Original Date: 10/10/2005
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Wireless Asset Management
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems provides a full array of wireless services to ensure employee communication connectivity in any location. These services can be and are tailored to meet specific user requirements that include short-fuse scenarios where services are needed to support travel plans. The Integrated Defense System Wireless Asset Management Team provisions services while implementing management systems to ensure those services are maintained in a cost-efficient manner.
Communicating with key employees on travel or away from their workplace has always presented a significant challenge for business. Facilitating timely communications with employees wherever they may be has led to the use of a wide variety of devices to access employees regardless of their physical location. These devices are a reflection of advances in technology from the simplest solutions such as calling cards and pagers to cellular telephones, Blackberry data devices and wireless fidelity (WiFi) computer connectivity to Air Cards that provide computer cellular connectivity. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) has endorsed the concept of extending communications connectivity by issuing an assortment of these devices to employees on an as-needed basis; however, each device issued comes with an associated hardware and service fee. Endorsing the use of these devices has created two new management challenges for IDS the timely distribution of appropriate devices to meet individual employee connectivity needs and the cost-effective management of these assets.
In an organization as large as Raytheon IDS, it is a substantial challenge to establish an acceptable level of control over the large numbers of devices already issued to employees while being responsive to the need to provide devices that meet immediate employee needs. In 2003 Raytheon formed the IDS Wireless Asset Management Team, replacing the services of a company who previously managed these functions and with minimal oversight by Raytheon.
The newly formed IDS Wireless Asset Management Team developed an inventory strategy that ensures sufficient critical device-stocking for quick provisioning to meet short-fuse user requirements with an array of devices that can be tailored to meet individual user’s needs. To better manage the wireless devices, the team implemented a “charge back” of monthly usage charges to cost centers, providing cost center managers oversight into the costs incurred by their respective organizations. This led to new issuing procedures requiring approval by the cost center organizations.
To manage the reconciliation of detailed and complex monthly service bills, a web-based Pager Cell Phone Calling Card (PCC) Billing database was developed that provides the relational and sequential query language (SQL) functionality that parses the billing data, enabling management and users to validate and justify charges. The database also provides the query capability to match device-billing records to employee records, providing an effective tool for identifying costly service arrangements that need to be terminated. The number of termination requests that have been identified since the database has become functional is so large that the IDS Wireless Asset Management Team has one individual working full-time to process these requests.
The PCC Billing database has also enabled IDS to analyze the services of its providers, resulting in the consolidation of providers, the modification of service contracts to more cost-effective plans and services better tailored to meet user requirements. The Wireless Asset Management Team has also been proactive in partnering with the providers to receive electronic billing data that is essential to ensuring the effectiveness of the PCC Billing database.
These combined efforts to manage wireless assets have resulted in significant cost savings and inventory reduction for the period of July 2004 to June 2005. The monthly wireless billing was reduced from $267,000 in July 2004 to $228,000 in June 2005; pager inventory was reduced from 2,300 to 1,800; and cellular telephones were reduced from 2,270 to 2,190.
The implementation of Wireless Asset Management at Raytheon IDS in 2004 has enhanced communication capabilities and promoted workforce productivity. Future plans to increase cost savings include limited stock and forward-placed loaners to reduce deployment time and on-line access for users and managers to invoice records that will improve the accuracy of billing and appropriate rate plans.
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