With field services becoming ever more popular with companies wanting to expand their workforce past the four walls, we take a look at some of the most innovative products that were once tied to the office and now exceed expectations out in the field. Over 8 in 10 organisations are developing enterprise mobile applications; we assess the benefits to companies and their workforce.
Customers expect increased customer service and businesses are battling to provide the very best service, predominantly by expanding their workforce out into the field.
By branching out into field services, companies are noticing;
Increased worker communication and improved worker productivity
The integration of voice technology in most handheld devices eliminates the need for a worker to carry a separate mobile phone, allowing them to connect with their co-workers ‘back at base’ from a remote location.
Data collected no longer has to wait until the device is back in the office for it to be extracted; it can be seamlessly connected to head office instantly whilst out in the field by using a range of connectivity options such as 3G/4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPRS, GPS, RS232, WLAN and WWAN. This eliminates any time associated with processing paperwork at the end of the shift which could effectively allow the worker to complete more jobs during their day.
Mobile printers are now commonly used for parking enforcement, event ticketing and transport receipt printing which often require continuous printing from a mobile device. Our mobile printers are lightweight enough to fit on a belt clip or hold in one hand for an extended length of time, plus easy media and ribbon loading means downtime is reduced and worker productivity is improved.
Reduced operational costs
When you think of a computer, most people will picture a desktop and a keyboard with cables and leads attaching it to various appliances. This is evidently not practical out in the field – in most circumstances the more compact the better- and with the rising availability of handheld devices that can perform to the level of a PC, it seems logical for increased productivity for these devices to be utilised.
Knowing which application or industry the tablet or handheld will be used in can determine what features are required, whether that be a long lasting battery life, ruggedness, large screen size or connectivity options.
Handhelds are increasingly used in assisting mobile workers in industries such as postal, transport & logistics, field sales and utilities, allowing users to access job lists and send confirmation back to the office using remote connectivity capabilities such as 3G/4G and GPS to communicate exact location. In bygone days, workers were required to return to the office between jobs to update job sheets and collect information, and therefore the benefits of seamless wireless connections are very obvious today. This reduces operational costs as there is less travel to the office required.
Total cost of ownership
Rugged devices are designed specifically for use in adverse environments such as extreme temperatures and wet conditions which differentiates them from everyday consumer mobile devices. Where consumer devices would fail to perform in these environments, rugged mobile solutions outperform and require significantly less downtime for repairs or replacements, enhancing the total cost of ownership. Costs associated with downtime include loss of profit and staff costs during this time. Generally a rugged device will last for up to 5 years, whereas a consumer device would be significantly less.
Overall benefits of mobile rugged devices
Depending on the IP (Ingress Protection) rating, these products can withstand anything from splashes of water to full submersion with no affect on the product performance.
Most rugged mobile solutions can adapt to changing environments from extreme temperatures to wet conditions and exposure to direct sunlight. One benefit of utilising rugged devices for mobile workforces is that the worker is not travelling with critical paperwork and multiple devices such as laptops and mobile phones. It also means that the mobile worker is at the customer’s disposal, offering face to face communication rather than relying on telephones, providing a more personal service.
For more information about our range of rugged mobile solutions, call the Varlink sales team on 01904 717180 or visit www.varlink.co.uk.