An Alternative to Ruggedized Mobile Sales Devices

You Expect a Lot of Your Mobile Sales Device

Ruggedized, dependable, solid performers; feel free to drive over them with your vehicle, drop them in 10 feet of water, or let them fall off the tailgate of your truck at 60 miles an hour and, if you can still find them after all that abuse, they may still be functional.

Nothing is more important than your field-device working, ready to take sales orders, or deliver products to your customers.

An Alternative to Ruggedized Mobile Sales Units

Deploying ruggedized units, when ten such units equate to the price of a small car, has always been a significant capital outlay.

There’s no doubt that some of your field sales people actually need these devices because of where and how they work.  On the other hand, some of your people might be happier with a lighter, faster, more versatile unit.

Don’t mistake what I’m saying.  When your mobile devices is your lifeline to keeping your field-people connected and earning for you, then paying extra for durability is just common sense.

The question remains: Do all of your Field sales personnel need these expensive devices?

Now, after more than a year in the field, we’ve got some solid empirical evidence to share with you.

Instead of up to $1,500 a piece, what if you could do a better job for $300-$500 per person for those that don’t need near-bulletproof equipment?  Intriguing thought, yes?

Mobile Sales Tablets in the Hands of Your Field Sales Teams

This past year we’ve deployed more than 500 tablets, including both Windows® and iPads®, into the hands of our customers’ field sales forces and on the whole the satisfaction rate has been terrific.

Our breakage rate has been less than 4%, and the field sales teams are reporting that they love the responsiveness of the tablets.

Granted, these things aren’t built like tanks; they’re built like computers compared to many of the ruggedized devices.

Tablets offer speed increases, the ability to deploy new software quickly, and provide an end-user experience that people have become accustomed to.

Such benefits might include allowing your salesperson to pull up a .PDF file to show product specs to a customer thereby improving the chance of a sale, or even offering the ability to teleconference with customers or home base, if the need arises.

Just having a simple easy to use touch screen interface could make all the difference.

Durability and Flexibility Without the Expense of Ruggedized Devices

And of course, it’s not like these devices are just sitting there, with their bare glass hanging out.  There are some really convenient, protective, cases that fold into a nice little backrest to make it very easy to use tablets—holding them at just the right angle to read, or simplifying writing on the screen with a stylus.

Let’s see you do that with most ruggedized devices.

Aside from being clunky, heavy, and inarguably expensive, ruggedized devices are frequently slow because they are burdened with older processors and operating systems.

For a long time ruggedized devices were the only solution for field sales personnel; there has been no real impetus to change a system that works.

No one you speak with will say that there is no room for improvement with tablets in DSD, not even the manufacturers.

But once companies began to view tablets as a viable alternative to ruggedized units for DSD the argument for always deploying ruggedized units was no longer a no brainer.

Reduce Your Total Cost of Ownership While Empowering Your Mobile Sales Teams

We figured that the time for waiting was over.

With a less than 4% failure rate we discovered that the total cost of ownership to deploy tablets can be much less than underwriting ruggedized units.

Replacing or repairing 20 units per year averaging $400 each costs $8000 which might cover the cost of four of five ruggedized devices (and no matter how rugged, they are not maintenance-free).

Clearly there is a cost benefit here.  If you were utterly paranoid about reliability you could supply everybody with two tablets and still save half the money.

Of course the ruggedized equipment suppliers will still tell you that tablets are simply not ready for field sales use; that they have no place on the road.  Some of our drivers tell us that they prefer the ruggedized devices simply because they can just toss it on the seat and let it fend for itself.

The vast majority of our professional field sales team like the tablets for the improved user interface, easier to use software, and a significantly improved speed.

In several instances, our real world evidence is pointing to evolving from heavy, clunky gear to a lighter more versatile piece of equipment.

Consider adding a new weapon to your arsenal.  It’s time to evolve and join the easy age; the light age; the fast age.  It’s time to take two tablets and sell for me in the morning.

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