If you’re not using mobile technology in some aspect of your business today, you’re probably not keeping up with your competition. Mobile technology offers many opportunities to improve day-to-day operations anywhere from stepping up customer service, attracting new business, to improving operational efficiency. Overall, adopting mobile technology will increase productivity and profitability.
Here are some of the benefits of mobile technology in business
Access information whenever you need it, wherever you are
For example, when meeting with customers, you can access the customer’s account information over the internet which can be updated in real time while you are away from the office. Furthermore you could set up a new customer account, check prices and stock availability, or place an order all while working off site.
Within and between businesses, mobile applications enable workers to communicate with staff, customers, and vendors. Workers can use company data and resources while out of the office anywhere in the world so that they can be productive and make use of company resources. Microsoft SharePoint, the most widely used intranet in business today, now comes with a mobile component in its latest 2016 release.
Reach out to your potential customers via SMS, mobile websites, apps, banner ads, and more. Advertisements can be customized to reach a targeted audience. In terms of response rate, mobile marketing is approximately five times more effective than the average email marketing campaign.
Business Intelligence at your fingertips
Having relevant accurate data at your fingertips to support your particular business activity means real time up-to-date information to make informed business decisions in a shorter period of time which is particularly advantageous in a fast-paced and competitive business world.
Mobile applications can be custom built or you can use pre-built solutions. The deciding factor will be discovered upon evaluating your business, identifying pain-points, and deciding if a mobile solution will help.
How to plan for adoption of mobile computing technology
Start with your business
Review your business processes such as customer interactions, order fulfillment, product manufacturing, or internal operations, for example. Then pin-point areas where your company is not meeting customer service level expectations or is lagging in productivity.
Can a mobile solution help?
Once you have identified these pain points, asses if any of them could be resolved by the use of mobile technology. For example, if your business is a warehouse which needs to keep track of its inventory, workers entering data on a paper and clipboard is a slow and error prone process. The use of barcode and RFID technology reduces time, increases the amount of items captured, and eliminates errors due to poor transcription. Some tablets, such as the Motion F5M, have a built in barcode/RFID scanner which means it can be used along with software that can carry out another functions beyond simple scanning.
Select the software and devices
This part of the process will involve both management and IT. Selecting the right software and devices requires considerations of the following:
- Look at what devices the majority of your field staff are already using. If the majority of your workers are equipped with iPhones, switching to a Windows device may be less practical.
- Choose the most optimum platform and software that meets the requirements of your application.
- Consider if the devices will need to be integrated into an existing system such as an ERP or CRM, which will factor in when developing the software for the application.
- Weigh the costs and benefits of developing a custom mobile application or purchasing a pre-built one that may suit your requirements.
Mobile applications have a lot of value in business and adopting the right mobile computing technology involves a lot of considerations. The cost of implementing a mobile computing strategy will pay off in dividends because in today’s competitive business world, poor customer satisfaction and inefficient processes can be nails in the coffin for any company big or small.