Talking to Experts Before Investing in a Charging Program

Why It’s Important to do Thorough Research on Charging Solutions–Including Talking to Experts–Before Investing in a Charging Program

When you’re just trying to run your own business, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to select vendors to help your business run smoothly. You are likely getting tons of pamphlets, emails, and calls from potential vendors hoping to earn their place in your business. Picking the right vendors can be stressful, especially when you’re investing in a mobile device deployment that will change the future of how your business operates.

Here are a few tips on how to pick the right business partners and vendors:

  • Make a pro and con list to vet vendors. Find the vendors who align most closely with the values of your organization as well as the goals of your project. Finding a company who is focused on the same things you are and is dedicated to helping you reach your goals will give you peace of mind that you’ve made the right choice.
  • Make sure there is a good customer support system that allows for customer support and trust between you and the company. Having access to experts is of utmost importance!  
  • Research durability of the products and make sure they’ll be worth your investment. A mobile device deployment is a big investment, and you will want your purchases to last a very long time.
  • Talk to others who have done the same search you have, and learn from those who have been there.

Thousands of customers around the world have relied on and will continue to rely on LocknCharge for successful mobile device deployments for years to come. You may browse our website and think you know which products you want for your deployment, but you might change your mind after receiving information about how your goals align with each solution.

And it seems our customers agree. Ian Harrison, Director of ICT for Harton Academy, UK says, “The team from LocknCharge who scoped our initial requirements were very good, and talked us through the most suitable charging stations in an online webinar which was very helpful. We were able to see equipment demonstrated and work out which device would suit each location best.”

Talking to a charging expert is vital, and luckily, LocknCharge has multiple experts to help you navigate which system is right for your mobile device deployment. We are the experts in mobile device deployments and will help guide you to the perfect option for your unique use case. While we have products for just about any deployment, we won’t convince you to invest in something that isn’t the right fit for you if we don’t have it. We are here to make your life easier; that’s our mission.

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Working with Your IT Department to Implement a Mobile Device Initiative

You have a great idea to roll out a mobile device initiative at your company… but you have to get IT’s on board first. After all, they are the gatekeepers to ensure that the technology fits within the overall tech scheme of the entire business. While it doesn’t seem like it would be too challenging to convince the IT Team to roll out something that will ultimately get your company to its goals faster, there are a lot of factors that can play into a big tech decision, and it is important to present your idea in a complete and thoughtful manner so that you’re respectful of the departments’ time, views and objectives. By coming to the meeting prepared, you’re more likely to come to a mutual conclusion that benefits both the organization and the IT Staff.

Gather paint points from various stakeholders. The more people that are affected by the lack of a mobile device program, the more likely your initiative will be approved by IT. Understand the problems you are trying to solve and how they will positively impact those individuals. Include some examples of problems you are trying to solve such as improving communication, speeding up transactions, providing better customer services and eliminating paper processes. If your solution could potentially benefit more than one department, your IT Team may be more receptive.

Read case studies (within or outside of your industry) of companies who have had success with a similar initiative. You can use case studies and testimonials to show off other successful companies (and further your point that your company could be one of them). LocknCharge offers many testimonials and blog posts about successful mobile device rollouts. For example, Erie County Medical Center started training doctors on mobile devices long before they ever held a device; this was very successful for them. Another instance of a great case study is this one, where THRIVE® Affordable Vet Care was able to work smarter and more efficiently through the use of technology. Read more testimonials here.

Have a security plan in place. It is likely that your IT Team is going to be very concerned about mobile device security, both digitally and physically. Digital security is imperative for any business using a mobile device that contains confidential data or customer information, and implementing MDM software can greatly help reduce the risk that your system will be hacked. However, research shows that 41% of data breaches are caused by lost or stolen devices, yet only 27% of organizations have considered a secure charging solution as part of their deployment. A complete solution that covers security, storage, charging and software updates will show IT managers that you’re thinking of the complete picture. Physical security ensures that devices will not need to be replaced as often due to theft and loss, and your IT Team will have increased confidence that data breaches are mitigated due to a highly-secure, lockable storage solution.

Map out the workflow and have a security and charging system in place. Make sure IT has a very clear understanding of how the devices will work from person to person, day to day. Who picks up the devices in the morning? How are they used by each person, and how are they given from team member to team member? How are they charged when employees are off duty? Your IT team will want to know exactly how they are being used so they can prepare their team with the right skills to assist the deployment.

Streamlined workflow and centralized charging will increase efficiency and decrease loss, therefore keeping the budget on track and allowing for fewer IT issues. Fully-charged and easily-accessible devices will increase employee adoption of new processes, contributing to the overall success of the program. If employees don’t have access to a charged device every day, they’ll likely never adopt the program.

Have a rollout and training plan in place. Companies who train employees before a rollout have better overall success, including perks such as increased employee confidence and trust with the device. As stated previously Erie County Medical Center started training doctors and other staff way before they ever even touched a device, which made for a more successful rollout. IT can also have more control over training and might be more likely to approve the rollout if they are more involved.

Another example of a successful training program is Keolis Commuter Services, who rolled out their mobile device pilot in states to ensure things were working as planned and that the project was meeting goals and objectives. This was always manageable from IT’s perspective, which is very attractive to the average IT manager.=

Can IT work with the products you’re suggesting, and is the customer service of those companies good enough for your standards? Is the hardware you’re implementing supported by the company it’s purchased from? How easy is it for the IT team to work with the hardware/software companies in the event they need customer support, product replacement, or product re-order?  These are important questions to be able to answer to keep your IT department at ease.=

Additionally, consider the warranties or longevity of the technology you wish to purchase. For example, LocknCharge products have options for either a 10-year warranty or a lifetime warranty. Future proofing your devices are the best way to get the most out of your investment.

Back up your reasoning. There are plenty of stats to show why a mobile device deployment is better for companies overall. For example, 68% of companies surveyed by LocknCharge said that they are motivated to implement a mobile device program because it will improve communications. 61% said they’d have faster transaction processing, and 54% said it would eliminate manual/paper processes. See more about this study here.

For more tips on influencing change in your organization, read here.

 


Find the right solution for managing your mobile devices. Contact us to schedule a FREE, personalized live product demonstration today.

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Influencing Change Within Your Company

Change within companies is hard, especially when things have been done a certain way for a long time. However, with the way technology is changing so quickly, modern companies need to be agile and malleable. If you are someone who embraces change, convincing your company to adopt a new technology can be daunting. Luckily, we have the resources to help influencers talk to key stakeholders as to why new technology should be adopted.

Today’s B2B purchasers are typically made by groups of diverse stakeholders. According to Gartner, the typical B2B buying group includes 6-8 decision makers, and increased stakeholder diversity leads to group dysfunction as buying group members’ goals and interests often conflict. In this instance, you could be trying to convince stakeholders who have little interest in technology to switch to a mobile device program, or more specifically to implement a secure storage system for those mobile devices.

According to CEB, half of willing buyers are unwilling to advocate for desired purchases. This is because bigger teams increase the perceived risk of advocating for a purchase. As someone who wants to introduce a new technology (such as LocknCharge) to your team, you have to be someone who is willing to take the extra steps to influence internally. Advocates must be passionate about the new technology and must be willing to rally support from key stakeholders. Some ways to do this are by introducing colleagues to the supplier sales rep to gain insights and formulate thoughtful talking points, connecting the stakeholders for a group discussion, and educating those stakeholders about the need for the new technology. The perfect advocate…

… is willing to talk at length about their position.
… does their research on the technology and is prepared to answer any questions that stakeholders might have.
… is good at influencing and connecting others.
… has personal needs that will be met by the technology’s offerings/features.
… is good at pushing high-performance thinking and brings a healthy debate to sales discussions.

Does this sound like you? If so, here are some potential challenges you could face, as well as some ideas to tackle those challenges:

Process Knowledge

Your challenge: You may lack experience driving change as well as enough knowledge about the product itself to convince someone to buy it.

Potential Solutions: Research the benefits driving your position:

  • How will this affect your team?
  • Who will be impacted by this change other than your team, in both positive and negative ways?
  • Have other companies had a similar change, and how did it turn out for them?
  • What is the potential ROI of this change?

For example, 91% of current LocknCharge customers prioritize charging in their mobile device initiatives.

Another potential solution would be to come to your talking points ready with real-life examples and testimonials from other companies who have adopted the technology you’re fighting for.

Cross-Functional Perspective

Your challenge: You may not understand how your idea could influence teams other than your own.

Potential Solutions: Talk to cross-functional team members to find out how this new technology could affect their teams as well. You could also create a trickle-down benefits map. This could be a simple illustration of the connections between each team’s needs. You can also explore the company’s blog or website to find research that positively affects yours and other teams. For example, this post about how a mobile device rollout can contribute to your company’s overall success is a great resource for making a case for secure charging solutions.

Persuasion Skills

Your challenge: You might be risk-averse and need confidence in your ability to persuade others.

Potential Solutions: Figure out who is the most likely to be least receptive to change, try to predict which objections they will raise and have answers ready for all possible objections. Also, identify which stakeholders will be your most powerful advocates so you can get them on board to help make your case.


If you are trying to persuade key stakeholders to adopt a new technology such as a mobile device rollout or LocknCharge mobile device secure charging stations, we are behind you every step of the way. Contact a sales rep for even more information to help build your case.

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What it Actually Means to be an Innovative Company

The word “innovative” is tossed around so frequently these days that it’s becoming downright ubiquitous. Every startup seems to be “innovative,” which, while this may be true for each company in its own way, the word is starting to lose its meaning. Good ideas come from everywhere in companies, from the 21-year-old intern to the 65-year-old almost retiree. Having a CEO who listens to everyone in the company is crucial to making sure good ideas don’t slip through the cracks.

At LocknCharge, we recently did a hackathon to drive internal innovation. We broke into groups of 5-6 people each, and each group had 60 minutes to brainstorm and write a presentation on a new and innovative product for LocknCharge that doesn’t currently exist… yet. We learned quickly that seeking insight from every area of the business is of utmost importance. Because of our success with in-house innovation, we thought we’d share some advice on driving innovation in your company:

  1. Encourage employees to speak up about their ideas in things like hackathons, innovation forums, or even simply 1:1 meetings. No idea should be considered outlandish, stupid, or silly. “Employees universally feel safer going with the status quo than attempting innovation, because it’s less likely to lead to visible errors. So if you want employees to experiment, they have to know that their innovative efforts will be free from repercussion,” says Micah Solomon in an article for Forbes.
  2. Leaders should practice what they preach. If you want to have employees who are innovators, they should have leaders who set a good example in that way. You should also have managers who empower their employees; two of Google’s 8 Qualities of Great Managers are that they empower their team and don’t micro-manage, and that they’re good communicators and they listen to the team.
  3. Think ahead of your competitors. It’s easy to get into your own way of doing things and not worry about the competition–however, if you are encouraging your employees to be innovative, you will always be a few steps ahead.
  4. Dare to do what’s never been done before. Taking calculated risks is all a part of business, and you never know if a failed idea could turn into something better. Take the story of Slack, for instance, which started out of a failed project and turned into a $1B company in a matter of a few years.
  5. Have an authentic company culture. Employees won’t feel motivated if they feel like they’re working somewhere phony. Work with HR to foster a company culture that feels real, and where the employees feel as much as part of the success of the company as the CEO. A survey by Deloitte in 2016 found that “millennials place a strong emphasis on their personal values when choosing a potential employer, with 56% ruling out working for certain organizations. Even if you have the best of the best applying at your company, if they don’t fit the culture you won’t see the expected returns in the long run.”
  6. Treat your employees with respect. Employees who don’t feel like they are respected are less likely to come forward with new ideas; and they might just leave and take their ideas and talents somewhere they do.

At LocknCharge, we are proud to call ourselves an innovative company – and were recently recognized as Madison, Wisconsin’s Most Innovative Company 2018! If you’d like to get to know us better, visit us online here.

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How Businesses Can Learn from Mobile Device Management in the Education Sector

business charging stations

The education sector is more technologically advanced than you may think. As technology has evolved, so have the ways we use it for educational benefit. What started as one computer room in every school has turned into iPads or tablets for every student, and educators have quickly learned how to harness technology to enhance education. Because of the education sector’s vast knowledge and experience with mobile device distribution, we believe businesses can learn a lot from the education sector when implementing their own mobile device system.

Back in 2007, smartphones were starting to increase in popularity and were becoming widely used by students in their leisure time. However, they were not accepted as a classroom learning device until the iPad was launched in 2010. Almost a decade on, interactive mobile apps have become central to classroom learning. Teachers can give children better opportunities to learn, whilst also developing a myriad of different educational techniques using a wide variety of low-cost apps. With the education sector working with mobile devices for what seems like forever, why is it that only 46% of businesses are even in the research phase of their mobile device implementation?

With its reputation as one of the ‘top 50 most improved specialist schools’ throughout the UK, along with its position as one of 12 outstanding schools serving disadvantaged communities (by Ofsted* 2009), Harton Academy in Tyne and Wear needed a simple solution to mobile deployment as well as an effective and safe storage solution, where their devices were protected from theft.

The school, which had been using a large number of laptop trolleys for several years, had a goal to make devices as accessible as possible to all students, whilst retaining total control over security and safety of devices, protecting them from theft and damage.  They were attracted to the FUYL Tower by LocknCharge due to its innovative design. Because it is free-standing, it could be left in view of students in open areas, where they could then collect devices independently or charge and store their own devices safely. 

Where the school was clever in their roll out of devices was in the detail.  With different areas within the school that had slightly different needs and requirements, they opted to choose a variety of different storage units for different spaces.  The Putnam 16 was chosen for the music department, where iPads are used to display sheet music to students and as screens for some MIDI keyboards. Prior to the Putnam 16, iPads would have to be left plugged into expensive keyboards and left with the power on overnight in order to charge. This posed a big security risk as they were constantly out on show. After a few attempted break-ins at the school, staff became concerned for these vulnerable machines. The iPads can now be locked away every night.

In comparison, an iQ 10 Charging Station was chosen for the PE department, as iPads are used there for registering students on the school management information system (SIMS) when in the gyms or changing rooms, away from desktop machines. They can also be used in lessons as an interactive tool, for example to show students the ideal way to do a long jump, record a student’s attempt and then play this back, show the students their mistakes and allow them to rectify them. The charging station is kept in a lockable store cupboard, to be out of sight and deter thieves. 

With businesses having unique requirements just like schools, the deployment model that suits each individual business needs to be carefully tailored. As is the case with The Erie County Medical Centre, USA, who recognised their staff needed full training on mobile devices, and ensured this happened before rolling out their deployment. Many of the healthcare providers at Erie had never used an iPad before, so the IT Team began a weekly training programme in June of 2018, three months before the programme went live. They covered training for the use of the iPads, the software, the FUYL Towers and the new workflow. By September, when their staff had the devices in-hand, they were fully prepared for (and even excited about!) the mobile device programme. The Network Team (IT Team) immediately embraced the plan and found the FUYL Towers very easy to use and manage.

So what pointers do businesses take from the education sector?  They should ensure that:

  • They have set up a streamlined workflow for their devices in advance of the mobile device rollout.
  • They use centralised areas to charge, store and secure their mobile devices by implementing deployment solutions from by trusted companies like LocknCharge.
  • They distribute and collect devices daily/weekly in an organised fashion and are able to detect issues with the devices, fixing them quickly.
  • They have improved communication throughout their institution (between teachers, students and parents) through the use of devices and apps.
  • They have a diverse group of decision makers at the table when making tech decisions so that all opinions are understood and heard.
  • They sync information or apps to devices with syncing stations and/or MDM software.

To learn how your business can draw level with the education sector, contact us today!

 

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