5 ways IT leaders can invest in their frontline workers with Chromebooks and G Suite
Contact center workers who answer questions over the phone. Healthcare practitioners who help patients at medical appointments. Retail associates who scan and bag groceries. These workers at the frontlines are the backbone of any company, and they’re often the first people who interact with your customers every day.
Despite being a significant part of the workforce, these individuals remain underserved from a technology perspective, often lacking access to critical information, services and training to do their jobs as effectively as possible. This presents an opportunity for businesses. If IT leaders can equip these workers with the technology they need to collaborate more effectively, they can improve the customer experience. We recently published a whitepaper, “Power Your Frontline Workforce with the Cloud,” that examines the advantages of enabling frontline workers with cloud-first tools and technology. Here are five ways the right cloud-connected tools can benefit frontline workers—and businesses that employ them.
1. Secure access to up-to-date information.
Up-to-date information is critical for effective decision-making in any industry. For Corridor Mobile Medical Services (CMMS), which provides mobile imaging and lab services to more than 300 medical facilities, those decisions can impact people’s health.
CMMS adopted several cloud-first products to improve information sharing, including Google Chrome Enterprise, Chromebooks, Android Enterprise and G Suite. For example, CMMS moved its billing and medical imaging data to the cloud by storing it in Google Drive. Now, the workers who staff the company’s X-ray and diagnostics vans log into their electronic records system (EMR) via Chrome Browser to securely access patient records, this makes it easier to expedite client service.
“When I first tested a Chromebook and Chrome Enterprise, it was an eye-opener,” said Chief Systems Officer Derek Georg. “Just a few months after we adopted Chrome Enterprise, our employees were able to access everything they need—spreadsheets, storage and documents [from G Suite]—directly from the dock on their Chromebook home screen.”
2. Easier (and better) employee collaboration.
Moving to the cloud helped Sanmina Corporation, a global manufacturing and supply chain company, strengthen collaboration across its entire organization. The company’s IT team helped employees by introducing Chrome Enterprise, shared devices and G Suite to workers on the factory floor.
“We’ve had employees creating Google Sheets, sharing them with five team members, and then displaying them on a big screen on the manufacturing floor so everyone can see the project status,” CIO Manesh Patel said. “G Suite enables us to collaborate efficiently and create complex process documents that help us adhere to strict quality control requirements.”
3. Increased employee training, engagement and loyalty.
People who learn on the job are 47 percent less likely to be stressed, and 39 percent more likely to feel productive and successful, according to LinkedIn research. Keeping frontline workers up on the latest training can save enterprises money on hiring and retraining employees.
So can increasing employee engagement with the company. Royal Technologies, an advanced plastics manufacturing company, makes it easy for frontline workers and other employees to get HR information.
“We recently switched to a web-based HR system that employees use to manage benefits or request time off,” said IT Manager French Williams. “We added Acer Chromebook 15 devices to several front desks, where employees can sign in to the HR system. Job-seekers can use Chromebooks in kiosk mode to fill out applications.”
4. More time to spend with customers.
By early 2020, 81 percent of companies expect to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience, according to a Gartner study. Equipping those frontline workers who regularly interact with prospects and customers with the best tools to do their jobs can help free up more time to spend with patients and customers.
MedXM, which works with health plan providers to offer preventative care and health education to patients, adopted G Suite and Chromebooks to help clinicians complete routine tasks faster, such as requesting documentation on patient progress. After rolling out Gmail, the company moved on to other apps to help employees collaborate in real-time, like Drive, Docs, Sheets and Hangouts Meet.
“Because Google makes us more efficient, employees have more time to spend caring for patients,” said CEO Sy Zahedi. “With more time tending to patients’ needs, we can fulfill our company mission: preventable healthcare, education and early detection.”
5. More time and resources for IT to transform your company.
When IT managers spend time and energy setting up devices, dealing with security updates and resolving issues, they have less time for the sort of IT initiatives that can have significant business impact and improve processes for everyone, including frontline workers.
For example, according to a Forrester report commissioned by Google, Chrome devices can help businesses avoid an average of $1.5 million in legacy device costs, improve productivity totalling $3 million, and save $477,358 in IT management and services over a three-year period.
After adopting G Suite and Chrome OS, Royal Technologies has been able to serve a growing workforce without having to expand its IT team. Frontline manufacturing managers use shared Acer Chromebase CA24I devices on mobile workstations while working on shop floors.
“Ten years into our cloud project and our adoption of Chrome OS, we’ve given more people access to critical applications without adding to the IT workload or straining budgets,” said French Williams. “In 2002, our four-person IT team supported about 200 workers. Today, we support 600, with the same number of IT people.”
Bringing frontline workforce to the forefront
To learn how you can equip your frontline workers with the technology they need and empower these individuals to be more productive, download the “Power Your Frontline Workforce with the Cloud” whitepaper or watch our Cloud OnAir webinar recording.