Although an in-depth discussion is beyond the scope of this article, here are a few points to consider:
- Begin with a needs analysis. Identify your current processes that can be vastly improved through the use of mobile technology. It is very important that, in conducting your needs analysis, you include employees from many different areas of your business – field operations, accounting, payroll, and any other department that will be affected.
- Investigate. Be diligent in not only seeking possible solutions, but in analyzing each viable option to a very detailed level. The more you learn about each application, the better informed you will be to make the right decision.
- Conduct a thorough financial analysis of savings and costs. Determine the savings to be received for each change in process. If it takes X amount of time before a change, and it takes Y amount of time afterwards, one can calculate the difference of X minus Y as a savings resulting from productivity improvement. Obtain an accurate estimate of the cost of the software including the price of all licenses or subscriptions, installation and training costs including travel expenses, the cost of annual maintenance, and any customization costs that may be needed. In many cases, you will also need new or upgraded hardware on which the software will run. Determine this cost along with any associated expenses. The total of software costs, hardware costs, and any other costs will be weighed against the calculated savings over a 1 to 3 year period to determine the net benefit.
Businesses are much more likely to invest in items that achieve payback quickly. A good rule of thumb is for a company to be able to recover their costs within no more than 12 months. A mobile time tracking software solution that is a great fit will, in all likelihood, allow companies to recoup their investment in even less time.