• Damien Wayne Estreich

✅ Hervey Bay & Maryborough Businesses Take 1 Tablet & Cure 10 Business Problems

Updated: Sep 24, 2018

Once derided as an oversize iPod or a less functional netbook (remember them?) the tablet has become far more useful and adaptable than both. Discover 10 ingenious business uses for your tablet in this article and contact your local Telstra Business certified ICT consultant today.

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  1. You don’t want to miss that big business meeting or coffee with a major client. There are plenty of calendaring software options available that let you manage your work and personal schedules on tablets on the go. Many of the apps also sync to cloud-based calendaring services such as Google Calendar. For cash-conscious small business operators, such apps enhance independence and help limit the cost of administrative assistance. Travel apps such as TripIt can also help simplify planning for your next business trip.

  2. You can easily oversee and manage your business’s bottom line on a tablet. It’s possible to create and issue professionally presented quotes and invoices, scan receipts, schedule upcoming payments, set up credit card payment support, manage payrolls and check account balances and transactions. All these accounting functions and more can be handled easily when you download software such as QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Gusto to your mobile tablet. A range of inventory management and tracking apps are also available for iOS and Android devices, such as Inventory Now, On Shelf and Counter. Apps like these can help fast-track data entry and searches from various locations by using the tablet’s camera as a bar code scanner.

  3. Platforms such as Microsoft Remote Desktop are very handy as they let you view your PC desktop on your tablet. This is great if you are out of the office and need access to files, spreadsheets or other documents on your PC. If you also have a cloud service like Box, you can also use the remote access to upload the document to the cloud so you can download and work from a local copy.

  4. If your business relies on a fleet of workers travelling to a constantly updating task list of client opportunities or job call-outs, the last thing you want is for them to continually return to the office to receive their schedules. With mobile technology and tablets, workers can be assigned or nominate themselves for new jobs as they appear in real time, speeding up response times and completing more jobs faster. Dominic Holland, chief executive of, has used this model to disrupt the tow truck industry by creating a national business that has no trucks at all. Instead, the business has forged alliances with hundreds of driver contractors – who can easily fix a tablet to their dashboard in the truck – as well as police departments, finance companies and government departments that need to quick access to reliable towing specialists. “We’ve made it convenient and trustworthy,” Holland says. A software programmer since the age of 13, Holland says technology, and tablets in particular, have given him an edge. His small team manages about 1500 vehicles a day across the country, using tablets and various other communication tools to automate vehicle pick-ups and allow quick communication with tow-truck drivers on the road. “It’s about user experience and interaction,” Holland says. “The bigger screen size means it’s easier to function.” Tablets also let Holland manage the business on the move. He says SME owners must realise the power of tablets – that they enable everything from cloud-based data storage and sending information to near real-time reporting. “If people start understanding that concept, then it is infinite what you can do with tablets or mobile devices.” Unlike Holland, not everyone can develop and build their own software. But if your business manages a field-based team, you can also manage their workloads and allocate jobs with apps such as GeoOp.

  5. Feedback from potential clients and people in the field can be a goldmine for businesses eager to find out how to gain a competitive edge. With voice and video capabilities, tablets are an easy way to capture and collect people’s views and even film testimonials.

  6. The ability to snap quality photos as a permanent record of work undertaken or progress achieved can be essential for professionals such as architects, designers and construction specialists. A tablet with mobile connectivity can also make it easy to immediately send these images back to head office or client, or store them for later review back at the office. Artists can use tablets too, to capture a special scene or take references for future projects. Apps such as Genius Scan also enable business people to take images of documents with a mobile device, turn them into PDFs and email them to all the necessary stakeholders.

  7. Accountants, lawyers and tradies all need to keep track of their billable hours – and paper trails just don’t cut it. Load a time-tracking and timesheet app such as Time Tracker, Toggl or Timr to your tablet and they can ensure you have an accurate record of job starts and finishes. They are also great for people working from home, freelancers and contractors. It’s easy to lose track of time when fully immersed in a task.

  8. Mixing old-school methods and new technology can help the disadvantaged – just ask Orange Sky Laundry co-founder Nic Marchesi. One key to success for the free mobile laundry service for the homeless is the six orange chairs it puts out at drop-in kitchen centres so volunteers and their street friends can chat and connect. Another is the sophisticated back-end technology platform allowing the enterprise’s 800 volunteers to efficiently manage laundry services – they do about 7.6 tonnes of laundry a week using 11 vans at 76 locations around Australia – and report back to head office using tablets. “If volunteers are well managed, they stay longer, they are safer and they are more rewarded. The only way we can effectively do that is through using technology well,” says Marchesi, who with co-founder Lucas Patchett was named Young Australian of the Year in 2016. While Orange Sky Laundry measures its impact “not through dollars raised, but people helped”, it still has to be efficient and tech-savvy. Tablets have been used since the enterprise started in 2014, and the next step is to use mobile devices to deliver online volunteer training. After starting out in a garage, Marchesi still pinches himself about how far the project has come. “If we can keep inspiring people to help others, that would be great.”

  9. Having multiple versions of important business documents doing the rounds is a recipe for confusion and errors. Accessing document-management systems such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, SugarSync and Box not only lets staff members share and edit live documents but also reduces the risk of versioning issues by ensuring everyone accesses and works from the most recent update.

  10. As your clients wait in the reception area of your business, a tablet is a great way to keep them occupied and entertained. They can peruse the latest digital magazines while at the hairdressers or health and beauty salons, for instance. The right choice of content could even give them styling inspiration or the latest news on available treatments. Other businesses could also turn waiting time into productive time with a selection of industry-relevant magazines and related content, or even your own digital publications, providing further information and context before the meeting.

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Damien Wayne Estreich has been proudly serving telco customers in Hervey Bay and Maryborough since 2002.
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