Businesses have successfully adopted mobile technology to provide better services to the customer and improve sales and services. The market is now set to make the shift from smart phones to smart wearable tech. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that wearable technology is well on its way to making its mark in the business arena. Says Whiteney Fishman of wired.com, the global sales of wearable devices in 2017 is expected to cross the sixty million mark. Many industries, particularly those involved in fieldwork, have seen the benefits that wearable technology can bring. Technicians, trouble-shooters, and healthcare professionals increasingly use these technologies to enhance their services. Wearable technology is now being manufactured and marketed to host business applications. Business processes can benefit in many ways from the increasing number of wear-tech devices available in the market today.
Wearables free the hands of the user for other tasks. Wearables can also provide on-the-spot information to the user. These two features of wear-tech allow salespersons to provide their customers with on-the-spot service. In a retail shop, for example, the salesperson can inform the customer about all features of the product he is considering without having to move from the counter. Customers who often complain about “lack of knowledge” of sales staff will no longer have any cause for complaint.
With wearable technology, users can feed data into the system at the exact moment the event occurs. For example, as soon as a deal is finalized, the data is fed into the system. Salesperson movement and other monitoring can likewise be facilitated using wearables. Technology can facilitate monitoring sales, on the spot analysis, and prompt action.
- James Wilson of HBR identifies different types of analysis that can be facilitated by wearable technology. The first is the possibility of quantifying physical movement. Monitoring and real-time analysis of physical movement of staff within retail stores can help optimize the time spent on stocking, cleaning, and other tasks. Wilson cites the example of armbands on the arms of staff who stock up the shelves of a departmental store. The inventory is automatically updated as they place the goods on the shelves, eliminating the need for note taking.
This is Wilson’s second analysis that enables flow of information within an organization and allows employees to use it more efficiently. Boeing, for example, fitted out its pilots with heads-up display so that they did not need to “look down” at the dials. This technology was later extended to the assembly line. Use of Google Glass and similar devices provides assembly line workers and field workers with technical guidance without having to look at manuals.
Instant information that can be provided by the use of wearable technology can instigate prompt action saving organizations a pretty penny. The use of heads-up display for assembly line workers, field staff, and other technical staff for example can eliminate the costs of printing many copies of instruction manuals. The need for printing reports, statements, and other information needed for strategic planning could also be eliminated if decision makers use wearable technology to view real-time data. They could then instantly advise their staff about the actions or changes required.
Faster Emergency Response
Not only in the field of healthcare, where wearable technology can enable professionals to advise their patients instantly, but in the field of business too emergency responses are possible with wearable technology. Consider a salesperson selling goods in a retail shop; once he strikes a deal, he can instantly inform storage about his requirement. If the product is not in stock, the wholesaler can instantly be contacted to supply the item. In this scenario, inventory updates are instantaneous, and the need for stocking large quantities of products is eliminated. Delivery time is shortened and transportation costs can be greatly reduced since products can be directly transported from the wholesaler or even the manufacturer directly to the customer.
Wearable technology can ensure safer workplaces as they eliminate the need for extensive stocking, voluminous paperwork, and above all, quick response. For example, employees working in departmental stores can be fitted out with armbands to monitor their vital signs and trigger response from a healthcare team before the employee himself is aware of a problem. This will reflect positively on the market image of the firm, as employees will be healthier and more motivated than ever before besides ensuring good health and well-being of the individuals.
Among Fredric Paul’s five uses of wearable technology in business, travel features prominently. Paul envisions discreet reckoning of the surroundings without having to refer to Google maps on ones’ iPhone or Smartphone. Business travellers can also review their prospective customer’s profiles, credit rating, and other information while sitting before the customer and discussing sales, not to mention spewing off rates and other statistics for your prospect to consider.
Paul’s scenario of a smart travelling businessperson triggers the vision of a smart customer who sits hands free before the sales man and computes benefits of a purchase as fast as the salesperson throws data at him. Customers will have more information about products and services both from physical contact with businesspersons as well as virtual information. They can, therefore, make informed decisions instantly.
Paul envisions every law enforcement officer on duty wearing cameras, smart glasses, wrist talkies, and other wearable devices by 2020. You need not have your hands in your pocket groping for your smartphone while chasing down the street after a suspect. Instant information about spotting suspects, earlier crimes, comparisons, and the like will help solve crimes faster.
Wearable technology unleashes the true potential of technology. From doctors on the go to smart customers and patients, wearable technology is definitely the pinnacle of technological innovation. With wearable technology, one would envision a world of instant communication and informed decisions. This would, in fact, be a perfect world, free of human errors.