Order Taking Technology
Consumerized technology has the power to propel many industries. Because of how mobile the order taking technology process is, no other industries have the most to gain as the distribution and manufacturing vertical. However, there are many challenges to guiding customers and employees through the change management process that leads to ultimate success. Many technologies are purchased or developed without the thought of how they will be distributed, adopted and utilized.
I’ve been working with teams to construct comprehensive plans to drive utilization of order taking technology for many years. Among the most effective methods to drive the utilization of mobile apps is the OEM strategy. This strategy is at a high-level purchasing, managing and bundling hardware. It definitively helps the field drive adoption of platforms that benefit the organizations overall sales numbers and increases the quality of the customer experience. By deploying a full-service platform that includes the hardware to be used organizations are able to create an out of box experience that ignites the customer base and fundamentally changes how the organization engages with customers.
Three pillars to successfully utilizing and OEM strategy to drive adoption are purchasing, management and delivery. If executed properly there will be a swift adoption of the application and change will take hold much more quickly. If change is obtained quickly then the benefits of the technology are derived much more quickly and that is the ultimate goal.
One of the key challenges to bundling solutions for a greater adoption rate is service. Organizations that choose to this path have to support, to some degree, both the hardware and software components of the solution. This why when choosing to employ an OEM strategy the procurement partnership is central to success. OEMis short for original equipment manufacturer, which is a misleading term used to describe a company that has a special relationship with computer and IT producers. OEMs are organizations who resell another company’s product under their own name and branding. This means that you must have a relationship with the original manufacturer in order to deliver on the service promises that it takes to ensure success. The procurement partner is key because they will be able to directly affect the out of box experience and long-term service promises. Solid procurement partners also offer services that can create a truly unique experience for the end user like:
-Laser Engraving / Custom Branding
-Pre-Configuration and installation of applications
-Buy and Hold
-Depot Repair and Hot Swaping
Device and Application Management
Managing the deployment of assets critical to maximizing the benefits of the OEM investment. Understanding and improving the ROI is impossible unless you are tracking usage and are able to control the experience. By deploying mobile device managers (MDM) like JAMF, Airwatch or others OEM assets are able to be monitored and updated when appropriate protecting the end user experience and giving a full picture of what overall utilization of the app is being achieved. MDM usually involves the installation of unique profiles on mobile devices. These profiles give organizations the ability to remotely control, encrypt and enforce policies on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. They can, for instance, be used to wipe a device of all apps and data if it is lost or stolen.
MDM also provides companies with real-time insights on device inventory, provisioning, and OS configuration, and can provide tools for troubleshooting
Hardware and Application Delivery
The largest benefit to delivering a fully bundled hardware and software solution is that you can control the entire out of box experience an make it unique to your organization. By creating a memorable out of box experience for an order taking technology, you have effectively driven the utilization of your app and increased the organization’s brand identity. I’ve worked with companies that have wrapped the delivery box, built custom branded cases, imaged specific material onto the devices and provided custom follow up services to the delivery. These services are an investment for sure but offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for the organization and are worth the investment if OEM is part of the solution to drive app adoption.
Mobile app adoption can be the most challenging part of any app implementation especially when the app is brand new. If you have not considered strategically how your organization is going to succeed at an early stage of application implementation they adoption rates can be slow and painful. By understanding how you will shrink the time it takes for users to buy in to the use of the app and benefits of change the greatest ROI is achieved quickly and the new process becomes routine within a matter of months not years. Delivering a fully integrated system by employing an OEM strategy is the fastest way to get your B2B customers through the change management needed to succeed.
Written by Andrew Johnson
Vice President of Business Affairs for Ai2
Andrew Johnson leads a team of developers at Ai2 to create industry changing mobile eCommerce tools for Manufacturers and Distributors. Prior to working at Ai2 Andrew lead a sales team at Apple focused on delivering services through mobile application developers.