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Steven Beggs, Senior Manager of Learning Innovation at Home Depot Canada, loves his job, but slept restlessly in recent years because of Apple’s iPhone.

That’s right. It wasn’t worries about the competition or inventory issues related to the 25,000 to 40,000 products in 180 locations across Canada that Home Depot carries. No, what vexed Beggs was the iPhone.

That’s because when the first iPhone users started trickling in to Home Depot locations, they brought with them a device that had more information on it than any salesperson had on the floor. Customers still needed help, but often had to get the sales associates up to speed first; hardly an ideal situation.

But, as Beggs detailed in a presentation at the recent Tablet Strategy conference, he sleeps more soundly now thanks to a deployment of iPad Minis. Specifically, he developed a program that gives select sales associates access to SMaRT (Social Mobile and Real Time) mobile performance support, via the iPad Mini.

Then the president of Home Depot Canada told him he needed to prove SMaRT was scalable. So Home Depot Canada rolled out 100 iPads across ten stores. “What actually happened was sales generated by, or supported by the iPads, outperformed the one-store proof of concept by 75% when we did our 10-store rollout. When we extrapolated out the numbers, I said…I think this is the equivalent of opening a new store.” Read More.

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