We sat down with Jami Oster, CEO of Fulcrum, at her Downtown Seattle office. Fulcrum actively helps clients manage geographically distributed assets through its proprietary asset life-cycle management software, CATS.
TC: Jami, thank you for speaking with us today, we know you have a lot going on so we’ll jump right to it. What considerations go into selecting a mobile solution for asset tracking and lifecycle management?
JO: My pleasure! When choosing a mobile solution front end to track and manage your critical assets, infrastructure, and equipment, you need to consider a few “must-have” features.
First, you should have a mobility solution that can be configured to let any worker in any environment scan 1D, 2D, or Micro PDF barcodes. You also want that mobile software to work on any major scanner or smartphone scanning platform, so you have flexibility, choices, and known interfaces.
Whether your people are in the field, the warehouse, or back office, they will need a reliable, consistent method of capturing ALL transactional data to feed your fixed asset database. From an ergonomic perspective, you want that worker to perform asset scans with the least amount of attempts required, capturing asset data as it flows organically throughout its lifecycle.
TC: Fascinating, though a bit over my head! So to clarify, are mobility solutions one-size-fits-all, or can they be easily customized?
JO: Understandable! Every role throughout the supply chain workflow is unique, with a unique set of needed functionality. Because of this, you want a solution that has multiple-step processes that can be configured for different types of users. We have seen it all, and we have configured it perfectly every time.
TC: Interesting. Obviously, not every area is “connected,” though. So, how do you compensate for offline devices? Or even devices where the internet is sporadic, like in the mountains or the desert?
JO: When tracking assets to the tops of snowy mountains and into rattlesnake infested cell sites in the desert, we have learned a valuable lesson; you also never know when you’re going to be connected, so your solution needs to work perfectly online, and can perfectly collect data in a ‘batch mode’ when offline.
TC: I see, that certainly is a key benefit, as you’d want the devices to sync eventually! I know there is a growing debate as to the security of these applications. That is, some people believe mobility solutions are inherently less secure or not secure at all. Would you agree or disagree?
JO: In this advanced technology business era, intellectual property IS the competitive advantage in the enterprise.
Having enterprise-grade security from end-to-end for your mobile solution is critically important. This level of security ensures your collected proprietary data remains uncompromised.
We have built CATS Mobility to be uncrackable, with secure log-on, limited user permissions, and encrypted password protection. We allow you to connect in real-time through a secure transport layer – behind your own firewall.
These are all best practices that we’ve implemented in major Communication brands to give them visibility, insight, and control.
So while I agree that some solutions may not be as secure, CATS and all of Fulcrum technology were built with security in mind.
TC: Jami, thank you so much for your time. We definitely would like to get a demo of the CATS software, and I’m sure our users would love to learn more!