Category Archive: iPad

I Forgot My SmartPhone

I LOVE mobile, mobile apps, mobile technology and mobile business. Don’t forget to disconnect and connect face to face, person to person!

Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software Solutions~~~~~~~~~~
Jody Sedrick, CEO
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenwareinc
LinkedIn Profile
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Zenware is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software.

Mobile Apps – the POWER of Roles

Field Service DispatcherRecently we met with a property management company to discuss implementing ZenTouch to manage their field service crews and customers. One of the very first questions I asked the management decision team was “What are the roles of each person involved in your field service team?”

This one question led to an in depth discussion of each member of their field service team. We not only discussed the role of each person but the business processes associated with each job role. We discovered that they had 4 primary roles that while different were interrelated and dependent upon each other. These included:

  • Field Service Tech
  • Field Service Manager
  • Office Manager / Dispatcher
  • Director / Sr. Manager

Each of these roles had specific needs and goals that they were trying to address.

  • Field Service Tech
    • Mobile Work orders that can be sent directly to their SmartPhone. “We want to be able to dispatch a new service ticket any time during the day. We also want to limit the amount of travel into our office.”
    • The ability to add work orders or service items to a work order in the field. “Sometimes our guys need to add service items to a work order.”
    • Semi-Rugged Tablet – “Our guys have fat grimy fingers”
    • Easy to use, intuitive interface that will make it “easier” to enter work order information. “Some of our guys are slow to adopt technology.”
    • Automatically push changes – “Changes don’t occur all the time. But there are changes. We’d like automatically push those changes to the technician.
    • Integration with GPS Maps to “guide them to their next job assignment”
  • Field Service Manager
    • Service Team Location – “I’d like to know where my guys are, or at least their last know location. I want to better plan the location of their next service call”
    • Inventory / Parts Tracking – “It would be nice to know when my guys are getting low on parts so I can pre-order parts for example HVAC filters”
    • Time Tracking – “I would like to know when my guys start and stop a job. It would also be nice to track time in route”
  • Office Manager / Dispatcher
    • Daily and Weekly planning – “I need to quickly switch between a day view and week few so that I can strategically plan service jobs.
    • Service Team Location – “Like our Field Service manager I need to know where our guys are right now. This would be particularly helpful when responding to emergency jobs I could assign a technician based on his location and job load.”
    • Time Tracking – “I would like to know when they start and stop a job. It would also be nice to track time in route”
    • Have completed Work Orders automatically come into the system. “I’m tired of trying to decipher if a 5 is an S or a 7 is a T”
  • Director / Sr. Manager
    • Productivity Reports – “I’d like to analyze which of our guys are the best producers.”
    • Profitability Reports – “I’d like to at a glance see the services that generate the largest margin. On the flip-side, I’d like to see the least profitable services so I can adjust pricing or identify training areas to improve my team”
    • Data Visibility – “I’d like a solution that presents data graphically so that I can easily identify trends in our business.”
    • Point and Click process to add notes to service tickets. “This will give us insight as to challenges on individual jobs or customers.”
    • Automated Processes – “I’d like to see greater productivity out of the entire team. I see the Office Manager and Field Service Manager shuffling through paper. Sometimes they’ll invoice a customer and then a week later a change sheet comes in that got left in a guys truck. We then have to send an adjust invoice. That doesn’t always sit well with customers. I know we can better utilize their time”

As you can see each role is unique but connected at the same time. Discussing these roles enabled us to explore business processes, bottle necks, customer acceptance policies, scheduling, inventory management, appropriate devices, reporting needs and interdependencies to help each player fulfill their role and create a unified team.

Whether you decide to implement an off-the-shelf, cloud or customer built solution the real challenge is implementing a system that is flexible and powerful enough to accommodate each business role in an efficient manner that allows for seamless transitions of data from one user to the next.

Businesses that have adopted role based mobile systems are discovering the power of roles – that the right data, at the right time, in the hands of the right person enables them to drive business now.

Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software Solutions~~~~~~~~~~
Jody Sedrick, CEO
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenwareinc
LinkedIn Profile
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zenware is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software.

 

 

 

 

I Have iPads, Now What?

This week I had a great lunch meeting with a new client. One of the first things my client shared with me was the fact that “We’ve purchased 20 plus iPads for a pilot project and now everyone is wondering what to do with them.” The client then asked me “Do you have some recommendations?”

This is a common theme I run across among potential and new clients. In their excitement and promise of enterprise mobility they rush to invest in new equipment without developing a plan for enterprise mobility.

The timeliness of this is evidenced in Kevin Benedict’s blog post today highlighting some of the results of his  2012 Mid-Year Enterprise Mobility Survey where he asked vendors key questions about the challenges encountered implementing mobility. The number one challenge…. Drum roll please…..

“Q: What are your biggest challenges to implementing enterprise mobility today?”

“A: The number 1 answer was, “Developing an enterprise-wide mobile strategy.”  There was a tie for the next 2 between, “Determining anticipated ROIs” and, “Educating stakeholders on the potential impact of enterprise mobility on the business.” 

(source Kevin Benedict’s Enterprise Mobility Strategy Blog)

The importance of developing an enterprise-wide mobile strategy is critical. Many companies that I’ve delivered mobile solutions for are on the third or fourth mobile implementation specifically because they hadn’t developed or thought through these three areas.

In the case of my client this week they clearly hadn’t developed an enterprise-wide mobile strategy. In fact it was just the opposite, they through iPads at the stake holders and said “here catch the vision of mobility”. That’s going to be a little difficult with 14 plus divisions, each with different ideas, interest, understanding, comfortability and vision of mobility. Further compounding the problem, each division has it’s own ability to accept or reject the proposed solutions. (You might have guessed it’s a state entity).

How do you successfully implement an enterprise solution in such an environment? You have to go back to the foundational requirements.

  1. Develop an enterprise-wide mobile strategy.
  2. Educating Stake Holders
  3. Determine anticipated ROIs

I’m working with my client through this process now.

Notice that while Kevin’s survey results showed “Determining Anticipated ROIs” and “Educating Stakeholders” tied in importance, each customer is going to be slightly different. But generally I see the exact trends that are demonstrated in Kevin’s Survey.

With my current customer I placed educating stake holders a higher priority based on the sophistication, interest and willingness to adopt mobility of the division managers. Either way you will have to address both of these issues. I tend to see educating stake holders and determining anticipated ROIs as dependent companions that help illustrate and articulate the transformative power of mobility.

Bottom line don’t do anything with mobility until you lay a solid foundation for success.

Jody Sedrick

Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile 
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Zenware is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, ipad software development, iphone software development, custom web development, web hosting and Saas based work order management software.