Evaluating Charging Solutions for Your Restaurant

Many restaurants are planning to or already have implemented mobile point of sale in their restaurants to speed up transaction times and increase sales. We're here to show you how selecting the right charging station for your program can make an instant and lasting impact on your bottom line.

As a restaurant owner, we know you have hundreds of things you could be doing other than evaluating charging stations. So, we're taking the guesswork out of that process for you.

Watch this video to learn about:
  • Evaluating charging solutions and roadblocks you may face
  • Reasons why restaurants are choosing the Putnam 8 or 16 by LocknCharge
  • Features of the Putnam that make life easier for restaurant owners/managers and employees
  • 3 Simple options to order a Putnam Station
  • How easy it is to setup your pre-wired Putnam Station

Learn more about how LocknCharge helps restaurants deploy mobile technology on our dedicated restaurant page. 

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Healthy Devices, Healthy Employees: 5 Tips for a Safe Return to Work

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Is your organization preparing for remote employees to return to the office? Keep in mind, when your team members come back, so do their contaminated laptops, tablets and phones. Streptococcus, MRSA and E. coli have all been found lurking on devices. Nonporous surfaces like smartphone screens can also make them a perfect environment for the coronavirus.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to have infection control policies, procedures and training in place. You must also provide infection control supplies. If an organization doesn’t take reasonable steps to protect employees, it could be held liable for a coronavirus transmission in the workplace.

As you create a plan for a safe return to work environment, it’s essential to include steps to mitigate the risks of maintaining and sharing devices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re here to help with five tips to reduce the spread of smartphone bacteria and infections by improving sanitization and limiting physical interactions.

The more layers of effective interventions that are implemented, the less likely your business will contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
—Cleveland Clinic
Tip 1: Clean Your Hands and Your Devices

No single tactic for keeping employees safe is 100% effective, advises the Cleveland Clinic. However, multiple layers of effective interventions serve as safeguards when used together. “The more layers of effective interventions that are implemented, the less likely your business will contribute to the spread of COVID-19.” In addition to masks, social distancing, routine cleaning and frequent handwashing, device sanitization can reduce infection risk and increase workplace device safety.

By touching a contaminated surface, then texting and making calls, your phone can become a culprit for spreading infection. By lowering germs on surfaces through proper sanitization methods, you’ll break free from the endless loop of cross-contamination.

While alcohol-based wipes will disinfect touch screens, they take upwards of three minutes to be effective. The UVone™ UV-C Disinfection Station is a better way to disinfect touchscreens because it works in just 30 seconds—six times quicker than traditional wipes. UV-C light also disinfects in a consistent manner, making it more reliable and efficient than wipes. Plus, it is the perfect zero touch solution to ensure technology cleanliness and does not degrade the integrity of devices over time.

Tip 2: Create an Overnight Charging Location for Shared Devices

Recently, the Little Friends® nonprofit agency transitioned back to in-person schooling at its new facility. With staff and students’ health and safety in mind, plexiglass partitions were installed, social distancing and mask protocols were adopted, and a nightly cleaning schedule was implemented. In addition to these mitigation measures, the administrators sought a way to give parents the assurance that shared iPad devices were routinely sanitized. They also needed a comprehensive strategy for charging, storing and securing shared iPad devices.

The decision was made to mount a UVone next to a Carrier™ 10 Charging Station in each classroom so that devices can be quickly sanitized before storing and charging overnight. This overnight charging solution goes beyond a school setting to fit into any work environment.

If your employees share tablets or hand-held devices, a designated overnight charging location in your office gives everyone peace of mind. Your staff will know that their shared devices are disinfected and fully charged at the start of each shift. You’ll have the confidence that company devices are stored securely and not at risk for costly data breaches.

Tip 3: Deploy a Zero-Touch Model for Maintaining Mobile Devices 

Maintaining social distancing protocols is challenging when broken equipment needs to be exchanged and new equipment distributed. One way to make office-based employment safer is through contactless device distribution. Here are just three of the ways FUYL Towers can eliminate physical interactions between IT teams and employees. Start by choosing an accessible location at your facility to place one or more FUYL Tower 5 or 15 stocked with sanitized, ready-to-go devices, then:

  • Deploy devices
    For employees who need a new device, provide easy access to tablets and laptops.
  • Provide Loaner/Break-Fix Devices
    For employees who need to exchange a broken device or check out a loaner, easily swap the failed device or provide a replacement.
  • Distribute Other Essential Equipment

For employees who need more than just a laptop to perform their jobs, simplify the distribution of tools, paperwork, lost cables and more.

Tip 4: Don't Forget Your Remote Workforce 

Despite many schools and offices reopening, the remote workforce is not going away in a post-Covid world. Recent forecasts estimate at least 25% of employees will continue to work from home multiple days a week. If your staff is fully or partly remote, technology mishaps are bound to happen at home or as they’re lugging devices to and from the office. Not to mention the increase in forgotten charging cords, power supplies and other vital equipment.

When nearly 20% of mobile devices break or go missing each year, the burden usually falls on IT staff. These responsibilities drain your tech team’s time, and broken devices add significant downtime for employees who can’t work.

Have you ever asked yourself just how much time your IT department wastes physically running around gathering and replacing broken devices or supplying cables? By centralizing and automating your time-wasting manual break/fix program with a smart charging locker, you could save hundreds of hours a year. A FUYL Tower 5 or 15 allows you to keep several devices charged, secure and connected in a location in your building that onsite workers or nearby remote workers can access. With FUYL Towers, a manual process that once took an hour to complete now takes less than a minute!

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Tip 5: Lean on Us

We’re on your team, helping to plan your defense against the spread of germs and keep your office-based employees and remote workforce healthy! In such a tumultuous time, technology that works for today and is flexible for the future is more valuable than ever. LocknCharge products are backed by a lifetime warranty, exceptional customer support, and a lot of good listeners.

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Baskets are Good for Business

There’s a reason why baskets have been around for centuries. From babies to bread, our prehistoric ancestors understood how useful baskets are for carrying, storing and transporting just about anything. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. Thousands of years later, we’re still using baskets to transport our groceries and store our laundry. Just as baskets help make chores and shopping faster and more efficient, it turns out baskets are good for business too! Whether you’re offering in-person training, managing a distribution center or facilitating vaccinations, if your operational process includes sharing devices, our Basket system provides multiple benefits. LocknCharge slotted device Baskets enable hand-out and pack-up of devices in less time, giving you more time to focus on operational goals.

Top 5 Ways Baskets Benefit Business

  • Save time: Enable hand-out and pack-up of devices in less time
  • Prevent breakages: Keep devices more secure in public spaces
  • Streamline distribution: Easily carry multiple devices between classrooms, workrooms or buildings
  • Save cash: Reduce money spent on broken or stolen cord replacements
  • Future-proof: Transport a wide variety of devices, including laptops and tablets or devices with extra-thick cases

Distribute Devices in a Matter of Seconds

“We have limited time with the participants, so being able to grab a smart device Basket and placing them on a table give participants immediate access to the devices. I can do that in a matter of seconds which meets our need tremendously.”

- Gene Howell, Manager for Educational Technology at Australian Institute of Management in Western Australia.

The Australian Institute of Management in Western Australia (AIM WA) is dedicated to building leadership and management capability. Their suite of training courses attracts over 20,000 participants each year. Most classes require each participant to have immediate access to technology. There’s no time to waste distributing shared devices.

Slotted device charging Baskets by LocknCharge make device deployments more efficient, allowing for quick distribution and collection by the trainer. At AIM WA, iPads are stored and charged in Carrier 30 Carts in Baskets of five. When it’s time to set up for each class, the trainer slides open the secure Cart lid, takes out a couple of Baskets, and places them on tables for each participant to grab. Participants no longer have to wait in line then take out a device one by one as they would with a traditional cabinet-style laptop cart. When students start learning immediately vs. lining up, 70 hours of class time is saved per year.

Reloading the Cart is a simple three-step process:

Step 1: Put devices back into technology Baskets with their charging ports facing up

Step 2: Place Baskets into the Cart

Step 3: Plug charging cords into the devices

Cords that stay in the Cart dramatically reduces the number of broken, misplaced and stolen cords. In addition, Carts can be easily wheeled between classrooms to safely and quickly distribute devices where they’re needed most.

Facilitate Healthcare on the Go

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving demand for healthcare providers to go on the road to facilitate healthcare. Where there’s a testing and immunization event in the field or a mobile health clinic, there’s a need for devices and a way to charge, store and secure them.

FEMA’s Community Vaccination Centers Playbook recommends 100 iPads for facilities distributing up to 6,000 vaccination doses a day. These devices can be used for patient registration, scheduling and clinical documentation. At COVID-19 testing stations, staff members can also use iPads to scan patients’ insurance information quickly.

Whether sharing a hundred devices or a dozen, Baskets are an efficient method to speed up device deployment. At the start of the day, a worker grabs the Baskets from a secure Carrier Cart and sets them out to be easily accessed by the nursing teams. During their shifts, nurses return devices to the Baskets as a centralized, safe place to store them when not in use. At night, all devices are placed in Baskets which are then placed into Carts for charging.

Because baskets are removable, Carrier Carts offer an open-concept that adapts for healthcare providers on the road—making them the ideal solution for mobile blood banks and clinics. The fleet of vans operated by the Community Blood Center (CBC) travels throughout Kansas and Missouri fully stocked with everything necessary for a blood donation procedure. When each van moves multiple laptops, tablets, keyboards, wireless printers, webcams, and all of their power supplies, the task can be pretty daunting.

The blood bank needed a “mobile device kit” that could easily charge, store, secure and transport a wide variety of mobile devices and all necessary power supplies. They found success in the LocknCharge Carrier 40 Cart. Because of the open-concept design, they removed half of the Baskets and retrofitted their own padding and shelf to accommodate their unique needs.

Read the Mobile Blood Bank Case Study

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7 Surprising Lessons We Learned During the Pandemic

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What a year it’s been. At the start of the pandemic, we scrambled to find the time to navigate a work from home world. We filled our days with setting up remote offices and the seamlessly unending homeschooling challenges while trying our best to keep our families fed and our kids entertained. After shifting gears and getting ourselves headed in the right direction, we have more time on our hands. We’ve gotten the hang of this whole Zoom thing, and we’re making good use of the hours we used to sit in traffic.

We won’t deny that we were a bit overwhelmed at first. But now that we’ve caught our breath, we can step back and reflect on the many positives that came out of the chaos. With some perspective, we understand that the hectic times helped us boil down what’s important and take risks we may never have taken otherwise. Most of all, we’ve realized how grateful we are for our personal and professional connections. Despite the physical distance, we’ve struggled and innovated, scrambled and prioritized, and cried and laughed—together. Now more than ever, we know our strength lies in our community.

Our team recently got together to review what we’ve learned over the past twelve months. We want to share with you a few of the surprising lessons that emerged from our discussion.

1. Nothing Can Replace a Face-to-Face Visit

In other words, we sure do miss you! In “normal” times, our schedules are packed with tradeshows and customer visits. The pandemic has taught us that every frenzied second spent planning these events and traveling around the world is well worth it.

While we’ve adapted with online meetings, video demos and instructional webinars, we’ve discovered that something is missing. And that something is the spectacular spontaneous collaboration that happens when we’re face-to-face with friends, customers and partners.

There’s no replacement for chilling and charging with thousands of imaginative educators at ISTE or healthcare heroes at HETT. In-person interactions at shows like these are where we’ve gotten many of our big ideas. At one past BETT show, customers told us how our Joey Cart could be enhanced. Based on their comments, we completely remodeled this multi-device charging station was with the end-user in mind. When we met with our long-time customer and partner, Putnam City Schools, we came away with their idea for the perfect product on the back of a napkin! 

2. Educators and Schools are Invaluable

While we knew this long before COVID, this past year has reinforced that teachers, faculty and support staff are invaluable. Educators worldwide stepped up to teach us that “school” isn’t a building. Many of us experienced first-hand what it’s like to be a teacher. We’ll let our kids tell you just how that went.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Let’s just say the #SchoolofLock made us even more thankful for superstar educators around the world!

3. Digital Transformation Went From Planning for the Future to RIGHT NOW

97% of executives say COVID-19 sped up digital transformation making it the digital accelerant of the decade. Check out these excellent examples of how both schools and organizations have risen to the occasion, innovating and making lemonade out of lemons.

To meet the exponential increase in traffic at drive-throughs caused by indoor dining closures, many fast-food and fast-casual restaurants have deployed hand-held devices to speed up the ordering process. One LocknCharge customer now moves 200 cars through their drive-through per hour when they equipped their employees with iPads charged and secured with Putnam Charging Stations.

At the start of the pandemic, the San Francisco USD Department of Technology quickly developed a plan for the safe and successful deployment of devices to nearly 5,000 educators. As part of this plan, SFUSD strategically placed four LocknCharge FUYL Tower Smart Lockers at the district’s centrally-located main office, where they could be accessed beyond regular office hours and even on weekends. Each bay is equipped with one ready-to-go device, which simplified the process of distributing and maintaining devices to three easy steps without the need for any face-to-face interaction or Help Desk interruption.

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4.  Who You Buy from Matters as Much as What You Buy

The 9-5 workday is obsolete. If an emergency happens, or you need support outside of what were once regular business hours, customer service and tech support must be available. The past year has highlighted the importance of partners over vendors who stand by you through tough times. Great partners commit to keeping projects on track and go above and beyond to provide the best outcome.

With tight budgets only getting tighter, great partners also ensure that your investment will be a good one for many years to come, offering future-proof products backed with a lifetime warranty.

5. The Use of Technology Kept Our Relationships Going

While nothing can substitute face-to-face meetings and human touch, the reality is that many of those interactions aren’t possible during a pandemic. Thankfully, technology has served as a vital link connecting teachers with students, doctors with patients and coworkers with each other. The frontline healthcare workers at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine also found that technology helps ease hospitalized patients’ discomfort.

After witnessing patients struggling while separated from loved ones, the resident physicians and medical students asked for donations of tablets to facilitate video conferences with family and friends. Through the #ConnectingThroughCovid initiative, countless expressions of love and prayers have been shared, easing loneliness and positively affecting lives.

6. Preparation Coupled with Flexibility is Key

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past year, it’s that there’s no way to predict the future. However, you can pivot more quickly and smoothly with the right preparation and a willingness to adapt.

With a district-wide commitment to technology and a future-proofed tech plan, Chicago’s Arbor Park School District was well positioned with the sudden shift to remote learning.

In the past two years, Arbor Park made a complete shift from shared desktop computers and mobile devices to a 1:1 program. After rigorous research and setting up a forward-thinking infrastructure, they moved quickly, which has helped acclimate students and staff at an even pace with little pushback. According to David Termunde, the Chief Technology Officer, “the extensive teacher training and professional development on new devices and platforms has certainly paid off during COVID-19.”

In just minutes, they also tweaked their smart locker workflow to enable a no-contact pickup location for replacement devices. Just like an Amazon locker, a FUYL Tower was relocated to a publicly-accessible location within the school. Parents place orders from the district’s ecommerce site. The school then fulfills the order by placing it in a FUYL Tower compartment. Parents follow simple email instructions to unlock and pick up their requests from their assigned FUYL Tower locker number.

7. Hand AND Device Hygiene is Critical to our Well-Being

We’ve known for a while that you can help yourself and those around you stay healthy by washing your hands often. With the hoarding of cleaning supplies at the start of the pandemic, it became abundantly clear that another critical step towards good hand hygiene is routinely cleaning and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces. Proper sanitization methods of doorknobs, desks, and last but not least, our devices can reduce the risk of spreading germs.

Healthy hand hygiene and device hygiene go hand-in-hand. While it may seem logical to disinfect devices overnight, disinfecting once per day may not be enough to stop the spread of viruses. As germs are spread by users touching devices multiple times a day, sanitizing them more often can prevent cross-contamination. With that in mind, the launch of our latest innovative product in mid-2020 couldn’t have been timelier. UVone UV-C disinfection for mobile devices works in just 30 seconds, making sanitization six times quicker than traditional wipes. Also, UV-C light disinfects in a consistent manner, making it more reliable and efficient than wipes—plus, it does not degrade the integrity of devices over time. We’re proud to do our small part to help mitigate the spread of viral bacteria anywhere devices are being used or shared.

What did you learn over the past year? We want to hear your stories! Share your joys and challenges, and let us know what we can do to support you best. We’re here to listen and help strengthen our community.

 

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Webinar: How to Integrate Break/Fix Workflow with FUYL Tower API

Originally Aired: 1/28/21

In this webinar, Jon Harrer, Technical Sales Rep at LocknCharge, covers how to integrate our FUYL Tower Smart Locker and LocknCharge Cloud software into an existing IT infrastructure.

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Reach out to Jon directly or "Contact Us" for a 60-day trial of FUYL Tower and the LocknCharge Cloud software.

Jon Harrer, Technical Sales Rep at LocknCharge
[email protected]  |  (920) 342-4258

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For more information, check out this article about streamlining and simplifying device exchange.

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