How to increase profits with digital transformation fueled by mobile

By James Cammarata

Digital transformation means innovating your business model with new technologies. This innovation is made possible by ubiquity and access to advanced technology. The cloud makes it easy to deploy and manage technology capabilities such as mobile and analytics, and broad employee access to smartphones and tablets provides a distribution channel for innovation.

The new vanity metric

Increasing profits is a key driver of digital transformation, with senior executives ranking it as one of the top three reasons to undergo a digital transformation, according to a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers. However, businesses can use some help when it comes to increasing their profits. FactSet reports that second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 declined 3.5 percent for a fifth straight quarterly decline. Even among startups, profits are the new “vanity metric,” as noted by Recode. Though some of these startup profit metrics are not standard, this shows that even the smallest businesses aim to grow their bottom line.

Unlocking enterprise value

How does digital transformation unlock value and increase profitability? Research from IBM shows that combining mobile with data and analytics unleashes the power of employees. The concept is simple: Deliver the right information to the right person, when and where he or she needs it. This is the concept of the “individual enterprise,” and it represents digital transformation at its best. Think of an employee bringing to bear the capabilities of the enterprise. Digital transformation with the individual enterprise means using technology to work smarter and more productively.

Let’s take a look at two companies that are using mobile as a catalyst for digital transformation to empower employees and increase profits:

Empowering field technicians with mobile

Australia’s Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) – the 10th largest Coca-Cola bottler worldwide – performs mechanical services for a variety of beverage equipment. When the company wanted to decrease the costs associated with equipment service by 20 percent, it rolled out two new mobile apps, Find & Fix (“My Jobs”) and Parts Expert (“My Van”). These apps are part of MobileFirst for iOS, an IBM and Apple initiative. The apps were rolled out to 300 service technicians in Australia and New Zealand in June and July.

These apps will transform the way field technicians work. The Find & Fix app provides technicians with alerts about their prioritized jobs. Technicians are able to check job history, likely causes of the issue and parts that will resolve the issue. The app helps technicians navigate to a site, locate the machine, connect with suggested experts and rapidly complete the job. Parts Expert helps technicians view stock levels and execute orders for parts or equipment.

Early results show great enthusiasm from technicians based on rapid field deployment and anecdotal feedback. These apps have the potential to improve profitability for any company with field service operations such as agriculture, automotive, electronics and manufacturing.

Turning data and mobile into profits

Comdata is a payment processor and issuer of fleet fuel cards, corporate spend cards and virtual payments, among other services. The company’s fleet solutions help fleet owners manage spending. Comdata wanted to enable fleet drivers to optimize fuel buying and deliver cost savings.

Comdata had a powerful resource in the form of 45 years of aggregated data and a proprietary scoring system that could recommend the best fueling locations. According to PointSource, it combined that data with geographical information to create the FleetAdvance app. The app suggests the best route for truck drivers to take based on fuel efficiency, fuel prices, bridge height, bridge weight and user preferences.

The FleetAdvance app saves Comdata clients time and money on fuel. Their clients save up to $3.5 million every day by enabling drivers to make better purchasing decisions. The app-enabled Comdata to generate measurable ROI within 12 weeks.

Digital transformation fueled by mobile is clearly increasing profits for companies. If you are developing digital transformation initiatives with mobile for your company or clients, what are your experiences? Have you woven these technologies into the way you do business? Are you seeing adequate return? How are these affecting your profitability?

Written By

James Cammarata

Mobile Enterprise and CIO Marketing Program Director, IBM

James is a Marketing Program Director for the IBM Mobile portfolio where over the past three years he’s contributed to strong growth in this strategic business. He’s part of a global team who are responsible for marketing to CIOs. His prior experiences in the IT space include…

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