Holy Sh*T! My Day’s Ruined!
Why Even Small Businesses Need Device Lifecycle Management, and How You Can Do it for Free
At the end of another long day, all you want to do is enjoy a moment to yourself.
You’ve got work on your mind (like usual), but you slowly start to unwind. You sip your favorite ice-cold drink, and feel some of the tension in your shoulders melt away…
Life is good.
And just as you start to relax…
A key employee sends you a frantic email, and now you’ve got another fire to put out.
When Did Your Job Description Become “Firefighter?”
A critical employee’s phone is toast, and requires replacement ASAP.
Maybe you’ve got a spare, but:
It needs hours of updates to bring it up to speed. Or it’s an Android phone and your employee’s used to iPhones—say goodbye to productivity…
Of course the case won’t fit. The charger and dash-mount won’t either… and the penalties for driving with a phone are steep.
Now somebody’s gotta spend 4 hours (which becomes the entire day) at a cell-phone shop to get a replacement.
And you better hope you’ve got a pair of hands to spare, because you know your time is spent better on the things only you can do for your business.
Nobody looks their best when there’s unplanned downtime. And the last thing you want is to give your customers a reason to go to your competitors.
67% of consumers cite bad experiences as reason for churn.
– Esteban Kolsky, CEO of thinkJar
If you can smooth things over with your customer this time — what about the lost business opportunities that you can’t get back?
Worst of all, all of these hassles were avoidable.
But now that you know, there’s a silver lining:
You can easily prevent future tech hassles with some proactive planning and a little (free) help from your pals at Phone Love. (And make your business more efficient, more effective, and save thousands each year.)
Device Lifecycle Management is… What?
Technology lifecycle management can lead to dramatic improvements in efficiency, performance, and cost management.
-UNICOM Government, Inc.
Device lifecycle management is a proactive investment strategy that allows you to spend pennies today to save dollars tomorrow.
With a little planning, your organization can:
- Less Hassles—Better Results. When you’re putting out a dozen fires before breakfast, you’re not spending time where you’re most valuable. (66% of SMB leaders already have 3 or more tasks they’re personally responsible for.)
- Increase Productivity. Fixing one small tech-issue regularly adds up quickly. Losing 30-minutes of productivity to weekly issues adds up to 125 wasted hours annually (per employee).
- Boost Your Budget. Sell your “useless”, end-of-life devices for an often-unexpected boost in cash-flow.
- Minimize Churn. How much would you lose in lifetime value if you lost just one regular (or potential) customer? When you can’t deliver due to a device problem, it’s more than your bottom line that suffers.
That’s why industry leaders like HP, IBM, & Cisco charge big-bucks for lifecycle management services.
But you don’t need to have a massive corporation to enjoy the above-benefits. You can setup a management plan for free—even if you’ve got little-to-no time.
It’s the Same Old Story for Portland Businesses
Small & medium businesses (SMB) all across Portland are in the same boat:
You picked up some clients & made a few bucks…
…and BAM, you’ve got a business. You found yourself hiring employees, and as business picked up, you got more. Now you might have an IT Wizard or Operations Manager to help out, but one thing’s guaranteed…
…you still never have enough time or resources to do it all.
All along this road you’ve treated your business devices like you would your personal ones. When needed, you went out and got a new device and moved along with business.
The fact is, most businesses rely on devices like never before in history. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, this causes unique problems that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago.
And the truth is, if your business uses electronic devices (especially 10+) you need a basic lifecycle management plan — or reacting instead of planning is setting you up for death by 1000 cuts.
So what’s that mean?
Device Lifecycle Management Made Simple
A device lifecycle plan is no more complicated than saying:
- Let’s buy mobile phones every 2 years.
- We’ll buy tablets every 4 years.
- And we’ll buy computers every 6 years.
The time between device purchases is your Refresh Rate.
Which rate is right for your business? It depends on your specific needs, but the “2-4-6” refresh rate described above is a good place to start.
After you choose when to upgrade, you’ll pick what to upgrade:
For each lifecycle…
(A “lifecycle” is the time between device refreshes. E.g., a tablet lifecycle of 4 years.)
…you’ll buy the same device model until it’s time to do a refresh. So you might choose to have all your employees on the iPhone 7 for a two-year lifecycle.
Then you’ll buy a few extra iPhone 7’s, so when an annoying tech-problem comes up… it’s not big deal because you already planned for it. And when new-hires come on, you’ll just issue them one of your extra devices and they’re good to go.
Plus — now that all your devices are identical within a lifecycle — your accessories are guaranteed to play nice together. You’ll never have to deal with incompatibility problems with your devices, and you can prevent efficiency-killing hassles from happening in the first place.
So you can spend time where it matters most, and so can your employees.
(And you might just get to stay in your recliner and relax, for once!)
But Won’t That Cost a Fortune?
Actually, it’s going to save you a fortune.
Slowing down an employee’s productivity just 5% costs you ~100 hours annually. Time they could be spending on productive work instead.
And if a broken iPad prevents them from delivering the goods for your customers… How much would losing a regular customer cost you? How costly is losing potential business?
You know how important first impressions are—and you’ve worked too hard to let something so simple hold you back.
Giving your employees the tools for they need for the job is critical… But your time may be even more important. You know that putting out preventable fires isn’t a strategic use of your time. Because when finally you get the chance to spend your time on what you do best… that’s when your business gets the best results.
Not only that — setting a different refresh rate for each device type guarantees you’ll never have to budget for multiple acquisitions in the same year. For instance, you’ll never get stuck budgeting for tablets AND computers at the same time.
Once you add in this next piece, lifecycle management is even more budget-friendly.
“I had no idea we had $4600 sitting in the IT closet”
3 out of 4 Portland businesses that rely on devices don’t realize they’re throwing money away every year.
They’ll let their employees take end-of-life company devices home for their kids. Or let them sit in a cabinet where they depreciate in value daily.
And the other quarter of businesses? They sell their old devices to fund a device refresh — or just to put money back in their budgets.
So why isn’t it more common? Because people tend to look at company devices just like they look at their personal devices. One iPhone isn’t worth much… but the value adds up fast when you have a dozen or more.
And it’s not just small businesses that are “out of the loop.” We often work with large organizations that have over $10,000 worth of “useless” devices.
And it’s a crying shame, because just about the only organizations that need the money as badly as small businesses, are schools.
But Don’t Wait — Depreciation Won’t
At the end of a lifecycle, it’s a no-brainer to sell your unwanted devices.
But you’ve got so many priorities — it’s easy to put it off until “later.” The only problem is: technology never stops depreciating.
In addition to inevitable depreciation over time, devices lose value “unpredictably”:
- When the iPhone 6 was announced, the iPhone 5 lost 14% value every month until release.
- When devices lose manufacturer support, they instantly lose value. (Like when Apple discontinued the iPhone 5 & 5C in the iOS 11 update.)
- When new technology becomes the standard — old tech loses value. (Like when 4G internet replaced 3G.)
So unless you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the device industry, depreciation also happens at random times.
That means the only way to guarantee your maximum return is to act fast at the end of a lifecycle. If you wait too long, you could even end up paying for disposal.
We went over a lot, so…
Here’s a Summary on Basic Lifecycle Management
1. Pick your refresh rate for each device type.
You might choose to buy new iPhones every 2 years, iPads every 4 years, and iMacs every 6 years.
2. Choose one model to use for each device lifecycle.
“I’ll use the iPhone 7, iPad 5th gen., and the 2014 iMac until my next refresh.”
3. Plan to spread out your acquisitions to make your plan budget-friendly.
If you bought iPhones this year, don’t plan to buy iPads until next year.
4. Sell your old devices at the end of each lifecycle.
You can use this summary to put your lifecycle management plan together in an afternoon.
Which you should care about because…
You Can Prevent Hassles, Increase Efficiency, & Save Money With Device Lifecycle Management
Proactive planning today creates a better business tomorrow.
And by following a basic device lifecycle management plan, you can:
- Avoid unexpected downtime, reputation damage, and lost business opportunities.
- Boost business efficiency by spending more time on your core competencies.
- Prevent frustrating, inevitable tech-failures from turning you into a “firefighter,” so you can finally catch a break.
- Sell your old devices to recover thousands and free up your budget, or bankroll your next device refresh cycle.
If your company relies on electronic devices — the benefits of having a device management plan are undeniable. And using this simple guide, you can build a basic plan in an afternoon.
Any questions? Feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help.
(Free for all Portland-area organizations, because I’ll use your feedback to improve this article for everyone.)