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Insights Magazine
Business Insights for Women
PNC INSIGHTS Magazine Spring/Summer 2014 Issue
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Learn how businesses are improving communication between front line workers and computer-based office personnel for more efficient, effective decision-making.

Connectivity and communication are becoming ever more central in today's businesses, and that's creating a technology gap between office workers who spend their days in front of computers and front-line workers who may be on the sales floor, in a delivery truck or on an assembly line.

The disconnect in access to real-time information negatively affects both groups' ability to make business-critical decisions. But the new technology of tablet computers and native enterprise apps from such players as SAP, IBM and Oracle provide a promising solution. Apple's iPad, with its inherent mobility, ease of use and large screen capable of displaying Web-based applications, is currently leading the pack.

Companies are already finding that tablets increase communication and customer-relationship management, access to databases and human-resources information, and even company-wide social interaction. One company is supplying iPads to regional delivery drivers to speed up invoicing, signature-capture and credit-approval processes, and anticipates saving $100,000 a year in time and paper costs. A small manufacturer has outfitted every employee, from the CEO to shop workers, with iPads to ensure they have access to e-mail, the company calendar, vacation requests and assignments from their workspaces.

If you don't have the resources to distribute tablet computers to everyone, smart phones provide a similar option, with some restrictions due to the screen size. BlackBerrys, iPhones and Android-based devices fit this category.

To help workers with limited technology backgrounds, consider enlisting your IT team as roving ambassadors to answer questions. In addition, create a users' group where everyone can share information, discoveries, frustrations and solutions.

Whatever method you choose, making sure that your entire company has access to vital information will pay dividends in increased efficiency, smoother communication and lower costs.

 


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