Learn Three Lessons and Teach Your Competition One
Three ROI-boosting case studies you can apply in your organization
Here are three concrete, easily implemented ways to benefit from your organization's BlackBerry® smartphones. First, capture data when and where it happens. Second, sending information over the air can cut data entry time and free up time for analysis. And third, get to customers' locations in hours instead of days to stand out from the competition. Read on to see how professional services companies have implemented these lessons.
Lesson 1: Capture data when—and where—it happens
Billing for its attorneys' time is the lifeblood of Florida-based law firm Berger Singerman. To track time spent on client phone calls and emails the firm's attorneys had to write down what they did on paper or enter it into the ProLaw database at the end of the day.
Memory is fallible
The system relied on attorneys' memories—resulting in many small segments of forgotten time. And with some entries happening days after the fact, the system was neither timely nor accurate.
Berger Singerman Attorney Arthur Spector says, “If I don't log that call right away, and I wait three days, then I have to try and recollect what that conversation was about. I may only remember some of what we talked about. That may not be satisfactory to the client once you bill them.”
Solution: Record time on the spot
To capture all that forgotten time, the firm decided to equip the attorneys' existing BlackBerry smartphones with the A4P-Enterprise time tracking application from AIRTIME Manager.
Now when an attorney uses his or her BlackBerry smartphone to talk with clients or write an email, they are immediately prompted to record the time on the spot. The attorney sees how much time was clocked, and is given a drop-down menu with his or her client accounts stored in the firm's ProLaw database.
Because the attorneys record their billable time as they use it, instead of waiting until the end of the day, more billable time is captured more accurately.
“We've figured out that if we recover just six minutes of an attorney's billable time every month—time that would have been lost—this solution has paid for itself,” says Rey Leon, Director, Information Technology at Berger Singerman.
Lesson 2: Sending data over the air can cut manual data entry and free time for analysis
Campbell & Company
The consultants at Campbell & Company bill by the hour when they help non-profit clients raise funds. The consultants would record their time—including telephone and email time—into a laptop-based application. The information was not transmitted to accounting until the end of the month, a long time lag. And then accounting had to add up the time and check against project hours.
That meant that Margaret Rubino, Financial Services, had to wait until the end of the month to do her bookkeeping—and it took her four full days to get the job done. The results were poor accuracy, lost billable time, and slow access to information.
Benefit: More time analyzing data rather than inputting it
To rectify the situation the company turned to BlackBerry smartphones equipped with AIRTIME-A4P from Airtime Manager. The application records time on phone calls and on emails to the second.
Most importantly, each night the data is transmitted over the air directly into Campbell & Company's Orion Software accounting system. No more waiting until the end of the month to then crunch the numbers for four days.
Because it is all done automatically, Rubino now focuses on analyzing data instead of inputting it. “The job of keeping client databases up-to-date was really time consuming, but now I've rerouted my time so I create more reports and business analytics during those four days,° she says.
Lesson 3: Get to customers' locations in hours instead of days to stand out from the competition
Differentiating itself from the competition was the motivation behind Belron Canada's drive to mobilize its vehicle-glass repair field teams. The company realized that by increasing its field team's efficiency, it would also dramatically improve its standing in customers' minds.
The old system was highly inefficient. Every job was dispatched by phone one at a time—limiting the number of jobs possible per day. Drivers lost time by backtracking along roads to get to the next assignment. And the labor-intensive invoicing process could take weeks to complete.
The solution from mobile software developer Soluteo uses BlackBerry smartphones for wireless job dispatching and tracking, parts management, and wireless invoice printing. The solution has reduced dispatch times from two days to a few hours. And field technicians can now complete five works orders per day from the two they used to handle.
Mobile printing is a big differentiator
Many customers need to immediately send the repair invoice to their insurance companies for reimbursement. Field technicians can now print customer invoices on the spot, wirelessly from their BlackBerry smartphones—another way for Belron Canada to stand out in customers' minds.
Capturing data where and when it happens, sending information over the air, improving customer service—these are all lessons that almost every organization can benefit from. The key challenge is to think through ways your own field teams can best employ mobile technology.
Find a BlackBerry Business Solution to mobilize your business process at blackberry.com/solutions.