Distance can be a barrier but it shouldn’t be an excuse to be unable to communicate with your team whenever need be. Though a manager may no longer be able to simply walk down the hall to talk to team members, the employees’ need for management is no less real. In fact, a good management system is even more important in remote environments than in traditional cubicles and conference rooms. A mobile workforce requires different management techniques and skills to keep them motivated, productive, on track, and trained.
Managing employees that work away from the office has always been a challenge, especially for small businesses offering delivery or at-home services. Mobile devices provide employers with ever-expanding options for tracking and checking on the status of employees. This gives them more control over the field employees and thus better equips them for unforeseen changes in the process. But the be-everywhere-your-employees-are ethic raises issues about Big Brother in the workplace. When it comes to “mobile management,” you’ll have to decide on how tight the electronic leash should be.
These are some of the typical problems that you might face with a mobile workforce:
- Invoices and orders may not be processed immediately – this leads to a delay for the customer as well as distribution and stock management problems.
- Real time updates may not be possible – do you rely on the weekly meeting to find out what is happening?
- Are you really aware of the efficiency and productivity of your staff even if there is no physical record of meetings, outcomes and results?
- Is paperwork kept up to date? Is everyone using the same spreadsheet, methods and procedures?
- Customer is the king and his wants need to be fulfilled. Are you able to address last minute request or queries from customers? Are you able to keep your customers happy on a consistent basis?
Field service management or Enterprise mobility solution refers to a hosted or cloud-based system that combines with hardware and internet service to support companies in locating and managing worker activity, better control over operations, inclusion of customer vagaries in the job processes, scheduling, dispatching and execution of the work, and its evaluation. Enterprise mobility solutions bring a much needed transparency to the whole field workforce model. It also ensures safety of the transaction, and ideally integrates with inventory, billing, accounting and other back-office systems. Field Service Management refers to work models of companies where employees need to work away from the office. Field workforces are integral to companies which need to manage installs; have handymen performing repairs of systems, handle rural sales, employ service engineers for repairing equipment and perform supply chain operations. Field service management provides end-to-end management of a company’s field service operations. That includes scheduling, dispatch, invoices, task & asset management, work orders and much more.
FarEye is one such field service management solution that includes everything a field service organization needs to increase the productivity of field personnel, improve results and generate more revenue. Made for mobile and web, the dashboard provides tracking data and analytics for smarter decision making. The comprehensive dashboard gives a host of unique product features like auto – routing auto assigning. Auto-route is a feature which helps in finding the best possible route to be taken by an employee to reach a customer in the shortest possible time, thus increasing productivity and reducing fuel costs whereas Auto – Assign is a feature based on rising on-demand delivery and hyper local operations and finds the best- suited field worker to fulfil a customer request through a company’s preset criterion like workload for the day, distance to customer etc. The dashboard also incorporates big data for evaluated as well as predictive analytics.
The technology has developed to the point where connected devices are able to seamlessly interact with one another, each device sharing the information, data and updates in order to complete tasks or carry out instructions. In short, Fareye builds a grand mesh of technology weaved together, working in harmony to change the way we interact with it and it interacts with itself. Forget additional phone call or paper-based assignments, Fareye enables both managers and employees to delegate and receive their job assignments respectively, right on their devices. Jobs can be quickly and easily created by defining the location, steps and forms that require completion. All that information is then instantly transferred to your worker’s mobile device so they have all the information needed to get the job done. Also, the solutions enables the Manager back at the office to maintain real time coordination with his employees and keep track of the status of the on – going work at any point of the day. This helps him in taking corrective actions and addressing issues in real time.
Companies have started using mobility to improve communication with the field, increase productivity, streamline work processes, enhance the customer service experience and generate loyalty. Field service softwares combine many functions into one unified solution. Providers of field service management solutions frequently offer customers applications for scheduling and routing optimization, automated vehicle location, remote diagnostics, job logs and hours-of-service tracking, inventory management, field worker management and driver safety. Mobile softwares may also utilize databases containing details about customer premise equipment, access requirements, and parts inventory. Many field service management solutions also integrate with other software such as accounting programs.
“FarEye’s technology brings employee data well past the micro level. The service provides simply remarkable transparency to our mobile work team. Deploy it right, and you can track hours and location for everybody and create reports detailed enough to satisfy many regulatory and insurance compliance issues. They also offer the ability to push messages, jobs and simple online forms to employees. And even basic tasks like reporting expenses or getting signatures from clients are possible. It has helped us a lot while keeping a track of the field workers.” Jaideep Singh, IT Head, Ecom Express
As with any major paradigm shift, managers can either put their heads in the sand & ignore the issue or they can meet the challenge head on, adapt, and take advantage of the new opportunities it presents. A surge in innovative business practices and extensive digitalization has turned the entire world into a giant market place. It is quintessential for a company or organization to have a strong communication network between all its stakeholders in order to operate at a smarter level that increases the quantum of performance on the part of the organization as a whole. This aspect is vital to in house logistics, IT teams, supply chains and operations teams. While some companies are embracing the move away from the strict 9-to-5 workdays and cramped cubicles, others are nervous about what this new model means for productivity, accountability and overall staff performance. They worry about not being able to reach employees in an emergency, not being able to measure the output, and envision staff under-performing and producing lesser deliverables.
This is a guest post By Kushal Nahata, CEO and Co-Founder of FarEye
Fareye is a complete enterprise mobility solution with features like job dispatching, updates, real time coordination, and big data/analytics. It simplifies the tasks of scheduling, execution and evaluation. Fareye improves the quality and quanta of work done by providing a quick overview of field operations with tools to schedule, dispatch and monitor jobs to workforce.
With over 1 million transactions a day and over 30 clients in 7 countries, Fareye caters to companies like Snapdeal, Pepperfry, Blue Dart, Godrej nature’s basket etc.