There are more mobile workers than ever before as employers cater to the need for more flexible working options. More than 50% of workers now report that they work outside the main office 2.5 days a week or more. For the more traditional mobile workforce such as those out on the road completing deliveries or working remotely on a construction site, this blog post discusses a few of the signs that indicate that it is time to invest in a Mobile Workforce Solution.
Difficulty with Scheduling
Your team, your workload or both may have grown which is great news. But now your office team is beginning to struggle to schedule all jobs or deliveries. From our experience, we know that completing the scheduling process using a paper-based system is often slow and inefficient. Our client, Patterson Oil, for example, has been able to reduce the time spent on scheduling by 50% with the introduction of a mobile workforce solution. Not only has this helped to reduce this cumbersome task, but it has also helped improve their customer service. Customers now receive a text message automatically alerting them of what time their delivery is scheduled for.
When relying on a paper-based system, it can be problematic to communicate any last minute changes with your workers in the field. It can also be difficult to schedule last minute jobs efficiently as you have limited knowledge of where your workers are or what job they are completing. A mobile solution removes the ambiguity with location tracking and time, date and location stamped job sheets being synced automatically with your main office on completion. This means you have full visibility to assign any reactive jobs to your nearest mobile worker and this goes straight to the app on their mobile device.
Another advantage of using a mobile solution when it comes to scheduling is that your mobile workers no longer need to visit your main office to collect paper job sheets. All information required is now sent directly to the app on their smartphone, and similarly, all information from the field is sent back to the office. This removes the unproductive travel time at the beginning and end of your field worker’s day.
Lack of Visibility in the Field
As much as you trust your team, without a mobile workforce solution, you have no idea of where your field workers are, what job they are working on or to what standard their work is being completed. With a mobile workforce solution, you gain full visibility of your mobile workers. This increases accountability but also allows you to deliver an improved level of customer service. Now when customers contact you, you will be able to give an accurate response on why perhaps your colleague is running late or how quickly you can have someone out to respond to an emergency job.
Delayed or Slow Invoicing
Cash flow is important for any business. When relying on a paper-based system, your office staff are unable to process your invoices unless accurate, undamaged job sheets are returned to your central office. If a job goes on for weeks or even months this could result in delayed invoicing and payment. With a mobile solution, you get completed job forms daily and therefore you can even begin to introduce same-day invoicing, helping to improve cash flow.
When your workers are busy, filling in safety forms or completing paper vehicle forms isn’t always their number one priority. Consider digitising these forms as a mandatory step of their job workflow. This ensures that your records are up to date and fully compliant.
The Rising Cost of Paper
Not only do you need to calculate the cost of purchasing paper job sheets, but also the office space to store all of these. Additionally, you have to consider the time and therefore money spent on wages for the data re-entry and admin that is associated with relying on paper. Moving your job workflows to digital eradicates the need to not only purchase paper job sheets but also the time intensive admin that is associated.