One-size doesn't fit all for retailers trying to provide their workforce with the right computing equipment to do their jobs. As the retail industry transforms to accommodate multi-channel sales, AI and cloud-based POS systems, it’s critical that devices are well-suited to the type of work an employee does. Whether it's accounting, analytics, sales or service consider job role specifics to empower productivity, streamline processes and improve the customer experience.
Categorize End Users to Determine the Best Device for the Job
Consider the types of work end users perform, and where they do it from - store, office or warehouse - to help you choose the right devices. Keep these three key user categories in mind when developing an end-user/device strategy to balance needs and costs:
For employees who mostly work at a desk/stationary location—with limited/no travel, like customer service reps and merchandise managers —there are many device types available, including laptops, AIOs, desktops, etc. For example, in hot-desk situations, laptops make sense, while customer-facing roles may benefit more from AIO devices.
Frequent travel/field-based employees like executives and regional sales managers require mobile devices—sometimes multiple types—to effectively do their jobs. When choosing devices, consider balancing thin and light form factors with battery life and performance. Need anti-glare screens? Is WiFi performance ideal? While smartphones and tablets provide connectivity benefits, laptop PCs provide greater productivity results.
POS software solutions can be run on AIOs, laptops and micro desktops, giving in-store staff the flexibility to use the same devices for stock management and administration. Digital signage can be powered by a micro desktop that can be placed discretely in restricted spaces and power multiple large screens.
Advanced Users like pricing analysts and retail merchandize designers require high-performance devices, multi-monitor setups and specialized applications. Examine your advanced users. Is everyone at a desk? Working on the go? Both? With increasing numbers of this user group, multiple options can create an ideal work environment that fits everyone’s needs:
- Workstations run powerful applications with efficiency, speed and stability and easily adjust to work load changes.
- Desktops provide ease-of-use, trustworthiness and powerful productivity in a range of energy-efficient form factors.
- Notebooks enable and enhance mobility and flexibility without compromising power and performance.
As the balance of user types change, developing "good, better, best" solution options for each user type/needs is useful. Use it to drive internal discussions on investments and priorities, balancing desired capabilities with budgets accordingly.