What. Just. Happened.
If you have non-desk workers in your organization with remote responsibilities such as meeting with current or prospective customers or providing field repairs, you’ve probably encountered a situation like this: A worker goes out, meets with a customer or prospect, some time passes, and next thing you know, someone’s angry.
Why? Because what they were promised was never delivered. They waited twice as long as quoted for an order to arrive, a part to come in, or even just for a simple status update. They were completely in the dark. And worst of all, when they called the employee that originally met with them, all they heard was, “Oh yeah…uh, would you mind letting me know what you were looking for again?”
As you might expect, that employee’s first line of defense quickly crumbled. Soon, a sales manager was on the phone trying to make things right. That didn’t go very far, though — the customer’s order was for extra parts on an in-demand item, and now, thanks to your field salesperson, he and his team will now be 6–8 weeks behind on even starting to fill the backlog of customer orders for the part.
Not a good situation. And you know what caused it?
The salesperson couldn’t put the order through on his CRM app right then and there. He couldn’t even call the order into HQ or send an email to an in-office sales assistant. The customer’s facility was in a dead zone, so he decided to wait until he got back to the office in the morning. But when he did, another situation popped up that consumed his attention…and he forgot to place the order for the spare parts.
Offline Mode Could’ve Prevented This From Happening
The sales rep had an app on his phone, so he went into the meeting prepared. However, the app was an off-the-shelf solution with little customization — and no support for working offline. Sure, he could open the app. But he couldn’t pull up the customer’s file. He couldn’t view past orders and easily re-order. He couldn’t generate an invoice, send notifications back to HQ, or really do anything. And even if he had a whisper of data reception on his phone, any info he could access wasn’t saved locally to be synced later.
This is why offline mode is so important for organizations with non-desk workers. Not only are you preventing situations like this from occurring when your field teams have to work outside of WiFi or cellular coverage, but you’re also keeping things moving. You’re staying productive. Information is moving where it needs to go.
But offline mode can mean a lot of different things. Is it the ability to simply use an app when you’re not connected? Is it the ability to view enterprise ERP and CRM data only? Is it the ability to edit that data, despite the lack of a connection? Is it the ability to save the data so that it can be updated later once you’re connected. Yes to all of the above.
Offline Mode Keeps Work Happening
More than ever, field teams need tools that allow them to do their jobs. Whether a WiFi or cellular connection can be established shouldn’t hinder progress. Using a solution with offline mode support enables your workers to keep working right where they are, whenever the situation calls for offline support.
Offline Mode Keeps Data In-Hand
An enterprise ERP or CRM app is nothing without data. But how are your workers supposed to access data when they’re not in coverage? Because at some point, they were, and whenever that was, their account was retrieving data. At Bezlio, users can only access enterprise data through a secure token-based process that routes data from databases to front-end devices. This happens when they first start using the app, so the data they need is there at the start of their day. This should be a component of your offline solution.
Offline Mode Keeps Data Up-to-Date
So your non-desk workers have the right tools and can view data even when they’re not in coverage. That’s a great start! But let’s go back to the first part of this post: the salesperson couldn’t input or edit customer data. That functionality is critical to actually doing work. With Bezlio, our app already features read/write support back to ERPs and CRMs. But the beauty of it is that workers that aren’t in coverage can still edit that data. Everything is securely stored on the device until the employee is back in coverage. Then, the data is sent back to your database — and removed from the local storage on the employee’s device.
Offline Mode Benefits Everyone
Naturally, having an offline mode-supported app in your enterprise toolkit is a huge benefit to non-desk workers. But they aren’t the only ones that benefit. Other people, teams, and departments are required to make things happen, and an ERP is a centralized solution that everyone can take advantage of. When a remote salesperson places an order, accounting can be notified, shipping can be alerted, and other involved departments can have access to the data they need to stay productive, maintain communication, and support customer satisfaction by delivering on-time.
Ready to See How Our Offline Mode Works?
Bezlio was built for organizations with distributed workforces. We know you can’t assume that your workers will be in coverage 100 percent of the time. That’s why we built offline mode support into our mobile application development platform — so you can empower your team with the tools they need to get their jobs done well, wherever they are.
ADAM ELLIS, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Adam Ellis is the Chief Executive Officer of Bezlio and one of four co-founders. Adam is a lifelong entrepreneur and has extensive ERP and mobile software knowledge through his consulting and management experience. He has a passion for exploring innovative ideas and how they can change the status quo. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn to learn more about his involvement in the ERP space.