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17 May 2016

Who remembers the first time they used a TV remote control??

in Technical Blog by Kae Verens
\"remote_control\"  

Can you remember the first time you encountered the magic of a TV with remote control?

If not, you’re probably in the enviable position of having grown up surrounded by this technology and are younger than me... But yet...there was a time that if you desired to change the channel, well you had to stand up and do it yourself, or perhaps unfairly get your younger sibling to do it for you. But then the 1980’s happened and the infrared TV remote control became more and more popular, to the point where TV manufacturers stopped making TVs with buttons for channel selection and a dial for volume. The tech moved on. The digital revolution has pretty much changed so much of how we interact with the world, communications, consumerism, everything from booking a flight to making a purchase online. Catching up with friends with a skype call, listening to new music instantly, everything is in the \'now\'. That’s been one of the big drivers of this digital revolution. If we can have something now, it doesn’t make sense to wait longer than we need to for it. So, you would think this philosophy has worked its way into every facet of business as well... And it has in terms of fast internet access and our ability to collaborate with people not just sitting beside us in our office, but with people on the other side of the world... Yet, some old habits die hard. Let’s imagine \'Steve\' works in our office administering a team of field workers, assigning jobs based on location, availability, priority and a multitude of other factors. Steve is good at his job, but all his time is taken up with maintaining contact with field workers and chasing up on paperwork from each job. And when the paperwork eventually  arrives into the office, then he spends even longer processing it…...after that he spends more time issuing invoices, scanning documents, entering data from paper forms into digital medium…. It’s clear that this way of doing business is very far removed from the ‘now’. When you think about it, this business practice is arguably as old as commerce itself. So why is it that if life is moving at \'the speed of now\', in business, some of us move at the speed of 1 day late, 3 days late, 1 week late, 2 weeks late etc… Why are some businesses, to use an analogy, ‘getting up from the sofa, walking over to the TV, pressing channel 3, then channel 4, changing the volume, walking back to the sofa, sitting down and then realising we don’t even want to watch that show...getting up again etc...’, Getting back to Steve in the office, if his business were operating at ‘the speed of now’, Steve would allocate jobs to his field workers in real time, deciding which worker is most appropriate or closest based on an instant visual timeline. Steve would be able to ‘send’ that job directly to his field worker - \'Ben\', who would receive instant notification on his mobile device, and instructions on where, when and what is required to carry out the job. Ben goes and completes the job, fills in his paperwork….except ‘in the speed of now’, Ben’s paperwork is not a paper sheet which has to eventually make its way back to the office for Steve to input and process... All the paperwork and form data is right there on his mobile device. Right down to signature capture, barcode scanning, photos of the work carried out...and in ‘the speed of now’, Ben clicks to complete the job. That job is immediately marked as ‘complete’ back in the office. Invoices are issued, PDF documents with the form data are generated, stock levels are updated. Follow up actions are scheduled. Steve sees the job is complete, sees that Ben is available for another job near by. Steve and Ben’s productivity has rocketed. Not only that, customer satisfaction is at an all time high. More work done means more profit. Steve even has time to daydream about when he was a kid and used to make his younger brother change the TV to the cartoons for him. He decides he probably should say sorry...  

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