Successful enterprise mobility solutions are tied directly to the goals and objectives set by the business. These solutions enable organizations to seamlessly connect a mobile workforce to create growth opportunities, streamline processes and reduce costs. If you are evaluating a mobile solution for your business, here are four important considerations.
1. Scalability—Can You Handle the Growth?
To manage workflows in organizations with remote field workers, digital technologies can replace paper-based processes to significantly improve efficiency and accuracy. Reducing the number of lost or erroneous documents due to improper data collection can lower risk of fines or safety issues. Checking all of these boxes allows distributed enterprises to scale without limitation.
Start with these questions when evaluating if your business is prime for a mobile data collection solution:
- Do we have aggressive growth goals?
- Is our growth limited by the nature of our current process?
- Do we have established data collection processes?
- Are there efficiencies to be gained through quicker, more accurate and easier data collection in the field?
- Will real-time reporting or access to in-field data make for better-informed decisions?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your organization could benefit from a mobile solution. Transitioning to digital enterprise mobility can happen gradually, and testing can be piloted at one jobsite before installing across the company.
2. User Experience—Are You Keeping Things Simple?
Any application should have a user-friendly, intuitive interface. This is especially important for mobile given the limitations of a smaller screen. Users should be able to complete tasks seamlessly from the jobsite to the office. Before deployment, consider the following:
- Is it feasible for smartphones or tablets to be used in the field? Do workers wear heavy gloves or work in extreme conditions?
- How mobile savvy are our workers? Are they likely to have experience using mobile phones or tablets in their personal lives?
- How can current inefficiencies in our processes be solved with digital devices and storage?
- What impediments could cause the project to fail or limit daily work progress?
Remember, the impetus for deploying a digital mobile solution is to make the process quicker, easier and less prone to error. Answering these questions will inform your case.
3. Workflow—It’s About Time!
Employee training time needs to be factored into the planning and costs of implementing any mobile data collection process. When making the digital transition, ask the following questions:
- Does the solution allow for customization to our current processes?
- Will the solution make a user’s job easier?
- Can the solution reduce data errors or omissions at the point of entry?
- Does the reduced time to access the captured data in the cloud create opportunities or reduce risks?
While it may be tempting to overhaul existing processes when switching to digital, best practice is to replicate strengths of the current process for easier transition. While the data collection steps may change slightly, workers should not feel like they are learning an entirely new process. Recognizing similarities to old processes will grow their confidence to quickly adopt the new technology.
4. Compatibility—Can’t We All Get Along?
Integrations and compatibility are key to a successful mobile implementation. To avoid pitfalls, consider the following before choosing a digital mobile data collection solution:
- Can we replicate or improve our current digital or paper-based processes using the proposed solution?
- Is our workforce comfortable using mobile devices? Is the proposed solution compatible with those devices?
- What guarantees does the proposed solution provide to prevent becoming obsolete as new hardware or software upgrades come to market?
A long-term solution will be compatible across a vast majority of current devices and operating systems and with a road map to ensure compatibility stays intact. Ask your solution provider how they handle upgrades and new technology. If they don’t have a plan, consider an alternative provider. Advancements in technology are continuous, so it’s important to select mobile devices and software that can be updated and reconfigured easily.
Answering these initial questions will allow better understanding of potential gains and opportunities from a mobile data collection solution. Thinking through the development, process, training and implementation will help your organization navigate planning and transition.