Investing in mobile technology helps keep your field-based staff better connected to your business, improves project management and scheduling, and provides improved customer experiences. Understanding upfront how devices will perform within your specific work environment and workflows helps increase productivity, efficiency, and helps save your business valuable time and costs. Four questions to ask before investing in mobile workforce technology:
How and where will the device be used? Consider requirements like: Will devices need to be used outdoors and possibly be read in direct sunlight? Will the devices (and possibly touchscreens) need to be used with gloves on? How long will the device need power? Will device recharging be available only at the end of the shift, is there a swappable battery available, etc? Mobile workforce devices need to withstand whatever weather environment your workers may require and be operable during entire shifts. Look for a rugged MIL-SPEC certified device with continuous 8+ hour battery life or swappable batteries to extend uptime.
Will you deploy a device to each person or will the device be shared? If the device is being used by multiple people and shifts, look for a device with a low failure rate and the durability to handle frequent drops, bumps, spills, and other accidents. Multi-user devices experience more accidents in general.
Do your existing IT resources have mobile technology expertise? You will need support during deployment, life-cycle management, and maintenance of mobile technology devices. Does your current IT resource have capabilities in device setup/staging, mobility security, hardware and software, application optimization, In-vehicle docks and mounts, configuration, and installation? Will they be able to manage deployment training, integration services, application services, and fast repair and replacement? Leading rugged mobile device manufacturers can offer services to augment your IT resources, or you can work with a Managed Services Provider with expertise in mobile solution efficiency.
What are your current IT support costs? Your total cost of ownership needs to consider not only the device procurement and implementation costs, but also the ongoing support costs. What does worker downtime cost your company? How is customer satisfaction compromised if your technology fails? While consumer-grade devices may require a lower initial investment, damage, repairs, shorter device life spans and ongoing replacement costs of these will quickly add up. Reputational or resource damages are costly as well. Investing in rugged technology that has improved failure rate and extra durability helps ensure that you have a reliable device to keep your IT support costs down and your workers more productive on the job.
Pearl Solutions Group is an IT company that knows how to make technology work in your vehicles. We are experienced with equipping and supporting mobile technology devices and infrastructure for fleet, field, and public safety workforces. When you partner with us, our experts work with you to define a strategy focused on integrating user experiences and processes and collaborating between your offsite and onsite teams. Our solutions include design and integration services, device and mounting procurement and installation, and continued help desk and support.