REVIEWER: Meir Musawi, logistics manager for Keshev, Leumi Bank.

BACKGROUND: Leumi Bank is the largest commercial bank in Israel providing privet and commercial banking services.

PLATFORMS: The Precyse iLocate product suite is a mix of asset attached tracking devices, wireless infrastructure, a middleware server running on Windows Advanced Server and a business process visualization software server also running on Windows Advanced Server. Both applications use Microsoft SQL Server as a centralized database.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Small, highly mobile assets such as financial document parcels are hard to protect. Leumi bank was looking for a solution to provide real-time asset visibility between branches and central clearing facilities to protect some of the bank’s most valuable but easily misplaced documents. Every day, early in the morning, the bank’s Keshev clearing facility ships empty secured documents bags to more than 280 branches spread across the state. The bags are shipped via an external logistics provider using multiple vehicles. At the end of every business day, as the branches close, a pick-up operation launches, collecting the full secured document bags from the branches and delivering them to the clearing facility. Each bag contains monetary-related noncash financial documents, such as banker’s guaranty contracts, signed financial transaction documents, checks and similar documents. All of these documents have monetary value assigned to them, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars. Each truck is responsible for a cluster of branches (a route) and the bags arrive to the clearing facility along the night. Occasionally, the staff at the clearing facility would find that a specific bag couldn’t be located though the truck that was supposed to deliver it has already arrived and off loaded its parcels. An immediate search operation is launched, often very late at night, trying to locate the missing bag which might have been left behind at the branch, forgotten on the logistics truck, misplaced at the clearing house or any other number of alternatives. The high value of the documents in the bags made this problem a priority security and traceability challenge.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Each bag or parcel containing sensitive financial documents has been fitted with a Precyse Smart Agent – a bidirectional active RFID tag sewed into the bag. A wireless asset network covers the Keshev clearing facility. A large LCD display on the logistics room’s wall identifies a bag’s presence based on its route, using bright colors to indicate a missing bag in real time as trucks drive into the facility. This system helped the bank increase employee accountability while providing real-time traceability and automated data acquisition tools, which dramatically reduced the number of misplaced bags. With added real-time visibility, the bank was also able to reduce the labor time dedicated to counting, tracking and locating bags fourfold.

STRENGTHS: The purpose of the deployment was to automate data acquisition complimented by real-time high value asset location. The product’s key strengths were the attractive cost that allowed the bank to rapidly deploy (within days) and the ease of installation.

WEAKNESSES: Initially, we ran into problems with the smart tag’s enclosures, which occasionally broke down when the bags were sometimes stepped on or otherwise placed under very heavy weight. The vendor supplied us with a ruggedized enclosure that solved the problem.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose the iLocate Product Suite because of its attractive cost, ease of integration, deployment simplicity, high data reliability and security associated with a bidirectional network which delivers time-stamped, encrypted networking with daily swapped keys.

DELIVERABLES: The product provides us with a real-time view of financial document parcel (bag) location through an online dashboard. Daily delivery reports are also used to benchmark logistics providers’ performance and service.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The vendor assigned a dedicated project manager and deployment team that have been escorting us through the initial deployment as well as expansions we later added. This was instrumental to the project’s success.

DOCUMENTATION: The vendor provided a tailor-made user documentation and onsite training that made adaption easy, especially for the end users at the floor level.

iLocate Product Suite
Precyse Technologies Inc.
1700 E. Putnam Ave., Suite 401
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
(212) 326-9242

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