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Panasonic TOUGHBOOK Helps Drive Success at Raskone

Raskone, Finland’s largest commercial vehicle repair business, has saved time and improved inventory management with the roll-out of Panasonic rugged handheld devices and a custom-designed TOUGHBOOK Omnia application. The company is using the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK T1 rugged Android handheld warehouse solution including pistol grip, charging dock and custom-designed application to deliver a future-proofed sales invoicing and inventory management solution that reduces errors and improves efficiency.

Raskone Oy specialises in commercial vehicle maintenance, with 19 repair centres across Finland. The company has a turnover of approximately EUR 65 million and employs more than 500 professionals in the field. When Raskone mechanics receive service work orders, they collect the required parts from the warehouse and scan the product barcodes. The information collected is transferred from the mobile device to the central ERP system and also logged onto the customer’s work order for billing.

The previous handheld device, with a Windows operating system, had a small screen that was difficult to read and a small physical keyboard that was hard to use. Frustratingly, the software application would also lose settings and data if the device battery died during an assignment. These issues sometimes resulted in mechanics discarding the device, keeping track of spare part sales on pen and paper and manually reporting them to managers. In the worst cases, reporting and tracking were forgotten, leading to lower sales and poor inventory management.

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A move to Android

Raskone turned to Kauko Oy, a mobile computing specialist and the exclusive provider of Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices in Finland. It suggested using the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK T1 handheld device and using the TOUGHBOOK Omnia agile software development approach to create a bespoke application.

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The software was created by the TOUGHBOOK Omnia team using the MCL development environment. Developing, integrating and maintaining custom software applications across multiple devices can be a complex task. The MCL Platform simplifies this process. Custom apps can be designed quickly and easily deployed to multiple devices across any business. In addition, TOUGHBOOK Omnia brings down the time it takes to develop a bespoke application – from years and months to just weeks, or even days for proof of concepts – saving time and money.

“Compared to coding from scratch, the software development cost with Omnia was five times lower and delivery much faster,” said Maxim Demin, IT Team Manager at Raskone Oy. “The first demo version was ready two weeks after our initial meeting and we had a publishable version after a couple of months. Everything went so smoothly and quickly.”

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The mechanics now use the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK T1 handheld devices. It brings together the best of handheld and smartphone functionality into a single rugged 5″ device. With its voice and data capabilities, integrated barcode scanner, wide range of functionality and ability to withstand the testing environment of the repair centre, the TOUGHBOOK T1 handheld is the ideal tool for Raskone.

“The new solution has allowed us to shorten the time needed for logging the sales to our ERP system, reduce warehouse wastage, improve inventory management and spare part sales accuracy,” concluded Demin.

TOUGHBOOK Omnia and the new devices have also made life easier for Raskone’s IT department. For fast and effective deployment, QR code or NFC bump options enable Raskone to configure and roll-out devices to employees that are ready to use on arrival. With the devices always on and connected to the network, updates can be scheduled and deployed at convenience without touching the devices, asking users to update them or sending them back to head office.

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