Circlon | Operate, the ITSM platform for mobile devices, makes device management smooth and efficient, even when considerable numbers have to be managed.

A total of around 45,000 devices from Zebra and Huawei have been in use at Hermes since last year. With such a large number of devices in use, it is very important that the pool of replacement devices is optimally coordinated and that a transparent replacement and repair process functions flawlessly. The Managed Services of the Circlon | group are geared to this with the Circlon | Operate system. Since 2017, some 15,000 ParcelShops at Hermes have been equipped with Zebra TC56 series touch computers for internal goods logistics in a large-scale campaign as part of the migration to the Android operating system. Shortly thereafter, 11,000 Huawei tablets were added for route planning and a further 18,000 TC75x series Zebra devices for the driver fleet (see "Life cycle management at Hermes").

Efficient management of cycles via device pool

Hermes now has around 45,000 devices that were registered in the Circlon | Operate system during the rollout. A generation of devices is expected to remain in use for approx. 5 years. This requires good service throughout the entire life cycle for the maintenance and repair of existing devices to ensure that daily operations run smoothly.

If a device fails, for example due to rough handling or battery problems, Hermes receives a replacement device from the Circlon | group pool of devices within a very short time thanks to the Circlon | Operate device management system. The repair process of the defective device is handled largely automatically and the repaired device is quickly returned to the Hermes pool inventory. This efficient cycle is typical of the Circlon | group approach.

Clear processes for repairs

In the event of repairs, tickets are triggered directly by the route supervisor at Hermes in the Circlon | Operate portal. All the devices at their location are clearly displayed via the portal and instructions are provided on how to repair them themselves in order to avoid sending them in as far as possible. If this is not successful, the Hermes route supervisor issues a fault description. For this purpose, the system displays the most common types of fault, which they can assign very easily and supplement with additional notes to the fault description using a free-text field. At the same time, the ITSM system generates a return material authorisation (RMA) number and the delivery note.

While the Hermes route supervisor is busy opening the ticket in this way, a message is already sent to the Circlon | group that an RMA has been triggered for a faulty device. With this message the Circlon | group can immediately notify the manufacturer Zebra about the repair in order to increase the plannability in the Zebra repair centre – needless to say, this information is also transmitted automatically via Circlon | Operate.

The dispatch of a replacement device from the pool inventory is now prepared immediately, i.e. a fully configured device, which is technically identical to the defective device, is shipped to the Hermes depot in an environmentally friendly, protected reusable shipping box with all the necessary documents. The replacement device arrives the very next day. The entire process is logged in detail in the ITSM system. To return the defective device to the Circlon | group, Hermes now uses the reusable shipping box with the delivery note and RMA. This is how easy it is to replace a device today.

Circlon | group takes care of the entire repair process

The experts at the Circlon | group subject the device sent in by Hermes to an incoming inspection, whereby in Circlon | Operate it is checked whether the information on the device fault is actually correct - in individual cases the fault description is corrected and specified in more detail. In order to reduce costs and environmental impact, the device goes to the collection point. If a certain number of devices is exceeded, a consolidated delivery note is generated and the devices are sent by consolidated delivery to the Zebra repair centre, where the preliminary information on the device defect that has already been sent online is available and retrieved. The repair centre is therefore already "forewarned", it can plan the repair well and carry it out efficiently.

Once it has been repaired by Zebra, the device is sent back to the Circlon | group, equipped with customer-specific software (staging) and returned to the Hermes device pool after cleaning and testing. This process is also mapped in detail in Circlon | Operate and can be viewed at any time by the Hermes route supervisor. In particular, you can always see how many devices are currently in the device pool and in repair, and where the defective devices are presently located and what condition they are in.

Productive working while repair process runs in the background

Process automation offers many advantages, most notably a great time saving through shortened service processes. Roland Lazina, Head of Process Design at Hermes Germany, says: "We can continue to work seamlessly due to the rapid delivery of a replacement device and we do not have to worry about repairing the defective device. We can call up all current information on the RMAs in the system at any time and use it for reporting, for example for evaluations and reports, as well as for future planning and optimisation. Time-consuming telephone calls are usually no longer necessary, nor is the hassle of updating Excel files for individual processes."

Process automation and end-to-end user guidance when filling out forms in the ITSM system significantly reduces susceptibility to error. The ability to plan the processing of a device replacement or repair process is improved, since an RMA is initiated early on and all subsequent 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 consolidated deliveries.

The closed-loop system during the repair process, which is completely mapped in Circlon | Operate, is a core competence of the Circlon | group and is optimised not only for Hermes, but also for each customer and, if required, individually adapted to the respective processes.


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