Mobile Devices: Saving Your Business Money

The findings from the Australian government DCITA (2001) report showed that on average 55% of the gross benefit of e-commerce came from efficiency savings and the remaining 45% from additional revenue.  In 2008 The Yankee Group (2008) listed areas with their percentage of benefit if mobile technology was applied within a CRM capacity:

  • Increased field selling time: 28%
  • Eliminated redundant activities: 27%
  • Increased win rates: 26%
  • Reduced sales call costs: 25%
  • Increased forecast accuracy: 25%
  • Decreased administrative time: 24%
  • Decreased sales cycle: 23%

In real terms the Chief Financial Officer,The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt (2007) stated that “Using Oracle Lite [mobile database software], our pre-sales teams increased order accuracy from 75% to 95%, doubled the productivity of our delivery trucks, and cut administration costs by 50%.”  Supporting the importance of real time updating within the supply chain.

More recently a report (Deloitte (2013)) into the use of mobile technology within the workplace clearly showed a limited use of people-centric workplaces (mobile technology e.g. mobile phones) and a heavy focus on technology-centric workplaces (static technology e.g. desktop computers).  This view is support by 60% of the respondents who indicated that it was frowned upon to work away from their desk and when they were allowed to work away from their desk only 21% thought they were equipped to do so. From this we can infer that there needs to be a cultural change within the British workforce towards the value and mobile technology.  The Yankee Group (2013) report found that 31% of the respondents felt that they were either “unproductive or had low productivity” within their business office compared to 63% who indicate that they struggling work effectively from home.  Clearly, for most office based workers it is more beneficial to stay within the workplace which reinforced the cultural mindset of technology-centric workplaces.

Importantly, 56% of the next generation of chief executive officers (CEO’s) believe that mobile technology increases productivity, driving the demand for people-centric workplaces, supported by both the Deloitte (2013) and Yankee Group (2010) reports. This is reflected in the difference between small businesses (66%, BusinessWire (2013) and 67%, AT&T (2013)) and large business (35%, Deloitte (2013)) and their uptake of mobile technology. Indicating that the small business operate a people-centric workplaces and large business offer a technology-centric workplaces.   More telling was that 65% of those companies who were not using technology had no plan to adopt mobile technology in the future, BusinessWire (2013).  This suggests that one of the small businesses can use people-centric workplaces and mobile technology as a competitive advantage over their larger competitors. 

Mohelska ‎(2011) found that business users within the Czech Republic [half the disposable income of Britain (2011)] used mobile device for planning, personnel tracking and communicating.  Planning tools such as appointment makers and calendars where the most commonly used (69%) followed by task tracking tools and note making tools (61%). This is supported by BusinessWire (2013) who found 82% of business people used the mobile device for calendar/ time management tools. To support this 20% of the respondents collected data whilst offsite and a further 19% expressing an interest in this functionality suggesting two possible business developments areas.

The first, an Integrated App which allows for these three functions (appointment/ calendar, task tracker and note maker) will offer an efficiency gain. Secondly, businesses are not training and offering their employees advice and products which provide efficiency returns.  Worryingly the Deloitte (2013) report found that 3% of British business people used mobile technology to complete admin tasks whilst at work.  In America this was 50%, with 40% of employees using mobile devices everyday and 27% indicate 60 minutes per day, Aternity (2013) .  However, the British working population clear have the skills to use mobile technology with the workplace as 63% use mobile technology (App’s) within their personal life, Deloitte (2013).

When Mohelska ‎(2011) survey asked about what information the business person accessed offsite they found that there is a small number of employees (12%) who are actively using the internet to support sales by “ordering or selling products while on location” with the customer (B2C).  This number is even small (5%) when we consider British businesses only (Deloitte (2013)), supporting the need to integrate remote access within the supply chain management system and the concept of CRM 2.0.

The Upward Mobile: Redefining Business Mobility in Britain (2013) report indicated that more than 70% of employees found it was easier to complete the task using non-mobile technology (fixed location computers) and 60% reported that the corporate security policies and settings prevented access which limited and/ or prevented access to this information. Aternity (2013) found similar findings with 66% indicating that corporate security policies and settings prevented access and 66% suggesting that App’s were not mobile friendly. If the business can overcome the issues around the security policy’s this will offer a greater potential for businesses to become people-centric workplaces which focus on mobile technology to drive sales and operating efficiency, assuming that the CRM and Office related software is accessible and useable via mobile devices.

If we look at the features listed for the Sage CRM (Sage 300 ERP) it is clear that the the system is design with mobile technology in mind as the App can be install on the most popular operating systems and integrate social networking and communication whilst offering the customer portal.  The bulk of the system is about organising, planning and analysis data.

Automatic maintenance and updates of customer data between Sage 300 ERP and Sage CRMReduces double entry and errors and improves data quality
Full process integration from lead generation to receivables; instant access from Sage CRM to any customer data with ability to drill down to details or perform additional tasksIncreases productivity and delivers complete visibility across all functional teams
Marketing templates, automated drip marketing, targeted marketing campaignsImproves marketing activities, resulting in better quality sales leads
Direct access from Sage CRM to customer ERP information such as order details, sales credits, and othersEmpowers customer service staff to deliver better service
Campaign management with results tracking, cloning, email marketing, integrated follow-up, and detailed reportingMaximizes marketing spend and improves quality, execution, and conversion
Workflow process automationEnsures complete case resolution and improves quality of service with predefined escalation workflow process
Mobile CRM for iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devicesIncreases productivity and communication and improves responsiveness to customer’s needs
Social CRM features support such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and FacebookHelps better understand customer and prospect needs, engage with public at large, and build and promote brand
Business collaboration feature support such as YammerFosters collaboration and improves communication across all functional teams
Smarter business reporting with interactive graphs and secured customized reportsIncreases business insight and enhances decision making
Email integrationIncreases productivity by importing contacts from Microsoft Outlook® into Sage CRM and synchronizing tasks and appointments
Social media integrationIncreases revenue potential and brand recognition and enhances knowledge about customers and prospects
Customer portalEmpowers customer and improves customer experience resulting in higher customer loyalty
Real-time data synchronizationIncreases efficiency, eliminates multiple data entries, and reduces human errors