Imagine you are running a supermarket chain...
...with ten thousand shops and 700 million customers all over China, not including franchises. What's more, the number continues to grow daily with inventory and supply chain management becoming a huge challenge. Imagine that the situation also becomes even more complicated if every customer starts to demand a slight change to each of your products before purchasing them.
Mobile phone companies in China have been facing similar challenges with SIM card issuance and subscriber management over the past decades. To enable fast mobile phone issuance at of the time of sale, each SIM card is often pre-programmed with an assigned mobile number and in China, a mobile number represents different services, tariff standards and the subscriber's specific home region within the country. And once a SIM card has been assigned a mobile number, changes to the phone service can only be made by the wireless provider located in the home region associated with that number.
So what if the customer requests a different service package? The simple answer is, "change you SIM card to one with a different pre-programmed service." And this is where inventory problems arise for wireless phone companies: one province's overstocked cards in that home region cannot be reused or transferred to another province due to different network services.
HID OMNIKEY readers have been deployed at the frontline of the two largest Chinese mobile phone companies, China Mobile and China Unicom, to perform a just-in-time personalization to address this issue. By connecting an OMNIKEY reader to the mobile phone company's operating system, the customer service staff can personalize a blank SIM card with a mobile number and other optional services on the spot, eliminating the need for the company to stock pre-programmed SIM cards that may never be purchased. Not only do the readers eliminate the hassle of mobile number configuration, China Unicom has reduced their SIM card inventory level and idle cards, with an estimated 8 to 10 million reduction in SIM card orders across the country per quarter. The solution also fuels the growth of mobile phone companies' personalized service by enabling popular applications to be embedded into the SIM menu during SIM card issuance.
Having emerged as a great tool for reducing inventory for mobile carriers, OMNIKEY readers also support the ever-increasing customer service standards for speedy frontline operations and personalized service. Read more about China Unicom's inventory solution using HID OMNIKEY Readers.
Even if you can't travel to the big security show in Orlando over the next few days...
...you can keep up with HID Global and the rest of your favorite companies using Twitter and other online tools.
If you don't yet use Twitter as a news source, let me assure you it is easy to use. And you can get familiar with this important information tool without ever posting a tweet yourself by simply reading the tweets of others. Here's how:
1. First, sign up for a free account at twitter.com.
2. Then do a search for #ASIS11. The pound or number sign is a hashtag that makes it easy to search by subject. Be sure to use the "Search" box, not the "What's happening" box.
3. Save the search and bookmark the page.
4. Then scan the new tweets a couple of times a day. It's a great way to keep abreast of the show's happenings and product announcements during the event.
Search now for ASIS 2011 news on Twitter. You'll see there is a lot of variety in terms of subject matter.
Some tweets are of the research or educational nature. Many tweets are reflections of what other people found of interest. And other tweets are straight forward promotions that suppliers use help direct show attendees to their booth.
Beyond the Tweet
Other ways to keep up on the ASIS event and the industry from afar:
• Peruse the blogs and other show-specific coverage. Bookmark your favorite consultants, analysts, vendors and media companies (often, magazine websites are good). Here are a couple of examples:
• Download the free ASIS Mobile app (for the iPhone and Android) for a directory listing the companies exhibiting and where to find specific products.
ASIS will be a key source for industry news over the next three days, so stop by HID's booth #2400...or join us virtually!
It's another beautiful morning in the harbour city of Sydney ...
...and as I greet the new day, I ponder what various challenges and opportunities it might bring. Today's business challenges may often seem daunting with the economy threatening corporate downsizing in Australia and New Zealand, which in turn could impact the secure issuance market in the region. This is on top of the fact that the Australian secure issuance space is already considered to be a mature market, since end users often source their printers and consumables online from overseas distributors at the risk of receiving minimal to no support.
While this may seem like a doom and gloom forecast, it's not. Though the secure issuance/card personalisation market in its basic form appears to be dwindling in Australia, new opportunities based on the latest advancements in HID FARGO solutions are presenting themselves each and every day.
One such opportunity we encountered recently was helping a transportation company streamline their critical employee information by loading this data on employee and contractor ID cards. Before we rolled out the project, the organisation's staff and their contractors had to carry numerous health and safety documents along with training certificates in order to be allowed onto various job sites to perform their duties. This system became impractical and difficult to manage, which resulted in increased health and safety risks. With HID's AsureID 7 card personalisation software, FARGO HDP5000 printers and OMNIKEY® readers, we were able to easily provide a customised solution to address this problem.
AsureID 7 and the HDP5000 printer enabled the transport company to print and encode Corporate 1000 iCLASS cards that contained each employee's and contractor's health and safety qualifications on the card, making it possible for management to constantly monitor their staff and ensure they are adequately trained. We also engaged Grabba, an HID Connect partner, to develop hand held readers so supervisors could audit the use of their staff's cards.
Currently the employee cards are mainly used to house this important health and safety data and in the future, we can add physical access control to the card so the transportation company can utilise the same employee credential for building access. It is also becoming increasingly common for corporations and government agencies to add other features to ID cards such as security elements (VSEs) like custom holographic overlaminates. These overlaminates enhance the visual appeal of the card with 3D effects, morphing images and other VSE elements for added security and protection from fake IDs being used within an organisation.
Regardless of the economy and impact on the corporate climate, we can take solace in the new opportunities that the HID FARGO® range of printers/encoders constantly uncover. I look forward to the next challenge and the HID Global solutions that continue to broaden our ability to stay ahead of market demands.
In the day of instant gratification...
...many customers are still left waiting for days to receive their new or replacement credit and debit cards that often are not ever activated by the customer that receives them. But thanks to advanced secure issuance technologies, organizations can now instantly print activated financial cards and hand them directly to the customer, without any mailing necessary. At the time of the card issuance, customers can also choose to include a customized image for the card, such as a family portrait, pet or favorite vacation spot. For the financial institution, these features ultimately increase customer retention and satisfaction.
As the HID Global Sales Director in Brazil, it is great to be able to offer one of the best products in the market for instant issuance: HID’s FARGO® HDPii high definition printer. It prints and encodes nearly any card type: credit, debit and other non-embossed cards including EMV; and it is certified and approved by the banking industry for card issuance. The opportunity for vertical markets such as banking and retailing are incredible, and with the competition in today's market it pays off to provide customers with instant gratification.
We make instant coffee in the morning, we buy instant rice, we send e-mails on the fly and text or instant message rather than using the post office. Well, we can now produce instant financial cards. I invite you to comment below or click here to learn more about the HDPii for instant issuance.