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Selling M2M to a CFO…turning bits and bytes into dollars and cents!
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Selling M2M to a CFO…turning bits and bytes into dollars and cents!

Posted by Larry BellehumeurOctober 2, 2012

(BLOG:) When it comes to M2M, I personally find a lot of it fascinating.  I have been doing it for so long that you would think that I wouldn’t be amazed when I see new technology…..but it is the drive to find out new things that keeps me in this field.  Using this methodology (“selling what is cool”) can be very effective with many people, especially “techies”.  However, it tends to be a bit of a disaster (at least usually) if you were to use this approach to sell to a CFO.  While they may quietly be “closet nerds”, their main job is to enhance the bottom line of their company.  This doesn’t just mean counting pennies, but rather it usually means that they concerned with both saving money AND finding ways to better deploy the limited capital that they have.

So….how do you position M2M to a CFO?

Better worker safety Yes, keeping workers safe does matter to CFOs!  Besides for humanitarian reasons, having a lower risk of worker injury is better for the bottom line. One way to do this is to incorporate an M2M-based solution to allow for alerts if there are issues with a remote worker.  These solutions allow workers to press a panic button in the event that they are in an emergency situation, and in situations when they are unable to speak, automated alerts can be sent after a pre-determined amount of inactivity.  This is ideal for not only the traditional remote workers (like construction, inspection workers and repair personnel), but also for workers who work alone for extended periods of time (such as security staff, retail employees and workers at kiosks).

Increased worker productivity In today’s shaky economic environment, CFOs need to do more with less.  This is doubly important for many industries as, in spite of the bad economic times, there is a massive shortage in many skilled positions.  So, it is more important than ever that companies get the maximum productivity out of key workers.  One way to do this is to eliminate many of the things that prevent a worker from doing their job.  Here is how M2M can help

  • GPS-based Fleet Management solutions can help to reduce unwanted driving by  both ensuring that workers take the optimal route to a job site and by ensuring that the dispatcher sends the closest person to the job in the first place!
  • Workers often spend a lot of time on hold!  Spending time calling into the office (whether to check on the availability of parts, the status of an order or to open additional trouble tickets) is time that they are not doing what you are paying them for.  Many solutions (including applications that can run on devices that they already have) allow for great access into key systems…..your workers get information when they need it, keeping them on the job!
  • Finally, no one likes paperwork, which is why it often isn’t done right.  M2M solutions allow for automated entry of everything from recording services performed, further action needed and even completion of bills…..in fact, some of them are as simple as swiping a bar code.  This improves your cash flow (which is our next point)….

Improved cash flow Let’s face it…you don’t need to be a CFO to know that cash really is king in the business world.  Every moment that you spend between completing work and sending the bill to your customer costs you money…money that you will never get back.  M2M solutions allow for instant entry of a work order.  This means that information gets into your system faster, so you can create invoices the same day.  And, there isn’t much chance of the paperwork being dropped in a puddle or stolen from their car when it is sent from the job site!

Reduced costs for compliance Most CFOs cringe at the word “compliance”.  Although they see the importance of compliance (whether it is legal, governmental or industry related), it usually does not help the bottom line.  So, it is

Reduce vehicle costs It would be really great if the only cost for operating a vehicle was for the vehicle itself.  Instead, business have the following expenses related to their vehicles: purchase/lease cost, fuel costs, repair costs, insurance costs, parking costs and licensing.  So, vehicles are expensive, you need to use them wisely!  Future thinking CFOs see Fleet Management solutions as ways to do more with less.  While many companies see dramatic operations costs for vehicles that they already have, they also see the ability to get more productivity out of them (reducing the need for more when your business increases).  This extra productivity pretty much falls right to the bottom line!

Lower legal liability This was one that I never thought of when I first started selling mobile solutions, but now seems so obvious.  For many organizations, the CFO either heads up the legal department or has a strong relationship with the CLO (Chief Legal Officer).  In many areas of the world, risk management and reducing legal liabilities are vitally important as the cost of a successful law suit against them may jeopardize the entire company.  With the increase in customer’s demanding SLA (service level agreements) to ensure that work is done…..how do you “really” know that the work was done yourself?  One great way is to incorporate either GPS or bar-code technology into your work process.  By placing a bar code in a particular location (such as inside a locked cabinet or by a key door), you can be assured that your worker was at that location when they said they were.  It also allows you to be able to show that you weren’t in a particular location (as an example, one snowplow operator successfully defended against a lawsuit where they were accused of hitting a $200,000 Ferrari through the use of a GPS-enabled solution that showed they were not there).

So….M2M really is more about increasing worker safety and productivity, reducing clerical and vehicle costs and reducing your legal liability.  While we all find it to be “cool technology”, they will appreciate these things even more!

Check us out at www.novotech.com and let us know how we can help you with your M2M needs!

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Larry Bellehumeur

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