public safety professionals, at large-scale, high-profile events such as the Academy Awards shows and festivals such as Coachella. By implementing the IoT system, BearCom hopes to reduce significantly the time required to process approximately 16,000 contracts a year and streamline the management of 7000 to 8000 annual equipment transfers between its branches.
 
"The beauty of IoT technologies is their ability to be applied to a broad range of existing processes,” said Nabil Lodey, head of GlobeRanger. “In this case, the asset management process doesn't change – each step is just completed almost instantaneously and with minimal effort. The key to success is working closely with our customers' operational teams to fully understand their processes and the business challenges they want to address, and then working together to co-create and implement solutions that deliver real and measurable results and business value."
 
The inventory for equipment held by each of BearCom's 33 US branches does not remain static – it fluctuates as equipment is moved between locations as orders are fulfilled and returned.
 
Currently, each item must be manually scanned before transfer, which involves removing the radio batteries to access the barcode, and again on arrival. Rental orders are prepared and delivered to customers, then scanned again. Returns involve the same process in reverse. This means that it is time-consuming to ensure that all its equipment is exactly where it needs to be, especially when a single order can comprise up to 3000 individual devices.
 
By implementing GlobeRanger, the team should not only be better able to serve customers, but also experience fewer lost or mislaid devices.
 
"We've always done a good job of asset management, but scanning individual barcodes on more than 25,000 rental devices is a laborious task,” said Brent Bisnar, executive vice president at BearCom. “The new GlobeRanger IoT asset tracking system means we can simply wave a reader over a box to determine what's inside. Our customers will also benefit from faster equipment returns, which is a great competitive advantage for us. Importantly, we also expect that these efficiencies will give us more time to focus on our core business, improving our products and services and deepening our customer relationships."