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Do the math

Don't be put off by the title of this blog - it's going to be easy math. Your 8 year old can do it.

How many times have you been approached by a salesperson wanting to sell you a computer to improve your working life; and how many times have you told yourself the cost was too high?

Let's do some math. (I am going to exaggerate the prices to drive my point home).

A Motion Computing F5v ruggedized tablet PC will set you back about AU$3,500 (in 2013). (Trust me, you want ruggesized; it will save frustration and money time and time again.)

Add to that the cost of Active Ink's Form Filler ($250) and the cost of having a suitable form designed and scripted for you (say, another $1,250).  That's $5,000 in round figures.

Let's say your mobile technicians come into work each day to collect job details (customer details, job details, equipment/machinery details, etc). At the end of the day they return to base to submit the paperwork for all the  jobs. Let's also assume that the paperwork is often left until the end of the day (or even the next day) so your girl Friday has to spend time ringing the techs the following day (while they are out on jobs) to check details and correct mistakes.

Because the Active Ink form provides complete information for each job, including past work history, available parts in stock, and validates the data prior to being sent back to base let's say the form saves your mobile tech an hour a day (after all, he no longer has to drive to base in the morning, or the evening). Let's also assume that your girl Friday no longer has to ring the tech to sort out old jobs (and even more importantly, there are now no missing job forms). Let's assume a saving of another 4 hours per week of her time.

How's your math going?
Five hours saved by the tech means he can fit in at least another job each week. Assuming your tech is charged out at $80 /hour and his wages and on-costs take 60%, that means you cleared an extra $160 per week, giving you profit of $7,200 per year.

Now take into account that jobs are no longer being lost so customers are actually charged correctly. ( We had one customer who thought about 10% of jobs were "falling through the cracks". Imagine their surprise to see their billings double once the new system was commissioned.)

Keep in mind that we have not yet added any savings from the lower admin hours, the better stock control, or the improved customer service levels. Be aware too, that while the tablet PC cost applies to every mobile worker, the cost of designing and scripting the form is a once-off cost that covers everyone in your business.

So, out of an investment of $5,000 we gain a return of $7,200, leaving $2,200; a 44% return on investment. If you have two mobile techs, then the figures are $8,750, $14,400 and $5,650 respectively; a 64% ROI .

If you have five (5) mobile workers, then the figures are even more compelling; with $20,000 in costs, $36,000  increased turnover, and $16,000 in profit giving 80% ROI in just one year.

When was the last time you got that sort of advantage out of business improvement?

Mobile solutions are worth a closer look wouldn't you say?

Posted by Mark Chimes
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