Are SMEs Missing out on Enterprise Mobility
Experience shows us that many SME’s are missing out on enterprise mobility especially where users are still using paper processes and have no back-end business management application in place. At best they may have a standalone finance system such as Sage or Xero. The Symantec State of Mobility Report seems to concur.
A business reliant on paper systems is susceptible to the same issues we see over and over; incomplete forms, incorrect data, illegible handwriting, spelling mistakes, missing customer sign off, mistakes with manual pricing calculations etc. This in turn creates a huge workload for office staff both chasing up the remote worker to confirm the form and chasing the customer to correct data/pricing.
These are only a few of the issues with entering and reading data on the paper forms.
Paper forms obviously need to find their way from the field back to the office. In most cases this can be via post or physically handed over. Getting forms in the right place isn’t an issue if the worker is in and out of the office all day but if visiting the office infrequently the forms can get lost or damaged.
Losing forms is one problem but is often dwarfed by the increased workload in the office. In a small business there are usually only a few office staff so a sudden delivery of forms to process means there is a delay is other work. Manually going through forms also results in a delay in processing invoices, a delay in working out staff wages/commission, a delay in stock control… the list goes on. All of these delays can be very costly.
In the case where businesses have a backend system the data needs to be loaded. The majority of the time this is a manual process. An office worker reads the data off the form and rekeys this into the system. This adds an additional point of potential error.
Overall with the pitfall for data errors delays and costs associated with paper forms a part or fully implemented mobile system may seem like a much needed improvement?
For a business with only one or two mobile workers a mobile system can seem very expensive but as the business grows it will become more cost effective. Then there is the IT support side of things; does the business have the technical ability to run a system within the business network and secure the data?
The other side of the coin is how much will be saved when running a mobile system? Jobs are dispatched online, workers automatically receive jobs, complete electronic forms on a PDA or tablet and instantly send back the full complete results. The data is then automatically inserted back into the system, invoices automatically generated, stock levels updated and staff timesheets automatically updated.
Systems can be hosted off site to free up management time within the business. In many cases varying levels of support can be provided to assist if needed.
In the end, if the ROI of running a mobile system greatly outweighs the costs involved throughout the business using paper forms… welcome to the 21st century!
Call us to discuss how we can help you with your enterprise mobility project.