Retail’s Digital Transformation

In recent years, the retail industry has undergone a technological transformation that has lead retailers to revamp their mobile strategies and automate many services. According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, the retail sector will increase it’s technology spending 3.6% this year, for a grand total of $203.6 billion. Additionally, 75% of senior retail executives from Europe said they plan to invest heavily in developing mobile apps, coupons, and payments.

And it makes sense – there are countless benefits to utilizing new technology in the retail sector. With the proper technology, you are putting an emphasis on customer service. Now, your employees can make sales, check inventory and more without ever leaving the customer’s side. You can accomplish more with each customer and help foster relationships with each person who steps foot into your store.

Coupled with this, mobile point of sale, or mobile POS, has also lead to an uptick in sales for many retailers. A recent study by Stratix and IHL Group found that retailers in North America who employed mobile POS technologies saw their sales increase nearly 24% compared to those who did not.

As retailers have revamped their technology these past few years, a lot of them have forgotten one crucial component – a mobile charging solution. Recently, LocknCharge conducted a digital transformation study and found that 73% of organizations are failing to leverage secure charging stations.  While deploying new technology is great, it will be difficult for your business to reap the benefits without a proper deployment and charging solution.

Because so many retailers are failing to leverage a secure charging station, they are actually costing their company in more ways than one.  Device users are wasting valuable time looking for devices, only to find them partially charged or dead.

In addition to the time loss, these businesses are also putting themselves at serious risk for data breaches and more. Studies show that 10% of devices break or go missing each year of deployment and 41% of data breaches occur from lost or stolen devices. The cost of replacing these technologies and their valuable data? Nearly $50,000.

All of this could be avoided if retailers employed a secure mobile charging station with their technology. At LocknCharge, we offer a number of mobile charging stations that can be tailored to meet the needs of each business. We excel at developing comprehensive, effective charging solutions for clients like Tiffany’s and Hugo Boss that not only help keep their devices charged and secure but also improve workflow as well.

Portable charging stations like our CarryOn are the perfect solution to many tech problems retailers face. With the CarryOn, portability is taken to a whole new level. The CarryOn allows you to carry five devices, together with all the charging hardware and cables in one neat and compact unit. Now, your business can spend less time searching and charging devices and more time focusing on what matters – the customer. See how the CarryOn improved customer service and improved workflow at THRIVE Affordable Pet Care, located inside of Petco stores.

No matter what your business uses its technology for, whether it’s mobile POS or online orders, we have a charging solution for you. Enhance your retail business by browsing our products here.

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Technology Management is Central to Quality, Person-Centred Care

Background

There are 19 care homes in the Hallmark Care Homes network, where innovative and award-winning facilities are matched with the personal touch only a family-run provider can offer. All across England and South Wales, residents are enabled to live active, fulfilling lives because of Hallmark’s person-centered approach to care. Hallmark maintains a standard of excellence throughout their organization, and as such, continues to improve upon their offerings and processes. One recent upgrade included the launch of 135 tablets in tandem with a gradual introduction of a new electronic care planning system. This transition from handwritten care plans to electronic allows for better oversight and individually tailored care. It also improves inclusivity of family members, too, as they can access their relative’s plan or record.

Challenge

Undergoing a digital shift of this size always poses some logistical challenges. Initially, the tablets were left to charge on worktops, filing cabinets or the closest windowsill. Sorting through a spaghetti-like pile of cables or finding devices not fully charged properly was counter-productive, and sometimes charging ports were found damaged after being connected too hastily. Additionally, the tablets needed to be shared among many people – the teams within the care homes and visiting professionals alike. With heavy use of the tablets throughout the day, tidy storing and charging of the devices quickly became an important priority.

Solution

Hallmark’s external IT team suggested looking into CarryOn™ portable charging stations by LocknCharge. The ultra-mobile, aluminum cases each hold up to five devices for streamlined storage and simultaneous charging. They were the perfect solution. Hallmark purchased enough CarryOns to have one in every study of every home across their network. They used the included wall-mounting kits to hang the CarryOns – giving their devices a designated home base without giving up any floor or desk space.

Results

Capturing information on every patient interaction has become significantly easier with the new electronic care planning system. Instead of charting hours after a visit, caregivers are enabled to report real-time information on the devices. This information is also more accessible by senior management and support staff, allowing for oversight and further driving home person-centred care. The CarryOn charging stations have helped bring order to this new workflow. Hallmark even reports that they’ve not encountered any challenges with the deployment. The shared fleet of devices has become easier to manage and maintain, which ultimately impacts everyone – staff, caregivers, families and residents. Next on the horizon for Hallmark Care Homes is an app version of the same care planning software. This would open up even more on-the-go accessibility and communications improvements for the caregiving teams. Compatible with all iPad models and many other USB chargeable devices, the CarryOn is ready to keep up.

Download the Case Study here.

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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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