Thursday, September 27, 2012

Competing with Mobile Technologies

Tough competitive markets can be a call to improve and innovate for many services businesses. It can be that extra push, that motivation we need to conduct some introspection. It is these times that require reviewing how we are doing business today with a critical eye on how we can accomplish more with less (increasing productivity), improve customer service and reduce inefficiencies. Mobile Technologies can play a significant role in all three areas.

The following list identifies a few of the many areas where mobile technologies commonly can help a services business become more competitive.  As you read through this list, think about other areas in your unique business where mobile technologies would offer value:
  1. Efficiencies in communicating information between the office and the remote service technician or jobsite
  2. Efficiencies in planning and scheduling work based upon job status, location, parts and supply inventories and expertise
  3. Reducing fuel costs
  4. Reducing travel time
  5. Reducing redundant data entry activities
  6. Increasing productivity – more average service calls per service technician in a day
  7. Increasing service contract sales
  8. Increasing equipment upgrade sales
  9. Increasing collections and reducing DSO (day sales outstanding) with electronic invoicing, and the swiping of debit/credit cards via mobile devices
  10. Improving inventory control and management - visibility to parts needed, the location of inventory and parts used on each job or service ticket
  11. Reducing risks by ensuring safety procedures are followed
  12. Improving management visibility into work done in the field to ensure quality services

These 12 ideas, of course, are just the start.  They are just some of the most obvious. In times of rapid growth, inefficiencies are often overlooked in a rush of new sales and business growth. However, when competition increases, it is a good time to re-evaluate business processes in order to eliminate the inefficiencies, and improve productivity and customer service.

It is not a luxury to invest in enterprise mobility.  Enterprise mobility is here for the rest of your career, and the future of many companies is dependent on how they embrace and take advantage of mobile technologies.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC (Social, MOBILE, Analytics and Cloud), Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.