The day of the briefcase is gone. Workers are carrying around smartphones, tablets and PCs — resulting in an increased need for remote access to daily documents and processes.
If your company doesn’t have a mobility solution, your employees — who now have mobile devices on them at all times — will be less productive. And if it’s a hassle for staff to remotely access documents and processes, not only will your employees lack the tools to do their jobs anytime, anywhere, delays can transfer to waiting customers.
Heather Stump, applications delivery manager at Blue Technologies Smart Solutions, says companies are focused on getting information to people quickly and easily, such as adding bring-your-own-device policies. But you need a mobility solution that can work with a variety of devices.
“The information that employees are working with often needs to be seen by multiple people. The need for collaboration through the company’s network is huge, regardless if you’re in the field or sitting at your desk,” Stump says.
Smart Business spoke with Stump about business mobility needs and how employers can find the best-fit technology.
Where are mobility needs currently growing most for businesses?
Employees today need access to critical information while on appointment, traveling or working remotely. And companies must keep processes moving while these employees are on the go.
It hits a variety of industries and jobs, especially those that operate in the field with clients, such as health care, or on location like in a courtroom, as with legal. For instance, insurance adjustors travel to different accident scenes to take photos while on-site. With a mobility solution, they can upload them directly to the system’s workflow to enable their home office to process the claim immediately.
Executives who need to approve payments and invoices also can benefit from mobility solutions. If a business owner heads south for the winter, it’s a good idea to implement technology where he or she can log on to a mobile device to review and approve something, rather than mailing or emailing copies, which slows down the workflow.
Key processes(s) that commonly bottleneck without mobility solutions include invoice approvals, payables and anything to do with sales or other client-facing activities. If it takes longer to process an order, complaint, claim or even answer a question, it impacts customer satisfaction and your ability to meet deadlines.
How can businesses meet these needs?
On-premise business solutions like document management often can be extended and reconfigured to allow for mobility within your network, without adding multiple pieces of technology. Whether it’s a cloud or on-premise solution, vendors have developed apps that can be downloaded and utilized with different mobile devices. This provides built in mobile support and security, while also making it less time consuming and more cost-effective to get a mobility solution up and running.
Some mobility features include printing from a mobile device, uploading photos and adding notes, or taking a photo of a document where optical character recognition turns that text into editable and searchable data.
Another trend is electronic forms that allow employees to gather information remotely. A sales person can sit down with a client at his or her location, fill out the form, get an electronic signature and submit an order immediately.
Are these solutions difficult to implement? How can employers determine the right mobility solution?
Mobility solutions aren’t difficult to implement because they are often integrated with existing platforms and processes.
If you have the need — demonstrated by pain points like mobile employees who can’t access your network — it’s worth the investment, which will provide increased productivity and cost saving, among other benefits. The ROI doesn’t have to be monetary, either. Are your customers satisfied? Are your employees satisfied? Are you giving your staff the tools they need, or servicing customers in a timely manner?
Your technology partner can help you evaluate your needs, determine the right fit and assist with implementation.
Insights Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies Inc.