Associate Member Viewpoint: The Business Case for Mobile Technology | NBWA: America's Beer and Beverage Distributors

Media Contact: ERIN DONAR

EDONAR@NBWA.ORG; (703) 229-3702

Blog| Oct 3, 2016

By: Craig Powell, Motus President & CEO

Many beer wholesalers are concerned about implementing mobile technology for their drivers. Fears about the impact of a technological cultural shift and time and cost of upgrading their systems have hindered the adoption of mobile among distributors.

However, mobile has reached a tipping point in businesses of all kinds and is becoming undeniably linked to the way we’ll all work in the future. Consider how mobile devices have changed banking by letting us deposit a check from home, or enabled your doctor to call up your medical records on their tablet – change as a result of mobile is inevitable, and those who are not implementing it risk being left behind.

Fortunately for businesses that have yet to deploy mobile, as we enter the late phase of the adoption curve many of the concerns that have hindered mobile adoption in the past are now moot. For beer wholesalers looking to gain a leg up, now is the right time to give mobile another look.

Your employees are mobile natives

The latest report from the Pew Research Center found that 92 percent of U.S. adults own a mobile phone, surpassing desktop and laptop computers (73 percent) as the most commonly owned device. The trend is even stronger with the upcoming generation, with computer ownership dropping 10 percent among adults under age 30 compared to 2010.

Employees today are likely to be as well-versed in mobile as they are on computers, if not better. And what’s more – they likely already have their own device. As more mobile natives join the workforce, the cultural impact of shifting to mobile is rapidly declining.

Mobile is no longer costly to implement

With so many employees owning their own device, businesses now are able to adopt mobile in the workplace at little or no cost to themselves.

72 percent of organizations are already permitting bring your own device (BYOD) policies, or planning to do so, according to a Tech Pro Research report. And by the end of this year, Gartner predicts that half of employers worldwide will actually require employees to bring their own device.

The reason we see this trend is simple - people on the go want to be connected and are willing to leverage their own devices to ensure they’re using their time wisely.

Productivity gains abound

No one likes to wait in a line, or spend time waiting around for someone to sign off on a delivery, so mobile devices have become a go-to distraction – with increased productivity as a happy side effect.

In Wrike’s 2016 Mobile Productivity Report, 43 percent of professionals said their mobile device was “very critical” for work. 44 percent used their device for work-related business more than 20 times each day. Specifically for mobile workers that use mileage reimbursement technology, such as a beer distributor using their mobile device for work, a TechValidate survey found the time they save during the day often goes straight back to the business. 49 percent of employees reported being able to complete administrative tasks sooner with the time they saved throughout the day, and 38 percent said they used the time to visit additional clients or stores.

Employees are taking advantage of their mobile devices to do better, more efficient work. It’s clear to see how using mobile technology could impact your business’s bottom line.

Mobile can give you a competitive advantage

True, mobile technology is helping employees make better use of their time, but it also is setting them up for rich features and innovations coming down the pike. Mobile isn’t just about on-the-go access to email and phone calls - a plethora of apps and cloud resources to help with things like route optimization and fuel management are already available via devices, and more technologies that will give beer distributors a competitive advantage are on their way.

While it’s often easier not to disrupt the status quo, businesses that aren’t leveraging mobile are sure to be left in the dust in the very foreseeable future. Beer distributors that aren’t leveraging mobile technology already have a lot to gain by looking at implementing mobile technologies for their drivers. If you don’t, you can be sure your competitors will do so in your place.