Everybody may be talking about enterprise mobility, i.e., mobile computing, but few discuss the out-of-pocket costs. The same goes for ongoing ones. What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a mobile technology solution?
Not having an answer to the question bars many businesses from embracing mobile solutions. Call it analysis paralysis, an uncertain economic forecast, or the upfront money. Whatever it is, it often prevents CEOs and CFOs from making an investment in mobility.
We get it. The price tag matters. There are a lot of technology choices from which to choose. The economy is still sluggish. Transforming into a mobile-ready company isn’t easy when you consider all of those elements, not to mention the potential onboarding time or the need to adopt new policies and procedures. Mobility is hard. It takes time, money, and effort.
Think about the Question Differently
However, we suggest thinking about the question differently. Consider it interms of return on investment (ROI). The money and time put forth now may seem exorbitant, but what do they translate to in the future?
To put the question in perspective, think of other investments, namely, personal ones. For example, you may be working with a personal trainer or nutritionist to meet health goals. If that’s the case, did you make the investment based solely on the upfront cost? Probably not. You did some research, figured out the best options, and proceeded from there. You were looking for the person or people who would have the most impact. The cost itself became negligible because you knew what results to expect.
It’s a similar story with mobile computing. It might have a high price tag, but it promises a greater reward. Let’s look at a couple of ways enterprise mobility is improving the business and leading to huge ROI.
1. Operational Efficiency
Every business has inefficiencies. It’s a hard truth to swallow, but it’s true. No business is perfect.All processes and workflows require regular refinement and improvement.
The truth applies regardless of the company’s size, and the problem only magnifies if the business spans multiple locations. Now, operational efficiencies are potentially occurring vertically and horizontally. The business has its historical inefficiencies -- the systems put in place decades ago -- as well as emerging ones, either because of changes in employees’ work habits or localized processes that were created for a particular time and place.
Without mobility, it’s difficult to solve those inefficiencies at scale. You might be able to tackle one problem at a time, but by the time you address it, economic and workplace conditions have changed so much that the systems and processes already need to be revamped. You’re trying to do good, but the efforts are more or less the proverbial drop in the ocean.
The only answer is mobility, i.e., the cloud. The cloud gives you a greater ability to adapt to the changing marketplace and to do so in an economical and effective manner. Yes, creating the right infrastructure and developing policies and processes will be an investment, but it’s an investment worth making.
2. Talent Management
You only have a certain number of experts. In some industries, like mining, that number is declining sharply due to people retiring and other factors.
But what’s the solution here? Experts don’t appear out of thin air--though we might wish that they could. Experts are experts because of training and experience. Almost nothing can beat that.
Nothing can, really, but what you can do is augment experts with secure, real-time video collaboration tools. Rather than sending them out every time a disaster strikes or an inspection is needed, set them up in control centers. They can then work alongside junior inspectors and auditors to get more things done.
As a result, experts see increases in personal productivity and efficiency, and junior-level and new employees benefit from on-the-job training and expertise. It’s a win-win for everyone, including your checkbook.
To quantify the number, think about how many experts are sent out on a monthly basis. Now multiply that number by a conservative four. The product is approximately how many more inspections and audits they could be completing if they were to be given a mobile video collaboration solution.
3. Operational Expenses
The typical inspector or auditor spends a lot of time traveling. The costs add up quickly, particularly if they’re traveling to a remote area or a hazardous environment like a mine or oil rig.
Travel is only one piece of the equation. You’re also looking at budget items like food and lodging and lost opportunities. Customer retention might be an issue, too. If customers are calling employees directly, as often is the case for field workers, what happens if they can’t get ahold of them?
More bodies might seem like a solution, but those bodies are going to be stuck traveling in a car or airplane at some point. And, they aren’t always going to be available to take a call, which could increase customer churn.
The answer here isn’t more bodies but more technology. With mobile solutions,you can centralize communications and ensure a good experience throughout the customer lifecycle. Customers may have a favorite inspector, and in some instances it might be worthwhile to cater to their preferences, but most of the time,they care about getting a solution to their problem, fast.
Mobile computing and technologies like on-demand video can decrease travel expenses, too. Think about how many inspections and audits are done on a monthly basis. Now subtract the number of inspections where remote video can do the job. Even if it’s only four remote inspections per week, that can be a huge cost-savings over time.
If you’re looking for a sure investment in 2016, look no further than mobile computing and real-time video technologies like EyeSight. You can achieve high returns, not to mention greater customer satisfaction and retention. If you want to figure out the exact ROI, give us a call. We’d be glad to help.
Image: Simon Cunningham (Creative Commons)