A few weeks ago, we did a feature on mobile workstations and remote offices for white collar and professional industries. More and more, we’re seeing the trend of auditors for accounting firms, part-time CFOs, literally dozens of other professional service providers who are using upfitted vehicles to serve their clients on-site but not in-house.
Well, in many ways, the trend has been developing for years. In the United States and Canada, the distances that a service provider might need to traverse to still physically meet a client plays a part, but some of it is also backlash from the connected digital world.
People like to meet people who are working for them. Nothing goes so far as a handshake and looking your client in the eye and Skype is a great tool, but there is nothing like the personal touch.
On the other end of the spectrum are service-based companies that are reimagining how their clients use those services.
Dog groomers, automobile detailing companies, and even doctors and veterinarians are all taking mobility and remote working to heart to be able to bring their services to clients and customers that otherwise could not be reached. We’ve even heard of one mobile butcher operating in the Great Plains of the United States – he’ll come to your farm, slaughter and process beef or hogs in a customized trailer, and his clients never have to figure out how to get the animal to an abattoir.
Obviously, each of these business models represent a “premium” service level and often, the prices their clients are willing to pay reflects that. How, then, could you adapt other ideas and industries to serve your clientele in an entirely new way by offering remote services?
We’ve spent a great deal of time these last few months working with clients who are upfitting vehicles to handle these reimagined sales systems. Whether we are designing workstations in trailers, trucks, or custom work vans, the opportunities are endless and exciting.
Let’s look at a truly exciting one – mobile pet care and grooming. Obviously, we need space and we’ll need lighting. Expertec is one of the companies that spearheaded LED lighting in upfitting, so we have years of knowledge providing lighting solutions inside of work vehicles. Of course, there’s a need in such a scenario to have at least a few kennels for pets who are in line to be taken care of, so those can be designed to run along one wall of a larger cargo van.
Due to the fact that dogs and cats don’t tolerate extremes of temperature well, we’d use a secondary heating and air conditioning unit to keep the inside temperature pleasant for everybody.
Point of sale systems? No problem! Due to the lighting and temperature upgrades, we’d already be using a power inverter, so a full computer, printer, and POS/credit card machine could be hardwired into our system to ensure our mobile worker is able to process payments easily.
Anyone who’s ever been in a veterinarian’s office knows that stainless steel is the material of chose, and the beauty of that is it is also one of the most commonly used material in upfitting for other trades. Therefore, our client, in outfitting a remote workstation, can reduce the amount of “custom” fabrication required to put this mobile platform to work. In the end, building a mobile vet’s office or pet care facility can be an affordable value-add for many practices.
Can you envision the myriad others that are out there?
Car detailers? Mobile car repair? How about a remote machine shop? It’s all in the realm of the possible now and the trends all tell us that these are powerful tools that small businesses are using to grow their list of clients to whom time and efficiency are more important than a low price point.
And isn’t that the customer we all want to engage? Remember, over 70 years ago, Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, realized that giving people back their time and allowing them to dictate how and when they could consume a commodity created an entire industry. The same is true today, no matter where you find yourself. When you reimagine how you can provide a service – any service – to your core clients, especially if that means coming to their home or place of business, you allow your company to stand out as the first choice for those customers. Expertec can help you to build and outfit that mobile facility.