5 Creative Uses of the iPad in Business

5 Creative Uses of the iPad in Business

For many, the iPad has become an essential part of their digital arsenal. It is a media consumption and production device, a productivity tool, a way to keep up with current news and events and a tool to communicate. While initially created with the consumer in mind, the iPad has begun to creep into the enterprise, providing a portable solution for mobile workers who need to be able to access documents, reports and emails on the go. While nowadays this isn’t such a surprising or ground breaking phenomena, what is surprising is the way in which iPads are not only being used as replacements for laptops, but are being integrated into all areas of the business to move customer service, sales processes and production processes into a new digital era.

Businesses are continuously finding incredibly creative ways to use iPads in all aspects of their business. Check out the slideshow below to see how businesses are implementing creative uses for iPads.

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A Luxury Experience For High End Customers

Retail stores are certainly amongst the few companies who have effectively used the iPad in enhancing customer experience.

The luxury clothing and accessory brand, Burberry, provide a high-end experience to their high-end customers through a custom built Burberry iPad application. iPads and the custom app were offered in stores for customers to buy the Burberry collection which had made an appearance at London Fashion Week. The app also allows customers to view all in-house created content such as videos, look-books and films.

By utilising the iPad instore to share media and allow for quick purchases, Burberry have developed a luxurious experience for their high-end brand.

Streamlining Processes

The wine industry has always had a very strong, traditional, almost classic way of doing business and Jordan Vineyard & Winery is no different. They are usually not considered to be at the forefront of innovation and technology, particularly in their operations.

Jordan Vineyard & Winery, based in California, have a very strong tradition in wine making in the U.S.A. However, despite their very classical image, CEO John Jordan believes new technology helps the company improve workflows and develop a better end product:

The iPad is used in nearly every facet of the Winery’s operations, from the Vineyard, to the Cellar to the customer. To streamline processes such as pruning, weeding, perst control, soil amendment and monitoring climatic conditions (which require constant attention), staff at Jordan use the iPad in conjunction with a web-based app called AgCode, to manage and log these duties wherever and whenever they occur. The app allows staff to flag specific problems, issue work orders to resolve them, log and review field data and manage workers and equipment without having to leave the vineyards.

To produce the very best wine, the temperatures of the tanks must be kept constant, which used to be a game of ‘hope for the best’. The winemaker would check tank temperatures before leaving work, then come back the next morning and hope nothing had changed. However, the company has automated and improved this process by using a Citrix app on the iPad to access the central TankNET system to view and manage data on every tank. This included monitoring lot numbers and locations, fermentations status and temperatures. The app notifies the cellar crew through the iPad if a tank goes outside of the desired temperature range:

Now the cellar crew is instantly notified via iPad or iPhone if a tank goes outside the desired temperature range.

As for the sales team, they have used the iPad in meetings with clients to display their product. The company uses Keynote to prepare presentations on the product and the business, while also giving both the sales representative and the client easy access to additional information.

Source: Apple

Creating Happy, Patient Customers

The air travel industry is almost synonymous with unhappy customers, with unexpected delays, long wait times and bored travellers creating frustration for all involved. Delta AirLines have set out to go against the grain and increase customer satisfaction by installing 140 iPads at their dedicated terminal at JFK. Passengers can use the iPads to pass time waiting in the terminal by ordering food and drink or catch up with the latest news or entertainment. The iPads have no time restrictions or ordering minimums, which provides a pleasant diversion from the often frustrating and tedious wait for flights.

Along the same vein, OTG, an airport food & beverage operator in the United Stated, have installed 300 iPads in New York’s LaGuardia airport. The iPads will allow for travellers to use the tablets to order food at OTG’s eateries, check their flight status, surf the Web, and otherwise unwind before boarding their flight. A visual menu lets users order food from OTG’s restaurants via the iPads, and the orders are then delivered to a traveler’s seat in 15 minutes or less, ensuring its customers do not miss their flight.

Inventory Management On The Go

Haigh Australia, an automotive accessory supplier, has developed their own iPad app that helps staff view stock information, availability, and other unique features to simplify inventory management.

The company’s sales staff relied heavily upon product catalogues, price lists and printed material in the past to keep abreast of product and price changes on imported goods. The issue here was that the accuracy of stock information and availability was correct only up to a sales representative’s last printout of information or the manual they took with them, which could be days, weeks or a month old.

The other issue Haigh encountered, was that invoicing had to wait until the sales representative returned to the office of if they sent a fax to the head office.

Enter the iPad.

Utilising the iPad and the dedicated iPad app, Haigh’s sales representatives could view accurate and real-time information on stock. The app also allows sales staff to carry around catalogues, brochures and price lists.

Additionally, the app allowed ERP integration, which has eliminated the time spent re-entering sales invoices by making sales on the road in real time. The sales representative can see what the customer has bought, they can see what their price is and they can see what their account status is, and use a sales diary to write notes, which gives them

“The biggest benefit that they can see is that they have all the information there,” assistant manager Wendy La Macchia told The Australian recently.

Digital Designing

Taking the in-store experience to the next level, Puma gives customers the ability to design their own shoes on iPads located in their stores (Europe, Asia and Africa only at present). Dubbed “The Creative Factory“, not only can customers design their own shoes, but they can use the dedicated Puma app on the iPad to connect to other Puma wearers around the globe. The users can compare sneaker designs and learn about the lives of the shoes’ creators.




Anything we missed?

Have you seen any creative uses of the iPad in business? Or perhaps is your business taking advantage of the possibilities? Tell us in the comments below!


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