We all know that the use of tablets is increasing rapidly and we have seen the statistics to prove it however do you really know how this mobile technology can help your business and how to implement it? We have some practical examples of how different businesses have incorporated them into their processes and how they can be used to cut costs by making the process and staff more efficient.
Patrick Stafford from SmartCompany recently returned from a technology convention in America and he noted the following in relation to clever ways companies are using tablets: “There were a few big announcements from Sony and Microsoft, but what I found more interesting was the clever ways companies are beginning to use tablets, integrating them into their own products. There were plenty of these examples across the convention. But while we’ve seen some of that type of tablet integration in Australia, it’s certainly not commonplace.
There are some who are doing it well. Businesses that are creating tablet apps of their own to manage inventory, or show off a particular shopping experience to customers.
Country Road, for instance, is training its shopping staff on how to use iPads so they don’t have to stand behind a till all day. They can walk around the store and assist and even charge customers without having to head back to the counter.
Small businesses might argue they don’t have time or money to create specific, tailored apps. That’s fair enough, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on using tablets in interesting ways.
I’ve been to a winery where the managing company used iPads to allow customers to sign up for an emailing list. There are businesses which use iPads to access inventory spreadsheets, while others, like Country Road, are using them for mobile tills.”
We have been able to incorporate tablets into our business without the need for any costly apps or software. Our staff that are out of the office seeing clients, whether sales or service, have been able to get rid of paperwork and carry with them a tablet that can display documents i.e. job sheets, forms, proposals etc. Clients are able to sign forms on the screen of the tablet which is easily emailed directly back to the office and/or a copy to the client. No more bringing back the jobs at the end of the day and waiting for paperwork – it can be received straight after the job is finished. All documentation is filed electronically in a much more efficient way.
Through remote terminal services, a simple setting activated on the server, mobile staff using tablets are able to access any programs that we use in the office, including our client database so they have all the client’s information and history at their finger tips. All of this has been achieved without any costs for apps or software, just the initial cost of the tablets and then utilising settings on our server that already existed.