These days, it seems like technology is permeating all aspects of our daily lives. Nowhere is this more evident than with mobile devices. Twenty years ago, it would have seemed impossible to do things remotely such as take credit cards, enter customer information, and process payments without being connected to a hard line. However, even with the abundance of consumer-grade technology in this area, it’s still important for companies to operate with higher quality gear.
Today we’re going to discuss the various ways that you can utilize mobile devices for your hospitality business, as well as what steps you should take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of them. Not only for your operations but the comfort and security of your customers as well.
Mobile Device Types
The first thing that we have to discuss is the kind of technology that you are using in the field. When it comes to implementing mobile solutions, there are three basic types of devices you can use. First, we have enterprise technology, which is a proprietary system that’s developed for your company specifically. Second, there are consumer-grade devices, such as smartphones, that you can purchase for your business. Finally, you can have your employees use their own devices for various purposes.
Overall, when it comes to the different challenges that you can face on the job, it becomes apparent that enterprise technology is by far the best choice for any company. To better understand why this is the case, let’s go over some common issues that happen in the field.
As a hospitality business, you are most likely processing a lot of highly sensitive information, including customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card data. As such, it’s imperative that you have a system that is protected from outside sources trying to steal this information for nefarious purposes.
- Employee Devices: it’s a huge risk to trust this kind of data to your staff, especially if it will be stored on their personal phone.
- Consumer Tech: modern smartphones are only as secure as their carrier. You will have to download software to each device and hope for the best.
- Enterprise: you will have your own back of house system that you can encrypt as needed to ensure that customer information stays safe.
No matter which route you take, you will have to make sure that your staff knows how to work the system and troubleshoot if any problems arise on the fly. However, since the hospitality industry is well known for its high turnaround, this poses a particular issue when you have to train new people on a regular basis.
- Employee Devices: staff will have a wide range of phones, meaning that compatibility and consistency will be a huge issue.
- Consumer Grade: devices that are intended for the public are not designed to hold up to business practices, meaning that you will experience much more troubleshooting and delays in operations.
- Enterprise: you can customize your system how you like, making it easier to train new employees. Also, you don’t have to worry about compatibility as each device has it installed.
Although mobile solutions are making our lives easier, one common problem that always arises is that they will die eventually. Depending on your business, you may need devices to last up to twelve hours before being plugged in and recharged, so it’s crucial that you have the right tech to get it done.
- Employee Devices: staff will use their phones for other purposes, meaning that they will get drained fast.
- Consumer Grade: most new smartphones will die quickly if you run apps on a constant basis, which will lead to operational delays.
- Enterprise: customize your devices to last as long as you need, and choose a battery system that works for you.
To help your company thrive with mobile solutions, you will want industrial-grade accessories to complement your devices. These can include battery terminals, credit card swipers, and other peripheral materials to improve your operations.
- Employee Devices: compatibility will always be an issue since staff will have a broad range of phones.
- Consumer Grade: there are not as many peripheral accessories available for these kinds of devices, and they are not built to last.
- Enterprise: make sure that you get the most out of your system with business-level solutions that will be compatible with your machines.
Wifi and Connectivity
Another big hurdle that mobile solutions face is the fact that you have to be able to stay in touch out in the field. As such, it’s imperative that you have a wireless network that will work in any environment so that you aren’t left in the lurch.
- Employee Devices: connections will be based on their carrier and device strength, which will vary greatly.
- Consumer Grade: you will have to find a carrier plan that works for your business, but they may still have problems as they are not built for business applications.
- Enterprise: you can set up your own network and use devices that will have a strong enough signal to connect wherever you are. Simply put, you can almost eliminate this issue with the right hardware.
Finally, one thing that you have to worry about is your devices getting damaged while on shift. People drop phones or tablets, or they can be exposed to all kinds of elements that will affect how they perform.
- Employee Devices: they are likely not built to withstand the rigors of the job, and it will be hard to figure out a replacement plan if one does get damaged on the clock.
- Consumer Grade: overall, these devices are not built to last, so they will eventually break down over time.
- Enterprise: you can choose materials that will hold up to different conditions without losing power or performance, based on your needs.
As you can see, when it comes to saving money, improving efficiency, and ensuring a higher quality of service to your customers, having enterprise technology at your disposal will help your business thrive.