It seems the term mobility or mobile is primarily a personal consumer topic these days from conversations ranging from the latest iPad to what is the coolest app to download. The innovation we see is not limited to just your personal device, it has spilled into the business world, and for the better.
With the advent of new technology and a focus on ROI, many organizations are seeing the benefits of mobility. As seen with Bally Total Fitness (ref #1), they identified a large opportunity to re-think their sales and customer interaction strategy by introducing iPad’s and mobilizing their work force. The result was a positive incline of sales achieving a Return on Investment within the first year.
To mobilize your organization, companies must think beyond the typical approaches, which I term Mobile 1.0, to thinking of extending business processes and capitalizing on efficiencies and real-time data, Mobile 2.0.
The term Mobile 1.0 is established in most organizations, it is seen when mobility is used in typical business processes, such as procurement approval requests on your blackberry, or email/instant message communication. The return on investment in most cases takes many years, and the overall efficiencies gained are negligible and very hard to quantify. It’s a great way to have a direct line to the individual, but does not provide any real advantage to them or the business.
In a Mobile 2.0 world, the mobile device is extended beyond the simple approaches. Imagine if you would, having your clients come to you while you are sitting in your warehouse, knowing exactly what stock was available, where it was located and how quickly you could get it from rack to pallet to the customers location. In the real world unfortunately, this never happens, sales staff are on the road, in customer locations, spread across a large geography. With Mobility 2.0, you can emulate the first scenario while sitting in your customer’s office. Arm your team with visibility into warehousing systems, logistics dash boarding, all the while enabling them to make solid commitments to their clients. The positive domino effect of this type of service is astronomical and quantifiable. For example, accuracy of service reduces frequency of calls to your service desk inquiring on status or even worse, complaining about shipment delays, disappointment is mitigated by setting expectations upfront. This keeps your sales team in relationship building mode and selling versus fighting fires.
In the Mobile 2.0 world, organizations are also rethinking their tie or reliance on the iconic PC. Businesses have embarked on transitioning employees from the traditional PC shackles to mobile devices such as tablets. In this post-PC era, employees are mobilized, enabling them to perform their functions freely and more natural. For example, in the property management industry, building staff are expected to perform a suite of duties whereby most are not naturally “desk” oriented. Duties such as suite inspections or work-orders are performed within the building and cannot be done at a desk. With the advent of user friendly devices and technology to support it, mobile devices are implanted in the process for data input and extraction, enabling real-time interaction, improving on data accuracy and while capitalizing on efficiencies. It doesn’t stop there, once the site staff return to the office, as a portion of their job requires physical presence, they transform the tablet into the traditional PC style form-factor by dock the device to a keyboard and monitor. This form of thinking, found in the Mobile 2.0 world, provides tangible ROI. Savings in data integrity, reduction in hardware requirements, multi-purpose devices, and the list goes on, while benefits to the organization continue to add up.
The need to stay ahead of your competition is a topic of daily discussion in most organizations. Mobile 2.0 is a business’s new frontier ensuring you keep that gap.