It seems simple to envision the tools required by a mobile worker. The basics quickly jump to mind including a phone, a laptop, chargers of course and a Starbucks or Panera card. Then you need a location, which could include a home office, an office suites membership or the aforementioned coffee shop.
The real tools of the trade are more software oriented. It’s critical to have a fully cloud based infrastructure or a VPN that provides access to your CRM, accounting system/ERP, messaging app, email and of course documents. The emergence of technology and the disappearance of ledger books, the Rolodex and filing cabinets resulted in amazing efficiency gains. Now that these tools are also available to mobile users, has efficiency peaked?
Even with all of the great new tools at our disposal, incorrect accounting entries still occur. Important contacts are still missing from the CRM. And always, on any given day, time is spent trying to find a lost digital document. These tools have definitely allowed employees to have more flexibility, in fact total mobility. Now it’s time to focus in on optimizing efficiency.
Enough information is available for users to work at an acceptable level of efficiency, mobile or not, based on the low hanging fruit of a cost benefit analysis. To move beyond just acceptable and get closer to optimal, what is the cost? What is the cost of implementing an accounting system that demands double blind data entry to avoid mistakes? What is the cost of sniffing out every bit of new or updated contact information from employees? What is the cost of emptying out the file cabinets or the off-site document storage?
Measuring the gains will be more difficult because they will likely be in soft benefits like less mistakes, improved customer service and possibly less employee turnover. The costs can be justified in an ROI analysis, with a little effort. Some level of probability could be assigned to losing a client due to poor customer service applied to the average dollar value of the customer. The same computation could be used to value a missed opportunity. Maybe a lack of information could result in opening up the company to litigation risk.
Total those costs up and see how you can now justify some additional document scanning, a new workflow module with a mandatory review step or possibly a bonus pool tied to CRM updates per month. These and other business changes will not only benefit mobile workers, they will also lead to optimal company efficiency.
Millennia Group provides cloud based workflow and document management solutions that help companies optimize operations. www.mgdocs.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (630) 279-0577 x122