Wireless technology is no stranger to the enterprise. Over the last few years, organizations have adopted an array of tools, devices and solutions to connect people and data in ways that once seemed unfathomable. However, building a robust infrastructure and ensuring that employees, customers and business partners have the specific information they need when and where they need it remains a daunting task.
“It’s crucial to get mobile and wireless systems right,” says Robert Pischke, vice president of business applications at Avnet, a Phoenix-based $18 billion electronics distributor with 12,800 employees and 300 locations in 73 countries. “The technology has a huge upside, but it’s not as simple as installing systems and reaping the benefits.” These days, Avnet is focused on harnessing wireless technology for maximum gain.
In fact, the company has built a business strategy increasingly focused on the use of mobile and wireless technologies—including smartphones and laptops equipped with wireless cards. So far, Avnet has introduced tools that allow sales staff to provide price quotes, review the status of orders and check inventory while in the field. The system pulls data from enterprise ERP and CRM systems. In addition, account managers have access to e-mail, and the company is currently migrating to a lead-generation system that expands the existing mobility initiative.
“We’re landing contracts and gaining wins because of our capability to move faster and more efficiently than competitors. We’re also cutting costs and becoming a more productive organization,” Pischke says.