How bringing your own device can be a game-changer for manufacturing and field service industries
In a previous blog, we discussed how manufacturing companies have found creative ways to quickly adjust to new social distancing regulations. As we continue through this pandemic, companies are taking a step back and asking themselves a few key questions:
What did we learn from this?
What changes did we make that we can improve?
How can we optimize these solutions for the future?
If you’ve already started to implement a mobile ERP solution before the Coronavirus hit, congrats! You were ahead of the game! If everyone is using mobile devices, there’s no need to worry about kiosk usage. However, you still have to consider cleaning those mobile devices, maintenance, and usage as they switch hands. So what do you do?
You take it to the next level by moving to BYOD – Bring Your Own Device.
Why BYOD works
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a strategy that allows mobile workers to use a device they already own, whether it’s their personal mobile device or a company-provided phone. Either way, non-desk workers already have a device in-hand. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of following a bring your own device policy.
YOU COULD REALIZE DRAMATIC COST SAVINGS
This is one of the most immediate and long-term benefits of a BYOD strategy. By letting remote employees bring their own devices into the field or allowing manufacturing workers to log their time on their own devices, you realize tremendous savings by:
Not having to invest in mobility equipment yourself
Avoiding the administrative costs of shipping that equipment to the field
Preventing lost time in training employees on an unfamiliar device
Not having to support repairs or coordinate device updates
Not having to pay insurance on devices or pay for replacements
Potentially not having to pay for data programs or hotspots for connectivity
Avoiding costly partnerships with mobility provider organizations
You were probably budget conscious before COVID-19, but now departments are asked to do more with less. BYOD can help you with this.
APPLICATIONS BRING PEOPLE AND DATA TOGETHER
If you haven’t had to test out a billion applications during this time, you’ve been lucky. From conferencing to data sharing, remote working has been a “trial by fire” for those companies not already adjusted. One of the most difficult hurdles has been bringing people and data together when we have to physically be apart.
Just because remote workers have iPhones or Android devices in their hands doesn’t mean they’re ready to be used in the field or the shopfloor. There still has to be a business case and use for them, and that is where applications come in. ERPs, CRMs, and others may have mobile applications, but they often don’t speak to one another, export data beyond their own four digital walls, or support critical field-level functionality. (This is where Bezlio can support your business. Learn more about our platform here.) Once your teams have the proper application(s) in place, they’ll be ready to go.
SUPPORTING YOUR TEAMS IS EASIER
While your apps will have requirements that must be met in terms of OS versions, you won’t need to worry about developing new solutions for different devices. With the right app, you can make your tooling platform agnostic so it supports your field teams wherever they are and on whatever device they’re using. There’s no need for a field or shopfloor employee to submit their device in for upgrading or updating since the latter can be managed via application updates from you and device updates from the employee. And should the employee switch or upgrade their device, as long as your application(s) is compatible with its OS, everyone is good to go.
Let’s talk about comfort level. We can think about this in two ways – adoption and risk.
1) Adoption of BYOD
When employees use their own device, they’re at home. Ask an iOS user to work with an Android phone and you’ll know just what we mean. By allowing users to bring their own device, your adoption rates will be higher because of their comfort level. The less change the better.
2) Mitigated Risk of BYOD
When was the last time this device was cleaned? How well was it cleaned? For employees who live with at-risk family members or are considered at risk themselves, these are important questions. By allowing users to bring their own device, they already know the answers, removing an unknown from a potentially stressful situation.
SUPPORT IS GREAT, BUT WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?
Other than your employees’ health and safety, another immediate concern you might have is data security. It’s understandable — the devices teams are using aren’t really yours. How can you be sure your enterprise data is safe? That the employee’s device hasn’t been compromised (or will be)? What if an employee loses or forgets their device? Many apps struggle with this, as data is stored locally. However, apps such as Bezlio don’t store enterprise data on employees’ devices except when the employee is offline.
Bezlio routes data between your database, to the cloud, and to the end user. It’s never stored — just shared. Should an employee lose track of a device, administrators can remove its access thanks to granular security permissions — ensuring that no data is left behind for prying eyes. If data is stored locally during an offline session, it is synced once back in coverage and then removed from the device.
Using BYOD for the future
Cost savings are just the beginning. The real value comes in both the immediate and long-term results of empowering employees with tools that are available sooner rather than later and with minimal development. If your ERP or CRM already has a mobile application, you may be able to put it to good use, but is it the right use? Does it provide a comprehensive picture of your organization’s performance? The customer’s history? The employee’s history and work requirements? There’s a lot that goes into BYOD, which is why it’s critical that you look for an app that brings all business requirements together in a single platform.
If you’re considering or are currently using a bring your own device workforce, it’s time to consider an application that can bring employees and data together even when we need to stay apart. Empower your field and shopfloor teams with the data they need to manage information efficiently, serve customers better, and produce stronger bottom-line results for your business. Reach out to us today to learn how you can get started.