AMA 118 – Your Business More Efficient with the Use of Smartphone Technology with Kirill Storch

 

Jason Hartman invites Kirill Storch of Electric Web to talk about some of the interesting developments that”s happening in the mobile sector. Kirill tells Jason about how companies are putting smartphones on assembly lines to scan their products more efficiently, companies utilizing innovative tactics to make their internal processes go faster, and more.

 

Key Takeaways:
1:50 – Most people only think about how smartphones can help businesses from a sales point of view.
3:20 – The scan feature on the smartphone can now check in with assembly line managers to make sure everything is running smoothly.
7:10 – Wearable technology will probably change the way we do business.
10:00 – 10% of all US firms have invested in mobile technology and it”s estimated by 2016, 30% of companies will catch on.
12:40 – The solution to a company”s problems might be right there in their pocket

 

Tweetables:
“If I was a small company, I would look at your internal processes and ask is this something that can be improved.”

“Pick a high-visibility relatively low-intensity process and try to bring that over to mobile.”

“Jobs that are highly automated that a computer could easily do, those are probably the jobs that are least fun.”

 

Mentioned In This Episode:
ElectricWebMarketing.com

 

Transcript

Jason Hartman:
It”s my pleasure to welcome Kirill Storch to the show. He is with Electric Web and kind of an interesting angle, you know, everybody”s talking about smart phones and how convenient it”s made their life and businesses are talking about how they can drive sales with smartphones, but what about efficiency, what about inner prized management, you know, making your business more efficient by use of smartphone technology, so we”re going to kind of dive into that a little bit, Kirill, welcome, how are you?

Kirill Storch:
Doing well, thanks for having me.

Jason:
Good to have you and you”re coming to us from my home town in Los Angeles, right?

Kirill:
That”s right. Sunny Los Angeles.

Jason:
Tell us about, you basically boiled it down to five unexpected way that businesses can use smartphones to drive profit. Most people only think of it from the sales angle, you know, they think, “Oh well, I can do coupons, I can do an app and get people to listen to my podcast.” Or whatever that application is, but let”s talk about it from the other side of the coin.

Kirill:
Right, I think a lot of companies look at mobile applications in terms of driving top line revenue, that”s it”s just a way for them to access a new audience on their smartphones, but actually a lot of companies, almost 10% right now and that number keeps growing are using smartphones to drive the bottom line revenue, to improve internal processes and get a lot more efficient.

I mean, just to give you one example, any company with field employees, insurance inspectors, adjustors, maybe just contractors, gardeners, what have you, they”re using these smartphone apps to actually like together their workforce and make sure people are arriving to the job sights on time, people aren’t tardy, they use it to manage their employees and see if they”re working, you know, below national averages in terms of efficiency or above national averages and they also use it for the employees to call in sick and do various things that they used to call the home office for. So, that”s one quick example of how companies are using it.

Jason:
Tell us more about this. I mean, you mentioned law firms and companies that need to scan documents and so forth, lots of different angles.

Kirill:
The scanning feature on the smartphone is actually one of the drivers the way the companies are utilizing this technology and the way that they”re using this is probably going to surprise, I can”t name the company, but there is a client of ours who is a fortune 50 company and they have actually outfitted an assembly line of theirs for power cabinets, which is like the cabinets you put your tools in, they actually literally know have a smartphone standing on their assembly line as part of the assembly line. This is an iPhone basically right on the assembly line and what they”re using this for is essentially replacing, you know, the guy who used to stand there with a hardhat and check list that”s marking the parts off as it”s going down the line. It”s creating actually a really cool map for the manager so he can see exactly where are all the parts are on the line at any given time just by taking out their smartphone.

Jason:
So, does the phone recognize the part by actual visual recognition or is it scanning the barcode on it?
Kirill:
What it”s doing is it”s scanning the barcode. It”s unique on the actual piece. So, we have a little QR code that”s coming in and it”s being put on every single piece, so that”s how it”s recognizing it. So, yes, it is recognizing the exact piece it is, but it”s doing it through the QR code, so it”s not using the photo recognition software available on that isn”t quite developed enough to be reliable in every single situation, so you”re still relying on things like QR code technology and so forth, but the reason why they”re using smartphones is because everyone has one, right, so the manager of that assembly line at 2am in the morning can take out their smartphone and check out what”s going on with the assembly line. It”s really has to do with how ubiquitous the devices are, that”s why they”re using them.

Jason:
Give us some other examples, if you would.

Kirill:
Yeah, well you mentioned, you know, the law firm, there”s a couple of law firms that are using it in terms of scanning, pretty much anyone that wants to go green, which is a lot of companies. A lot of this has to do with just kind of capitalizing on ideas that are already thrown around in the boardroom already, right, things like efficiency, environmental consciousness, how do we actually act on these things, and a lot of people talk about it, but I think the smartphone is something that”s just sitting in your pocket and kind of a solution is just there, right. So, the law firms are using it to scan documents, document scanning, non-profits, I mean, there”s a lot of different agencies that are saying, well, we can use the smartphone at the point of entry and as soon as we get these documents we can just kind of scan them and put them into an online repository. So, that”s another big way that people are using. The scanning piece of it, anyway.

Jason:
But, the scanning piece unfortunately, you know, I”ve been intriguing by the document scanning ability of the smartphone, but unfortunately it doesn”t really, you know, it doesn”t really work very well. I mean, it obviously don”t have a paper feed, so you can”t scan large numbers of documents, but even then you gotta align it up, you know, and I know it helps you do that, obviously, but it”s still pretty difficult. Any thoughts? Is that on its way to being improved dramatically?

Kirill:
It is, but you have to – they are improving it, but you also have to think about what is the situation that the individual is in. If you”re talking about an insurance adjuster or maybe a railroad site auditor and they are out in the field, is it more convenient for them to take out their smartphone or do they have to then take the document, go back to the home office or hook up a scanner remotely, you know, so there”s little ways you can realize efficiency with it even though, you”re right, the scanners not perfect and it”s something that hopefully they”re working on improving on, but yeah, it”s definitely something that”s going to be imported for businesses. It”s not the only thing that they”re doing with it, there”s also, there”s all kinds of other uses as well, you know, aside from the scanning fees.

Jason:
Yeah, yeah. Good, good stuff. So, what other uses, just give us some more examples. I mean, these are great. How about in the actual application itself, you know, for example, my company is using Infusionsoft and they have an app for mobile. I don”t know if it”s very adopted though and I”m sort of curious how the Apple watch might play into this and Google Glass, you know, some day the wearable technology, if you have any thoughts on there.

Kirill:
Wearable are going to be probably one of the biggest drivers, you know, of just societal change in the next 10-15 years and subsequently also the way we do business. If you imagine the ecosystem and a large part it”s actually an underground ecosystem of developers that are coding for Google Glass right now, you”re talking about functionality that potentially could just change the way we live in society in a manner that”s more dramatic than the iPhone or Facebook or any of these other technological drivers and change. I casino online mean, imagine walking into a party or walking into a conference room with you Google Glass on and having information about people like the estimated income or the job description or what their background is or what their preferences are, right. Information that can be readily scrapped from social media right now. So, Google Glass can be a very, very disruptive force in the way we do business.

Jason:
I”m sort of wondering what”s going to happen with it though. For example, will the glass just scan the barcode, will it recognize the product, you mentioned the assembly line example. So, the iPhone I suppose just sits there on a stand and scans all these items going by like an overpaid union member used to do?

Kirill:
Yeah, you called it and in fact in that particular case it wasn”t one union member, it was five and those individuals are, they”re still working at the company. It”s not like we”re saying, hey, fire everyone and hire an iPhone. Those guys, I”ve actually had to chance to personally meet them because I went down there to launch this thing, they”re happy that they”re actually working upstairs now and they have different roles and they”re happier. I think a lot of people aren”t really happy with their jobs and I think the jobs that are highly automated that a computer could easily do, those are probably the jobs that are least fun, because there”s the least amount of creativity, the least amount of dealing with other people. It”s probably some of the least rewarding work you can do, so actually some of this automation, you know, it can be, it can be really great for people working at the company too.

Jason:
What do you see as the future of this? Where”s it going? What are some of the next couple of steps and any advice you have on how someone listening might just use this now on their small business, you know, maybe they don”t develop an app, but they just use existing apps out there, you know, any thoughts on that would be great too.

Kirill:
I think the trends are pretty clear. Right now about 10% of all US firms have actually invested in this and by the way the name of this is MPI – Mobile Process Improvement. So, just improving internal processes in your company using mobile, mobile phones. So. 10% of all firms in the US have invested so far and it”s an estimated that within a few years, you know, by the end of 2016, over 30% of US firms would have made the investment.

So, it”s growing really, really quick. It”s burgeoning industry, it”s growing fast, and some key players that are investing in it are, you know, known for their innovation. You have Amazon putting big money into this, United States army is putting big money into this, and they”ve already saved, you know, upwards of 15 billion a year just between the two of them, right, so there”s a lot of money being saved through this technology.

If I was a small company, I would start first by looking at your internal processes and asking yourself, you know, is there something here that can be improved. What is a process that is relatively simple that is not super efficient right now. So, pick one process. Don”t try to make your whole business go mobile right away. It”s too much work. Pick a high-visibility relatively low-intensity process and try to bring that over to mobile.

The first thing you do is maybe look at some existing apps that are out there that can already do this and if not you can think about an out-of-a-box solution, which is like a customized dashboard, so like an APN or a SERA data solution and then lastly, you know, you can”t find something that 100% meets your needs, you could look at doing a custom app build, which would be maybe an upwards of 60 grand or something like that, so that would be I think the way I would start.

Jason:
$60,000? Is it really that much to build one of these types of apps nowadays? I thought that prices have just plummeted in app development.

Kirill:
Not for applications like this because there…

Jason:
I was thinking that.

Kirill:
Yeah. This is very different than a fun consumer app, because if you think about it there”s all these different angles, so security is a really big one. You”d be surprised how much work has to go into just msecurity, mobile security, if you”re a large firm like this and you”re investing in this application, you have to make sure that thing is ironclad. A lot of work goes into making sure all the employees know how to use it, use ability testing, anytime you”re in an environment where you”re trying to introduce a new process into an existing organization, you know, the costs they tend to go up because of that.

Jason:
Good stuff. Well, any other things I should be asking you that I didn”t ask? You know, that you just want people to know?

Kirill:
Well, I think that, again, I think a lot of people when I read their mission statements or their vision statements or I look at the golden plaque in the lobby. I see these words like, we”re committed to innovation, we”re committed to efficiency.

Jason:
Yeah, the generic words.

Kirill:
They”re generic and then I think, I don”t think, you know, so many people are saying, well, how are we actually following through on this commitment to innovation and I think a lot of, you know, people are sitting there in the board room while their smartphones collecting Facebook notifications and saying we need to be more innovative and it really just ends up being lip service when the solution might be right there in their pocket. So, I think just taking out that phone and taking a second look at it and just researching the existing smartphone ecosystem, the out-of-a-box app solutions like I mentioned, APN and SERA data or the custom apps solutions, which is what we do and also we have a white paper actually that we commissioned some grad students to do, so you can check that out as well if you wanted to get a starting points, a free white paper, if you wanted to get a starting point about, you know, some of the research on the subject.

Jason:
Yeah, where can people find that.

Kirill:
So, they can find that at ElectricWebMarketing.com. Again, that”s ElectricWebMarketing.com and the white paper is right there, just scroll a little bit below the fold and you”ll see it, just go ahead and download it.

Jason:
Good stuff. Thank you so much for joining us today and telling us about this important trend and I just hope it will really trickle down to small business to where, you know, virtually everybody listening has a small business, right, they have their own solopreneurship things. Everybody”s got some idea in the back of their mind, maybe they haven”t executed on it or they”re doing to one degree or another now and it”s just awesome that these tools are just democratizing everything, every area of life, so it”s an exciting time for sure.

Kirill:
Absolutely.

Jason:
Alright, thanks for joining us.

Kirill:
Alright, thank you, Jason.

Announcer:
This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, all rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.hartmanmedia.com or email media@hartmanmedia.com. Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network Inc. exclusively.

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