Choosing a Mobile Device

shutterstock_210979972-lowDeciding which mobile device to use in your field force is determined by many factors—and the factors important to one pest management company may be completely different than the factors important to another.

OPERATING SYSTEMS
The first consideration would be to make sure your tablet and its operating system is compatible with your company’s current or desired field service software, commonly called a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool.

The most common platforms are Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS, and Microsoft’s Windows, giving the user flexibility and options. Some older systems may only support a version of one operating system, which limits your choices greatly.

SUPPORT STRUCTURE
The next set of variables relates to your support structure. Who will support your mobile fleet? Some options are: a dedicated IT staff, a contracted vendor, or perhaps a tech-savvy employee with other duties. Depending on the size of the company and the support system in place, you may want to limit the number of platforms/manufacturers to just one or two devices. When I was in Information Technology Management, my department supported 2,000 personal computers, and we had to limit the purchasing choices for desktops to three manufacturers and two laptop manufacturers just to have a chance to support them all. While the scale is different, the point is the same—depending on your support resources, you may want to limit it to two models—one for technicians and one for managers/owners. The fewer models to support, the better.

By Todd Leyse and Eric Sauber

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