Staley, Inc., was founded in 1951 and has evolved to include Staley Technologies, a technology-deployment company, as well as Staley Electric, a comprehensive electrical-service company. Staley Technologies has broadened its expertise to include data-network infrastructure solutions, low-voltage technology and light electrical deployment. Committed to providing innovative solutions with W2 BICSI-certified technicians, it supports big-box retailers, health-care facilities, telecommunications providers and distribution companies. Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Staley has several offices across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, to service single-site installations up to nationwide rollouts on projects ranging from UPS surveys to WLAN designs to CCTV installations.
What Was the Challenge?
Staley’s fleet of technicians is tasked with delivering more than 15,000 varied installations per year, so installers are frequently traveling, often working overnight to complete jobs. Furthermore, technicians must transport all equipment between jobs, which means space in the vans is at a premium. Not only is the equipment bulky and inconvenient, such as copper and fiber certifiers, signal scanners, and microscanners, but it’s also much more challenging to transport.
In addition, owing to the workforce traveling to as many as four rollouts per day and downloading test data while on the road, test results had the potential to be significantly delayed as technicians moved between work sites. Occasionally, this situation could also result in the need to go back and retest to ensure that the installation had been done correctly.
“We’ve found that our clients place a high value on test results, and moreover, it is part of our strict quality-control procedure to conduct the tests and retain the report of the results. Previously, we were relying on technicians to download results to a laptop when they got to their hotel room or returned home. This delay meant the client did not have as quick of a turnaround if the results demonstrated faulty equipment or were not executed to the client’s satisfaction. When results are delayed, it is costly to dispatch the technician again to retest,” says John David, Director of Corporate Safety and Training at Staley.
What Was the Solution?
Staley found that the SignalTek NT transmission tester from Ideal Networks was able to perform many tasks currently handled by certifiers, including wiremapping, link testing, port finding and transmission testing. The SignalTek NT tester also uniquely works with copper and fiber cabling. Jobs frequently require that technicians travel long distances and transport a large amount of equipment, which means space in the company vans is at a premium. By replacing the equipment in the 197-van fleet with this one compact, easy-to-use piece of equipment, Staley significantly reduced its equipment cost and space restrictions.
For example, on a recent rollout for a global retailer, Staley needed to hook into existing cables and ensure they were connected to the correct port on the switch. SignalTek NT offered all the capability to make this process easy and saved hours of work tracing the cable back to the switch. With stiff penalties for exceeding downtime limits, the speed and accuracy of SignalTek provided an ideal solution.
In addition to SignalTek NT, Staley also purchased a small fleet of 25 certifiers, which could be shared among the engineers when needed for jobs specifying cable-manufacturer warranties. This approach provided a more cost-effective solution than the previous strategy.
To tackle the issue of delayed test results, Staley adopted the use of the Ideal AnyWare app. This app allows users to transfer test data to their mobile device and share results with offsite colleagues without delay. Staley found the Ideal AnyWare app improved collaboration, troubleshooting capabilities and job-completion times. It also allows project managers to easily check daily results, rather than waiting until a later date to compile a report.
To ensure technicians have sufficient data to download or send reports, Staley has provided 50% of the team with company mobile phones and is looking to roll out this approach to the entire fleet.
What Were the Benefits?
- Cost to equip whole fleet 68% less, representing over $1 million in savings
- Work tickets closed out 1–2 weeks earlier
- Test results came back in 2–4 hours—up to a week faster
- Loss of test results completely eradicated where Ideal AnyWare is used
- Required equipment cut in half
To get the same capability, Staley was buying two devices, doubling the total cost to equip each van. By creating a clever mix of test equipment, investing in a large amount of SignalTek NT testers combined with a small fleet of cable certifiers, the cost to equip the fleet has fallen by 68%, a savings of over $1 million.
“The product provides maximum functionality in minimal packaging and is reasonably priced—which is unrivaled. We are thrilled to have been able to pass the cost savings to our clients and also invest in training to further enhance the services we offer,” explains John David.
“In our mobile work units, there are lockable cabinets to keep all of the testing equipment. Having a single, compact, handheld device saves valuable space on board—there is no other transmission tester that we can use for both copper and fiber,” says John. “It is also small and light, which makes it much easier to work with.”
Using the Ideal AnyWare app has enabled technicians to transfer test results almost in “real time.” Being able to transfer test results directly from the job site has changed the way project managers work. Delays completing reports are a thing of the past, and as retesting is also no longer required, work tickets are closed out more quickly and jobs are completed more profitably.