Four Ways to Revamp IT Rollout Efficiency for Retail

The process of rolling out new technology into your stores. It’s a flawless and simple joy, right? It starts as a clear and easy plan on a spreadsheet but ends up a messy series of poorly timed shipments and badly configured devices, leading to a lot of emails creating inefficiency and frustration. Ever found yourself marveling at how your best laid plans are dashed against reality? Or how your implementation partners vanish into thin air during deployments? Or perhaps you’ve witnessed the “budget bloat” that happens when inefficiency in your rollout creates delays and re-work that are blamed on ‘supply chain issues’. Fear not, weary retailers, there exists a better way to manage this process.

Bringing Order to the Chaos

Retailers, in their steadfast effort to modernize, encounter a formidable challenge. Implementing new technology across numerous stores is comparable to managing a complex array of IT equipment, each with unique configuration requirements. The hurdles are abundant, much like the frequent issues with point-of-sale systems or wifi. These include discrepancies in deployment times, lost shipments, and the perennial “it worked fine in testing” dilemma.

We believe that an integrated approach that links inventory management, asset management, remote management & monitoring and shipping logistics, into a single platform is the only way to maximize the efficient management of IT assets in a dispersed environment like retail.

This enables retailers to pull four important factors into control in the management of their IT rollouts:

1. Track Procurement and Warehousing

Before any rollout begins, it’s crucial to efficiently catalog and organize all your devices. You may be doing this in a spreadsheet or maybe an asset manager, but you need to manage the workflow also. Even a small rollout can become overwhelming without proper organization, and many devices need to be ordered in advance to ensure availability when needed. Without systematic tracking, finding everything during the shipping phase can be time-consuming.

Montra’s device lifecycle platform, Via, addresses these challenges effortlessly. Designed specifically for IT, Via enables seamless tracking from procurement to deployment. It keeps tabs on software revisions, warranty dates, and service ticket history. By integrating with your ordering and shipping processes, Via simplifies procurement and warehousing complexities, ensuring every device is accounted for and ready for use.

For warehousing, Via allows you to track devices down to the pallet or individual shelf location. You can even track devices by serial number and manage IT asset details like software versions and hardware warranties. The platform also supports creating bundles and setting kitting requirements for interdependent devices. Any rollout process can be initiated within Via or through service management platforms like Salesforce Service or ServiceNow.

2. Monitor Shipping Centrally

Once devices are ready to go, the shipping process often turns into a disorganized mess of tracking numbers across multiple carriers. Whether you are shipping a bundle of devices to a single store, or a fleet of devices across multiple stores, using spreadsheets to track all your shipments can quickly get out of control.

With Via you can initiate and track all shipments from one location. You can ship bundles of devices with the same ease as a single unit. You can also specify requirements for pre-configuration or kitting prior to shipment, and you can even indicate whether an installer is needed on site to meet the devices.

Once devices are shipped, they can be tracked directly in Via with real-time updates from UPS or FedEx fed directly into the system – even across multiple accounts numbers. No more tracking packages across multiple carriers and various carrier accounts.

3. Monitor Devices in the Stores

Ensuring ongoing performance and swiftly addressing failures are critical aspects of IT efficiency in retail. Once devices are deployed, they should be continuously monitored for security and availability. Real-time surveillance allows for the immediate detection of security issues or system failures, ensuring that any problems can be addressed before they escalate.

Via integrates device monitoring with logistics and asset management to greatly improves response efficiency. Knowing the origin, duration, imaging history, and spare inventory of each device throughout its lifecycle streamlines issue resolution.

This integrated approach not only reduces resolution and response times but also minimizes downtime and employee time spent on technology issues rather than customer service. This leads to an enhanced customer experience, increasing sales and promoting repeat visits. A single, system of record for devices, like Via, also eliminates the need to maintain multiple databases of devices for warehousing, for device monitoring and for asset management.

4. Manage Returns and Spares

Furthermore, when it comes to the inevitable hiccups that require a system to be returned or replaced, Montra Via also streamlines this process. The platform’s efficient returns processing mechanism simplifies the logistics of initiating the return of a failed device and ordering a replacement from the spares inventory with minimal disruption. Designed for standard returns or cross-shipped ones, Via reduces downtime, ensuring stores quickly receive the correct equipment with an accurate configuration. By making returns processing seamless, Montra Via protects retailers from the potential chaos caused by device malfunctions, thus maintaining high operational standards and customer satisfaction.

Montra Via also helps you manage your spares inventory with a separate inventory account for spares systems and parts. Importantly you can see set reorder alerts, see versions and updates, as well as warranty dates. This help makes certain that your spares are up to date and ready if a return is required.

As retail continues to get more tech-enabled, implementing Montra Via for your IT logistics is akin to upgrading from a cash register to a modern POS system. Cost efficiency, faster deployment, better uptime, streamlined cybersecurity, efficient inventory management, and improved spare device storage aren’t just aspirations; they are your new reality.

Retailers, elevate your tech rollout game now. Life is too short for inefficient IT deployments. Join those who refuse to accept the status quo, empowered by the revolutionary capabilities of Montra Via. Your future self—and your bottom line—will thank you.

Four Benefits of Outsourcing Your IT Logistics Processes

IT logistics is the set of process a business must execute to securely and efficiently deploy and manage IT devices in their remote operations. Whether in retail, consulting, healthcare, tech, or sports & entertainment, companies are deploying more technology in more far-flung locations than ever before. The IT logistics processes of your business can be quite tricky and require an extensive amount of expertise. From ensuring the security of sensitive data to tracking the location of your hardware and software assets, IT logistics can pose quite a challenge to modern tech-enabled companies. One way to tackle this challenge is outsourcing your IT logistics processes. We discuss here the top four benefits of outsourcing IT logistics processes, which can assist you in making an informed decision about how to handle your company’s IT logistics needs.

1. Increased flexibility

Outsourcing IT logistics processes provide businesses with the flexibility to scale their IT needs up or down, depending on the changing market conditions. This flexibility allows businesses to manage their IT budgets better, and only pay for what they need. With outsourcing, businesses can supplement their internal IT teams during peak periods, or reduce their contract requirements during the off-season. Outsourcing IT logistics processes make it possible to align IT logistics with business goals and requirements.

Consider the findings from a survey conducted by Computer Economics, which revealed that 56% of businesses have outsourced their IT functions due to the scalability and flexibility it offers. Additionally, the Information Services Group’s (ISG) Managed Services Study found that 70% of businesses that outsourced their IT logistics services experienced improved budget management, primarily due to the ability to scale their logistics operations according to business needs. These numbers not only highlight the benefits of outsourcing in terms of flexibility but also illustrate how outsourcing IT logistics can contribute towards efficient budget management.

2. Improved Risk Management

Outsourcing IT logistics services help businesses to reduce their risk exposure when preparing devices for deployment, and managing and securing devices deployed in the field. A study by IBM revealed that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, showing the substantial financial risk businesses face. By outsourcing IT logistics services, businesses can leverage best-in-class logistics software and processes to optimize availability, security and cost. Similarly, a survey by Intel Security found that 43% of businesses had experienced at least one data breach in the past year, further illustrating the need for businesses to outsource IT logistics to reliable, expert providers.

Good IT logistics companies offer pre-deployment security testing as well as post-deployment secure and private processing of data collected from devices in the field or when returned for processing. Good IT logistics partners will also provide data backup and recovery solutions that help businesses recover from data loss, ransomware, and other cyber-attacks.

Outsourcing IT logistics processes can also improve compliance with industry-standard regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and NIST by deploying the necessary security and privacy measures to protect sensitive data. A Verizon report found that only 28.6% of organizations are fully PCI DSS compliant, indicating the challenges that businesses face in adhering to industry standards. Outsourcing to a company with proven expertise in compliance can significantly alleviate these challenges.

3. Competitive Advantage

Outsourcing IT logistics processes provide businesses with access to high-end technology and top-notch expertise. Outsourcing companies typically have trained personnel and the latest technologies, making it possible for businesses to benefit from both. This is especially important for small businesses that cannot afford to hire and maintain a full-fledged IT team. CompTIA’s 6th Annual Trends in Managed Services report also highlighted that 89% of businesses that outsourced their IT logistics felt they had a competitive advantage over businesses that didn’t.

Outsourcing IT logistics processes not only provides businesses with access to current technologies but also future-proofs their operations against rapidly changing technologies. A recent study by Gartner revealed that 65% of organizations that outsource their IT logistics services have experienced technological advancements that would have been otherwise inaccessible. Furthermore, a survey by Deloitte showed that 66% of businesses that outsourced their IT logistics services had gained access to intellectual capital, which they wouldn’t have procured otherwise.

This access to top-notch expertise not only provides an edge over competitors but also allows for a focus on innovation and business growth. Outsourcing IT logistics services provides a significant competitive advantage in both technology access and expert knowledge.

4. Cost Reduction

Last but not least, outsourcing your IT logistics processes can be an excellent way to save money. Hiring an in-house logistics team can be quite expensive, with salaries, benefits, and training costs. Conversely, outsourcing IT logistics can offer financial advantages such as lower costs of operation, fixed contracts, and reduced overhead costs. Such benefits allow businesses to free up capital for other areas, such as product development, marketing, and other critical business functions.

According to a study by Deloitte, 59% of businesses outsource to cut costs. CompTIA’s 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services report shows that the average cost of a mid-level IT professional’s salary is $82,000. This doesn’t include additional costs such as benefits, office space, and training. On the other hand, a managed IT logistics contract could cost a mid-size business as little as $3,000 a month, which totals around $36,000 per year. This represents savings of more than 50% a year, which can then be invested in areas like product development and marketing, thus fueling business growth.

Additional Factors

While outsourcing IT logistics processes also helps with certain challenges that businesses must be prepared to address. These include potential issues with quality control, data security concerns, and the need for effective communication and collaboration with the outsourcing partner. It’s crucial for businesses to carefully assess their potential partners’ capabilities and establish clear expectations and guidelines to ensure a successful outsourcing relationship.

In Conclusion

Outsourcing IT logistics processes can provide businesses with numerous benefits such as cost reduction, competitive advantage, increased flexibility, and improved risk management. The advantages of outsourcing are ideal for businesses that need the benefits of IT logistics processes but without the high costs associated with recruiting and retaining an internal logistics team. It is essential to choose a reliable, trusted, and experienced logistics company. With the proper software and services solution, businesses can improve their bottom line by focusing on their core business functions, while the outsourcing company takes care of the IT logistics processes.

Mastering IT Logistics Management: 5 Things Retailers’ IT Asset Tracking System Should Deliver

IT asset management for the retail industry allows for tighter security and gives retailers a comprehensive understanding of their assets to make informed decisions. Scott Ryan presents several requirements that must be met when considering a tracking solution for your business. Read this article published on Retail Info Systems’ News site – Mastering IT Logistics Management: 5 Things Retailers’ IT Asset Tracking System Should Deliver.

Cyber-readiness Strategy 11: Reduce Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

Nearly two-thirds of firms (65%) have experienced cyber-related issues in their supply chain in the past year. As a part of your cyber readiness plan, you must deploy protocols to evaluate and monitor the security of your supplier networks and third-party vendors.

The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and with the increasing complexity of global supply chains, that weak link is becoming increasingly difficult to find and fix. Cybersecurity threats can come from anywhere in the world, and they can have a devastating impact on businesses of all sizes. That’s why it’s so important to include reducing supply chain vulnerabilities into your cyber-readiness plan. By taking steps to secure your supply chain, you can help protect your business from the devastating effects of a cyberattack.

Here are 7 ways to reduce your supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities:

1.     Understand Your Supply Chain

To reduce supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities, it is important to first understand your supply chain fully. By understanding the different components of your supply chain, you can better identify potential cyber risks and take steps to mitigate them. Make sure to conduct a thorough analysis of your supply chain including all your upstream and downstream partners, so that you can identify any potential weak points throughout the chain.

2.     Train Your Employees

This first place to start reducing your supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities is to train your employees. Employees should be trained on how to identify potential risks and how to mitigate them. They should also be aware of the different security controls that you have in place. By educating your employees, you can help reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions and keep your business running smoothly. If you are not comfortable doing this in-house, look for a third-party that has expertise in cyber-security training especially with supply chain in mind.

3.     Educate Your Suppliers

Another important step in reducing supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities is to educate your suppliers. Suppliers should be made aware of the different security controls that you have in place. They should also be trained on how to identify potential risks and how to mitigate them. You should look at cyber-security standards like NIST 800-161 and ISO 28000:2022, so that you have a common language and set of standards to use in your discussions with your suppliers.

By educating your suppliers, you can help reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions and keep your business running smoothly.

4.     Conduct Risk Assessments

Another important step in reducing supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities is to conduct risk assessments. By identifying potential risks, you can take steps to mitigate them. Risk assessments should be conducted on a regular basis – usually annually or semi-annually – so that you can keep up-to-date on the latest threats even as your supply chain changes. Risk assessments can be conducted with in-house personnel, but third-parties are often used to make certain that ‘new eyes’ a looking at the supply chain systems periodically.

5.     Implement Security Controls

Once you have identified potential risks, you can then take steps to mitigate them by implementing security controls. There are a variety of different security controls that you can implement, depending on the specific needs of your organization’s supply chain.

For instance, if you are moving computers or other smart devices through your supply chain, you need to take into consideration the patching and updating of those systems if they have been sitting in inventory for a long time. You should also consider the proper handling of those systems if they are returned for repairs. The systems should be air-locked until it is determined that they are not a risk to your organization.

6.     Have an Incident Response Plan

In the event of a supply chain disruption, it is important to have an incident response plan in place. This plan should include steps that you will take to mitigate the impact of the disruption. It should also include a list of contacts that you will need to contact in the event of a disruption. A complete Incident Response Plan will cover all aspects of your operation, not just your supply chain, but the supply chain has historically been left out of security planning. As modern supply chains become heavily digitized and as the items in the supply chain increasingly have software components to them, the Incident Response Plan needs to take the supply chain into account.

7.     Use a Cyber-aware Third Party Logistics Provider

If you are not sure how to reduce supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities, you may want to consider getting help from a third party logistics provider. A third party logistics provider can help you with a variety of different aspects of your supply chain. They can help you conduct risk assessments, implement security controls, and train your employees. By getting help from a third party logistics provider, you can effectively reduce supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Now that you know more about how to reduce supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities, you can take steps to protect your business. By taking these steps, you can help reduce the impact of a supply chain disruption and keep your business running smoothly. Cybersecurity is an important issue in the supply chain that should be given the attention it needs. By taking a proactive approach, you can help reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions and keep your business running smoothly.

If you are not sure how to start assessing or remediating your supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities, you may want to consider getting help from a security-aware third party logistics provider. By working with a third-party logistics provider that has strong cyber-security skills, you can have confidence that you can effectively reduce your supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

If you have any questions or would like more information about reducing supply chain cybersecurity vulnerabilities, please contact us. We would be happy to help you protect your business from the many threats that exist in today’s digitized supply chain. If you would like more information or have questions about how strong your cyber-readiness is, please contact Montra at

Seven Practices To Improve IT Asset Logistics

Do you know where all your company’s IT assets are? If not, you’re not alone – many businesses find it difficult to track down every phone, computer, or software license. IT asset tracking is an essential process for any organization looking to manage its technology resources efficiently. By establishing and following standardized procedures, your team can ensure that all devices and software are accounted for, and that important data is protected. In this blog post, we will outline some of the best practices in IT asset logistics so that you can create a system that works best for your organization. 

IT asset logistics is the process of tracking, monitoring, updating, and securing assets throughout their lifecycle. This includes locating and identifying assets, recording and tracking changes to asset data, and maintaining security and control over assets.  

The main goal of IT asset logistics is to ensure that organizations have a clear understanding of where all their assets are always. This helps to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize the risk of lost or stolen assets.  

For an organization to implement an effective IT asset logistics solution, there are several key requirements that must be met: 

1. IT Asset Tracking Software: First and foremost, an organization needs appropriate IT asset tracking software. This software should be able to track every asset in the organization’s inventory, from laptops and smartphones to software licenses and cloud service subscriptions.

2. IT Asset Database: The IT asset tracking software should maintain a central database of all assets in the organization. This database should include detailed information about each asset, such as its make, model, serial number, and location. Not only does it provide a centralized repository for all data, but that data can also then be used to generate reports, conduct analysis, and track change over time. The asset database should be updated regularly to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. Additionally, the database should be accessible to authorized users only. This will help to ensure that sensitive information about assets is not compromised.

3. Device Tracking: The tracking software should be able to track the location of each physical device in real-time. This information can then be used to generate alerts if a device is moved without authorization, or if it goes missing. Additionally, the software should allow users to set up geo-fences so that they can be notified if a device enters or leaves a specified area. In some cases, it may also be necessary to attach tags to the IT device. These tags may use GPS or other technology to provide real-time locations for the IT devices, which can be useful for keeping track of high-value items or for monitoring device movements in real-time. Another common method is to use barcodes or RFID tags that can be affixed to devices and read using a handheld scanner. This data can be used to track the location of devices and keep inventory records up to date.

4. Reporting and Analytics: The reporting and analytics features of IT asset tracking software are key for understanding how assets are being used, where they are located, and other data points. These reports can be used to improve operational efficiency and optimize the utilization of assets. 

For example, a report on IT asset usage can help to identify which assets are being used most frequently and which ones are sitting idle. This information can then be used to make decisions about how to best allocate resources. Additionally, reports on asset location can help to ensure that assets are being used in the most efficient way possible. If an asset is constantly being moved from one location to another, it may be time to consider investing in additional units so that the asset can be used more efficiently.

5. Integration: Finally, IT asset logistics software should be able to integrate with other business systems. This includes ERP, CRM, accounting systems, monitoring and security systems, and shipping and procurement services. Integration allows organizations to automatically share data between different business processes and improve overall visibility into their operations. Integration is key when it comes to effective IT asset logistics. All too often, organizations silo their information, making it difficult to get a holistic view of their technology resources. By integrating your IT asset tracking system with other tools and processes, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that important data is not lost in the shuffle.

6. Automation: There are two ways to use automation to improve the accuracy and efficiency of IT asset logistics. The first is to automate the data collection process. This can be done in several ways, such as with barcodes or RFID tags, which are scanned by a handheld device. This data can then be used to track the location of devices and keep inventory records up to date. Secondly, you can use automated alerts to notify the appropriate personnel if a device is moved without authorization, goes missing so that your employees can take corrective action immediately.

7. Standardization: The last and most important aspects of IT asset logistics is to establish standardized procedures. This will ensure that all devices and software are accounted for, and that important data is protected. By following a set of standardized procedures, your team can improve communication and collaboration, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, standardized procedures will help to ensure that your tracking system is able to scale as your organization grows. 

IT asset logistics is a critical process for any organization that relies on physical assets. By implementing an effective asset tracking solution, businesses can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize the risk of lost or stolen assets. For more information on asset tracking, please contact us at!