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Great Retail Deployments Start in the Warehouse

warehouse workers getting ready for deployments
Successful retail technology deployments require careful orchestration: Good site prep, the right hardware, skilled technicians, the correct software image and a road-tested implementation plan. The last thing a retailer needs to discover on the busy store floor during implementation day is that the hardware delivery is missing or incorrect. More than anyone, retailers know the cost of a mis-shipment.

A leading cause of store technology shipment errors is poor processes in the warehouse where all that equipment was collected and staged. That’s why Level 10 has invested in warehouse asset management best practices that go well beyond the industry standard.

Chain of Custody Protects Retailer’s Equipment

Retailers run warehouses, so they know that despite solid processes, exceptions occur and items go missing. That’s not acceptable when it comes to costly, mission-critical equipment needed for a retail store tech deployment. Delayed projects get very expensive, very quickly. Even a missing cable can bring progress to a halt.

So, Level 10 implemented a comprehensive asset management chain of custody system that tracks every item movement and everyone that touches a retailer’s equipment throughout our facility. We call it Landing Zones, and we have 11 of them across our building.

And then we backed it all up with an asset team whose only job is taking responsibility for asset movement and resolving exceptions. Here’s how that looks:

  1. It starts at the receiving dock, where we scan every carton as it enters the building.
  2. Next the shipment is opened and each item is received into our asset tracking system.
  3. Each item is placed into one of three types of vehicles: a plastic skid, a bread cart or a grey tote. A quick scan links that item with the unique ID on that vehicle.
  4. The warehouse employee who picks up that vehicle uses a Microsoft Surface tablet to associate themselves with the vehicle and the item, then delivers it to a put away zone.
  5. The put away worker takes custody of the item the same way, counts the shipment and scans again to associate the item with a slot.
  6. When the item is picked for repair or staging, that worker also scans both their own ID and that of the vehicle.
  7. The same processes govern movement to staging and shipping.

Thanks to this exacting process, Level 10 can determine the location of any item in any zone at any time. We can also see the history of the movement of every item, including who did the moving.

Taking Asset Management to the Next Level

While landing zones are beginning to grow among warehouses interested in best practices, few take the next step to assure the success of the concept: Implementing an asset management team.

An asset management team ensures warehouses stick with asset management processes. Then they investigate the rare exception, to identify and address the root causes of errors. That not only puts store projects back on track, but prevents similar errors in the future.

Asset management teams and landing zones are essential best practices to ensure retailers’ valuable store technology investments get where they need to be, every time. That becomes even more important when it comes to PCI compliance. Because Level 10 is certified to provide encryption services and payment terminal injections, we are subject to PCI audits to ensure our security is rock solid. This approach assures we meet those stringent compliance standards and make sure retailers’ assets are kept secure and delivered correctly, every time.

Contact us today to learn more about our asset management approach and how we can help you reduce shipping costs on your next deployment.