The advent of mobile communications devices and what experts term the ‘mobile revolution’ has vastly altered the business landscape, making possible levels of efficiency that were never feasible previously. Although many examples could be cited to explain how businesses are leveraging mobile communications to their advantage, the experience of tour operator Breakaway Tours is particularly instrumental.
Once, the organization had to rely on landline office phones to try to stay in touch with its client base, primarily made up of high school students planning to take summer trips or travel after graduation. Operations Manager Brad MacLellan quickly realized the drawbacks of that system. "We mainly deal with high-school students, and we’ve found they’re not usually available during regular business hours. Many young people want to communicate later at night, so it’s crucial to have our sales reps available when our customers want to reach us." In addition, added MacLellan, "People would call the office and if the phone lines were too busy to answer their call, we wouldn’t connect. We needed to stay on top of our ever-changing, younger, target market.”
Breakaway Tours found the solution in equipping their mobile sales force with BlackBerry handsets, instantly enabling them to stay in touch with clients on an as-needed basis. Simply handing out mobile handsets is not enough, however, to achieve full efficiencies. A managed program model of IT support is also essential in this situation since it means that units can be standardized with a full complement of security provisions and kept updated over time.