Getting a 10x ROI on Your New Mobile Workforce Investment

Jun 19, 2013 in Mobile

A 10x return on an investment is something that money managers often promise and only occasionally deliver.  When it comes to making an additional investment into a company’s field employees, it is sometimes viewed with reservations because this expense line item is already one of the biggest on the Operating Statement.

Frequently, this topic of how to best maximize ones’ field team comes up in conversations with my clients and peers.  Each time, I encourage them to first step back and take a closer look at a few simple apps that can deliver measurable productivity increases coupled with  highly insightful and effective insights.  When launched correctly, deployment of these tools can be accomplished without disrupting their current workflows or work patterns.

In a world that increasingly relies on the power of smartphones, there are many ways to intelligently leverage these smartphones to increase the value and productivity of the mobile workforce that you have invested in.  It is a fact that your employees are already familiar and comfortable using their smartphone for various benefits beyond just voice calls.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 1.02.13 PM

Flurry Analytics shows how iOS and Android users spend their time on their devices.

The next question then becomes “what productivity apps are the best ones for my team to use?” One great resource is Inc. Magazine. I often look here first for their regular reviews on productivity boosting apps that are highly regarded by both the users and the independent third party reviewers.

Once narrowed down to a list of relevant and applicable tools, you can begin the exploration process. I highly encourage leaders to play an active role in experimenting with a few of these, as opposed simply having other people act as “testers”. It all comes down to trust. It is no secret that leaders who model the desired behaviors for their teams engender the quickest adaptation rates. If the leaders are an active part of the app selection process, they are assured a quicker uptake from their field teams when deploying these apps.

Now that you have selected the tool(s) that you want to deploy, have begun using them regularly yourself, and have launched this new business process to your team, it is time to measure the actual return on your investment as compared to your planned ROI. Let’s take a look:

App pricing likely weighed heavily into your purchase decision. You will have likely selected an app that ranges from free to $20 per month per user.

Here is a quick example of how to calculate your ROI:

  • A $10 app price per user/month multiplied by your 100 field employees on payroll/mo. means you are looking for measurable ROI of $10,000 per month if you are looking for the not so elusive 10x return.
  • If your employees are paid $20/hour in a month with 4.5 weeks at forty hours/week you are spending $360,000 per month on labor.
  • Dividing $360,000 by the $10,000 return you are looking for boils it down to a 2.7% efficiency gain.

There it is! Finding the right app that can “give back” just 2.7% of your field teams available hours (that’s only 68 minutes per week or 14 minutes per day) is your path to delivering the 10x ROI that you are looking for when investing more into your mobile field team.