For newer businesses that are starting from scratch, rolling out iPads to improve the business workflow is much easier than it would be for a company that has been in place for over half a century and has stacks of paper documents and an ingrained way of handling daily operations. While it may seem like a daunting task, with the right tools and resources in place, it can be easier than it seems to make the transition.
Case in point is the story of McKinley Equipment Corp. – a commercial loading docks and residential elevator equipment company. CFO Kevin Rusin spoke with Tech Target about the five year process to improve data streams, improve workflow from the field and improve customer service.
After trying "anything and everything," Rusin finally found a combination of iPads, several business specific applications and a document scanning service that was able to create the perfect solution for the company. Now, technicians in the field can access a complete service history for every client, order parts while still on location and offer a better form of customer service.
"The iPads plus the apps let us [speak] intelligently to our customers, because we are able to communicate exactly what's going on with their service every step of the way, instead of them being upset because they haven't heard from us for a week," said Rusin. "Sometimes, we know what our customer needs before we get there, because we have visibility into their service history. But the biggest thing is that this allows our company to give consistent service."
Not all employees will be excited about new technology
While the new system was implemented to improve workflow and the customer experience, which it has, not everyone is excited about the change. This is easy to understand when considering how long the company has been in business and operating a certain way.
According to Rusin, the business separated workers into three groups: A) those who couldn't wait to get started with the iPads, B) those who were hesitant but picked it up quickly and C) those who still loved the older systems and had a fear or nervousness of trying something new. Groups A and B picked everything up within a few hours but group C took a little more time.
Partnering with an experienced IT consultant a key to success
Training and installation support is a key factor in a successful iPad deployment. If employees do not know how to use the latest devices, how will they be able to improve business practices with them? A recent Business Spectator article examined how important training is.
"Today, it's widely recognized that no matter how much time and energy you spend developing infrastructure, you'll need to put even more sweat into ensuring that your people make good use of it," read the article. "As a guide, consider a 2-to-1 investment ratio of people versus technology. For every dollar you spend purchasing a new technology, spend two on the people who'll use it."
There are many different ways to handle an iPad deployment, infrastructure rundown, training sessions and post implementation support. The easiest way is to partner with an IT consulting firm that is experienced with all of these initiatives. Not only will it help a business rely on it to help create a new solution, but it will also assist in installation and be around for any concerns that may arise.