Debbie Currie, owner of Curves in Minot, attended a training session about tablets Wednesday because she hoped to learn more about the devices so she could use it in her business.
Others attending the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce's Lunch N' Learn session at the Minot International Inn Wednesday were there for various reasons but mainly to learn how they can use tablets in their businesses because they already own or are considering adding tablets.
Presenter Mike Pugh, business account executive with Verizon Wireless in western North Dakota, said he was there to show them how to be more productive with tablets.
Debbie Currie, owner of Curves in Minot, works at her tablet following a Minot Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Lunch-N-Learn training session on tablets at the Minot International Inn Wednesday.
"As you all know, they're a good toy but they also can make you better in business," he told the group ranging from novices to advanced tablet users.
"We always refer to technology as an investment into efficiency because that's exactly what it's meant for to make more money, to be more efficient, to be more streamlined," he said.
Pugh often referred to apps short for applications or computer programs or software to help the tablet user perform specific tasks.
Tablets can be used for personal information management including email, calendar, contacts, web browsing and instant messaging.
But they also can be used for document management, including sharing documents, sharing forms and sharing information to a single source from multiple people in the field or for people to be able to work from home.
"The technology gives the ability to grab anything at any point as long as you have some kind of service," Pugh said.
Tablets allow collaboration, Pugh said. Collaboration includes working with a company's clients or a team across town or across the world.
He said the tablets have note-taking capabilities. If a person likes to write, they can use a stylus. If they like typing, they can use an app especially for that.
"There's an app out there for everything or they're working on it," Pugh said.
He said there are capabilities for printing.
A tablet can be used for forms, Pugh said, listing benefits of reducing the cost of expense forms, sending directly to office or customer, obtaining signature and then can ensure proper information has been submitted.
Asked if Pugh's company works with clients to figure out the processes for a company, he said, "We call it a 'tablet strategy' because you need to have one if you're going to go this route sitting down and figuring out who is going to use them, what apps they are going to use..."
Pugh said he'll be working with an area trucking company that has more than 150 devices of a particular brand whose rep will be with him. They will be helping the company get rid of stacks and stacks of tickets. He said three employees now manually work on all the ticket information.
Tablets also can help make travel easier, Pugh said, listing reasons including comparing prices, for navigation and making reservations on the go.
"Tablets are here no matter what," Pugh said, adding, "Everything you saw in the movies in the '70s and '80s is real. It's all coming."