Executive Spotlight: Chris Glennon
Our Executive Spotlight series brings Carlton Technologies executives front and center to explore industry trends, discuss best practices and new products, and provide perspective on where the industry is headed. Today, we shine our spotlight on Chris Glennon, Vice President of Sales at Carlton.
Q: You’ve stated that Carlton doesn’t provide hardware, rather the company provides uptime. Why is uptime important and how is Carlton different from other companies at enabling uptime?
CHRIS GLENNON: No matter what type of facility our customers operate, whether it’s a hospital, warehouse, or distribution center, they’re using mobile computing devices to collect data. The ability to efficiently gather information is a mission-critical step in the broader context of their business. When they work with us, they are not only looking for a mobile device, they want a reliable and dependable method to eliminate any disruptions in their production cycle. To keep this flow of information open, in addition to mobile equipment, Carlton provides equipment maintenance, managed services, and asset management, including equipment exchange, configuration, and spare pool management, to ensure maximum uptime.
Carlton is different from other companies in that we’re focused on uptime. We’ve been in this business for nineteen years and everything we do, from training to sales, is geared toward keeping companies’ equipment up and running so they can glean the key insights to operate more efficiently and better serve their customers.
Q: What are the significant equipment trends you’re seeing in the market right now?
GLENNON: One of the more significant equipment trends is the end of support for Windows Mobile and Windows CE that is looming in 2020. That is causing quite a bit of uncertainty for companies using these operating systems on their mobile devices and encouraging others to consider upgrading their operating system in advance of the OEM pulling the plug. As companies review their options, many are considering changing to Android systems. We’re having conversations with customers now to help them determine if migrating to a different operating system is the right thing to do based on their current and future needs, business processes, infrastructure, and regulatory requirements. An end-of-support deadline doesn’t mean customers can’t get support for their equipment, it just means they can’t get it through the OEM. They have other options to pursue. Sometimes it’s in their best interest to upgrade, but sometimes it isn’t.
Another trend impacting our customers is the decision to purchase consumer or “ruggedized” mobile devices. Mobile devices are ubiquitous, and with lower price points, it’s easy to simply think a consumer device is the right choice, but that’s not always the case. We counsel our customers to look at the total cost of ownership, not the purchase price. While consumer devices are less expensive, depending on how a customer uses them, these devices might not be the most cost-effective option. Data suggests that in most enterprise applications, especially mission-critical applications, ruggedized equipment is the most cost-effective solution in the long run
Q: What are the key challenges that customers face when sourcing refurbished equipment, and how can Carlton help them overcome these challenges?
GLENNON: One of the key challenges customers face with refurbished mobile devices is quality. There are suppliers out there that simply sell used equipment, but “used” and “refurbished” are not the same thing, and that’s where quality comes in. We have a comprehensive, seven-step process that every piece of mobile equipment goes through. We’re running function tests on specific components and replacing common points where we’ve seen failures. We’re configuring the devices so they’re ready to go out of the box. And, since we’re running cosmetic checks and replacing damaged parts, the equipment looks as close to new as it can look.
Some customers have approached us only wanting new devices, and if that’s the best solution for their particular situation than that’s great, but often, new isn’t what they need. Sometimes, the device they need is not manufactured anymore, so new is not an option unless they want to upgrade all of their equipment. In these cases, certified pre-owned mobile devices are the best solution.
Q: At some point, every company needs to refresh its mobile technology. Discuss how Carlton straddles this line of providing customers with refurbished mobile equipment but also advising them when refurbished technology isn’t the best solution
GLENNON: It’s easy for us to straddle that line because we’re not focused on selling mobile equipment. That is one component of what we offer, but we’re essentially a lifecycle management company, and our goal is to help customers get the right equipment for their specific needs and then maintain it.
We understand that all businesses are looking for the same thing in a mobile device. They want to increase productivity, reduce their costs and become more efficient. We have an obligation to provide insight to these organizations around how their devices are performing against these goals, but we also want to alert them to other options that might serve them better.
That is why we are always looking twelve or eighteen months down the road to forecast lifecycle management costs. At some point, it might become cost prohibitive to maintain a current piece of mobile equipment. For example, if components for a current device become harder to find, this can drive up repair costs. We can predict these costs and compare them with the costs of migrating to new or refurbished equipment. And should the time come when a migration is in a customer’s best interest, we’ll help them find the best mobile equipment for their needs, whether we source that device or someone else sources it.
Q: What are some of the misconceptions that companies have when it comes to refurbished mobile equipment?
GLENNON: The biggest misconception I see is that some people believe refurbished mobile equipment is inferior to new devices. They might feel refurbished mobile equipment has a shorter lifespan, but that is not the case. We replace all the critical parts such as the digitizers, screens, switches, and cable connectors – all of those components that tend to break after the device has been in use for a while – so the life expectancy is similar to that of a new device.
Others might think if they purchase refurbished equipment they are going to get a device that looks used and abused, but since we replace any damaged external part, that’s not true either. Once customers work with us and experience for themselves the quality of our refurbished mobile devices, that misconception fades, but there is still a need to educate others who still believe that pre-owned equipment is somehow subpar to new devices.
Vice President of Sales
Joining Carlton Technologies in October of 2016, Chris brings 20 years of effective executive management and sales leadership experience to the organization. Throughout his career he has demonstrated success in building and leading high performance teams that deliver results