Our Client’s challenge
On the face of it, this was a simple challenge; replace the old-fashioned, out of support Panasonic terminals with a technologically advanced alternative. The existing solution no longer met the company needs and was detrimental to the company’s brand which prided itself on being technically up to date. The fact that the existing solution was just 6 years old demonstrates how quickly technology and styles change.
Ultimately, there’s rarely a simple solution and this was no different. The requirement to supply the sales force with Apple iPads was only the tip of the ice-berg and the resulting solution delivered:
- Apple iPads to over 200 sales team members
- A custom built Sales App which allowed secure payment transactions
- A Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool to manage and secure the hardware and applications
- Business processes for the acquisition and ongoing support of the system
The client provided a high level requirement, namely to implement Apple iPads. However, there was a need to challenge their suitability, given there were many lower level requirements, as a result of the questions which followed, for example:
- Could they be ruggedised, ready for a life on the road?
- Could they be used outdoors, as many transactions would be made in supermarket car parks?
- What peripherals would be needed, if any (eg printers and stylus)?
- Would they need to be insured separately?
Analysis was carried out on Apple iPads as well as Android and Windows tablet options, but the iPad proved successful, as it worked sufficiently well in daylight and was easily ruggedised using a 3rd party add on protective case.
In parallel, work on business processes determined that other peripherals, such as printers would not be required, but after initial testing with the pilot team, it was agreed that a stylus would be of significant benefit due to the conditions the sales force worked in, such as motorway service stations. Ultimately, this meant a cost saving on the initial scope as although printers are inexpensive pieces of hardware, the related consumables and ongoing support would not be insignificant costs. Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool.
It was realised that iPads, at that time, weren’t widely used in a commercial environment and ‘tying down’ functionality was at odds with the Apple design ethos, specifically, your iPad is yours to do with what you wish. This led to the need for an MDM solution, which would allow the client administrators to design a restricted front end for the iPad operating system and ensure colleagues weren’t able to use features that wouldn’t be appropriate in a commercial sales environment. After some detailed analysis and a tender process, the Mobile Iron platform was selected; a purpose-built solution for enterprises to secure and manage mobile devices, applications and content while providing their employees with a native user experience. IT administrators would be able to manage the lifecycle of the device and its applications, from registration to retirement, and rapidly accelerate operationalising and scaling their Mobile IT infrastructure.
The Sales Application
It was imperative to the client that the sales process was re-engineered to ensure the correct products were offered to the customer and in a timely manner. It was acknowledged that if the process couldn’t be navigated quickly then sales opportunities would be lost. Working with members of the sales force and a specialist mobile app developer software house that had been selected following the client’s tender process, a simple, but intelligent piece of software was developed using an Agile development methodology.
The key features were:
- Simple to use, especially for users who weren’t familiar with touch screen technology
- Quick to navigate and by-pass screens when not relevant to that customer
- Able to process secure card payments
The Support Process
This area split into 2 key elements:
- Supporting the salesperson – each salesperson works largely in isolation, so extensive training was designed and implemented to incorporate the policies, processes and technology. The latter also assumed no knowledge of touch screen technology and, specifically Apple iPads and the customised Sales App. Each salesperson had a dedicated manager to support them remotely, who, in turn, was supported by 2nd line response teams. Implementing the end to end process – a partner was sourced to manage the logistical challenge of ensuring that iPads were available for new starters that were pre-installed, ruggedised and ready for use before being delivered to home addresses. Processes and policies were implemented to ensure that spare machines were ready on stand-by and the end of life process was also designed, documented and implemented. Manual back-up processes were also devised to ensure no sales were lost, given any eventuality.
The overall outcome
The project was a huge success for several reasons:
- Detailed requirements were signed off and change control was strongly adhered to
- Excellent, specialist partners were found using a rigorous tender process
- Subject Matter Experts were assigned to the project from the sales team, so real life experience was obtained and directly fed into the project team
- Communications and training was planned meticulously and deployed in a timely manner
- The support model was planned and agreed well in advance of Go Live
- A pilot was implemented to ensure most scenarios were experienced before deploying to the wider user community
The organisation had been struggling to capture sales in an efficient and customer friendly manner. The ambition was to ‘wow’ customers and provide them with a unique, customised path through the sales process using state of the art technology, highlighting the secure nature of the transaction. This was achieved and the client team, from Marketing Director through to the entire Direct Sales Team, were impressed with what was delivered, how the team had been engaged and how enjoyable the project process had been in practise.
How i3Works can help your organisation
i3Works has a rich seam of P3M and business change expertise. We have delivered PMOs, led £billion mega projects and led programmes of up to 130 projects. We understand the need to ground P3M solutions in the practical reality of business; ensuring alignment with strategic intent whilst also championing a lean, pragmatic implementation of P3M methodologies. Our team are seasoned practitioners, including Registered Project Professionals, Chartered Engineers and underpinned by a wide range of P3M professional qualifications.
We have a passion for what we do and firmly believe in the value that a PMO can deliver. But we also appreciate that the industry is littered with process heavy, mechanistic PMO implementations that lose sight of their strategic purpose. By maintaining focus on the problems statements that the PMO is there to resolve, the PMO becomes an enabler for effective strategic and tactical decision making.
For further information on how i3Works is able to support you in delivering business value, please contact us:
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