Missing handheld mobile computers are a common, and rather expensive, problem for the businesses that rely on them. For many of us, losing our own mobile phone would be disastrous but with a company-owned shared device the sense of ownership isn’t quite the same.

According to the customers of leading device manufacturers, on average 6% to 15% of their company owned devices go missing each year. Department stores and warehouses are busy places so it’s easy to see how it happens. An employee puts down a device to tend to another activity but forgets where they left it. Keen to crack on with their workload, the employee returns to the storage unit and simply selects another charged device and carries on.

Mounting cost of missing devices

The downtime and financial impact of missing devices is considerable. Our customers tell us that missing rugged devices cost them in the region of tens of thousands to millions of pounds per year. It’s not just the cost of the replacement device but also the impact in productivity due to worker downtime and time spent searching for misplaced devices.

The challenge is so common that customers tell us they factor in losses when planning the refreshing of their rugged device estate. Most businesses buy 10% more devices than needed just to cover the predicted losses.

Board room scrutiny

With companies typically losing between 10% to 15% of their mobile device estate every year, there placement cost and productivity impact has crept up the boardroom agenda.

Given a device estate life of 5 years and the average percentage of devices missing per year, board rooms are noticing that the total cost of ownership is between 50% and 75% more than the original estate cost. The added cost to replace missing devices is rarely budgeted for by most companies.  

This is a huge expense to businesses when you consider that many devices typically cost around £700 - £1,000 per unit. Then there is the added cost of the device accessories and charging stations.  Whether your workplace has a few hundred, or an estate in excess of 15,000 rugged devices, the cost of missing devices is biting into your bottom line.

With the cost-of-living crises impacting businesses, most board rooms are bunkering down, managing costs and scrutinising expenditure. Unnecessary spending on replacing missing devices is likely to be a tough business cost to justify in the current climate.  

Hide and seek

One of the challenges to finding a missing device is knowing that it’s missing in the first place. Often companies find out about losses when they do a quarterly or annual audit, long after the device has powered down because it has run out of charge!

With Device Finder, devices are set-up to proactively alert you when they are inactive for a defined period, such as 10 minutes or more. The rugged device sounds an alarm alerting you from the moment they are missing, enabling businesses to proactively find, retrieve, and redeploy the device instantly.  

X marks the spot

Devices can also be found via the Waizu Device Finder mobile application which signposts where the device was last used. Once you have walked to that location, you can contact the device by ringing it and find its exact whereabouts. This key feature has enabled our customers to find missing rugged devices in the middle of stacked pallets, behind boxes, down the back of stocked shelves, on top of palletisers and even in the back of a lorry which was being loaded.

Remove cost and increase productivity

Missing devices are a significant cost and administration burden that business could do without. If you have shared mobile devices in your business from manufacturers such as Zebra Technologies, Honeywell, or Datalogic, then get in touch. With Device Finder, we can help you get the basics right and put money back on your bottom line.