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WAP works

We've heard all the jokes about WAP is *RAP; we know that WAP (wireless application protocol) was over-hyped and under-functional. However, like all technologies, it IS possible to use WAP technology to improve productivity and effectiveness. UK boiler manufacturer Ideal has done just that - it has used WAP to improve the productivity of its customer (after-sales) service operation.

The service it has developed gives installers and maintainers direct access to technical information.

Since these staff are constantly on the road, standard PC-based messaging services were not appropriate - providing each of them with a networked PC would have been prohibitively expensive - and the connection mechanism would still have to be old, slow GSM (the standard protocol for mobile phones).

So Ideal came up with WAP - all of their mobile engineers now have a WAP phone. This allows them to connect into a mobile 'toolbox' which links them to solutions to all the common (and some not so common) technical problems; it includes all relevant pre-installation information and even has a boiler-sizing tool which calculates boiler output. There are also post-installation fault-finding guides which offer a step-by-step diagnosis procedure for faulty boilers.

Ideal has cunningly allowed the engineers to use the phones for personal use. This offers them a benefit - which they appreciate - and helps build loyalty.

Ideal is now looking forward to the rollout of high capacity 3G mobile services so that they can add additional functionality such as video transmission (allowing live linkup with 'expert' staff).

So (as we all knew) productivity is a state of mind …. It relies on creativity and the appropriate use of available technologies. It is no use bemoaning the fact that the technology you want doesn't exist - think of how you can use what IS available.

 

 

 

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