Tuesday, March 06, 2007

30 Reasons to Mobilize Your Business using Mobile Handheld PDAs


ROI (return on investment) is the term used to define the value of a solution relative to the cost. If a mobile solution for use on a mobile handheld PDA cost $50,000, how do you justify this investment? Management needs to see that their investment will provide them with a positive return. The following list contains some of the most common justifications for mobilizing business processes using mobile software for handheld PDAs:

  1. Eliminate time spent in the office re-typing data collected in the field.

  2. Eliminate time spent on the phone dispatching service tickets or work orders, rather dispatch electronic service tickets direct from your computer to the mobile device of your service technician.

  3. Send driving directions from Google Maps in the electronic work order; saves time finding work locations.

  4. Avoid the fuel costs incurred delivering paperwork to the office; rather synchronize the data direct from the field to the central database application.

  5. Avoid the time cost transporting paperwork from the field to the office.

  6. Save time and provide better customer service by providing real-time access to enterprise data while in the field. Enable mobile access to customer history, product documentation, warranty information, inventory information, time sheets, work schedules and much more.

  7. Speed up field data collection by using barcode scanners and barcode labels on assets. A quick scan with your handheld computer can automatically display all stored information related to the asset for quick review, edits and additions.

  8. Create and schedule service tickets direct from the field , rather than using office staff. This avoids the need to involve the central office staff for this purpose.

  9. Immediate invoicing for faster collections and cash management.

  10. Proof of work – GPS audit trail of work. Detail work completed in that location.

  11. Reduce introduction of errors - paper based systems are inherently slow and error prone. The more hands touch a paper form and add or edit data, the more chances that errors can be introduced to the data.

  12. Ensure complete data is sent from the field – incomplete field data can take hours of work to track down later .

  13. Avoid bad handwriting errors and misunderstandings – by creating prepared pick-lists and using handheld keyboards.

  14. Validate answers on the mobile software application – ensure accuracy of data.

  15. Digital images to document work - with before and after digital photos that synchronize back to the office.

  16. Push data to the handheld – avoid time on the phone and note taking while driving by pushing documents directly from the office to the handheld.

  17. Vehicle and handheld GPS tracking for quicker dispatch and least cost routing- handheld computers with GPS functionality can integrate with GIS and display the location of the field worker to help managers better organize service responses.

  18. Compute and analyze data on the handheld in the field – programmed analytics can help field users make quicker and better decisions.

  19. Automated business processes - your mobile application can be configured to perform all kinds of automated business functions, queries, computations, analytics and many more time consuming features automatically based on data input or buttons pushed.

  20. Enforce business processes for efficiency and best practices - mobile software solutions can be configured to ensure the field user follows the appropriate business processes based upon the data entered (a specific answer can force a separate business process.

  21. Avoid lost data on paper forms —capture data immediately and sync to headquarters.

  22. Avoid undocumented inventory usage and unbilled time due to forgetfulness- enforce real time data entry before clock out or work order completion.

  23. Require clock in and clock out at jobsites to document the accuracy of work estimates.

  24. Train new service technicians and inspectors with audio memos or video clips.

  25. Capture digital signature for proof-of-delivery and proof of work.

  26. Enforce and automate best practices business processes.

  27. Automatically track inventory and parts usuage on the handheld computer.

  28. Query for available inventory in nearby work vans to save travel time and fuel cost.

  29. Use information on handheld computers to up-sell more products and services while onsite with the customer.

  30. Query latest shipping status or inventory levels via handheld computer while onsite with customer