To boost service, Loomis Armored US had to improve the flow of cash information among Loomis, its customers, and their banks. The company chose devices running the Windows Mobile® 6.1 operating system for messengers to send data to the data center where customers and their banks can access it. In addition, Loomis used a Windows Mobile device on customers’ safes to enable daily provisional crediting of deposits—before the cash leaves a customer’s premises.
Loomis Armored US provides armored transport services, cash management services, and the SafePoint™ retail cash management solution, which puts a “smart” safe on the customer’s site.
“Banks and customers want to know about pickups and deliveries right away,” says Wayne Sadin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Loomis. “But staff used logbooks and paper receipts, and entered data into our enterprise resource planning [ERP] system at night. The data was a day old when delivered. We needed a mobile device that armored car personnel could use to transmit information to our ERP system in real time. We could also use the device to track each car’s route and pickups and deliveries to help ensure personnel safety and the security of customers’ assets.”
Loomis wanted to offer customers a less expensive way of enabling daily deposits, other than hiring an armored car for daily cash delivery to the bank. “We tried a vendor’s packaged solution that displays information [about a safe’s contents], but it was unreliable,” says Robert Johnson, Director of E-Business at Loomis. “We needed a way to read and then transmit safe content data to the customer’s bank so the customer can receive daily ’provisional credit‘ before the money actually leaves the premises.”
Finally, Loomis wanted a better time-keeping solution to monitor vacations and overtime, and to measure job costs.
Loomis Armored US chose the Windows Mobile® operating system to solve its three issues. In 2008, the company deployed 2,200 Motorola MC70 handheld mobile computers running Windows Mobile 5.0 to armored car personnel. Drivers use the devices to capture bar code information, collect signatures, and transmit route, pickup, and delivery information. The devices transmit data through an AT&T virtual private network to the Loomis enterprise
||The power of Windows Mobile is that it’s an industrial-strength operating system that we can embed in different devices to improve package tracking, develop a profitable … safe business, and better manage … costs.
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Loomis Armored US
resource planning system for use by Loomis management and customers.
Loomis used Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and Microsoft BizTalk® Server Enterprise Edition 2006 R2 to build a connector to the ERP system. Loomis analysts use Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 Analysis Services and Reporting Services to analyze and share data.
For SafePoint customers, Loomis partnered with a safe manufacturer that had developed a “smart safe” with a Web-enabled processor running Windows Mobile. Loomis added the .NET Framework–based connection system. Customers deposit bulk cash through the safe’s “bill acceptor,” which scans the cash and sends the data back to Loomis systems at headquarters. From there, the cash data can be sent to the customer’s bank to begin earning revenue. Customers can see their cash balances using a SQL Server 2008 report delivered via a password-protected extranet built on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007.
For its timekeeping solution, Loomis installed 400 NOVAtime time clocks running Windows Mobile at 200 branches for employees to check in and check out.
In summer 2009, Loomis upgraded its handheld devices to Windows Mobile 6.1. “We recompiled our application on a test device, and it ran an amazing 50 percent faster,” says Sadin. “Every minute saved on route is a minute less fuel burned and a minute less risk exposure for a crew member.”
Loomis Armored US is benefitting from an extensible, user-friendly, and cost-effective solution that is increasing productivity, enabling better cost control, and improving customer service.
“The power of Windows Mobile is that it’s an industrial-strength operating system that we can embed in different devices to improve package tracking, develop a profitable … safe business, and better manage employee costs,” says Sadin. “We don’t have to support proprietary technology in these areas, saving us time and money.”
Loomis schedulers can use the data provided by the handheld computers to optimize drivers’ routes and manage their workloads better. And when messengers don’t have their heads down doing paperwork, they can look around more frequently to ensure their personal safety while working.
Because employees use the timekeeping solution to “clock in” to a specific job category, and this data is fed into the ERP system, Loomis can better track employee attendance and job costs.
Loomis is also improving customer service in many ways:
- Real-time information delivery. “With Windows Mobile and a network connection, we have real-time data about locations, cash in transit, pick-ups, drop-offs, and the contents of customers’ safes,” says Sadin. “If the system detects that a Loomis messenger picked up the wrong number of bags, we can display a message on the mobile device’s screen or take other steps to solve the problem immediately.”
- Increased value. SafePoint customers can get their accounts credited on the day that money is deposited in a safe on their premises. “Customers can receive credit to their accounts before the cash has been physically transported by our trucks,” says Sadin.
- Improved reliability and scalability. Prior to its new SafePoint solution, Loomis experienced 30 percent failure rates almost every night. “We went from 150 safes running the old technology platform to almost 700 with Windows Mobile, but our failure rate went down to 1 percent,” says Johnson. “Not only is our new platform more scalable, but it’s also more reliable.”