Wireless Technology Helps Ohio Company Improve Efficiency

Digital Dish says tablets and GPS contain costs, speed up workflow and improve fleet management.

By Paul Macchia on December 18, 2012

With more than 400 employees scattered across 14 locations throughout Ohio, communication is key to Digital Dish’s efforts to manage several thousand customer installation requests each week.

Dean Anderson, Digital Dish’s IT administrator, says efficiently managing such aDigital Dish large customer base was not always easy – especially when orders were taken using a manual paper-based data entry process. As the company grew, that system simply no longer worked. It was too time consuming and costs of storing the paper records were adding up.

Faced with rising operational costs, Anderson looked to technology to provide an answer. The solution – replace the paper system with tablets.  

“We had the idea for tablets a few years ago, and at the same time, DISH Networks was developing its ETAdirect software,” said Anderson. “We waited until that was complete so we didn’t have to face any integration problems with another system or a build it yourself.”

Digital Dish turned to Verizon Wireless to equip their installers with a device that was easy to manage, extremely durable and had a reliable battery. They chose the 7-inch Galaxy Tab and outfitted them with the Otterbox Defender case.

To ensure the transition worked smoothly, Anderson’s team ran a training program where the managers and technicians were educated about the hardware and software in one fell swoop. “We learned the hard way, but I am happy to share that companies need to keep a few things in mind with a big deployment: find a remote app that will update groups or the entire device population.  Ensure you are able to filter content. The device should only be business centric.  You don’t want an employee taking home the tablet and blasting through a data plan downloading movies and other non–essential content.”

Digital Dish also added a GPS fleet tracking solution to improve service fleet delivery metrics. Using the tracking system, two people continually watch where the installation trucks are located and help save field costs by deploying by proximity. As a result, costs have gone down and ratings from Dish Networks have gone up for efficiency, he said.

“We look at a lot of metrics too, which provide an overview of costs, response times and customer service issues,” added Anderson. “By getting tablets in the hands of our team, everything can be collected and analyzed much quicker.”

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