Liverpool Business Centre Break In Update

29 08 2012

First of all peeps, a quick apology about the missed blog yesterday.  For those not in the UK, Monday here was a well earned bank holiday so we took the liberty of a day off!

In true social style, I wanted to just let everyone know about the recent break in we had at our sales office space, the Liverpool Business centre office here which houses our admin and sales.  We had a number of laptops go missing, our blogging kit went with the camera’s and lights going and a number of smartphones.  The rugged demo kit seemed to be unattractive to the robbers although most of that is kept elsewhere, as is our repair centre!  So whilst RAM lives on, there has been a lot of disruption to the blog this week and I wanted to just say bear with us and we’ll be back in force by next Monday.

Unfortunately Business first, the liverpool business centre management company prefer to covert (actually speed really quickly) around in their Ferrari’s and Bentleys rather than help us secure the property but we are working on that ourselves and with other business owners affected here, with the police and a lovely customer who has stepped in to help us secure the building using their security expertise.

Within a few days we’ll be 10 times as secure as we were, no thanks to Business First though!

Will be back blogging on Monday, business however is as usual here and any comments just come to us here or give us an email/call.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Why your Pidion BM170 battery life might be poor!

22 08 2012

So back to good old rugged PDA’s and today we’re talking about a small “bug” in the Pidion BM170 that can affect the battery quite significantly.  It’s to do with the way the UserIdle, Screen Off and Unattended power states are handled which makes you think you’re letting the device turn off, when in fact it’s really on.

The problem

The problem is with the way the Pidion BM170 manages it’s auto power off states.  Think of Useridle and Screen off as leaving the device on but just switching the screen and backlight off.  This allows things like GPS to work fully in the background whilst saving power on the screen.  Unattended mode is similar as hibernate on a PC.  It’s the lowest power state a Windows Mobile device has, other than OFF!

The problem occurs when you set the Screen off timeout to an equal or higher time than the hibernate timeout.  Lets see this in action:

Pidion BM170 Power Problem

Select the Power application from the settings menu in the Pidion BM170

Here you can see the power application.  Select this.

Sellect the Power application form the setting smenu in the Pidion BM170

Now select the advanced tab and see the time out setting to hibernate.

Now select the advanced tab, you’ll see the timeout value.

Piidon BM170 Power Problem
The useridle tab controls the screen off timeout.

Now select the useridle tab and make sure this setting is off or less than the value you just set above in the advanced tab.

The solution

To get round this, simply either:

1. ensure that either you do not check any boxes on the “useridle” tab at all.  Most users want the device to go into its hibernate sate, not just switch the screen off anyway and many newer smartphones behave like this anyway.  This is what the warning at the bottom of the Useridle tab is going on about.

2. Make sure the value in the UserIdle tab is less than (not equal to) than the value in the Advanced (Hibernate) tab.


Don’t forget that BM170′s have the new Pidion power button handling tool now too which can help hugely with the power on the Pidon BM170 and other Pidion Rugged PDA’s.

If you need any help with your batteries or simply need to have them tested or need new ones then just come to us and we’ll help as a full PidionCare Service centre.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Top 5 tips on Rugged PDA Repair – Speed

20 08 2012

A lot can be done to improve a Repair Cemtre by just being transparent and honest.

So, on to the last article in our series giving you our top 5 tips for rugged PDA repair end today with a look at transparency.

Rugged PDA Repair Transparency

We bark on about honesty and transparency all the time here, especially me!  Why, because we think good business is not about the money here, but about doing good and giving back as much as we can.  So how does this translate into one of the most asked about features we got feedback on for a repair centre?

Repair centre Transparency

Have you ever kissed goodbye to your broken device only to be found chasing up where it is 4 weeks later again 6 weeks and again at 8 weeks, with a big black hole of nothing in between?  We one of the most talked about subjects we got when we asked all our customers about repairs was the complete lack of communication of how the repair will work, what the stats are up front and just some kind of decent honest timings for the repair.  If we can build olympic stadiums to a rough time and budget then surely we can do the same with a small £200 repair?  Add to this you should look for the performance figures of the repair centre, do they publish them?  Do they give you a process that explains the process clearly up front and do they give you a process designed to communicate and give you the facts quickly about the repair itself?

Repair centre Honesty

I don’t think you can ask a repair centre for pure honesty, how do you know?  But there are a lot of things people told us could be addressed to remove the need to be honest, which in fact is being honest!!

Proper pricing

Loads of people told us how miffed they were with repair centres that just sent out the same quote repeatedly for many different types of failure, seeing it as a blanket cost for anything and basically feeling ripped off.  I have to say we’ve experience this here with many manufacturer repair centres.

Proper reporting

Another problem was the sheer lack of depth in any reports given. People wanted to see the problem outlined clearly, what was need to rectify the problem. the cost of this and also any tips or advice or notes to help them in future.

Being up front

Why can’t things be more clear and up front was another well discussed topic.  Ask the Repair Centre about their history, their stats, the parts they have in stock, the experience they have.  After all if it’s not up to scratch then your device could end up with many issues in the future resulting from the repair.

So, there we have it.  Our top 5 tips on what people moaned about when it came to Repair Centre’s.  In this world of diminishing resources and rising costs, repairing and mending will become a lot more important than it was in the throw-away era so it’s time to have a really good think about this before you buy your Rugged PDA.  Hope this has helped!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Top 5 tips on Rugged PDA Repair – UK Location

17 08 2012

Being UK based has many huge benefits for customers.

Blame it on the Olympics or my sheer old fashioned patriotism but I’m going to talk about why having a UK-based rugged pda repair centre is perhaps not so great for the supplier, but awesome for the customer.  This is part 4 of our top 5 tips on rugged PDA repair.

Rugged PDA Repair UK location

I’ve been involved in some of the largest IT service centres, shucks I was even on the team that put a rather large IT companies in years ago… and I saw it subsequently go out to India, losing 100′s of jobs here.  Guess what, whatever the “Managers” tell you in these cases, the service takes a nose dive.  So why are we faced with these “Pan European” or off shored call centres and repair centres?  Well that’s easy, it saves the supplier money and the 3 people at the top, along with the shareholders get rich, whilst everyone else, including even the customers it seems, toil and struggle!

There I said it, we all knew it anyway, we’ve just been taught to shut up these days, age of ignorance blah, blah, blah!….

It’s nothing to do with Czech’s or Indians, South Africans or Mexican’s being any less skilled, in fact some of the best engineers I have met were when I was in India but the location does make a difference.

Main benefits of UK-based repair centre

In a way being local is the backbone to everything else working to an excellent standard.

Communication - You get spoken to as a person, not a number which means you can help resolve issues the best way, which is the collaborative way.  I can’t even speak to engineers of the manufacturer lead service centres, Some are taking 10 weeks to fix kit right now and the Managers don’t even call me back.

Speed of repair - If we have no SLA driven repairs for the day then we repair the warranty kit.  Some of this is being done in 24 hours.  Local british services don;t tend to work to processes like off shored ones do where the control has been passed on (but not really).

Lower postage costs - Either you post to a UK-based point which then posts your device on, which adds on time, or you have to post to a european country.  You can send a rugged PDA next business with £500 insurance for £6.35.  Have you tried using an ad hoc courier to Germany recently?

Environmental improvements - Why are we sending kit so far away?  Think just how much fuel and CO2 that’s using?

A listening Repair centre - Much more inclined to listen and change.  How do you tell a large repair centre that s outsourced to change?

Responsibility – We have to do well because our service depends on it.  We’ve not tied you in, we’re not the only place you can go and we like it like that.  The better our competition will be, the better customers will be served.

Access to expertise - You need to be able to talk to people who not only have the skills, but are willing to share them.  Local repair centres will not be scripted and the ad hoc questions will be catered for far better.

Offshore’s bad rep- I want to live in a world where we don’t group ourselves by geography, it’s coming but we’re not there yet.  The fact is non-uk repair centres have a bad rap, they deserve the bad rap and so you immediately have your hackles up when you find out.

British jobs - We need the money to stay in our country if things are going to get better.  No-one can a job right now, well, we’re hiring right now.  If our service grows, then we make another job.

I could go on, but these were the top areas that we were told by customers.

tomorrow we’ll round this off with a look at transparency and honesty!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Top 5 tips on Rugged PDA Repair – Communication

15 08 2012

Repairing Rugged PDA's - Communication is key

We’re celebrating the re-launch of Rugged Rescue, our new PDA repair service, this week so we’re blogging out our top 5 tips on rugged PDA repair.

Rugged PDA Repair Communication

Good communication is often the difference when it comes to good service generally, but for a PDA Repair centre communication is essential.  And yet, so many repair centres do it so badly and the main ones are often the biggest, manufacturer lead ones.  So what do I feel is missing out there and where do I think communication is needed?

Up front Communication

This is a key factor for us at RAM.  We feel that customers should be told exactly what they’re getting and what they’re not going to get up front and all our services attempt to do this with Rugged Rescue being no different.  The process should be clear, the expectations honest and the pricing as transparent as possible.  Good communication should already be working at this point.

RMA Process

Good, solid and consistent advice on how to return a PDA is paramount to getting them here on time and so that they’re treated efficiently.  The customer should also be communicated to with any special requirements for the case logged and of course should get all the details of their case so they can track it.

Case Summary Communication

That’s where it usually ends for many repair centres, but we feel the customer should get a 24/7 case summary which shows an overview of the status, the stage and what’s been done and asked for.  It should be clear when the actions are on the customer.  Every note or addition to the case should be communicated via email too so customers have multiple ways to get their updates.

When it goes wrong

Everything goes wrong sooner or later and it’s about how you manage failure that makes you great.  COmmunication is a key aspect of this and if you;re honest, open and realistic with your communication it goes a long way to ensuring the customer is a little bit happier.  In the event of things going wrong, we like to know why not be honest!

Post Resolution

Sending the device back doesn;t mean communication ends!  A decent, printable report and invoice should be easily obtained, easy to question and for our own customers they get a panel showing them all of their cases histories for future reference.  Also what about a courtesy call to see how the device is performing before the parts warranty ends?  When was the last time you got ones of those?

communication came 3rd on our top list of features when we asked customers what they wanted so it’s obviously critical to a great repair service, we’ll continue this thread with the last 2 tips later in the week!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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