How mobility solutions are streamlining field operations and equipment maintenance

Field operations and equipment servicing have always been a challenge in extreme conditions. Workers are often forced to trade mobility and convenience for ruggedness and durability. When this happens, failures in the field and service cancellations are inevitable and often become routine occurrences. In turn, customer service is negatively affected and equipment replacement costs can skyrocket.

The challenge, then, is finding a field operations solution that can withstand harsh conditions but at the same time provide workers with the technology and connectivity they need in a compact package without sacrificing dependability and toughness.alban-case-study-asset1

Alban CAT, a fourth-generation family owned Caterpillar dealer, required a new mobile computing solution to address hardware device failure and unreliable wireless connectivity in the field. Alban CAT technicians were operating in some of the most extreme environmental conditions possible, ranging from freezing cold to blistering heat and even constant rain and ocean moisture. These technicians also depend on their devices as a critical tool in their arsenal.

When hardware failure started causing service interruptions, Alban CAT decided to enlist Bizco, a Panasonic value-added reseller, to work out a viable solution. After careful evaluation, Alban CAT decided on the fully-rugged Toughbook 31 laptop and the semi-rugged Toughbook 53 laptop. After deploying the Toughbook solutions, Alban CAT technicians streamlined diagnostics and repair operations, improved customer service times, enhanced employee and customer satisfaction, and greatly reduced device failures. Free from the concerns of device failure and managing multiple accessories, technicians can now visit more customers, perform duties more quickly and provide quality service without issue.

Another Caterpillar dealer, Wyoming Machinery Company, was facing similar challenges. At first, Wyoming Machinery Company issued consumer-grade laptops to its technicians in the field. Greg Beecher, Information Systems Manager at Wyoming Machinery Company, noticed a high failure rate among company-issued laptops. “We began experiencing hardware failures up to seven times each winter,” says Beecher.

Winter temperatures in Wyoming regularly fall below freezing, and the technicians would often need to operate in the field during heavy snowfall, freezing rain and other difficult weather conditions. “In the winter months, our service technicians would often leave their laptops in the truck when they were performing a service call,” says Beecher. “Then they would go to boot up, and the cold temperatures had destroyed the hard drive. This would happen several times a year.”

After partnering with Panasonic value-added reseller, Bizco, Wyoming Machinery Company determined the Toughbook 31 was the clear choice for its technicians. After deploying the Toughbook to its entire fleet, the company saw hardware failures due to temperature and rough use completely eliminated. They also decreased technician downtime due to hardware failure and saw a sharp increase in service efficiency.

Daily extreme conditions and continual use can drive almost any product to failure. Reducing these occurrences is a key factor in streamlining operations, maintaining productivity and increasing customer satisfaction. The bottom line is, field technicians need a product they can rely on every time, no matter what their working conditions may be. The Panasonic Toughbook has proven time and time again that it is the clear choice when it comes to a fully rugged, connected and mobile solution. For more information on Panasonic Toughbook computers, visit