This article is Part 1 of a six-part blog series from our white paper, “Six Critical Questions to Answer Before Your Company Builds a Mobile App.” In our experience, companies should ask themselves six critical questions as a starting point for any mobile app initiative. With answers to these questions in hand, your mobile initiative will be focused, cost-effective and successful.
Question 1: What are the business objectives for creating the application?
This seems like a no-brainer, right? But far too often companies in a rush to create a mobile app lose sight of its purpose. Are you trying to: Boost mobile worker productivity? Increase sales? Improve customer satisfaction? Respond to customer demand? Satisfy a corporate mandate? Match a competitor’s mobile app? There can be — and often are — multiple objectives for your app project, so document them.
Companies today are using mobile apps to tackle challenges in just about every area of their business: inventory management, field service management, sales force management, customer interaction management and logistics management, to name just a few, according to a VDC Research webcast. With your major objectives in mind, take the next step of setting key success metrics for your mobile app. Trying to boost online sales? Set a percentage goal. Want to reduce time spent on field service calls? Specify how much time. By quantifying your objectives, you will help shape functional decisions that will be made during development.
As an example, we worked with a paper company that relied on printed catalogs distributed by field sales reps as a way to inform clients about products and pricing. The catalogs were costly to print and the company’s online product guide wasn’t always accessible at a client site. We created a smartphone application that allowed sales reps to easily access the online product guide. The guide provided reps with real-time pricing and helped the company reduce printing costs. Client service improved, costs were lowered, and the company’s clear business objectives for its app made the project a success.
Stay tuned to our blog over the next several weeks as we roll out all six parts of this series, or download the RunMobile white paper in its entirety for free here.