White Paper Overview: Making the move to mobility
Field service organisations have always embraced technology, and the rate at which technology has developed in recent years has led to a true revolution within our industry…
Providing both a comprehensive overview and practical advice on how you and your organisation can improve efficiency and productivity amongst your mobile workforce this white paper explore a number of key areas including:
- Extending your back office into the field
- Empowering your field workers
- Focussing on the right mobility tools for your business
Published by FieldAware this white paper covers the key considerations service leaders should focus on to ensure they able to harness the power of this new wave of mobility in field service management…
To access your copy of this great resource simply click the link above and complete the brief form to register.
Field service organisations have always embraced technology, being early adopters of field service management software since it was introduced in the late 1970s.
Originally designed as on-premise, server-based scheduling solutions, the software was very much focused on enabling the back office to improve the efficiency of work order scheduling and dispatch. Technicians however, had only limited access to job and customer information due to the cost and performance limitations of existing devices (proprietary handheld devices or laptops) and networks.
The mobile evolution has shifted this balance. With the widespread adoption of smartphones, for example, over the last decade, digital mobile devices now form an integral part of both work and personal lives. Add to this the proliferation of tablets in the last mobility wave five years ago with the introduction of the iPad and most companies now use some form of mobile device. This use may be a mix of smartphones, tablets and laptops, but as such the focus of the service work has now moved significantly on to the field technician.
Extending the back office into the field
Although the technician is the “new” priority for field service organisations, back office processes remain essential components of any service operation. The right mobility solution gives the whole organisation the ability to manage the workflow seamlessly and keeps all operational elements connected.
For the back office, a mobile solution which easily integrates into existing systems is critical, as often within a field service organisation a mix of best of breed solutions are employed due to the niche nature of the work carried out. This can often mean that systems are used in isolation and data from one system doesn’t always assimilate with others. An integrated mobile solution means that the two-way flow of data and information is captured just once and in a consistent and efficient way.
Empowering the field worker
Managers and technicians, alike, report that the key to any technology implementation is ease of use. Taking time to learn new, complicated ways of working puts up barriers to adoption which workers may well look to by-pass and either go back to the way things used to be done or patch together their own and disparate ways of using the various solutions.
Equally both older technicians and newer more technology-savvy workers may resist the change, but with a solution that is easy to use the implementation is easier and quicker adoption inevitably means a better ROI.
Implementing mobility and the next evolution
While it is recognised that most companies now use some form of mobility, it is also acknowledged that the majority still do so in a basic way; to enable a checklist approach to their work. Those that still work with paper-based systems report they will look to move to digital mobile platforms in the near future, understanding this disadvantage affects their ability to be competitive.
Focus on the right mobility solution
Whether you are looking at developing a current mobility strategy or introducing a mobility solution for the first time, how do you choose the right software for your business with the many solutions on offer today?
From working with a range of companies in different industries, FieldAware have found that whatever type of field service organisation you manage there are some principals that cut across the different requirements and these are revealed in this section.
Focus on performance
The face of field service has changed. Technicians are the priority, and they need the tools and access to the information that will transform them from corporate overhead to revenue and profit generating brand proponents.
Technology has changed. The world has “gone mobile”. Smartphones and tablets are powerful and relatively inexpensive, and the networks that support them are fast and reliable.
Mobile apps must have capabilities which take the technicians’ role into account, without forgetting the back office. Cloud-based web applications deliver advanced capabilities (scheduling and dispatch; asset, parts, customer and roles and rights [security] management; employee time tracking and comprehensive reporting) and must be easy to use and easy to integrate with existing ERP, CRM and accounting systems.
For more detailed information on each of these topics and a how you can better harness mobility in your field service operations click here and download the white paper in full now!
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