In preparing for an enterprise mobile solution like Parsable, there are several things you need to consider which roughly breakdown to:

1. What processes you want to bring to life
2. Where you want to do this
3. What technology do you plan to run it on
4. What additions would protect your investment
5. How does your company buy technology like this

What Processes You Want to Bring to Life1. Know What Processes You Want to Bring to Life

At Parsable, we tell our customers to focus on what matters most – the key KPIs that are most impacted by human performance. We then ask them to make an assessment as to which processes are most in need of an upgrade and would benefit from real-time visibility and regular process analysis. Sometimes our customers operate this same process in many locations or around the world. We advise them to pick a process that is executed in multiple locations. There is an exponential effect when inputs for the same process in multiple locations become one data set because more opportunities for improvement and more best practices surface at once. This accelerates the process of moving to a gold standard which, in turn, accelerates ROI.

Where You Want to Do This2. Know Where You Want to Do This

Again, our recommendation is to pick a single process, not a single location, but different businesses are configured in different ways. Some businesses do very different work in each location. In this case, it is important to pick a location where the company can extract maximum learnings. Some of our customers have test plants. Others have a particular plant that they always test new technology or processes. Regardless, it is important to choose locations where results can be clearly understood. Extraneous factors, like unique language translations only used in a single location and locations with specific hardware constraints or unique plant configurations are then not a factor. This helps the team clearly read the ROI the company is getting and also helps in the change management exercise of convincing other groups to adopt the technology.

What Technology You Want to Use3. Know What Technology You Want to Use

When you are considering what mobile technology to rollout, it is much like choosing what laptop to equip teams with. As mobile devices have limited memory and do not all have robust processors, it is important to select devices that are ideal for the applications you are running. In the case of Parsable, we recommend choosing a leading device that will give your deployment legs into the future with an expected lifespan of at least two years. 

Here are our mobile device recommendations:


AndroidAndroid

Operating System: Android 4.4
Recommended for best performance: Android 7.0 and up
Examples of Phones that meet specs: Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7
Example of a Tablet that meets specs: Samsung Galaxy S2


AppleApple iOS

Operating System: iOS 9.0
Recommended for best performance: iOS 10.0 and up
Examples of Phones that meet specs: iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8
Example of Tablet that meets specs: iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 


Technical specsRequired Technical Specs for All Devices

Ethernet compatible

Storage: Minimum of 32 GB (Recommended for best performance: 64 GB)

RAM: 2GB

Average battery life: 8 hours

Recommended Size: No more than 10”

What Additions Should You Consider4. What Additions Should You Consider


This may seem obvious, but it is important to consider the environments these devices will be used in. We have some customers that use spark arrested device cases to ensure using the device is safe in locations where flammable liquids are present. We have other customers that use cases that have been modified to have strong magnets on the back. Workers then attach the devices to the equipment they are working on. Still other customers use devices in waterproof cases to prevent damage from food, chemicals, or oil. Finally, you should also consider who will use the devices and whether or not they will be shared between individuals or assigned to one person. Some customers have built tiny lockers to safely store and charge devices between shifts to avoid loss. Still others have deployed battery cases to make sure the device can be used for two or three complete shifts.

How Your Company Buys Technology Like This5. How Your Company Buys Technology Like This

If your company does not have any protocol in place for buying mobile devices or the software that runs on it for your workers, you are not alone. When laptops were first introduced, companies had to come up with processes to budget for this equipment, get it reviewed and approved, and find suppliers who could ship in a variety of situations from long term programmatic purchases to urgent small batches. They also had to figure out how to track these devices, account for them, and repair or retire them. Companies now have to do this all over again with mobile devices. This doesn’t have to be daunting though.

If you are the pioneer buying the first major batch of mobile devices for industrial use, you just need to plan well enough in advance and do your homework. Brainstorm with the right folks in IT with regards to how they want to evaluate, purchase, and deploy these devices. Set aside initial funds to prime the pump for the first batch of devices you need. Regardless of how you navigate your company to get this done, we strongly recommend you start early. Given that this is new for most companies, you can probably assume that existing processes won’t apply here.

ConclusionConclusion

In general, this document is what you might call uncommon common sense. These are steps that everyone would agree make sense, but in our busy work lives, we don’t always have the time to think this through. We hope this serves you as a checklist of the things you need to consider so these items are not surprises, and you have built these actions into your plan. As you begin to think this through, the team at Parsable is available to you to help you with any or all of these steps.

“This serves you as a checklist of the things you need to consider.”