Supply chain customers and end-users have always relied on their I/T supplier companies to assist them by bringing the “Value” in Value Added Reseller. Over the years, VARs have led the way by providing services and support that their supply chain customers rely on to run their own businesses. However, as technology continues to evolve, VARs are working hard to keep up with creating new services and support that will help their customers adapt. Far beyond the standard RF site survey, leading VARs today have to be focused on a myriad of technologies and techniques in order to remain “Valuable”. Here are just a few of the areas where VARs are advancing the state of the art.
Standard VAR services – These have been around for a while. In many cases today, these are considered the “Jacks or better to open” of VAR customer servicing.
RF Site Surveys
Mobile Device Depot Service
Mobile Device Kitting and Delivery
Modern / Evolving VAR services – Those at the front of the leadership curve
Mobile Device Managed Services
Managing the mobile device assets for the customer remotely for fixed monthly fees. Effectively moving the cost of MDM from the customer’s CapEx to OpEx.
Voice Application Consultation and Implementation
Working with the customer to determine where the ROI is for implementing voice-directed technology in their supply chain infrastructure, and deploying the most cost-effective technologies to ensure success.
Technology Transition Consulting
Managing the transition on the mobile client User Interface (UI) from Telnet, to more advanced UI technologies, (browsers, HTML, etc)
Tablet / Cellular Device Kitting and Delivery
The evolution of mobile device kitting to include WWAN tablets, and smartphones, as well as barcode scanners, etal. VAR staging of modern devices for delivery to end customers.
Tablet / Cellular Device Depot Service
Depot services for modern tablet and smartphone devices.
Proactive Cellular Plan Management
Everything from cellular implementation, (which could be a part of kitting), to advanced plan management such as utilizing Real-Time Expenses Management (RTEM) software to control operational costs.
Bridging The Gaps Between Enterprise Application and The Mobile Device Interface
The most advanced VARs today are seeking to bridge all the gaps between the enterprise supply chain management software, (WMS, TMS, Field Service, etc), and the devices that provide access to those applications to the mobile workforce. Moving well beyond hardware management, this requires interfacing with enterprise application provider, the customer ERP / CRM business stakeholders, and the providers of platform management utilities as well.
Customers today face a whole host of new and evolving technologies that can be deployed to lower supply chain management costs, and increase productivity. Leading VARs are developing new consultation and implementation strategies for assisting with these enhancements.
If you’re a VAR and have some thoughts, we’d love to hear them!