Could artificial intelligence (AI) help you boost field sales?

Could artificial intelligence (AI) help you boost field sales?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are no longer just the preserve of science fiction. They’re two of the biggest buzzwords in the tech industry right now, as a way of better utilising data to improve workflows. But what does it actually mean for field sales teams? 

Let’s start with the basics. Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that enables machines to copy intelligent human behaviour, mimicking jobs that we humans find easy, but computers would find difficult. Machine learning is a further subfield of this whereby machines take lots of data and effectively ‘learn’ for themselves.

A combination of AI and mobile technology such as iPhone and iPad is currently transforming the sales industry, going from a buzzword to something that can actually be used by field salespeople to help hit targets, improve customer interactions, and keep sales managers happy. In fact, AI can contribute to every part of the sales pipeline; from logging call and email activity with customers and the AI platform ‘learning’ patterns for more valuable insights into sales data and customers, to automating admin and non-sales jobs so salespeople can focus on enhancing revenue-generating activities. It’s no surprise then that many real world companies are taking AI on board now, with solutions that have a positive trackable impact and enable digital transformation.

ForceManager Cognitive app

One of the best examples of this in action, giving real world benefits and immediate returns, is ForceManager’s new artificial intelligence (AI) sales tool for iOS, Cognitive. ForceManager – creators of the industry-leading all-in-one mobile CRM – reckon that, on average, salespeople waste 2hrs 45mins every single day driving between client meetings. They wanted a solution that would turn that lost time into actual sales, so incorporated AI into their existing solution to develop a tool that would enable salespeople to work more efficiently and boost sales.

Unprecedented insight into interactions

Step in Cognitive, a revolutionary new sales intelligence tool that, coupled with an iPhone or iPad, aims to help field sales be as productive as possible while on the road. Using natural language processing and speech recognition technology powered by IBM’s Watson technology, Cognitive analyses thousands of realtime data points to provide unprecedented insight into all customer interactions, find out where they should be concentrating their attention, and transform previously lost time into sales.

Ask your personal voice assistant Dana (think of her as a sales-obsessed Siri, just like on your iPhone) any sales query, and she’ll scan back through all your interactions to help plan your day and be better prepared for meetings, all from your iOS device. As the voice assistant can be operated hands-free on iPhone or iPad, it means sales reps can be more productive while driving, and focus on selling.

“The main problem that managers face is a lack of visibility throughout the sales process,” said Oscar Macia, co-founder and CEO of ForceManager. “However, by combining AI with a mobile sales platform we have been able to deliver a whole new level insight to field sales teams worldwide. We’re always looking to work with the latest technology. That’s why we were selected as an Apple Mobility Partner.”

All sounds very futuristic, right? Well, not really – ForceManager is already being used by huge international companies such as Ford, Volvo, Vauxhall, Hertz, Orange and many more, and the Cognitive app for iOS can simply integrate into salespeople’s existing workflow. So if you’d like to boost field sales through the use of AI, get in touch with us to talk about ForceManager, Cognitive and iOS device solutions, and head to the Cognitive launch event to find out more.

Why choose Apple for mobility apps

From sales tools to collaboration and productivity, across industries from retail to aviation, Apple and mobility apps help businesses grow and improve productivity and sales. With over 25 years’ experience, and the highest possible Apple accreditations, we are uniquely positioned to support your organsation, adding that extra level of service to ensure you get set up and can generate ROI immediately. We can help integrate apps into your business systems, provide bespoke, branded versions of apps, training and ongoing support. Find out more about Apple and our mobility partners here.

Want to know more about ForceManager or iOS devices? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email enterprise@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Video: The benefits of an Apple Solution Expert for Education

Video: The benefits of an Apple Solution Expert for Education

As an Apple Solution Expert for Education, we love Apple technology, and helping customers enhance learning. Here’s more on the benefits we offer, including support and services from our expert team.

For more information on our Apple support and services, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Top accessories to make designers’ lives easier

Top accessories to make designers’ lives easier

Chances are, you already know the basic rules of creative productivity in the workplace – keep a tidy workspace, and always have the tools you need available. But what gear should you look at to stay as productive as possible?

Designers often rely on a fair few bits of kit to make their day to day lives easier, and this is something we know all about. Having dished out great accessories from leading vendors for over 25 years now, we know exactly how to help creatives do what they do best. We try our wide range of accessories ourselves, so you can rest assured you’re picking up something that’s reliable and beneficial.

Below, we’ve put together our top five recommended accessories that we think will give your creative workflow a boost…

Satechi USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Pro 4K HDMI Hub

satechi_hub

As much as we love the latest MacBook Pro models (they’re great for all kinds of design work!), you might find yourself stuck for ports every now and again. That means you’ll have to root around for the right adaptor to make sure you can use all of your essential accessories at once.

Luckily, there’s a way to combine all of those adaptors into one. The Satechi USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Pro is a slimline hub that clips onto the side of your MacBook Pro, utilising its two USB-C ports. In return, it provides you with an HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot and a MicroSD card slot. It even has a pass-through power USB-C port, so you can still charge your device while benefiting from all the additional ports. And the hub is even colour matched to your MacBook Pro, in case you’re fussy about that sort of thing.

Our Product Manager, Taylor, says…

“The Satechi hub is a great companion for a designer’s MacBook Pro (it matches!), and ensures you’ll always have access to the ports you need. So no more picking and choosing which devices to use or charge while you’re hard at work in the studio or on the move!”

Shop now – £66.66 (£79.99 inc VAT)

STM Kings 15 inch / 22L Luxury Laptop Backpack

stm_kings_backpack

Out and about and need to do some design work on the go? We reckon the STM Kings Luxury Laptop Backpack will suit you just right. Store your laptop, Wacom tablet, pens, pads, phone, chargers and documents, as well as anything else you might want or need to cart around – the STM Kings backpack can hold it all.

It also comes with a handy CableReady system, allowing you to route a charging cable through the backpack without getting knotted up – especially useful if your battery is running low and you need it fully charged for when you arrive at the studio. It even comes with ‘The Stash’, a small zippered bag that’s really useful for organising your batteries, cables, pens and other bits and bobs.

Taylor says…

“You can’t go wrong with an STM Kings laptop backpack. Not only is it easy on the eyes and comfortable to carry, it has enough space and built-in compartments to carry everything a designer could need while on the move.”

Shop now – £99.96 (£119.95 inc VAT)

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD

Belkin_thunderbolt3_dock

Fed up of fighting through a forest of cables in order to get to your desk? Is it becoming a distraction to your creativity? The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock is capable of running dual 4K displays, and allows you to connect up to eight (yes, eight!) different devices through a single Thunderbolt connection – perfect for all your charging and accessory needs. Tidy workspace, tidy mind!

Taylor says…

“This Belkin Thunderbolt 3 dock is perfect for making sure all your productivity needs are met, without compromising your desk space with loads of wires and cables. Designers will also find the ability to connect dual 4K displays especially useful, providing plenty of screen real estate.”

Shop now – £313.49 (£376.19 inc VAT)

Griffin Notebook Elevator Stand

griffin_stand

The Griffin Notebook Elevator Stand not only raises your MacBook up to a more comfortable height (important if you’re going to be staring hard at your screen all day), but it also frees up some desk space so you’ve got more room to create with your Wacom tablet and sketchpad, as well as area for your new dock, headphones and three cups of tea that have all gone cold…

Taylor says…

“We’ve got these all over our office – we couldn’t do without them! Not only do they make it easier to look at your laptop screen for long periods of time, but they give you more room to work while at your desk.”

Shop now – £29 (£34.80 inc VAT)

Logitech Slim Combo Case for iPad Pro 10.5″

logitech_slim_combo_case

If you’re using iPad Pro for design work, particularly while you’re on the move, this Slim Combo Case from Logitech is ideal. It’s versatile and multipurpose, and helps transform your iPad Pro experience into something more closely resembling a laptop, so it’s perfect for all the email sending and admin work that’s part and parcel of design workflows. The case’s Smart Connector pairs with and powers the keyboard, and provides four distinct modes: typing, viewing, FaceTime and reading. It also features full-size backlit keys and a built-in Apple Pencil holder.

Taylor says…

“iPad Pro is often the tablet of choice for designers, and this Logitech case helps add a dash of productivity to mobile creative workflows by providing a keyboard that can be used to make writing emails, briefs, feedback and more so much easier.”

Shop now – £99 (£118.80 inc VAT)

For more information, get in touch with the team by calling 03332 409 306 or emailing sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #5: Productivity, creativity and coding with Swift Playgrounds

Apple Teacher #5: Productivity, creativity and coding with Swift Playgrounds

In our final look at the Apple Teacher Starter Guides and how they can be used to upskill staff to help them plan engaging lessons with iPad and Mac, we’re focusing on productivity, creativity and coding with Swift Playgrounds.

Enhancing Productivity Apple Teacher Guide

The Enhancing Productivity with iPad and Enhancing Productivity with Mac guides and badges could be completed either before or after the App guides. The book focuses on student productivity, and is broken down into four sections: Productivity fundamentals, Getting organised, Planning and sharing, and Documenting and reflecting.

We really like the ‘Organising a research paper’ activity and the vocabulary flashcards. It’s a great way to introduce the skill of referencing, which students will need to get used to if they go on to study the Extended Project Qualification or go to university after sixth form. The flashcards are a great and effective revision tool for students of all ages, as the content can be fully customised for the ability of the student, and personalised to them. There are links to other iBooks at the back of the guide that will give staff and students further information on how Apple technologies can make you more productive.

Fostering Creativity Apple Teacher Guide

The Fostering Creativity with iPad guide is all about initiating those creative juices, and is the perfect one to leave until last. You’ll know how to use all of the Apple apps on your iPad and Mac by this stage in your Apple Teacher journey, and will be one badge away from becoming an Apple Teacher. Fostering Creativity starts with the fundamentals of the creative process in learning, taking in brainstorming, gathering inspirational resources and, finally, telling compelling stories.

The ‘Reflect on family history’ activity, which uses Pages, Photo Booth (Mac)/Camera (iPad) and iMovie, is great for a simple app smash (combining apps together in one final piece of work). Not only does this develop local history knowledge, it can bring the whole family and school community into a student’s learning. By the end of the guide, you’ll be thinking of new possibilities to use iPad in your classroom.

Swift Playgrounds Teacher Guide

The Everyone Can Code series developed by Apple is a comprehensive, high quality and free set of resources that covers the entire curriculum from year 1 through to year 13. If students follow this programming language all of the way through to the end of sixth form, they will be working with industry standard development tools and be coding in a language that has been used to create apps such as Airbnb, LinkedIn and Eventbrite.

Swift Playgrounds is a block-based coding app (simply drag and drop a short piece of code or instructions) that has a full set of lessons and resources that can be downloaded, used and customised by teachers. For some activities, they also have possible answers which can be revealed (don’t tell the students!). You access them all from the teacher guide in the iBooks Store, and all of the lessons and challenges are mapped against the UK National Curriculum.

Additional support

Regional Training Centres hold a big event every year that are designed to support and inspire your iPad and Mac journeys. If you want additional support for Swift Playgrounds, then you might want to look at iTunes U. Apple Education have created an iTunes U course that is perfect for teachers learning how to code. It follows the Learn to Code 1 and 2 guides and is an excellent course to follow if you want that bit of extra support from home.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

Fostering Creativity introduces the concept of ‘app smashing’ (combining apps for learning), and to ensure this high quality learning is tracked and the progress is highly visible, we would recommend using Showbie. Our course The Paperless Classroom: Showbie upskills your staff to make sure app smashing and progress work seamlessly together.

The Swift Playgrounds app is an amazing introduction to computer science for Key Stage 2 and 3 students. What makes it perfect for the whole coding curriculum is that it allows third party apps such as Sphero and Parrot’s drones to be used by students for the control unit. If you’re interested in integrating these into your coding curriculum, contact your Jigsaw24 Education Manager for more information.

– Missed our last Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘Unexpected ways to use GarageBand and Numbers’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #4: Unexpected ways to use GarageBand and Numbers

Apple Teacher #4: Unexpected ways to use GarageBand and Numbers

In our latest look at the Apple Teacher Starter Guides, and how they can be used to upskill staff to help plan engaging lessons with iPad and Mac, we get to GarageBand and Numbers. Here I explain how you can use them in ways you may not have expected…

GarageBand Starter Guide

Those of you who are already familiar with the Apple environment will know that GarageBand is an amazing app for easily creating great quality music in the classroom. But who would have thought that it can also be used in a way that helps literacy? The GarageBand for iPad and GarageBand for Mac Starter Guides focus on creating a lesson that brings a poem to life by learning how to use the Live Loops feature of GarageBand to add layered loops of music. This approach gets teachers and students to stray away from traditional learning and start to think differently.

Even if students cannot play an instrument, they can join in with a jamming session by choosing and playing a live loop. There’s plenty of inspiration to give food for thought and promote out of the box thinking for iPad and Mac in lessons, including ideas around creating soundscapes and radio shows, and a times table song.

Numbers Starter Guide

Numbers is Apple’s spreadsheet app, but it’s not all just about formulae and graphs. In the Numbers for iPad and Numbers for Mac Starter Guides, as with the Pages guide we looked at before, you build a full science report looking at butterflies. The guide touches on Challenge Based-Learning with iPad and Mac, and goes step by step into how students can build a real life science report, covering the project overview, formulae and budgeting for creating a garden to attract butterflies.

You’ll learn how to create tables, formulae and interactive graphs (not as scary as they sound!) that change with a tap of the screen or trackpad. Not only do they look great, they also aid students when they are analysing data, and comparing data sets becomes more visual. In the ‘Going further’ section, there are some great ideas in and around how you can use Numbers for assessment.

Regional Training Centres (RTC)

Most Regional Training Centres have a social media presence and tweet about upcoming Apple Teacher Workshops, so it’s a good idea to get on Twitter and follow your local RTCs (and @Jigsaw24Edu) who will quite often advertise their upcoming courses that are free to attend.  Having that extra bit of help can come in handy when learning how to use new apps.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

By now, your staff will know their way around iPad and be familiar with seven different Apple apps. So it could be time to think about taking training to the next level. Ask us about our mastery training courses where we look at ways of integrating iPad and Mac into your day to day teaching.

A good one to think about would be iPad in the Curriculum. In this course, our Apple Education Trainers use their expertise to work with staff to effectively plan iPad and Mac into schemes of work.  This can be delivered as a whole staff training session or with smaller groups of teachers. Another course you could think about is Making Music with Mac, where our trainers will go in-depth with GarageBand to help create amazing music lessons.

– Missed our last Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘Producing exciting lessons with Keynote and iMovie’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Apple Teacher #3: Producing exciting lessons with Keynote and iMovie

Apple Teacher #3: Producing exciting lessons with Keynote and iMovie

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the Apple Teacher Starter Guides, and how they can be used to upskill staff to help them plan engaging lessons with iPad and Mac. Now we move on to the Keynote and iMovie for iPad and Mac guides – two great resources for helping teachers to produce new and exciting lessons. 

Keynote Starter Guide

In both the Keynote for iPad and Keynote for Mac Starter Guide, there is a Science and Nature theme that shows you step by step how to build a fantastic professional-looking presentation using Apple’s very user-friendly Keynote presentation app. You’ll learn how to insert videos into presentations, how to move objects with Magic Move, which is brilliant for emphasising important areas of slides, and more.

You’ll also revisit the Instant Alpha feature you used in Pages, which further cements the skills you will be starting to develop. This will increase your confidence in the early days, when using iPad and Mac can help your lessons be successful. As with the other iBooks, chapter 3 has a skills list for you to refer back to, which is always a good safety blanket. The last chapter then looks at giving you inspiration for other lessons across the curriculum

iMovie for Mac Apple Teacher Guide

As with the other teacher guides, iMovie for Mac starts with an overview in chapter 1 and 2 of the app and its layout. You’ll be familiar with chapter 3, which starts with a list of skills you will learn – use this for planning in the early days, especially when using iMovie for the first time with students. If you plan in a little bit of time to orientate students around the app, it will pay off in the long run. We recommend drip feeding only the features you will use – once students have used iMovie a few times, you’ll soon have a class of young Spielbergs!

The guide then focuses on creating an iMovie of a Natural Science field trip. Among the many skills you’ll pick up on in the book is learning how to use voiceover as well as using the clip editing feature (which lets you take out parts of clips you don’t want) to create high quality movies. After completing this badge, you’ll have the skills to create brilliant starter activities or even a project for the students to create their own movie clip. In the last chapter, you have the cross-curricular links that are common in all of the guides.

Additional support

As mentioned in our last article, Regional Training Centres (RTCs) all around the country are hosting free introduction workshops based around the Apple Teacher Guides. Most are starting out with sessions based around the iPad starter guide. Look out for upcoming courses in the new year where you’ll find many of the app-based sessions being run.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

If your staff have the skills to create resources in iMovie and Keynote, then you might want to ask our Apple Education Trainers about our Flipped Learning with Explain Everything professional learning. Flipped Learning is a concept that looks at how students can complete new learning out of the classroom, so you can deepen the learning experience during lessons. Explain Everything is the perfect app to bring together your Keynote and iMovie resources to produce the perfect flipped learning resource. Our Apple Education Trainers can introduce your staff to this effective teaching and learning technique with this practical professional learning workshop.

– Missed our last Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘Exploring the Pages, iPad and Mac Starter Guides’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Video: How to create a financially sustainable 1:1 iPad deployment

Video: How to create a financially sustainable 1:1 iPad deployment

In this video, we discuss how you can get the most out of your school’s 1:1 iPad deployment, with teaching and learning benefits that go way beyond the lifetime of a single device – all while keeping costs to a minimum and ensuring it’s sustainable from the very start!

For more information on creating a financially sustainable 1:1 iPad deployment, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #2: Exploring the Pages, iPad and Mac Starter Guides

Apple Teacher #2: Exploring the Pages, iPad and Mac Starter Guides

If you’re new to iPad and Mac, the Apple Teacher Starter Guides are the perfect place to start picking up new skills that you can use to plan new and engaging lessons with your iPad and Mac. The Pages for iPad and Mac guides are a great follow-on to the starter guides, introducing skills for producing new and exciting lessons. 

iPad Starter Guide

The iPad Starter Guide gives you an overview of the iPad and the key features you’ll need to know when using iPad in your day to day teaching. Chapter 3 starts with a skills list that you can use as a point of reference after finishing the book.

One of the best things you’ll learn here is how to use the AirDrop function to push out resources electronically, and make your printing bills go through the floor. The final chapter showcases the different places where you can find teaching resources, such as the App Store, iTunes U and iBooks Store. The book then finishes by giving ideas and inspiration for different teaching and learning ideas across a range of subjects.

Mac Starter Guide

The Mac Starter Guide is an excellent resource if you’re switching from a Windows-based system to Mac. It highlights all the user-friendly Mac features that you’ll love, with new ways to make your working life easier from Multi-Touch gestures through to accessibility features like the built-in narration tool that types as you speak. Again, chapter 3 starts with a skills overview, and even if you’re an experienced Mac user it’s well worth a look as you may learn something new to use in your lessons (AirDrop works on Mac too). Chapter 4 covers the learning resources available much in the same way as the iPad book, and the final chapter is full of inspiration and ideas.

Pages for iPad and Pages for Mac

The Pages for Mac and Pages for iPad Apple Teacher guides navigate you through designing a science report called Plants and Butterflies using Apple’s user-friendly word processing app. The guides start with how to navigate Pages and where to find key features. Chapter 3 begins with a list of the skills that you will develop, and the guides then go through step by step how to create your report. You’ll love how easily the picture editing tool Instant Alpha takes away the background of a photo and how effortlessly wrapping text works. You’ll also learn how to set up your project as a collaborative piece so groups of students can work together. At the end of the book, you get teaching ideas for Literacy, Maths, History and Assessment.

Additional support

If you are struggling with any of the content in the starter guides, don’t worry – there are other lines of support (in addition to Jigsaw24). Regional Training Centres or RTCs all around the country are hosting free introduction workshops based around the Apple Teacher Guides. These workshops are designed as an additional layer of support when it comes to achieving Apple Teacher Status, and are definitely worth checking out.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

Every school and every iPad and Mac project is different, and our Apple Education Trainers recognise this. All of our trainers are former teachers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience with iPad and Mac. Right at the start of your project, we can work with you to develop a bespoke training strategy that will ensure you get the best from your Apple technology. To make sure that your long term goals are achieved with iPad and Mac, we would recommend that you ask us about our Planning and Vision sessions.  Another good course that would build on the skills developed in the iPad, Mac and Pages guides would be our Reaching All Learners training session.

– Missed our first Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘An introduction to Apple Teacher’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #1: An introduction to Apple’s professional learning

Apple Teacher #1: An introduction to Apple’s professional learning

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be delving into the amazing (and free) professional learning programme for teachers that Apple have created. Apple Teacher is a high quality, self-paced professional learning course and, having worked with schools integrating Apple Teacher, we find it gives staff the skills and confidence to be able to use iPad and Mac for amazing lessons using Apple apps.

Overview

There are two sets of guides in the iBooks Store that are free to download. Each guide has an online quiz to check your understanding of using iPad and Mac for teaching and learning. After completing the quiz successfully, you earn a badge for that element of Apple Teacher. When you complete all eight badges, you become an Apple Teacher.

Apple Teacher for iPad

The iPad starter guide is the best place to begin, as it shows you the basics of the iPad. From there, you can complete the other books in any order (I would recommend completing the app guides next). The guides focusing on apps cover iMovie, Numbers, Pages, Keynote and GarageBand. There are also two other guides that give practical ideas: Enhancing Productivity and Fostering Creativity. Each book looks at how to create resources, plan a lesson and use Apple apps in the classroom, and at the end of each guide there are ideas for other curriculum areas and links to more ideas and inspiration. 

Apple Teacher for Mac

The Apple Teacher guides for Mac follow the same format as the iPad guides and give you the fundamental skills and knowledge of the Mac environment. Schools wanting to switch from Windows to Mac will find this series of guides and Apple Teacher badges really useful in learning the differences in (and advantages of) using Mac in the classroom.

Swift Playgrounds recognition

The Everyone Can Code series of iBooks from Apple are a free set of resources and lesson plans that teachers can work through and use, beginning with Get Started with Code 1 and 2, followed by Learn to Code 1, 2 and 3. It is based around the Swift Playgrounds app on the iPad and lets students (suitable for Key Stage 2 and early Key Stage 3) learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift, Apple’s coding language. We recommend you complete Learn to Code 1 and 2 before you do the Swift Playgrounds badge on Apple Teacher.

Why we recommend it

At Jigsaw24, we look at the best solutions to make your journey with Mac and iPad a success. We love Apple Teacher as it is a great launch pad to give teaching and support staff the foundation skills they need for their first lessons with iPad and Mac.

This means that when we work with and support your staff, we can build on this early success and help to transform learning at your school. We’re then able to jump into some of our more advanced courses earlier than we were previously able to. For teachers, being an Apple Teacher is widely being recognised by schools using Apple technology, and tells them that you have the skills to be successful with iPad and Mac.

– Check in next week for our next Apple Teacher article on Pages and Apple’s iPad and Mac starter guides.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Our top ten tips for digital transformation in construction

Our top ten tips for digital transformation in construction

It’s been found that construction is among the least digitised industries. As many construction organisations grow through acquisitions, they tend to have a fragmented technology portfolio across divisions – making it more difficult to identify areas to transform.

Digital transformation enables disruptive change, which in turn provides opportunities for growth, competitiveness and lower costs. There are many new and emerging technologies that the construction industry could take advantage of, from artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, to exoskeletons. While exciting, these technologies require a large investment of both time and money to integrate or digitalise processes, and there are much quicker and easier ways to achieve digital transformation within the construction industry.

Although organisations may have invested in mobile devices across their business, many fail to realise the full potential of the devices, as tools to achieve digital transformation, and are only utilising basic features such as email and calendars. 99-100% (Jamf stat – source) of enterprises are now utilising iOS devices, and using them as a starting point for digital transformation. Chances are, all of your divisions have already deployed mobile devices, but aren’t using them as constructively as they could be (pun intended…).

If you’re looking to revolutionise your construction business and reap the benefits of disruptive technology, we’ve collected our top ten tips for achieving digital transformation in construction with Apple/iOS…

Five tips for approaching digital transformation
  1. Start small

While it’s important to have a roadmap of your overall goals, this can sometimes become a hindrance if you focus more on this than just getting out there and doing something. Pick a single process (part of something bigger, aligned to your overall goals) or single business unit to begin with. Chances are, you already have departments that are itching to use their devices for more.

  1. Define one key driver

Whether it’s to reduce paper, improve safety or gain insight into what’s costing the most (snags in the building process or materials not reaching site on time), have a benchmark to compare change against.

  1. Digitise and roll out the process

When digitising a process, some map very quickly to mobile devices. However, you need to be prepared to alter a process slightly to make it more efficient when using mobile tech. Often there is an off the shelf solution that can help you get most of the way, but if not, custom app development is becoming much more accessible. And don’t forget – as part of the roll out process, make sure your staff are trained up on the new processes.

  1. Review

Analyse results against your key driver – how well did you perform against your expected targets? This is important, but something that people can often forget or not get around to. Results can be quantitive, but don’t forget the human impact on your users, as this can be a driver for a more productive and happy workforce.

  1. Iterate and roll out next project

After review you can update any process that isn’t quite hitting your key driver, or consider additional features or app development to get you closer to your goals. Then, it’s time to consider your next process to digitise aligned with your bigger picture. 

Five tips for getting started with digitisation

The biggest benefit to using mobile devices in the field, and digitising processes, is having access to live data, which enables your organisation to make quicker decisions and avoid costs caused by delays. Often the easier things to digitise are paper-based sign-off workflows, but here are some more ideas on places you could get started…

  1. Design and project planning

Streamline your construction management by digitising your design processes and project planning. You can use your iOS camera for virtual or augmented reality planning, building digitally within your environment or accessing blueprints on your devices whenever you need them.

  1. Onsite processes

We understand that a big concern in the construction industry is making sure that the workers that turn up on site have the correct training and certification to undertake a project. Streamline this process with digitisation, giving you full visibility of a worker’s credentials before they get to site. You can also utilise GPS to check when your staff have reached the site.

Digitisation also assists in resolving issues on site, by giving you instant access to files or snag lists. If you encounter any problems, staff can capture the issue on site, feed back to their project manager, and tasks can be quickly reassigned until the snag is completed.

  1. Communication and collaboration

Another issue that construction businesses often come up against is materials not getting to site on time, or needing to buy more materials while on site. By digitising your procurement process, you enable the ability reassign tasks if equipment doesn’t turn up when it should. Or, you’re able to order alternative materials if the ones that have been delivered won’t work for the project. You can use GPS and location services for deliveries, so you also know in advance if something is not going to be where it should.

On top of managing and digitising your own workflow, you will often be working with a multitude of contractors for different areas of the build. Mobile devices can be used to better communicate with contractors, utilising FaceTime or mobile conferencing. Extending your digital processes to them means that they can capture completed jobs, and use similar management tools as project managers, boosting their productivity.

  1. Tracking, analysing and project sign off

More immediate access to data using a mobile device means that you can use data collected from a build to understand areas that need improvement, for example staffing, training, snags or contractor performance.

Digitisation of paper processes, such as signing off a project, means that you can bring your client on site, have the documents needed all in one place, show them the completed work and get the contract digitally signed off there and then.

  1. Marketing and sales

Access to live and upcoming projects on mobile devices allows you to gain insight into the latest tenders, review and market to them. Also, having marketing content and reference sites available to you gives your sales arm access to all your latest customer references, and even live data from current builds.

How Fieldwire and GoCanvas can help

Apple iOS is the construction industry’s platform of choice for maximising digital transformation. Apple Mobility Partners such as Fieldwire and GoCanvas Partners – best-of-breed, tailor made industry apps endorsed by Apple – allow you to transform your construction company and realise greater business benefits.

Fieldwire enables better project planning and execution, allowing you to complete builds quicker and improve construction management. With key features such as lightning fast plan viewing, mobile construction management and lean construction scheduling, Fieldwire can reduce your admin time by five hours per user, per week.

You can read the full case study on how Fieldwire helped UK building contractor Speller Metcalfe here.

Canvas works by digitalising paper-based manual workflows, reclaiming huge chunks of wasted time for your business. True Homes were able to streamline inspections and increase sales by up to $1 million by using Canvas, and recovered $22,880 in paper costs annually.

You can read the full case study on how GoCanvas helped property construction company True Homes here.

How else can we help you transform your workflow?

At Jigsaw24, we can offer a range of solutions and services to help you transform your construction business.

Apple Mobility Partners

We work with a range of Apple Mobility Partners, best-of-breed apps for industry that have been hand-picked by Apple themselves as digital leaders in their sector. This means we can provide you with the best tools to get the most our of your devices, and the support to get you up and running as soon as possible.

Custom app development

Grow revenues, increase brand awareness and get real-time feedback with a custom app for your business. Our team of developers can create iOS, Android and web apps, or purchasing portals, and offer support throughout the lifecycle of your app.  Our integrated mobility solutions have seen tremendous ROI – furniture company Welcome Furniture were able to digitize their paper-based logistics and delivery processes with a customer app, saving them £130,000 on returns per year.

Mobile device management

Get simple, centralised control of your Apple devices with our hosted or managed Jamf Pro solutions. We can host Jamf Pro for you in the cloud, so you get all the benefits of fast access and high availability, without having to worry about hardware. Or, we can manage your Jamf Pro deployment for you, pre-configuring, pre-staging and enrolling devices, with all your corporate apps pre-installed and managed, so all you have to do is hit the power button.

Want to find out more about how we can help you achieve digital transformation in your construction business? Give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to speak to our experts. You can also keep up with all the latest news by following us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or liking us on Facebook.