Future Proof Your Vehicle MountBy Jake Parker, RAM Mounts Director of Business Development
March 22, 2016
A lot has been said about the rate that technology has evolved. Fleet operators and commercial vehicle owners also know firsthand how fast in-vehicle technology changes as well. This constant change is part of what makes the RAM® Mounts modular system of more than 5500 components vital to any forward-looking organization.
As our customers transition through different vehicles and different devices, RAM Mounts is tasked with determining how to keep pace with these upgrades to accommodate the innovation of others. We expect RAM fans to tweak their solution as they navigate life from motorcycle to minivan, Ipaq to iPad. Not surprisingly, one of the most common transitions seems to be from laptop to tablet.
In fact, a large portion of this transition involves retrofitting older technology or introducing consumer devices and using them in rugged environments. RAM Mounts makes it easy to future proof your fleet and your mounting system.
Global tablet changes
According to recent data from IDC, worldwide tablet shipments reached 211.3 million units in 2015, down -8.1% from 2014. In fact, what we see is the hybrid tablets that feature detachable keyboards soaring in popularity. Analyst firm Strategy Analytics also sees a massive spike in low-cost 2-in-1 tablets, noting that as costs have come down, placing 10” and 11” Windows Tablets in the mid and low price tiers for mass market consumption.
Worldwide Tablet Market Share by Screen Size: 2014, 2015* and 2019*
|Screen Size Band||2014||2015*||2019*|
|Small (7″ < 9″)||64.1%||57.7%||43.0%|
|Medium (9″ < 13″)||35.8%||41.9%||55.1%|
|Large (13″ < 16″)||0.1%||0.4%||2.0%|
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, December 1, 2015
* Forecast figures
These hybrid tablets make for great in-vehicle options as they enable advanced communications between drivers and a fleet’s operations center. They are also increasingly less specialized and intended more for general use.
This trend in evolving technologies is crucial for the future success of how companies deploy technology across their vehicles. Driver management, vehicle management and even efficiency gains in where to buy fuel are all scenarios where a tablet in a vehicle is critical. But, let’s consider some other ways to utilize mobile technology.
Moving mounting forward
The dominant trend for mobile workers is to turn the passenger seat of your truck into a mobile office. With purpose-built computers or laptops a RAM Mount to secure a laptop in your vehicle, you create an office on the road. With a few adjustments, the mobile professional could practically have the laptop in their lap.
This means that the meeting they just had with a potential client could be summarized as soon as they got to the car, not only preserving the content of the interaction, but also preventing an unnecessary, and costly, trip back into the office. Productivity soared.
Enter 2016. That same client meeting is now driven by the device. The vehicle is still the data entry hub, but now that the device is more portable, new workflows are being created. The same mobile professional that summarized their meeting in the car, now hands over the tablet and has their client pick out the color of blinds for their living room. Moments later that tablet can be handed to the client to view a simulation of what that particular color of blinds would look like in their actual living room.
In a similar scenario, a water heater sales consultant is handing over their tablet so that the client can take a survey of water use habits to best determine which water heater is best suited for their needs. The customer is now driving the sale by providing information first hand and getting tailored results. And, the rep is able to process payment right on the spot, maintaining the momentum of the sale. With the time saved, the technician can call on more clients in that same afternoon.
With the time saved, the rep likely has enough time for one more client, so they fire up the tablet and get optimal routing information to a prequalified prospect. With a slight adjustment to their RAM mounted tablet, they have optimized safety while gaining a good viewing angle on the map, and it’s off to the next appointment.
Where will mobile technology take us in the next decade? With the introduction of autonomous vehicles and continued growth of telematics industries, we know that mobile devices and cameras will be part of this future. You can rest assured your RAM Mount will still be rock solid, even if it’s only holding a hologram.