Give Life Sciences Customers A Mobility Advantage
An ISV (independent software vendor) earns a 120-seat software install by demonstrating the timesaving benefit of wireless data collection.
Syclo is a privately owned ISV with 90 employees. It partners with and does OEM work for mobile computing hardware vendors like Symbol Technologies and asset management software vendors like MRO Software. One particular install that highlights Syclo's partnering abilities and skills is a recent win the ISV earned at a life sciences conference that featured hundreds of pharmaceutical, hospital equipment, and prosthetics manufacturers. According to Mark Curatolo, VP of marketing at Syclo, all of the life sciences companies that attend the conference share a few key commonalities. "The first thing is that they're all subject to FDA [Food And Drug Administration] regulations," he says. "The second commonality is that they use asset management software to track the performance and maintenance of their equipment."
One particular company that approached Syclo at the conference was a prosthetics manufacturer that had been acquired by a Fortune 500 company within a year of the conference. The manufacturer had recently upgraded its legacy asset management system, which was paper-centric and was no longer fully compliant with the FDA's electronic signature (e-signature) and reporting requirements. "The general manager of the prosthetics company wanted to get the most value out of the new software, which was MRO Software's Maximo asset management software," says Curatolo. "As a result, the company visited our booth, where we were demonstrating Maximo Mobile Work Manager from MRO Software, which OEMs its mobility software from Syclo. We showed the customer how it could use our software, along with rugged Symbol handheld devices, to completely eliminate paper work orders in the manufacturing environment."
Demonstrate The Value Of Electronic Data Capture
Managing maintenance work orders was an area the prosthetics company wanted to improve through automation. It had been printing daily work orders and assigning them to break/fix and preventative maintenance (PM) workers. "The workers would wait until about 30 minutes before the end of their shifts, and they would fill out all of their paperwork," says Curatolo. "Then, six or seven administrative assistants would have to decipher the work orders and input the information into the asset management system."
Syclo showed the customer how its current paper-based work orders could be converted to electronic forms and maintenance workers could use rugged mobile devices with touch screens to complete the forms. "We also showed them that by using mostly drop-down menus and check boxes, forms could be completed more quickly and accurately than manually writing information, plus the process of manually inputting data into the asset management system would be eliminated," says Curatolo.
Prior to making its final decision, the prosthetics company wanted to compare Syclo's solution with another solution, so it sought out another ISV. Because the ISV didn't have experience building FDA-compliant software and didn't have any life sciences implementations, the prosthetics manufacturer went with Syclo.
Syclo sold the customer 120 software licenses of its Maximo Mobile Suite. For the customer's break/fix maintenance workers, Syclo installed its software on Symbol MC 70 handheld devices. And, for the PM workers, Syclo installed its software on Symbol PDT (portable data terminal) 8800 handheld devices. "Since the PM workers capture more detailed information than the break/fix workers, the larger screen of the PDT 8800 is a better fit for them," says Curatolo. "Plus, the PDT 8800 features a built-in bar code reader and e-signature capture." In addition to supplying the rugged handheld devices, Symbol installed a wireless LAN at each of the prosthetics manufacturer's four facilities, which enables maintenance workers to close out work orders after each assignment, hit sync/send, and automatically update their database.
According to Curatolo, the customer's maintenance workers realized a 30-minute per person time savings per day, which translates to 13,200 hours saved per year. The customer is planning to purchase additional mobile solutions from Syclo in the near future, which in addition to more Maximo Mobile Suite licenses may also include 100-plus licenses of Syclo's scheduling and inventory management software.