When I say ‘mobile’, I mean mobile in more than just the phone sense. But phones and other technology have helped.
The smartphone, or now ‘super-phone’ as they’re being called now, as well as laptops and tablets, have allowed tasks to be done on the move, at home, in coffee shops and so on. The work place is now becoming truly mobile and the need for the traditional office is being reduced year on year. Take Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook. Their offices look more like play grounds for adults. Bean bags, sleeping pods, pool tables and top class restaurants. The biggest boon is that their staff get to come in to the ‘office’ almost whenever they want. They allow a lot of their staff to work at home and have staff come in when something more creative needs to be done. A lot of the actual work is done on the move or at home, not in the office.
Technology has allowed us to do this and I think our industry is one which is best placed to take advantage. Think about it, we have a history of being mobile. The biggest companies in our industry, ironically, don’t have any dedicated showrooms. Companies like Anglian, Everest and SafeStyle UK all operate out of offices and have their sales guys drive around with lots of samples in the boot. Not the smartest way of being mobile, but it is mobile non the less. The industry is used to working on the move and the new raft of new mobile devices like super-phones and tablets will allow us to put a much more polished finish on our presentation.
A couple of months ago my brother, also a salesman, bought a high-end Asus tablet computer. He loaded a plethora of images and information on there and used the device as his presentation folder, rather than a range of brochures and folders. Customer feedback told us that they thought it was a modern and novel way to show our products off. We obviously left brochures with the customer but the ability to show crystal clear photos on a modern screen and to zoom in and out on certain parts gave the presentations another dimension.
I’m not hinting that we can now abandon our showrooms and start turning up to customers houses only when we need to. The office/showroom will still play a vital role in our businesses. But the availability of quality mobile technology is allowing our staff to complete tasks while on the move, improving productivity. Pricing can be done on the move, as can emails, image transfers, blog articles published, tweets sent – stuff you would normally do sat down at a desk but can be done at any time, not in the office.
I think a more mobile industry is something we should be aiming for. Productivity can be improved, the industry would be more prepared for future technological advancements, we can ditch the old stale image for a fresh modern one, the younger clientele would be engaged more and I think quite importantly our staff would enjoy a better, easier, more relaxed working environment and the standard of work could improve.
I hope I got the message across in this post! I had the point in my head and I know what I wanted to say, it was just more difficult getting it down on the screen than I thought it would be! I hope it reads OK! I’m sure you’ll let me know if it doesn’t!
I completely agree–the mobility of our industry is an unavoidable, inevitable thing, and I personally think it’s a fabulous thing. As you mentioned at one point, our industry has actually always been mobile in one sense, because we frequently go TO the customer. But with advancements in technology, we should be able to much more efficiently complete work while we’re with that customer because we can finally more easily take all our information with us instead of having to carry around as many physical materials. Just because I’m curious about how it’s perceived in the UK, I will raise one… Read more »
Hi US Chick Yeah we’re finding this same problem over here. Because nearly everyone is constantly connected now, everyone seems to think people should be available on a permanent basis! We get emails at all times of the night! We’re not going to reply to them till the morning! When it gets to the end of the working day, that should be it from a consumer-to-business point of view. From a B2B point of view though I think it’s a little different. B2B relationships have always been a more 24/7 thing. I don’t mind emailing work partners after the standard… Read more »
I think I agree with you on the B2B thing. I deal more with social media than buying or anything like that, but I know the head of the company is still emailing other business contacts at all times of the night just like you said–it’s a very 24/7 relationship. I’m actually based in the Midwest, haha. So we didn’t get the hit of Sandy, but we’ve all been in touch with relatives and friends on the East coast that are still in hotels and anyplace other than their homes. There have been some losses of life, which is so… Read more »