As mobile workforces grow, smart solutions to manage your mobile workers are hitting the market. Take a look at some of the best ones, and discover how they can help keep track of your mobile workers.
A New Way to Manage, Literally At Your Fingertips
There are two types of mobile employees:
- Employees who manage installs and maintenance of systems and equipment on customer premises
- Employees who regularly travel (or work from home), and who need to maintain a virtual presence at their desk for colleagues and business partners
The first category is always on the go. Employers need to optimize their team members’ daily schedule and itinerary, and provide them with mobile tools to communicate and perform front/back-office tasks. There is a whole software industry called Field Service Management focused just on this.
The second category must be able to collaborate straight from a connected laptop or mobile, accessing required documents remotely and communicating with project stakeholders in real-time, whether in virtual meeting rooms or asynchronous, persistent, message threads. Unified Communications and Social Business Collaboration, which can be combined into the Unified Collaboration concept, cover these requirements. Their fast adoption is driven by mobility.
Field Service Management (FSM) for effective mobile team management
Locating, managing, and scheduling every player on your mobile team has suddenly become much easier, more efficient, and much less of a hassle than ever before. FSM systems let you know the who, what, when and where of your team’s activities. They allow you to dispatch jobs and track the progress of your workers in the field and assign tasks to the best available employee based on proximity and time zone. They even deliver mobile capabilities to devices, whether employee-owned or managed by the enterprise.
The main FSM providers are specialized companies like ClickSoftware and ServiceMax, as well as major ERP Editors like SAP, IFS and Oracle (which bought specialized FSM vendor TOA Technologies in 2014). They are able to provide large scale, robust and highly integrated solutions for large enterprises.
Smaller pure cloud players with lighter solutions have appeared for mid-market companies:
ClickExpress Lite: this app brings a new level of ease to mobile team collaboration. Managing and scheduling your workgroup, social group – or even your family – can now be done with just a few clicks. ClickExpress software reduces ROI by optimising field operation performance, which speeds up the allocation of the right task to the right person. It also lets you build realistic forecasts and plan the capacity of your resources weeks, months – even years – in advance.
Dooing: this is a new management platform that does what it promises: it helps your business complete jobs and move people across any location simply and quickly. You can track and measure your business performance with detailed team statistics, job arrival and completion times, and on-the-map job distribution visualisation. Dooing’s powerful dashboard for the office, combined with its battery efficient iOS and Android apps for your employees in the field, ensure your entire team is covered 24/7.
ManagePlaces: this web-based system works on all devices, empowering your mobile team by giving them access to all the data they need instantly, anywhere in the world. It lets them send you data and progress updates with a single touch for dynamic project management. Scheduling and allocating jobs is easy, as team members can automatically be assigned new tasks.
Build your team, build your business, boost your ROI, and increase the efficiency of your mobile workforce by making mobile management software an indispensable part of your cutting-edge corporate toolkit.
Unified Collaboration to add a human touch to FSM
Arkadin’s blog and website provide lots of information about Collaboration in general; the purpose of this post is mainly to point out similarities and complementarities with Field Service Management.
Field Service Management systems tell field employees where to be, when to be there and what to do next. They also provide a highly processed, albeit somewhat dehumanised, feedback channel for activity tracking and work follow-up purposes. With Unified Collaboration, field employees get a convenient way to communicate and interact with their colleagues. In a few clicks from their mobile device, they can reach anyone by chat, call or video, and they can contribute to an on-going case resolution discussion on their Enterprise Intranet.
Field Service Management and Unified Collaboration both provide field employees with complementary tools designed for efficient remote work. The former is more of a task assignment and report type of system; whereas the latter includes the human touch helping employees outside the office to feel trusted, empowered, and ultimately completely part of their enterprise.