The mobile workforce has been around since field service became necessary and access to VPNs for encrypting traffic became common. But as today’s enterprises are under constant pressure to do more with less, making the mobile workforce more efficient has become a top priority in industries where field service workers and other mobilized teams are common. The field workforce has significant potential to impact the company’s bottom line through more efficient scheduling, enhanced customer service capabilities and a more collaborative environment. Here are a few ways to boost the efficiency of your mobile workforce.
1) Capitalize on the cloud
Cloud computing isn’t just for large enterprises. Many smaller companies are now taking advantage of the cloud to cut costs and improve operations both inside office walls and in the field. The mobile workforce, specifically, benefits from the ability to access the most up-to-date information from any mobile device. That means your sales force can access the most current sales figures to convince a potential client to sign on the dotted line, or a field service worker can accurately determine whether a necessary part is available with a few simple clicks.
Cloud data storage also serves as an automated backup of your data. When data is stored on a physical device and the device is compromised, recovering that information isn’t always a simple task. When your data is stored in the cloud, your data isn’t affected by damage to a physical endpoint. In addition, cloud data storage is substantially more cost-effective for most businesses compared to the costs associated with an on-site data warehouse. IT demands are also minimized, as cloud services are managed and maintained by the provider – meaning no on-site software updates are necessary.
2) Choose reliable field service management software
Field service management software has a direct, positive correlation with the success of modern enterprises. The right workforce scheduling software enables you to optimize your mobile workforce through efficient scheduling – and that means getting more done in less time. Instead of wasting precious resources like mileage, fuel and time, workforce scheduling software allows you to create the most efficient course of action for every field worker each day.
With reliable field service management or a mobile workforce management software, you’re also better equipped to meet customer demands. Common issues like urgent service calls once meant the complete upheaval of a field worker’s schedule, pushing other service calls back on the schedule and frustrating customers. Enterprises using workforce scheduling software are often able to fit last-minute sales and service calls into the same-day schedule for more rapid resolution of customer issues. The end result is more satisfied customers, less service interruptions and happier employees.
3) Implement strict BYOD security policies
Implementing a BYOD policy is a cost-effective solution for many enterprises compared to the cost of providing company-supplied devices and plans. When employees are able to use their own devices, it eliminates the hassle of carrying both a personal and work device and allows them to focus on learning new software applications instead of learning a new application and device at the same time.
But BYOD policies are most effective when coupled with clear expectations and policies. With a free-reign approach to BYOD, employees may inadvertently introduce security vulnerabilities or full-on malware into the company network. Guide your team on the appropriate use of their devices while logged in to the company network and on best practices for maintaining security. While you can’t tell your employees whether they’re allowed to install a specific application on a device they own, you can require them to use programs that create distinct personal and work identities to avoid passing on security issues to the company’s network.
4) Incorporate programs that foster collaboration
While a company’s foundation may be based on the idea of a single individual, it’s collaboration that catapults most modern enterprises to success. In fact, many foundational leadership principles emphasize the idea that a leader is only as good as the accomplishments of his team. A collaborative approach to problem-solving and even day-to-day operations leads to efficiency by tapping into the collective genius of your team.
Don’t be bound by office walls. Use technology services that create a collaborative environment. Virtual conferencing enables face-to-face meetings with zero travel. Project management software allows you to propose ideas and get feedback, schedule and assign tasks, monitor progress, discuss problems and solutions and more, all without ever physically seeing another member of the team. Using these solutions, you’ll eliminate unnecessary travel time, reduce time spent on meetings, foster a sense of ownership in your team and encourage the sharing of ideas and solutions – all of which results in loyal employees who are committed to the success of the company.