Avoiding Supply Chain Bottlenecks: A Case For Moving To Mobile Credentials

Last week, the global supply crisis, dubbed ‘Containergeddon,’ forced Walmart and other major retailers to hire their own ships in an attempt to beat the disruptions that threaten to torpedo the retail industry’s “make-or-break” holiday season.

An Attempt to Fix Global Supply Chain Bottlenecks

This week, The White House made an announcement that Walmart and other major goods carriers, including FedEx and UPS, will begin working 24/7 in an attempt to address the global supply chain bottlenecks that are plaguing every industry.

While these announcements are certainly good news, it will likely be months or even years before we actually get back to normal as the pandemic’s surging delta variant continues to upend factory production in Asia and disrupts shipping as well.

Port Congestion May Become a New Normal

“Port congestion and a shortage of container shipping capacity may last into the fourth quarter or even mid-2022,” said Hsieh Huey-chuan, president of Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp., the world’s seventh-biggest container liner, at an investor briefing on August 20, 2021. “If the pandemic cannot be effectively contained, port congestion may become a new normal.” 

Global Supply Chain Bottlenecks Will Affect Both You and Your Business

Still not convinced that these supply chain issues are going to affect you or your business? Check out CNN’s video taken from a US Coast Guard helicopter over the cargo ship bottleneck trying to get into ports along the California coast.

In a nutshell, if there was ever a year to avoid last-minute gift shopping, this year is it! Americans will likely see higher prices and empty shelves this holiday season due to the slowdown in shipping and distribution that has caused shortages across the country.

And, the same is true for schools and businesses. If your school or business is used to ordering your printer ribbons & supplies, ID cards, and other consumables “on-demand” or “as needed,” you may find yourself without the products you need … just when you need them the most.

“This is a wake-up call … you can’t operate with the model of yesterday,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director, Port of Long Beach to CNN news.

Readers and Credentials Part of our Everyday Lives

“Readers and credentials have become a part of our everyday life, though some might not even realize it,” says Brian Marris, product manager of readers, controllers, and credentials at Allegion. “When you check into a hotel, you expect to receive a plastic card or to be able to load a mobile credential to your phone. If you were handed a brass key for your hotel room, you would be surprised. … Most large corporations leverage physical credentials. Universities are moving … to physical or mobile credentials. Healthcare facilities have been using physical credentials for access and identification for years.”

Avoiding Supply Chain Bottleneck by Adopting Mobile Credentials

In HID Global’s 2021 State of Physical Access Control Report, they reported that more than half of companies have either already upgraded to mobile credentials, are currently in the process of upgrading to mobile credentials, or have plans to deploy mobile access in the future.

And, with the current state of our global supply chain, we expect that number to grow significantly this year.

Case Study: Integrating Mobile Credentials with Visitor, Student, and/or Membership Management Platforms

Here at Higgins, we recently integrated OpenTech’s PeopleTrack SM and a Safetrust Mobile Wallet to create a solution for one of our clients in their High School and Middle School. Students were notified by email which included simple instructions on how to download the Safetrust Wallet, sign-in, and easily access their mobile credentials as needed.

The time saved on the logistics of card printing was significant. Rather than having students come in one at a time to take a photo, enroll, and print out a card, all of the students were imported all at once and their credentials issued simultaneously via the registration email and app sign-in. Instead of that enrollment process taking days, it is now instantaneous.

Give Higgins a Call

For more information about mobile credentials and how your company or school can use them to avoid being caught up in these global supply chain bottlenecks, give us a call at 800.486.1312 to speak to your local Higgins Identity Expert.