Author: David Nakamura

3 Key Steps to Creating Your Mobile Data Capture Budget

Go paperless with a mobile data capture solution

When it comes to mobile data capture services, budget is often the top concern for operations managers juggling dozens of conflicting (and budget-eating) priorities. It’s a fact that a mobile data project is going to cost you. A November 2014 study by Kinvey (From CIO & Mobile Leader State of Enterprise Mobility Survey, kinvey.com) found that on average, it takes an astonishing $270,000 and 7-12 months to develop a single mobile app. And 18% of CIOs surveyed by Kinvey said it takes between $500,000 and $1,000,000! Here are three of the most important considerations you should think about, as you evaluate your own budget requirements and set expectations within your organization.

Can Easier be Better? You Betcha.

Engine tune-ups and winterizations…
Refilling the tank…
Pouring and spilling the gas…
Pushing and breathing in the fumes…
Pulling the cord and injuring tendons in your elbow…

Sound familiar? I've been accustomed to mowing the lawn since I was a kid. I can't imagine how much gas I've spent, the extent of harmful fumes I've inhaled, and how many times I've cursed the mower for not cranking up after a long winter. This spring, I pulled and pulled and pulled and never got the mower to start. I ended up with an irritated tendon near my elbow which my physician termed "tennis elbow.” For about two weeks, I couldn't lift anything with that arm before feeling the pain.

Since then I got smart and bought a cordless electric mower. The mower is light and super quiet—sounds like a swarm of bees (but in a comforting sort of way). Powered by batteries, the process of “refueling" is quick, easy, and clean. These newer cordless mowers now have sufficient power and torque to keep up with their gas-guzzling mower counterparts.

The advantages of going all electric and cordless have me wondering about other aspects of my life that could be easier—both on my body and in my pocketbook. I've looked at the appeal of a completely gas-free Nissan Leaf and the Tesla automobiles. Another Mi-Corporation coworker has commented that Tesla has also just released their Solar Roof tiles for homeowners. Ok, so the Tesla options likely won't help my pocketbook in the near-term, however there are real options out there for going fossil-free and reaping the benefits.

So where else in our lives could we benefit from a more efficient and stress-free choice, while going eco-friendly and staying productive? If you’re collecting data in a field environment, going mobile with the right solution can yield some incredible benefits.

With Mi-Corporation’s Mobile Impact Platform (Mi-Platform) in place, you’ll have no more hassles with paper. No more inefficiencies correcting errors between the field and the office. No more rekeying data from field inspectors. No more calls from the field to get customer contact or scheduled inspection information. Having the convenience of a well-planned, executed, and maintained Mobile Impact Platform solution in place can lead to greater productivity, which means less time worrying and more time enjoying those benefits.

Consider some of our customers in the transportation and construction industries. Transport for London uses Mi-Platform for inspections, fault reporting and incident management—and it saves them up to 20,000 man-hours per year! In construction, we’ve got customers like Bureau Veritas, who’ve completely transformed their manual forms-based processes for code compliance, building inspection and field reporting with total automation (and major time and money savings too).

What tasks and processes cause you and your business friction and stress?
What does your ideal mobile solution look like? Who’s involved? What systems are in place?

Until now, I've thought that cordless mowers wouldn't handle the work of mowing my lawn like as gas-mower. Technology has now challenged that notion and I'm glad that there are viable choices. Whether using paper or a current mobile solution, are you getting what you need to be successful in terms of productivity, accuracy, and business results? If not, it may be time to rethink your data collection strategy and ditch your own “tennis elbow” for a solution that can go the distance.

How Will You Measure Success?

More Success

One of our core values at Mi-Corporation is responsive, quality customer focus. Applicable not only to those who directly interact with customers but also to every employee at Mi-Co.

We expect that everyone reflects this core value in their relationships with customers and in the quality of their work with customers. To continuously improve our customer commitment, we've taken another look at our focus on customer relationships and how we can achieve customer success, beyond customer satisfaction.

More Success

Customer satisfaction implies that products and services meet expectations. If I'm satisfied, I'm not necessarily ready for more or thinking about the next step - I'm already "full". There's no incentive to continuously improve what I have because it's working, or my previous "pain" has been removed. Customer success implies a level of expectation met but a hunger for more because you know what it can do to make you successful and grow your business even further. How can we take our accomplishments together to another level?

The measurement of Customer Success isn't just a single metric. Every operational level in an organization has a criteria for success.

  • For subject matter experts out in the field, success might mean a streamlined data collection experience that allows them to focus on the work at hand instead of the technology.
  • For the supervisor, success could mean accurate and timely data collection.
  • For the manager, success could be measured by the ability to obtain near instantaneous reporting, allowing them to adapt their workforce to changes.
  • For company stakeholders, success may involve the realization of a near-term ROI.

Each of these user stories should be taken into consideration when planning for a project and realizing your success isn't just single-sided.

I recently had the opportunity to join a product demonstration call with Gautham Pandiyan, our VP of Sales and Marketing. Gautham engages audiences with an interactive style and one of the key impressions upon me during this web conference was the question "How will you measure the success of your project?" He drew out responses from everyone and demonstrated a commitment to understanding our customer. Some of the answers raised my level of awareness for what the true needs of the customer were and how we might partner in solving issues.

With this in mind, we are committing to deepen our customer relationships at every level. We have identified key areas that will enable us to strengthen customer relationships and lead us both to success.

And how will you measure success? What have you found to be instrumental in strengthening your customer relationships?

The Potential of Wearables in the Enterprise

wearables

wearables

There's no doubt that the consumer-driven demand for smartphone and tablet devices has impacted the enterprise to find creative mobile solutions for their workforce. Mi-Corporation has enabled organizations to do just that.

With the dawn of a new consumer-driven market for wearable technology, how will this impact businesses and how will Mi-Corporation be a part of this?

Although the HUD technology (pictured below) was fun, it may take a while until it is ready for consumer or business adoption. It’s not exactly subtle…

David N

On the other hand (pun intended)…

FitBit Flex

I've been using a fitness tracker since June 2013 (FitBit Flex and now the Microsoft Band in the past month) and I can see the possibilities for innovation in the workplace with wearables.

  • Hands-free app interaction could assist workers who are operating heavy machinery and may not be able to directly use a phone, tablet, or PC.
  • Location awareness could remind workers of nearby tasks.
  • Although data entry with wearables is limited, speech recognition could allow for guided navigation through a set of questions, such as a safety checklist or routine equipment inspection.

As we look for forward to a new year, the future of technology and its impact on the enterprise is exciting - join us as we move forward!