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3 Reasons to Listen to Your Mobile Workforce

Aug 5, 2021
TOPIC: IT
2 min read

As enterprises continue to drive efficiencies from the mobile front-line workforce with advanced technologies such as heads-up displays and voice-enabled data inputs, more powerful mobile computers and integrated robotics, corporate IT and Operations teams have little data on the day-to-day experiences of the workforce with technology.

Investments in mobile technologies and related infrastructure along with recurring maintenance and support are not minor, however, these capital and operational costs are justified by the ongoing benefits of reduced labor costs, the ability to streamline processes and move goods to customers faster. The only missing piece is the mobile workers’ point of view, and the related data analysis to understand how to fine-tune the system for greater ROI and success. Here are three important reasons to listen to the mobile workers.

#1 The Front Line Impacts the Bottom Line: Labor

The mobile workforce expects super fast, uninterrupted access to the technology used to complete business-critical and customer-facing tasks. Even small but repeating failures in the vast distributed system of servers, wired, wireless networks, software, and people themselves result in downtime, mistakes, and business losses. An example of a bottom-line business loss related to disrupted workflows and technology interruptions is labor cost. A disconnection or multi-second delay in just 5 out of every 100 mobile transactions can cost a distribution center with 20 employees over $60,000 in sunk labor costs, essentially paying more people or more hours to do a job inefficiently. Over 10 warehouses and 1000’s of mobile workers with a similar issue get into larger dollar territories of upwards of $1M per year in the potential for cost take out, and enough of an ROI argument to get serious about having visibility into the mobile user experience.

#2 Get More From Shrinking IT Budgets and Resources

IT departments in most enterprise IT companies are being reallocated away from support to massive projects, such as those falling into the Digital Transformation category. As a result, there is a growing gap between the mobile workforce, production managers, and their IT counterparts limiting the ability to communicate and solve problems. This means that the remaining or outsourced IT helpdesk and managers must lean in closer to understand how the mobile infrastructure is impacting the mobile workers if they want to be more proactive and spend less time hunting for data and information when it is required.

#3 Because It Is Possible

That each scan or other data input captured by the mobile worker is of value only to the resulting processes on the ERP or warehouse management systems is yesterday’s world. It is now possible for the mobile worker to click one button on their mobile device and at the same moment IT and Operations teams remotely playback the mobile user’s experience in the context of the timing and connection stability of everything from the software on the device to the wireless network to the remote WMS or other application. And this part is key, the mobile workers’ feedback must be tied to actionable analysis that leads to improvements, otherwise, it is not too different from a complaint emailed 2 days after the problem occurred.

New technology from Connect Inc called Mobile Systems Intelligence automates the burdensome process of problem capture, troubleshooting, and root cause analysis releasing IT from having to chase down and then guess at the cause of mobile problems. The unique ability to tie together, in real-time, the true mobile-user experience with the specific performance of the IT system components results in a completely new data analytics stream used to make decisions about which investments yield the greatest positive impact on workflows, labor, technology support and customer outcomes.

Learn more about our partnership with Connect Inc!

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