Danone Brand, Blédina, Goes Paperless with iPad® Smart Charging Lockers to Improve Efficiency

February 2022 – Brive, France

Blédina automates IT and employee workflow with a shared iPad device program and FUYL Tower Smart Lockers.

Danone France Bledina Factory Image-Web

Background 

As the largest B Corp-certified company in France, Blédina is a leader – not only in the infant food market, but also in its commitment to making a positive impact on society and the planet. In 2020, Blédina embarked on a new and ongoing industrial performance and digital transformation program, utilizing iPad devices to go 100% paperless

Named after the platform their manufacturing team has adopted, “Project Poka” has allowed for digitized industrial training, industrial process training and industrial troubleshooting materials. Poka is a web and mobile app designed for manufacturers to support on-the-floor training, knowledge building and communication. With everything stored digitally, content is easier to track and archive, and staff safety and security have improved. 

Challenge

Rolling out new technology is a big undertaking, especially in a company with three production sites and 1,500 employees. Blédina needed a way to secure the new iPad devices and encourage users to take care of the devices during use. Reducing the risk of lost and stolen devices is critical – to avoid the expense of replacing physical assets, and also for protecting valuable company data. The success of Project Poka relied heavily on ensuring iPad devices are charged, connected and accessible at all times.

Solution 

Blédina decided that a check-in/check-out iPad workflow, with the ability to assign and restrict access to specific users based on RFID badges and User Groups, was what they needed. They found these capabilities and more in the FUYL Tower™ Smart Locker by LocknCharge.

As a complete hardware and software package with LocknCharge Cloud, Blédina was confident in knowing the FUYL Towers were a solution that would grow with them. They weren’t interested in investing in an entry-level locker system by another brand with a far less future-proof result.

The New Check-In/Check-Out Workflow

Results

To date, 37 iPad devices have been rolled out in their Brive factory. They are utilizing six FUYL Tower 5’s and one FUYL Tower 15, spread out across the factory floor. The contactless device sharing program has freed up valuable time for the Blédina management team, and everyone has been pleased with the results. 

Cloud Admins can remotely control locker access, which has helps in a variety of ways. For instance, when a user is returning a device they didn’t originally check out, the admin can remotely open a locker door on any of the seven FUYLs for them. No walking across the factory floor to meet them, and no significant interruption to their day.

Project Poka’s success has already begun a ripple effect throughout the company. One production line has been upgraded from a 5 to a 15-bay FUYL Tower due to demand for more devices. Devices are being used by engineers to report issues on a production line to a remote manager. The manager can receive a solution and troubleshoot immediately. 

The Blédina back-office team saw an additional opportunity to improve upon their own processes with the FUYL Tower, and now has an automated workflow with on-demand shared iPad devices. Quick and easy access to these securely stored iPad devices has made their production team meetings a lot more efficient.

The FUYL Towers, along with LocknCharge customer support, have been exceeding expectations at Blédina. LocknCharge released new Cloud features to smooth out some on boarding, troubleshooting and RFID card features for the team, enabling Blédina to scale their device roll out. 

What’s Next?

Blédina continues to further scale the roll out of more iPad devices and digitized content. They hope that production orders will be digitalized so staff can receive them in real time on the iPad device. They are also exploring API integration with their factory Active Directory as well as with the ServiceNow platform currently in use.

They have no doubt they’ll be utilizing new LocknCharge Cloud features in the future. They expect to find new use cases for the FUYL Tower – automating new workflows and finding new efficiencies to drive manufacturing excellence and lead by example for all Danone France brands.

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Taking Innovative Initiative in Manufacturing to Make Life Easier with Smart Lockers

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Background

In North America alone, a prominent global supplier of technology and services has more than 30,000 associates. With an established culture of continuous improvement, shaping change and striving for excellence, they employ engaged and motivated individuals who take ownership for the success of the business.    

IT site lead, Jeff, is one of those driven individuals. He is responsible for a vast fleet of laptops, barcode scanners and other hardware, servers, networks, wireless and everything that connects and helps run an entire 300,000+ sq. ft floor of a 24/7 manufacturing facility in Indiana. He’s also the lead on a project for implementing the best solution to secure, store, charge and assign mobile and tiny desktop devices across 120+ North American locations.

Challenge

Jeff is often pulled in many different directions throughout his day. He might get a call at any moment, requesting a replacement device, which means he needs to stop what he’s doing and meet an employee back in his office to assign a device to them that may or may not be fully charged and ready to go. In a plant of this size, this could literally mean a quarter-mile walk back to his office and a significant interruption to his other responsibilities.

Beyond that, there are three shifts of team leaders who use mobile devices. Jeff is just one person – he can’t be available around the clock. Other manufacturing facilities within the company do not have their own on-site IT professionals, so when they reach out for assistance from Jeff, you’re adding a few days of shipping time to the already cumbersome device replacement process.

To add one more layer of complexity, Jeff was one of many corporate employees working from home during the pandemic. A call for a replacement device then meant he’d have to coordinate with an on-site employee – often from HR or security – to get the equipment out of his office and to the user. The project quickly became a higher priority when COVID hit.

Solution

Jeff knew that an investment in something without cloud connectivity would leave them with the same inefficiencies and workflow challenges they were already facing. So, after scouring the internet for secure mobile device charging solutions, he narrowed in on two smart lockers.

Ultimately, it was the exceptional support from LocknCharge account managers and the aligning company visions between his company and LocknCharge that made the decision easy for Jeff. He piloted two FUYL Tower™ Smart Charging Locker demo units – one at his home plant in Indiana and one in South Carolina.

Results

Setup was easy, and the managers, users and business units seeing the FUYL Towers in action were instantly and unsurprisingly impressed. The cloud-based smart lockers quickly became an indispensable piece of three common IT services: deploying new devices, break/fix, and collecting devices as a part of employee off-boarding.

What used to be a 5-6 point workflow that took at least an hour of Jeff’s time per request has now turned into a single message that takes about a minute of his time - replying with the location of the Tower, which bay to use, and a PIN to enter for access to a fully-charged replacement.

The user can fulfill their own request on their own time - whether they’re in Indiana, South Carolina or Kentucky – where one business unit has already purchased two FUYL Towers of their own after seeing the demos.

What’s Next?

For Jeff, this partnership is just getting started. He envisions opportunities for FUYL Towers to streamline workflows across all business units and corporate offices.

Recognizing that the future-proof design of the FUYL Tower allows for serviceability in the field and over-the-air software and firmware updates, Jeff confidently sees FUYLs helping his teams manage new hardware investments like smart glasses and whatever else is to come. 

Jeff is living out his company's mission of innovation and bringing new technology into operations to improve efficiency and save the company time and money. He’s also living ours – making life easier.

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A “Textbook” Launch for Digital Textbooks at Vauban

Vauban’s blueprint for a successful launch of their 1:1 Take-Home iPad program.

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Background

Vauban is a private educational institution approved by the French Ministry of National Education. Located in Luxembourg, it was founded in 2017 from the merger of the French School of Luxembourg and the Lycée Vauban. It is part of Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), a unique network made up of 522* schools, located in 139* countries. With nearly 2,600 students in attendance, Vauban welcomes students from 3 years old to high school (Le Lycée). Their open and rigorous pedagogy ensures the mastery of fundamental knowledge, diversified training, rational use of technology, commitment to culture and attention to personal expression.

To support their approach to digital teaching and learning, students in secondary carry digital books on iPads, which significantly reduces the weight of student satchels. The iPad also allows teachers to make the necessary educational adjustments for children who, for example, benefit from a personalized support plan (PAP). To date, 1,600 iPads have been deployed for students and 300 iPads for teachers.

Planning Ahead

As part of this 1:1 mobile device program, each student becomes the owner and manager of their iPad. They are responsible for keeping their devices charged throughout the day. At the launch of this program, the Tech Team at Vauban had the foresight to implement the iPads and a secure public charging solution at the same time. Planning ahead has reduced some of the challenges–such as uncharged or stolen devices–that other schools have faced during their 1:1 take-home device program.

Solution

Mr. Sebastien Desjeunes, IT Service Manager at Vauban, met LocknCharge at the London BETT Show and discovered the FUYL Tower Smart Charging Locker. He saw value in the Tower’s public charging capabilities and the ability to provide a troubleshooting solution for students and teachers to charge their iPads securely during the day. The Towers work with the RFID card system that was already in place, making adoption of the solution seamless. Students and teachers are regularly and successfully using the Smart Lockers, and the program is running smoothly.

Public Charging Workflow

Securing,Charging and Retrieving a Device:

Vauban installed four FUYL Tower 15s in strategic places of passage like the school cafeteria and the hallways. One Tower is designated specifically for teacher use. Here’s how it works:

Future Planning

Part of the reason why Vauban originally chose the FUYL Tower solution is because of its future-proof design and its ability to adjust to multiple workflows: check-in/check-out, break/fix and loaners.

The next stage of the project is to equip four more grade levels with 1:1 iPads – which will bring their total iPad count to 2,600 and will include students ranging from elementary (L'Ecole Primaire) up to high school (Le Lycée). Vauban recognizes the strain an additional 1,000 devices will put on their Technology Team, so they plan to launch 4-8 additional FUYL Towers. The Team will use those Towers to automate their device exchange and equipment lending process by utilizing the LocknCharge Cloud. The web-based Cloud platform will track and manage access to any assets inside the Tower, saving the school considerable time and resources.

*2019 figures

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Mount Horeb Area High School Modernizes Facility with Secure Public Charging On Demand

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Background

The Mount Horeb Area School District serves 2,500 students in grades PK through 12. They were undergoing construction of a brand new addition to their high school when they came across LocknCharge. Committed to making the new space “state-of-the-art everything”, the district’s Director of Technology found the new FUYL Tower 15 very appealing. After comparing options and exploring all the features, it was a clear choice. The FUYL Tower was quality product, well worth the investment.   

Challenge

Students needed a way to securely charge their devices in public areas of the school so that devices were not lost, stolen, or broken while charging. Outlets can be hard to come by and do not provide protection against breakage or theft. 

Solution

The FUYL Tower solution offers the best pathway to modernizing facilities across the entire district. Innovative, on-demand, centralized, and secure charging lockers offer total convenience without expensive infrastructure updates. The new addition is the perfect place to start infusing thoughtful 21st-century design and amenities.

Results

Wall outlet use is minimized, keeping devices safe and sound while charging.

Students are in control. Students use the centralized Towers to store and charge their devices behind a door that is locked using their personal RFID badge.

Mount Horeb is able to establish itself as an innovative district from all aspects. Their investments will help to increase enrollment, which will benefit the school long term.

A FUYL Tower in “Public Mode” is available for anyone who needs fast and secure charging on demand. Examples include students who need a device charge during the day, environments where devices are prohibited, or for students facing housing insecurity.

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Little Friends Plans for Return to In-Person Schooling

Warrenville, IL

Background

Since 1965, the Little Friends® non-profit agency has been fulfilling lives regardless of challenge. Their groundbreaking programs empower people of all ages experiencing autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities to live, learn, work and thrive in their communities.

Not long ago, Little Friends moved to a new facility and can now provide more programming to the growing needs of those they serve.

Challenge

Variety of Devices Needs

The organization prides itself on providing programs for people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors–so it’s no surprise that device needs vary. Staff use mobile devices for record keeping, while teachers have laptops. iPads are available in Pre-K to 3rd-grade classrooms, and 4th graders and up are assigned Chromebooks. Various technology needs resulted in the need for a flexible solution to store, charge and lock many device types.

Smaller Class Sizes

Because class sizes are small with a max of 8 students per classroom, selecting compact charging solutions was key. Products that are easily accessible and fit well in the daily routine for both staff and students were an essential requirement.

Solution

Like the comprehensive plan Little Friends creates for each child, they also needed a comprehensive strategy for charging, storing and securing shared iPad devices. Having worked with LocknCharge before, Mike Briggs, President & CEO of Little Friends, was very familiar with LocknCharge solutions. He made what he referred to as an “easy decision” to purchase 25 Carrier™ 10 Charging Stations.

Wall-Mountable Carrier Charging Stations

Compact

These compact charging stations look great and don’t occupy floor or counter space when mounted to a wall.

Reliable

Carrier 10 easily does the job it’s supposed to do–charging, storing and securing devices. Cables and charging supplies stay organized in a separate compartment, allowing for quick plug-in after each use.

Flexible

With eight students max per class, a smaller charging station with a lower capacity met the needs of their 1:1 program.

Compatible

Carrier Stations are universal, meaning they work with most devices–including iPads, Chromebooks, laptops and tablets–which can be deployed with ease using Baskets.

What’s Next?

With grants, Little Friends will continue to invest in state-of-the-art technology, including robots to assist children with speech therapy. They’re committed to creating tech champions who explore innovative digital technology. The leadership team at Little Friends understands that these investments bring an incredible opportunity to incorporate new methods of teaching and learning.

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