The Sky is not the Limit

Technology is not limited to the ground.  It is ever evolving, and airlines around the world are working towards the integration of further technology when planning their development.

EasyJet, for example, has introduced wearable uniforms for its crew and ground staff. The suit is fitted with hems and LEDs on the shoulders and can provide visual guidance to passengers. It is also equipped with built-in microphones to enable direct communication with passengers. Additionally, the uniform also has a LED-based scrolling ticker, on the lapel jacket, which displays basic information such as the number of the flight, the flight destinations and lighting guidance in case of emergencies.

Virgin Airlines have also implemented IoT into their Boeing 787. Every single element on the plane is attached to a wireless aeroplane network, providing real-time IoT data on elements like performance, maintenance etc. The airline is using the deluge of data that it is collecting through these flights to improve the efficiency of the aircraft and also being pro-active. For example, a jet engine that is performing poorly mid-flight is relaying that information to ground staff throughout its journey, and when the plane lands, airport engineers can then be ready to look into the issue.

Founded in the late 1990s, Allegiant Air is a low-cost airline operating across America. From small cities to world-class destinations, Allegiant finds a way to make air travel both affordable and leisurely. As a major air carrier, it is the ninth-largest commercial airline in the US. It is wholly owned by Allegiant Travel Company, a publicly traded company with 4,000 employees and over US$2.6 billion market capitalisation.

With flights from 115 destinations across the country, Allegiant has recently found itself in the midst of a digital transformation.  The pilots and flight attendants depend on fully charged and up-to-date iPads to perform their jobs. Sometimes the devices are broken or lost and there is an immediate need for a replacement iPad. In the past, Allegiant would be dependent upon an IT team member to manually replace an iPad, which is time-consuming and expensive. Now with a LocknCharge FUYL Tower at every Allegiant employee lounge in airports across the US, the replacement iPad process is simplified, and they can keep business running 24/7.

The FUYL Tower by LocknCharge has been beneficial for everyone at Allegiant Air. Now, pilots can swap out their broken or dead iPads with fully-charged new ones from the tower. This allows the aircraft to fly as scheduled with no delays. Furthermore, flight attendants can now check-out iPads when they come to work.

Even the IT team loves the FUYL Tower as they can now see all 14 Allegiant Airport base FUYL Towers through one login.  This allows them to effectively push out iOS updates over the air via JAMF to a specific iPad.

Prior to implementing the FUYL Tower, the Allegiant Air team had to independently replace each iPad that was lost or broken, costing them both time and money.

LocknCharge is proud to help airlines like Allegiant Air stay charged and connected in the sky and beyond. 

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An Apple a Day

Apple Charging Station for Multiple Device

Apple and LocknCharge – name a more iconic duo. We’ll wait.

Apple & LocknCharge

When it comes to picking mobile device charging stations and syncing devices for your school’s Apple products there is only one obvious choice – LocknCharge Apple charging stations. We have partnered with Apple for nearly 9 years now to offer you the best solutions for your iPads and MacBooks. In fact, over the years we have become the only globally exclusive provider of Apple charging station for multiple devices via charging carts and stations.

We are fostering a new way of managing and distributing Apple devices. Our Basket-based carts and charging stations are changing the way iPads and Macs are deployed, managed and used in a classroom or business.  Innovative features like our Baskets and a top-loading design can significantly speed up deployment time – up to 70 hours per 30 unit Cart compared to a traditional cabinet-style cart. On average, these solutions save educators and business-owners alike over two weeks of time. Now you can spend less time deploying your tech and more time doing what matters.

Our solutions aren’t just beloved by teachers – your IT staff will be huge fans of the heavy-duty security LocknCharge solutions provide to protect devices. A lifetime warranty on our solutions and the pre-wired options available for select carts and stations available through Apple will make IT staff’s life easier.

No matter if you have 5 iPads or 30 MacBooks, you’ll be sure to find a LocknCharge solution that works for you and your classroom. We offer everything from syncing stations that keep your technology updated, to charging carts that allow you to move your iPads with ease throughout the school. Find all of our solutions here.

Still not convinced? Check out this testimonial from Putnam City Schools and learn how the flexibility and scalability of our solutions allows them to deploy over 17,000 iPad devices.

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Fun Company Culture is no Joke

It may seem contradictory to have the words “fun” and “work” together in the same sentence, and for many it is. Work hard, play hard, right? In recent years, however, it has become increasingly obvious how important having a fun company culture is.

Your business’s culture should be as unique as a fingerprint – it defines how you do business and how others interpret your business. At LocknCharge, our culture reflects the way that we want our employees, customers, and partners to feel when they work with us – that we make their life easier.

“We inspire this by trying to always challenge status quo, to not create barriers to doing business and enabling employees to think that way,” said Stephanie Gassen, Global Vice President of Marketing. “Are we perfect at always embodying our culture exactly how we want it – in no way – but we are becoming experts at recognising when something doesn’t fit and we act quickly to steer things back in the right direction.”

According to a 2014 survey by consulting firm Mercer, voluntary turnover is up 5% since 2011, and it is thought due to more millennial workers who are likely to have had twice as many jobs over their lifetime as baby boomers, job hopping seems to be becoming the norm. 

Perhaps social media and the rise of online communications can also be attributed to driving job change, highlighting any gaps in employers treatment of employees (good or bad), as everything is shared now online.

But with an average cost of replacing an employee set at around 21% of a person’s salary, it makes sense to keep your current employees happy and motivated.

One of the ways we’ve been redefining our culture at LocknCharge is by implementing fun initiatives for the entire team.   At LocknCharge, we pride ourselves on having an EPIC team, built on Excellence, Positivity, Integrity and Collaboration. We take great care in bringing in individuals to our organisation that can embody these values – having cross-functional interview teams and a rigorous screening process to bring in high-talent with EPIC values.

We’ve been recognised for our workplace culture – by winning Best Places to Work in Madison, USA, as well as Madison’s Most Innovative Company.

So what tips do other companies have for creating a great working environment?

The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2019 believes that it is more important than ever to celebrate the businesses and organisations that strive to make a difference.  Some examples of how some of their winners for 2019 have done just that are below:

Admiral Group

At Admiral every day is a dress-down day and office breakout areas come with ping-pong tables and games consoles. Fun? There’s a dedicated “ministry” for that, taken over by a different department monthly, each aiming to outdo the previous one by coming up with ever more imaginative ways of raising a smile during the working day, from circulating cat videos to staff quizzes and fancy dress. Charity fundraising is similarly ingrained.

There is method to the fun and games. “Insurance is a complicated business, and the longer people stay with us the better they are at their job. One advantage of people enjoying being engaged is we have really good retention. It’s hard for someone to steal our best people,” explains Chief Executive, David Stevens.

Connect Catering

Focusing on staff engagement helps Connect win contracts. “We get really smiley people who we love working with, and our clients are happy.” says Managing Director, Kate Bendall.

“The staff restaurant is a company benefit,” she says. “It’s a place to come to and mix with people, which helps with the client’s own staff engagement.”

Culinary flair is encouraged, and the firm has its own trainers delivering full courses and refreshers in kitchen skills such as sushi preparation, sugarcraft, catering for special diets, artisan breadmaking, dry ice and fish cookery. Innovation trips such as a recent outing to street food stalls in east London and to trade shows also help keep employees’ passion for food alive.

UkFast

Pioneering computer programmer Grace Hopper and three other tech legends have had their names commandeered by digital hosting provider UKFast as monikers for the four teams that compete for its “house cup”. Employees are allocated to a team to take part in challenges throughout the year around themes such as sport, coding and baking.

Winners are awarded points for their house with the top team — and biggest individual contributor — crowned at the firm’s Christmas party. The employee-engagement initiative, introduced by the business last year, encourages cross-departmental interaction, with teammates liaising on company app Fastbook.

MoneyPenny

A collective of employees, the Veg Patch Pennies, manage a communal allotment in the grounds of Moneypenny’s offices in north Wales. The telephone answering service encourages staff involvement in environmental pursuits as part of the Wrexham firm’s aim to “lead the way in making positive changes to our environment”.

The idea arose via a staff suggestion box tool on the Workplace by Facebook platform, introduced last year to improve communication across the 601-strong firm. The green-fingered collective, which distributes the harvested produce among the workforce, is representative of the firm’s environmental motto: “Together changes everything.”

Has this ignited your creativity and inspiration for your staff?  What are some ways you harness your company’s culture?

We would love to hear your ideas – share them with us on our socials Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

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How Customer Feedback has Shaped our Product Lineup

You talk, we listen. Not every business can say that truthfully. Our customers are so valuable to us because their feedback inspires innovation and evolution with every new product. They may be surprised to learn just how valuable they are to LocknCharge; customer feedback has, in fact, influenced several of the products in our lineup. Take a look at how we gather this intel and use it to create products that save you time, money, and stress.

Overall, as we strive to make life easier for all our customers, we understand that the best way to drive new innovations and product improvement can come from no better source than our customer base. We strive towards being a partner with all of our customers, not just a vendor. All of our staff from our owners, CEO, to the warehouse team, are out in the field and working, listing and trying to improve the customer experience. Because for consumers, customer experience will become more important than price and product by 2020.

We have several processes in place to ensure we capture feedback from our customers, including:Customer Feedback

Surveys

We currently run several different surveys to understand how customers and businesses evaluating our solutions feel about them.

    • Customer purchase – After purchase, we send our customers a survey to find out why they selected us. This helps us better understand what features and services we need to keep as a top customer benefit, as well as those they didn’t like. Additionally, we ask each and every customer how we could improve our current offering.
    • Decided not to purchase  – For every person who evaluated our solutions and didn’t select it, we ask them what problem they were trying to solve with the solution and the main reason they didn’t pick us.
    • Customer loyalty – Every month we send out surveys to our customer base to determine how happy they are with their partnership with LNC. The survey asks them to give us specific feedback on why they feel the way they do.
    • Support – We know there are times when people need some support.  It’s a customer service fact that nine in ten Americans use service to gauge whether or not they will do business with a company.  Whether it be a product set up, query, or just some advice, whenever someone has an interaction with our support team, we send them a survey to help understand their experience and ensure we answered their questions.
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These surveys provide insights about products, service and more. Every comment is reviewed and cataloged, with the aim of extracting different product improvement suggestions or pain points customers may be experiencing with our solutions. After that, our innovations team reviews the feedback and determines if we should implement some of the comments into our future enhancements. We try to understand what makes our customers happy and their life easier this helps us ensure we don’t get rid of the features that customers love!

Events

We are proud to attend many events across the globe every year. At each one, we have the chance to interact with our customers and potential customers and hear what their needs are. If customers are having issues with our products, we track that information via our event scanners, and after the event, we can follow-up and try to fix their issues. Other times, we may adjust our product lines from the feedback.

One great example comes from the BETT show in 2018.  A customer shared their thoughts about how we could improve the lid on our Joey Cart. Due to this feedback, and other comments we heard, our product was completely remodeled and we changed the way the doors closed to make an even more ideal product for our customers. In addition to this, at some of these events, we hold a customer advisory session. The customers who attend these sessions to get a sneak peek at upcoming product launches, and they see a version of the product before it is completely finalized. We invite them to critique the product: we want the good, the bad AND the ugly. With this feedback in mind, we adjust our final design.

Great Partnerships

Carrier 15 Charging Station for any device type

Carrier 15 Charging Station

We are always striving for great relationships with our customers and these relationships often produce some of the best product ideas and developments. Don’t believe us? Here are two examples:

  • Denton ISD  wanted a wall charging station that is mounted to the wall so they could reduce the amount of floor space used in a classroom. LocknCharge offered them our Carrier 10, Denton liked it, but their classroom size was bigger than 10, and they really needed a 15 unit. They had been a great LocknCharge partner and talked with us to help us understand their issue. LocknCharge added the Carrier 15 to our product line to help Denton ISD and other schools in the same situation.
  • Putnam City Schools – Putnam city is a long time customer of LocknCharge. They had many LocknCharge products but were having an issue with reduced space in the classroom. They came to us and drafted a product they thought would be perfect, on the back of a napkin. We agreed it would be awesome, and began working on creating the new product. Putnam City Schools acted as the beta customer and tested the new product before it was officially launched into the market. LocknCharge, now proudly sells an entire line of Putnam products, including: Putnam 16, Putnam 8 and Putnam 18-C Base.
    The Original LocknCharge Device Basket

    The Original LocknCharge Device Basket

Basket Evolution

Our basket evolution has been driven both by customer feedback as well as the need to adapt to the device landscape.  In the nine years that LocknCharge has been in the USA, we have had 5 different basket designs. Our first basket did not entirely match up to our standards and customer expectations.

Basket version #2

Unhappy with the feedback, we designed a new basket.  Both these early baskets were designed to accommodate 10 iPads.

We soon partnered with Samsung and realized that our baskets would not work with their devices due to power plug location on the device.  In response, we designed a more universal basket to work with all tablets.

Feedback on this basket was much more positive, yet we still had customers suggesting that they would like a smaller basket that held fewer devices. We subsequently designed a smaller, 5 unit basket, and incorporated colors.

LocknCharge Basket version #5

Once more, this was great for tablets, but the arrival of Chromebooks soon made obvious the need for a basket that would work with 11”-13” notebook style devices. We think you can see where this is going: a new basket was designed!

LocknCharge takes a lot of pride in listening to our customers and utilizing their feedback to develop and improve their products. We always have our pulse on the industry, and that helps us continue to evolve and stay relevant in education, retail, healthcare, manufacturing and more!

 

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