Improved control over the gear used in crisis management
Crisis Management Centre Finland (CMC Finland) is a centre of excellence for civilian crisis management established in 2007 and operating as an independent centre under the Ministry of the Interior. CMC Finland is responsible for training, recruiting and equipping Finnish civilian crisis management and international rescue experts for international missions.
Crisis Management Centre Finland operates internationally and has around 120 civilian crisis management experts permanently deployed around the world. This has led to the need for better management of the different types of equipment distributed to experts on the move. Ville Mertamo, who is responsible for planning the logistics of the Crisis Management Centre, also needed an effective solution for managing stock balances. He is responsible for storage, procurement, delivery and return of equipment for experts.
The challenge was to get the warehouse in order and to have a clear overview of who had been given what equipment and tools, and to ensure that they were in working order. According to Mertamo, some of the equipment abroad was labelled "best before" and there was insufficient data to plan purchases. Several equipment management systems were compared, but many specialised in commercial rental rather than equipment management. Trail was selected as the most suitable for the needs. In particular, the easy lending feature was convincing.
"The possibility to use barcodes, QR codes and a mobile app were important for us. Pricing was made easy."
The implementation of the Trail in 2021 went well, with a few colleagues trained to use the system in addition to the main user Ville. They took care of distributing equipment to staff and, with reminders from Trail, reacted to balance changes and knew how to purchase new equipment when needed. Taking the time to categorise items in the warehouse facilitated rapid deployment.
Mertamo cites the ability to view stock balances remotely as one of the biggest benefits in everyday life, saving time for other tasks. Information on the maintenance history of satellite phones, for example, or the availability of different equipment, is easily accessible from anywhere. This in turn helps to budget for future purchases and reduce unnecessary investments. Wastage is clearly reduced by using Trail to know exactly what equipment each person has on loan. Mertamo particularly appreciates the fact that all the information is now in one system, not in separate word or excel files.
Since Trail works well for managing all kinds of equipment, an extension to other activities may be in the future. "Trail is a good basis for a wider roll-out for managing office furniture and equipment, for now Trail is being used with gear," says Mertamo.
Here's a tip from Mertamo for other Trail users: "Trail allows you to add other devices inside your devices, which I used to create separate satellite phones and connections. The connection was put under the phone's name, it can be transferred to another phone if necessary, e.g. if the device breaks."