At Mi-Corporation, we know that all the great mobility innovation doesn't necessarily occur inside our four walls. As part of my recent appointment to the Enterprise Mobility Network Editorial Board, I've been asked to feature interesting mobility case studies revolving around various industries we deal with frequently. Below, I've written on one such case study. Check it out and let me know your thoughts:
Comcast GPS Mobility Project: Good Examples of Best Practices in Action
It’s very likely you've been a customer of Comcast or that you’ve at least heard of them. As the largest internet, phone, and video provider in the country, they employ a workforce of 20,000 field technicians and 24,000 vehicles. I recently came across this write-up about a mobility project they undertook, aiming to reduce vehicle idling time, save costs, and increase customer satisfaction through use of smartphones and truck-based GPS devices. Their goals were:
1) To reduce vehicle idling time, a major cost concern in their field operations
2) Save technician time and costs on unnecessary visits with dynamic dispatching & rerouting
3) Improve customer satisfaction with shorter appointment windows, better service and other related measures
From the article, it certainly appears their project was quite successful, achieving their goals and resulting in approximately $24 million in savings! There are also a number of mobility best practices they have followed which I find quite interesting. Namely:
- User incentives & training: Most mobility projects fail not due to poor technology, rather due to poor user adoption. It’s evident Comcast planned for this, as they included great training and awareness programs for their 20,000 users. Additionally, they included employee incentives for usage, and contests to promote the best adoption levels as well. We always have to think about “what’s in it for the people I’m asking to use this technology?” and plan to make it a win-win for them, as well as for management.
- Return on Investment benchmarks: I heard someone tell me once “if you can’t measure something, don’t do it”. True to that statement, if you don’t know where you started, it’s hard to tell how much of a success your mobility project was and how much return it brought your company. I like that Comcast determined the baseline level of vehicle idling prior to the project, and how much it was costing them. This way, at the end of the project they could easily calculate a ROI and show the impact they were able to have.
- Trials & Phased Rollouts: Comcast tested a number of solutions and implemented a staged rollout plan, thus avoiding trying to boil the whole ocean all at once! Always a smart approach, starting small, experimenting and slowly scaling, they were able to grow successfully, involving lead users in awareness and training campaigns, creating the impact across the whole field workforce. They were also able to institute process changes during downtime, not affecting day-to-day business processes that had to go on.
We can all learn from success stories like this one. I’ve certainly seen, in my role at Mi-Corporation, that customers are increasingly looking to achieve workforce productivity and improvements in customer satisfaction through mobility projects, rather than cost savings, process streamlining etc. While the latter are important, the former seemed to have jumped ahead in mobility. Interesting to see this evolution take place and I wish Comcast all the best in this and future projects! I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org