Digital transformation has become something of a buzzword amongst C-suite executives in recent years, and not without merit. From cloud services to data analytics platforms and AI-driven automation, the rapid influx of new technologies into the enterprise has left many established industry-leaders scrambling to catch up with more forward-thinking competitors.
At the same time, many businesses are still content to manage their key functions through legacy business systems or even manual processes. For these organizations, the task of digital transformation goes far past simply updating their hardware and software infrastructure, it means creating an entirely new working model that places innovation at its very core.
Mobility Leads the Way
When planning new initiatives, CIOs often make the mistake of designing processes around technology when the opposite should be true. Technical implementation needs to be informed by the behaviour and preferences of your people, otherwise even the most advanced rollout could end up being derailed by a disengaged workforce.
This is why mobility is so important. In a business environment where 61% of employees regularly work outside the office and the average individual switches between three different devices over the course of their day, it’s clear that flexibility and control are critical to digital adoption.
Enterprise applications are perfectly suited to these requirements. Apps are easily accessed from any device including tablets and smartphone and they can facilitate real-time information sharing and communication between different employees across disparate locations. The benefits are clear:
- Workers can install these apps on their personal devices and learn to use them intuitively like any other mobile software. With a decreased learning curve, adoption rates will rise.
- Now that your employees can work from any location at anytime they will be able to complete more tasks and improve overall productivity.
- Mobility gives employees a far greater sense of control and should increase engagement as a result.
- The ability to communicate with other employees in real-time should enhance collaboration across different functions and speed up decision-making.
Aguzzo Group: A Lesson in Mobile Implementations
Aguzzo Group is a boutique retail agency that provides in-store demonstrations, promotions and visually exciting displays for a range of national brands including Kenwood, Braun and Delonghi. The agency’s representatives act as sales ambassadors, showcasing clients’ products at malls and outlets across the country,
For years, Aguzzo had been managing its network of contractors through a completely manual system. Representatives would be assigned to new projects via SMS or phone. After planning and executing their in-store demonstrations the representatives would email scanned paper invoices to Aguzzo, with a summary of work performed and the related costs. Then an in-office team member would go through and verify each of the listed items before processing through billing, a process that could sometimes take hours to complete. Finally, a completed invoice would be presented to the client as a notice of payment.
Apart from the obvious inefficiencies introduced through each step of the work allocation and invoicing cycle, this manual system also caused a number of other issues. Chief amongst these was that the volume of paperwork created made it extremely difficult to track the financial details of each project. In turn, this made it harder to develop accurate budgets and reporting that could drive more effective staffing and service delivery in the future.
Aguzzo recognized that they needed a more reliable, standardized method of scheduling employees and logging work. They decided that an automated process management solution would help them streamline these activities and create more beneficial business outcomes in the long term. After failing to find a readymade platform that offered the necessary capabilities, Aguzzo sought out EB Pearl to create a custom application that could meet their specific needs.
Initial conversations revealed that Aguzzo was looking for mobile software that offered a number of key features:
- Easy and accurate time-logging.
- Image uploading and sharing.
- Real-time data on product sales and overall performance metrics.
- Scheduling and shift management tools.
- Individual contractor metrics.
- Automatic invoice generation (pending digital verification and approval)
We immediately recognized that this app represented a radical redesign of Aguzzo’s core operations and that the scale and scope of this project would have to deliver on this objective. Aguzzo’s app would need to perform a number of actions covering data collection, analysis, and workforce management. The finished app would also need to provide equal functionality to Aguzzo’s managers, accountants, and contractors.
To service these multi-functional needs, we assigned a diverse team that included: project managers, a UX expert, a designer, iOS and Android developers, Web service developers, a Business Analyst, a Solutions Architect, a Quality assurance engineer and a System engineer.
Through the app, management and contractors were given access to a shared web portal and work allocation system. From here, Aguzzo could assign new projects to specific contractors that would then be immediately notified of their assignment. Each new contractor would be added to the list of ambassadors for each project.
As work was performed, contractors would update their portal to reflect the details of their demonstration. Each item could be digitally verified by the store owner before submission. Upon submission, invoiced work would be reviewed by an administrator through the system and be either approved or rejected. After all work was completed, this data would be used to generate automatic invoices that would be forwarded to the relevant clients.
The finished application addressed four main focus areas:
- It allowed easy management of contractors in any location at any time.
- It provided an easily accessible calendar that visualized workforce scheduling. This calendar could be adjusted with ease.
- Data from the app could be extracted and transferred to a centralized dashboard where sales, marketing and financial metrics were translated into visualizations. These insights offered a real-time view of business performance and ROI for each campaign.
- Aguzzo’s clients could perform further analytics on sales and marketing data to determine the ROI on their current product lines, as well as the effectiveness of demonstrations.
Aguzzo began implementing the app in early May to a unanimously positive reaction. Contractors adjusted to the new system with ease and commented on the convenience of handling their invoicing with an application rather than through meticulous physical documentation and mailing. The Aguzzo app has quickly become an integral part of the company’s operations, bringing together all of its processes into one streamlined interface.