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4 Questions to Ask Your Organization Before Implementing a Mobile Product

Posted under Blog by Brad Mullins, Implementation Consultant

Mobility is a game changer for the asset maintenance world. At first glance, implementing a mobile strategy should not be any more complicated than other initiatives you have already successfully put in place. The reality of implementing a mobile solution can be more complex however. 

Before you begin your implementation, there are four important questions your organization must ask itself to ensure the implementation runs smoothly.

1. Who’s job role would benefit the most from having a mobility solution? 

Before implementing a mobile solution, you need to consider who will be impacted the most and how they will be impacted. Different job types will experience different pros and cons to a mobile solution. When the potential users have been identified, you can better prepare them for the upcoming changes.

Some examples of job types who could be greatly impacted and how:

  • Planners– when scoping out potential work while on location; material lookup and material requests
  • Supervisors– reviewing the work that needs to be done; creating emergency work or work requests; assigning people to work while on the shop floor; reviewing completed work and inspection.
  • Craftsmen– easy access to all work assigned; marking work as complete and entering time.
  • Inventory– one-stop access to stores when performing inventory counts; issuing parts; easy material lookup using barcodes.
  • Production Liaisons– generating work requests with photos and descriptions for emergency maintenance crews to quickly respond to.

2. What is the technical skill level of my team? Will they need additional training?

While today’s mobile devices are commonplace and user-friendly, some users may struggle and not adapt well to their use.  Identifying users with good skill sets or offering small training courses on the new mobile devices and processes will ensure full user adoption of a mobile solution.

3. What type of wireless infrastructure and range is available at your site and at key operating locations?

Once you have identified who the target Mobile users will be and what their skill level is, you should consider your organization’s infrastructure and technology available. Can your current infrastructure support a mobile solution?

Ask yourself “Does my organization have a good network infrastructure in place that will allow devices to maintain connectivity?” This is necessary to ensure data is kept up to date and accurate through a mobile solution.

If your organization has a poor network infrastructure, it may not provide reliable connectivity and a mobile solution that provides ‘off-line’ storage of data will be needed. Identifying connectivity hot spots for mobile users to download and upload data and transactions would also be needed. Poor infrastructure is not a show stopper but may impact the end-user adoption of a mobile solution.

4. What type of devices will be used and how many are needed?

Finally, you need to ask your organization about the devices you want to use. The size and capabilities of devices used may depend on how end users operate on a day to day basis. For example:

  • Large displays with good color contrast may be needed for equipment operators to keep hands free and ease of visibility.

  • Smaller tablets may be needed to fit in craftsmen pockets, allowing them to carry tools and materials.

The number of devices needed may depend on how many users will be operating at a given time; sharing devices may reduce costs but also accessibility. Device protection also needs to be considered.  A rugged shell is recommended to protect devices from inevitable drops and bumps.  Covers and sleeves would protect displays from becoming too dusty and unusable depending on the work environments.

Overall, it is important to ensure you have prepared properly for your mobile implementation. Having clear answers to these four questions can save you from huge potential hurdles during your implementation.

For more information on how VIZIYA’s WorkAlign Mobile solution can impact your maintenance organization, request a demo now or check out our webcast on The How and Why of Maintenance Mobility.

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