Should logistics and field service industries treat mobile device technology like they do tractors and trailers?

Yes, full-service leasing of mobile technology is the smart way to go.

Mobile devices are now a ubiquitous part of modern life, bringing a familiar comfort with daily use, easy set up and operation for our personal lives. That comfort and familiarity, however, too often leads business executives and their IT managers to believe that it’s just as simple for enterprises to do the same for their workers. After all, they have a dedicated IT department that knows your needs better than anyone else, right? Wrong.

Mobile-related IT expenses are increasing exponentially across enterprises just at a time when they are coming into greater and greater use. Not just smartphones but thousands of connected devices are being deployed throughout the enterprise’s equipment and fleets. Each of these devices, and their associated carrier costs, need to be managed.

The vast majority of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) comes after you’ve bought your devices – costs for hardware/software malfunctions, tech support calls, downtime from mission-critical devices, employee frustration and more. This impacts Return on Investment (ROI) and strains internal resources as you try to manage situations not even closely related to your business model. Trying to shift the burden to your employees with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models makes it even worse, adding many more unexpected costs, risks and frustration to what is actually only a portion of your connected devices.

In-house support of mobile technology can’t mitigate impacts on mobile TCO and ROI because they’re typically not agile enough to rapidly provision, return and manage business-critical devices at scale. Complex mobile device and wireless carrier management daily grind issues require constant support and professional administration. For example:

  • Managing frequent OS and application requirements, supporting daily help desk requests so there is no disruption or frustration for workers
  • Reverse logistics to refurbish/cycle old devices and provide upgrades. Decommissioning devices securely, sustainably and in full compliance
  • Warranty and repair service management provided by dedicated personnel trained and certified by device manufacturers
  • Spare device management to guarantee ready-to-function replacement devices to minimize downtime
  • Reporting portals that provide usage visibility, service status and asset tracking to get a full view of where all your devices are and how they are being used, or not.
  • Wireless carrier rate plan management and enterprise billing administration

If you have even 500 devices, these everyday requirements can burden or break even the best internal resources.

After years of struggling to manage and maintain de-facto trucking companies, major retailers and Fortune 500 companies began outsourcing and utilizing 3rd party support. This alleviated them of buying/selling trucks, recruiting and retaining drivers, managing maintenance, DOT compliance, regulations, accidents, injuries and the million other things that go along with running a trucking company. Utilizing professionals who specialize in logistics provides efficiency and savings.

Major retailers and Fortune 500 companies realized long ago that they are much better served by focusing on their core competency of making products and/or servicing their customers. Trying to be and control everything in their business supply chain no longer makes sense. They smartly partnered with dedicated third party logistics groups (3PL) and outsourced their transportation and equipment needs.

Those 3PL trucking companies then took this enterprise equipment evolution further. Their specific business model is to service customers by managing freight, hiring and retaining the best drivers and delivering reliable, on-time service performance. Why should they be in the truck maintenance business? Trucks are just tools used to get the job done. Buying and owning trucks and then hiring staff internally for managing all truck maintenance, breakdowns, accident repair and life-cycle issues like decommissioning and re-selling them. The answer? They don’t, they now turn to full-service equipment leasing models. They pay less money, have less headaches and offload all that extra maintenance and equipment ownership responsibility that simply takes away from their core mission: Servicing their customers.

As the demand for mission critical connected devices expands along with increased demands for the newest smartphones and tablets, Enterprises will realize the high cost of resources for internal support eroding TCO and ROI. Perhaps we will see the same smart response: The outsourcing of mobile device support and wireless carrier management and full-service leasing models to drive responsiveness, efficiency and savings.

OVATION Wireless Management brings seventeen years of experience deploying, managing and supporting mobile devices and the staff who use them. We bring a complete suite of software and managed services to ensure successful and cost effective deployments of connected devices to your enterprise and fleets.

Contact us to discover the value OVATION can bring to your mobility program.