Timing and scheduling are both key to keeping your clients satisfied and keeping all the vendors working on a multi-site IT deployment on the same page. And while this statement might seem generally true on its face, it is something that deserves a closer look.
Many technology vendors and managed service providers do not pay as much attention to timing and scheduling as they should. And in some cases, vendors and MSPs want to fine-tune these metrics, but without the right tools and communication strategies, it just does not happen.
We will explore in greater depth why timing and scheduling matter to the degree that they do for multi-site IT deployments.
1. Consistency Matters
First, timing and scheduling matter because consistency matters. In the retail and QSR spaces especially, customers are not looking for new and novel. They are looking for something familiar, comfortable, and consistent. A region-wide IT deployment that rolls out in fits and starts does not create a consistent experience. Customers get a kind of “experience whiplash” moving from one store that has already been updated to another store that hasn’t.
2. IT Deployments Can Affect Staffing
Another reason why timing and scheduling are crucial is that certain IT deployments can have ongoing effects on staffing. If the deployment technician does not arrive when promised, store managers must scramble to adjust (or un-adjust) their staffing needs. In a time when many industries are facing the worst staffing shortage in recent history, those adjustments are not easy to make.
How could IT deployments affect staffing levels? Automation is one way: certain automations reduce the staffing hours needed to achieve effective service delivery. But the opposite can also be true. One kiosk manufacturer, for example, noticed that its restaurant kiosks led to increased sales substantial enough to require additional kitchen help.
Getting additional help is hard enough. Getting help at the wrong time creates real complications.
3. Deployments Involve Multiple Stakeholders with Varying Schedules
Third, timing deployments accurately is crucial because of the number of personnel involved. Even simple deployments involve field techs and electricians, and store hours/scheduling and even truck delivery timeframes are in the mix, too. More complicated jobs need a crane or other heavy machinery to complete.
The issue here is this: each component of the deployment team typically works for a separate entity and has its own separate schedule and sets of competing priorities. If the electrician and the crane rental company cleared next Thursday for this install, chances are they both have something else going on the following Tuesday.
Sticking to the original schedule and time frame is the best way to ensure all parties show up at the right time. It is the best and most efficient way to get the job done.
4. It Only Takes One
Given the complexities we discussed in the previous point, IT deployments are fragile things. It only takes one problem to get a deployment off track (and off schedule). One missing part, team member, subcontractor, authorization, tool — you name it.
The farther you drift from the initial scheduling and timing of an install, the higher your likelihood of one (or more) element(s) getting off track.
Of course, even if you keep to the original timeframe, there are still plenty of dangers here. The right field services management software brings order to the chaos as well. Using this tool, you are sure every truck has everything it needs for a deployment — before it rolls out.
5. Your Clients Are Counting On You
Many IT deployment scenarios are innovative or iterative. They are designed to innovate on something that already exists or even iterate on a previous tech asset. Examples here include digital signage: these certainly add value, but they are simply innovations on an existing concept — traditional signage.
Iterative projects are even more pedestrian, usually replacing behind-the-scenes systems.
In the grand scheme of things, a delay here is not an existential concern. A restaurant, for example, can continue selling food from plastic menu boards and old POS terminals.
But consider those IT deployments that are mission-critical. For some retail tech, your clients are counting on you to help them modernize, keep up with the competition, and so forth. And some emergency jobs might be replacing broken tech that seriously hampers the store’s ability to perform.
In these situations, timing and scheduling are crucial because any delay on your part affects your client’s bottom line. Meeting your clients’ needs fast enough could be what it takes to keep the client at all.
Power Up Your Scheduling & Deployment Speed with Kinettix
Kinettix is your global enablement partner, equipping you with the global workforce you need to execute IT installs across wide regions and globally. With our network of contingent workers and a skilled project management team, we help you shore up any issues with timing and scheduling you are dealing with from other partners.
Ready to talk? So are we!