There is a lot of confusion around what mobile device procurement really is and how to get it done. It is easy to label it a technical task: “Hardware? Features? Configuration? That’s the responsibility of the IT department.”
But as any company leader will tell you, technology itself is useless unless it solves a business problem. And understanding the business problem, then putting the right technology in place to help, is what a single-source solution provider can do for you.
Your business problem
What is the problem you’re seeking to solve? We were working with a national convenience store chain that was looking for ways to save its delivery drivers time. A typical scenario was that the driver would pull into the store parking lot, park, go into the store to find the manager to get sign off for the delivery. As you can imagine, this could easily eat up 10 minutes of the driver’s time per store. Extrapolate that out to 900+ stores and you’ve got a lot of wasted time.
Because we took the time to understand the scenario the business wanted to solve, we were able to put the right technology in to speed up the process. We recommended a series of tablets and apps that enabled the driver to park, get electronic sign off for the delivery while still in the truck, then begin unpacking the goods immediately. At 900+ stores with deliveries being made once a week, those 10 minutes per store of looking for, or waiting for, the store manager transformed into 3.75 days saved each month.
What is the best device to solve the problem? Outside of the IT department, most business leaders have limited knowledge of the vast selection of devices available from the vendors each month. Would an iPhone be the best fit? An Android tablet? Beyond personal preference and experience, most business users don’t have the vast understanding of which technology is the best to solve the business problem.
In the case of the national convenience store chain, we found that introducing the iPhone was the best bet, as it could save $8 per device per month by removing a carrier’s messaging app and empower the whole team to message for free using iMessage. Further, with the proprietary apps that the business needed to complete sign off on te deliveries, we found the iOS support was most efficient on their network for this process.
While there are only two major mobile operating systems (iOS and Android) on the market, there are hundreds of devices and several major manufacturers. Each manufacturer has their own device launch schedule, enterprise mobility applications, security features, backwards compatibility elements as well as strengths and weaknesses in different enterprise use cases.
Keeping up with all this while developing and maintaining good working relationships that enable quantity discounts, kitting and configuration arrangements, as well as priority ordering, is a full-time job in itself. Despite best efforts by your internal IT department, they are not in an ideal position to get your company the best deal, nor are they able to fully support the devices through the lifecycle.
This is where working with a single-source solution provider will help your company get the best technology to solve your business problem. Successful enterprise mobile solutions are not just based on device features. You must consider your end users, and how technology empowers them to meet the objectives of your organization. That does not sound like a technical job, does it? Don’t leave it to IT, call in the experts.
Learn more about mobile device procurement and how we can provide you with the support you need for each implementation. Please feel free to leave a comment below about your own experiences, to ask a question.