In order to overcome these challenges, many companies are introducing a mobile workforce management solution. Businesses, like yours, have realised that continuing to rely on using paper-based processes is holding them back. Paper processes are no longer adequate to meet the needs of their team or the expectations of their customers.
If you are at the stage where you recognise that introducing a mobile workforce management solution is the next logical step to support and grow your business. Then this blog post discusses our top six steps to follow to ensure that the implementation of a mobile solution runs as smoothly as possible.
Evaluate your Processes
Have a look at what your processes are now, what processes do you need to keep? what processes, if any, can you ditch? Are there any steps that could be automated? Work out all the data you definitely need from each job, the information you would like and stop collecting information that is no longer required. By maintaining and building on your current processes your solution will be more intuitive for your staff to use and this will help to reduce resistance to the new technology. Mapping out the workflows, steps and the key information that you need to collect will make the process of choosing the correct solution a lot easier.
Once you have mapped out your processes and workflows you should have a good idea of the functionality that you require. With so many options available to you, have a look around at what the different systems can offer and how they would fit with your business. Not only is functionality important, you may also consider other terms such as payment types, the minimum number of users, and set up fees. Another consideration is ease of use which is vital for the adoption by your staff. Take the time to look at different demos and assess how they would fit with your needs and your staff. Further questions to ask may be the flexibility of the software, can elements be easily customised to your business? is your software provider flexible with user numbers? and what are the contract terms?
Assess your Current Technology
A mobile solution has two parts, a web-based management portal and a mobile application. As the management portal is web-based most offices should have enough computers to support the use of this. It may be more challenging to support your mobile workers, you could consider a bring your own device policy, the purchase of standard smartphones or rugged smartphones if required. Rugged smartphones are made to be much more resilient against shock, water, dust and extreme temperatures. Planning the amount of equipment required and pricing will allow you to allocate budget against this cost and may affect your choice of software.
Get Key Players on Board
It is important to include all staff who will be using the mobile solution, early on in the project. This, however, is not always possible, especially in a large organisation. Instead, you may consider recognising your key players. These tend to be Operations Managers, Managing Directors and a representative from your field workers and office admin. Getting these people involved as soon as possible is a good way to ensure that the implementation of your solution runs as smoothly as possible. These key players can also be a point of contact for their teams, being able to answer questions and queries and possibly provide training.
Break it down into Manageable Chunks
You obviously want to get the most out of your solution and use all the functionality that is applicable to your business. This, however, is unlikely to happen within the first month. Instead, consider the most important areas that need improvement and focus on these areas first. A phased approach gives your staff more time to get comfortable with your solution and naturally they will explore the further functionality and may come up with additional uses that you hadn’t even thought of.
The success of your solution won’t happen overnight and it definitely won’t happen unless you dedicate the required time. This starts at the beginning with taking the time to first choose the correct solution, second train your staff to understand the functionality and how to use it and third be patient during the bedding in period of getting your employees to actually use the system and ditch the paper processes.