By investing in 3G, 4G, it’s business time for many
ISLAMABAD: Good help is hard to find these days and nobody knows that better than Ehsan Ahmed. He is an air conditioner retailer and every year, around this time, his employees’ tardiness drives him up the wall.
“I pay them a salary plus commission, but they aren’t consistent about their work. They’ll make excuses to skip work or even take up private assignments on the side during duty hours,” an exasperated Ahmed tells Dawn from his shop on Murree Road.
“Most ACs are sold and installed in the four month period between May and September. This is also the time when most people want existing units serviced as well. If I don’t know where my men are, how can I cater to the rising demands of customers,” Ahmed complains.
But this year, Ahmed tells this reporter, he plans to use technology to beat his inefficient technicians at their own game.
“As soon as the mobile companies launch their new 3G and 4G services, I will equip my technicians with smartphones. If they say I have to go attend an uncle’s funeral, I will ask them to send me photographic proof or a Google Location tag to verify their whereabouts,” Ahmed said with a visible grin.
He has every right to be happy.
Businesses lose money through wasted raw material and other miscellaneous wear and tear, caused by inefficient utilisation of resources.
The upgrade to mobile broadband technology could save him hundreds of thousands of rupees annually.
“We usually supply 10 feet of copper pipe along with each new AC unit, only three to seven feet of which ends up being used. But the technicians never return the surplus piping, saying that it was consumed,” he said.
But with the advent of live video streaming over mobile networks, Ahmed will be able to monitor what his staff is up to, in real time.
Touqeeruddin, an engineer and software manufacturer, told Dawn that with the installation of 3G and 4G capacity, mobile customers will be able to enjoy internet connectivity on their handsets at near broadband speeds.
“The high speed connectivity will make it easier for entrepreneurs to use social networking services for business. If an AC retailer wishes to check in/out times of his staff, or make sure they are where they are supposed to be, he can do that easily using existing services like Check-Ins and Google Location services,” he said.
This technology can help radio cab companies to monitor the movement of their vehicles, make relaying instructions and directions easier by using digital maps.
Citizens’ access to services will also improve once high speed internet services are up and running on mobile networks.
“People will be able to make video calls or use Skype on the go, the call quality will be much clearer and maps and navigation systems will make it easier for travelers to find their way through unfamiliar towns,” Touqeer said.
Last, the Punjab government also jumped onto the technology bandwagon when the agriculture department began using GPS facility to track field officers on visits to the more remote rural areas.
They would also use mobile technology to guide farmers on the use of seeds, pesticides, fertilisers and farming concerns.