The workforce is increasingly getting mobile all over the world and that puts companies, small and large, in a challenging position, Scolvo’s chief sales and marketing officer Krisztián Tóth outlined in his presentation at the first webinar of a series, The Digital Corporation University.
Currently, about 3 out of 5 workers don’t really need an office to work but about 88% do need to access corporate documents and systems, Tóth added. The most obvious example is that of the field workers – however, most of them (58%) don’t have any kind of mobility solution for these workers. Or, have something that the employees hate to use.
Benefits of mobilization
In his presentation, the chief marketing officer stressed the importance of being aware of the benefits of a mobile development project. Among such benefits, he mentioned the increased productivity first: if the company serves its employees correctly and provides all the functionalities needed for their everyday work, the productivity will rapidly increase within the organization.
The second important benefit is the reduced operational costs. Non-office workers can follow pre-set workflows, reducing the costs of operations.
Furthermore, with a mobile solution, field workers are empowered, because they can receive real-time updates on tasks, check inventory, document quality inspections, update utility maps and communicate with customers on the move. Comprehensive mobile tools also make routine tasks more enjoyable.
Providing timely and relevant data and overall efficiency are natural results of a mobile workflow and increase service quality, which is the fourth benefit on the list Tóth presented.
Last but not least, if the employees work better and more efficiently, the customers will be more satisfied, the manager said.
Serving 13 countries with a mobile application
After a brief introduction about the mobile workforce and the benefits of mobilization, Krisztián Tóth presented some case studies to support his arguments with industry best practices, including that of a major German retailer.
This enterprise operates grocery chains under several brands with 330,000 employees and a turnover of EUR 54bn, and had opted for Scolvo’s mobile solution for the digitalization of its store inspection process in 13 countries.
The challenge was that, as a result of digitalization, task assignment also need to improve, as well as the tracking of inspectors. Before using a mobile application, such processes involved the rather inefficient tools of text messages and emails. Another challenge was the requirement of serving all 13 countries from the cloud.
According to the presentation, the project, due to its complexity, took three months, beginning with end-user and manager interviews. The interviews with the end-users are a really important part of the development, Tóth stressed, as the real customers are the workers that use the application on an everyday basis. By familiarizing with their practices and activities, it is easier to decide about the necessary modules as well (the next step in the project).
The presenter used the example of Lego-like bricks, when talking about the Scolvo mobile development method. These elements are picked from the selection of modules and the setup was complete at the retailer, customization and integration with an MS Power BI system began, to facilitate reporting using the data collected by the store inspectors.
Among the results of this mobilization project, Tóth highlighted that the store inspectors saved 25 minutes daily on administration by avoiding double administration (paper-to-digital) altogether. Pictures, notes, questionnaires can all be uploaded in the app. The data, synchronized by the BI-system, allowed for quick daily reporting.
Instead of having one- or two-week-old competitor data, store inspectors can also access daily competitor information through the mobile application. Furthermore, the activity tracking of workers allow managers for better resource planning by dispatching ad-hoc tasks as necessary, resulting in a 15% saving on petrol costs as an additional benefit, Scolvo’s chief marketing officer added.
KPI’s to measure mobilization success
In the live webinar, the case studies were followed by a summary of the key performance indicators (KPI’s) that can be used to measure the success of a mobilization project.
The usage of data is a less evident performance indicator but it can be important in several ways, Tóth said. When all the data is in one place, due to real-time digital input, managers can have a clear picture about the market, the competition, and make better decisions accordingly.
A more obvious and more common KPI is the comparison of the necessary investment and the return. When the biggest pain points at a company are mobilized (so the right processes are chosen), the benefits of such a project far outweigh the expenses it comes with.
The internal acceptance rate is less known but not less important. The end-users – the maintenance workers, the store inspectors, the sales agents – who are using the mobile application on a daily basis, often find themselves struggling with a mobile solution if that does not have a good user interface, resulting in a bad user experience. If, on the other hand, the mobile app contains only the necessary functions in an easy-to-find structure, and the end-users like it, productivity automatically increases.