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The Visible Value Blog


Posted by Maria Casu

October 31, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Consumer delivery device

In a business world defined by connectivity, speed of service and quality customer care, the pressure to deliver the goods is mounting. The fast-changing and demanding nature of transport and logistics means your teams need the right equipment to successfully fulfil customers’ requests.

This is especially true for the mobile devices carried by your teams that have become business critical. Given that we all need to work faster, there can be a temptation to give your teams consumer devices. After all, these are quick and easy to pick up and use and they tend to cost less.

But buying consumer devices can be a false economy – a serious one.

Beware the false economy

Research firm VDC says that consumer devices are three times more likely to fail in year one. Given that every failure can result in 180 to 260 minutes in lost mobile worker productivity and support time, and the overall impact on running costs can be high. In fact, the upfront cost of a consumer device can account for as little as 10% of the total cost of ownership. Why is this? Our top 5 reasons are below:
  1. Fragility: Consumer devices are built for short bursts of activity – not sustained use all day. They’re also unaccustomed to being out in the wet and cold, and, the screens are fragile – with cracked screens accounting for 77% of failures*. Faulty devices will require management from your support team and you may need to maintain a back-up pool of devices to try and minimise downtime.
  2. Battery life: You’ll know from your personal devices that the battery can start to degrade significantly after a year – and that’s under typical consumer usage. Imagine how the battery would fair under intensive business use. When the battery runs low, if it isn’t removable, the entire device must be charged. Consequently, you may need to buy more devices or expansion packs to ensure your teams can work all day.
  3. Accessories: Most consumer devices are designed for a single-user. So they don’t have the type of accessories that your teams need, and, those accessories aren’t built for the workplace. Take charging cradles. Consumer charging accessories, including sleds, typically don’t offer an insertion rating. Given how many times they’ll be used that’s a problem waiting to happen. In addition, you may need to purchase new cradles, chargers or vehicle mounts every year as consumer device models change. This may also trigger the need to modify the backroom design which adds to costs.
  4. Device churn: The rate of device churn – when new devices are released and their older versions are retired – can be overlooked. And in the consumer world 12 months is typically the maximum time a specific model is available, with no guarantees that future models will be backwards compatible. Over the typical three or five-year investment in mobile devices your support team could end up managing multiple versions and models – and the more people you have, the more onerous that burden will be/
  5. Security: Consumer devices are prone to security attacks and vulnerabilities. In fact, more than half of companies surveyed reported a security breach as a result of the use of a consumer device in the business**. The cost in support for security breaches, leave alone the reputational damage, can be high.

So what are the key things to consider to make sure you choose the right device? What characteristics are critical for your work environment? Our 10 Considerations for Finding the Right Mobile Device infographic explains more.

** Avanade survey of 600+ IT decision makers

Topics: mobile devices, mobile computing, transport and logistics, T&L