See, it was like this…I recently visited an automotive dealership, window shopping (okay, tire-kicking) for a new car. I sat down at the salesman’s desk, and asked him whether he had a standard-shift model in stock. He didn’t know off hand, and had to check the computer to find out. So far, so good.
There was an ordinary Dell Computer at his desk, but I noticed, curiously, that it was shut off. Instead of reaching for the Dell’s mouse, he grabbed a key, unlocked a drawer, and pulled out an iPAD. Then he started navigating around the iPAD, and it was very obvious that the kind of web surfing he needed to do would have been much, much easier on a traditional computer system. It took him 5 minutes with his clumsy fingers to locate and zero-in on what would have taken 30 seconds with an accurately-tracking mouse and a full-size keyboard.
I asked him what was up, and he explained that his management had “decreed” that iPADS replace all the computer systems in the dealership. Crazy! Even the process of unlocking his desk drawer, retrieving the iPad, and then reversing the procedure when he was through (very painful to watch, by the way) took nearly as much time as the web browsing tasks!
I hope that management doesn’t also decree that the dealership’s mechanics replace all their screwdrivers with hammers, pipe wrenches, and pliers!
Don’t get me wrong, Gang — I love iPADS (and other cool tablets like the much-maligned but superb Blackberry Playbook). They have their place — in the home, and at work. But really, there is an optimal tool for every job, and if this dealership thinks that replacing its traditional computer systems with iPADS is going to be an across-the-board productivity booster, I think they have some more thinking to do.