The iPad is a superb business tool, and we have seen it being used in a range of business situations so much — as a tool to go green, to collaborate or to increase productivity. Certainly, the iPad is helping companies meet goals in fashion.
We did some poking around to see how businesses are using the iPad as of late, and we detected a few recurring themes. The iPad clearly has a place at the retail environment, but we heard from a surprising number of physicians using it to reduce operation costs.
Check out what we heard under, and let us know how you have seen the iPad being used in the business world in the remarks.
1. Point-of-Sale System
Mobile payment systems are redefining commerce, and up to now, smartphone-related payment systems — such as Square, Intuit GoPayment, and PAYware Mobile, are producing the most ruckus. However, the iPad is a competition in this area, too.
iPad-based point-of-sale (POS) systems are popping up everywhere we go. Cantabrigian waffle store Zinneken’s, by way of instance, utilizes the free iPad app ConnectPOS because its POS system of choice.
Zinneken’s co-founder Nhon Ma claims the startup cost of employing an iPad POS system has been reduced, compared with other choices. “We have spent around $1,300 in gear as a startup cost — iPad 2, cash register, acrylic screen, printer. Other non-iPad POS providers would cost you from $5,000 to $6,000 upfront,” he says. Care on the system is also perfect, says Ma, as ConnectPOS’s software updates are free, compared with conventional provider maintenance fees of $50 to $100 a month.
Coaching is a breeze, too, says Ma. “In the retail or restaurant sector, employee turnover is regarded as high in general. Together with our POS system, every new hire has been operational with the POS after only 10 minutes of explanations.” There is no time at all, considering some of Ma’s workers have commented that previous non-iPad POS training lasted around a week.
Ma says there are a few downsides, though. “Peripherals — such as credit card readers and [merchandise ] scanners — must be iPad-compatible. As it’s fairly a new marketplace, few options are available. And to my knowledge, just 1 brand of printers is compatible with ConnectPOS POS — that is Star Micronic printers… pricey but highly reliable.”
Worst of all, however, is how credit card processing is impossible if the web is down, Ma says. He advocates using a router with a 4G USB key for a backup.
For businesses in the current market, another iPad POS system worth checking out is Revel Systems.
2. Restaurant Menus & Entertainment
When some restaurants and retailers are installing iPads up front to handle earnings, others are installing them directly at the table.
HubWorks Interactive, an iPad solutions provider for the hospitality industry, is one company making in-store iPad ordering a reality.
Customers can’t just purchase and pay on the tablets, but also update their societal channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. The hope, obviously, is that clients will discuss the restaurant to their societal charts.
HubWorks’ new technologies — offering social media entertainment in the table — is proving to increase sales by 10%, reduce customer wait times by 30 percent and increase repeat customer visits by 85%.
Another budding restaurant chain on the block is profiting from in-store iPads, also. Let us Yo, a frozen yogurt franchise launched in October 2011 at Marlboro, New Jersey, decided to set up iPads at consumer tables for entertainment purposes and has had good results. The iPads are hooked up to closed-circuit TVs that allow customers to interact together and post on the Let us Yo Facebook Page. The business recently conducted a Facebook competition, powered heavily from the in-store iPads, which resulted in a 41% growth in Facebook Likes. Not too shabby.
3. Medical Records
While we might not like to think of hospitals as companies, they have surgery costs like the rest of us. Both independent doctors and large medical groups need to determine how to slash operational expenses.
For years now, we have been hearing about electronic medical records, yet I have not seen one iPad, mobile device or laptop being used in any of those waiting rooms I have frequented. So, what’s the hold-up? Well, once more, it is the medical world we are discussing here — slow to embrace, highly bureaucratic and weighted down with regulations. However, it can’t stay like that forever.
We’ve seen a variety of iPad apps on the market created to assist physicians cut costs and manage data effectively. 1 player in the marketplace is DrChrono — the startup has made a cloud- and web-based electronic health record, available via iPad and iPhone, in addition to via any online browser.
Together with its electronic health record platform, DrChrono also implements scheduling attributes, patient reminders and a billing system, which makes data collection and maintenance simple for physicians and their staff. Going digital benefits the individual, too — say goodbye to this chunk of newspapers you used to fill out in the waiting room. DrChrono empowers users to create profiles which could be readily upgraded with future visits.
While researching the latest innovative uses of this iPad, we came across lots of options — stock trackers, in-flight amusement, cab displays, sales tools and more. These three themes stood out as the most interesting and promising, but it is apparent that the tablet is aiming to revolutionize a lot more industries.
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