5 Things That Can Go Wrong Without Proper Mobile Workforce Management
Mobile workforce management is designed to streamline processes, increase productivity, and improve communication for deskless workers. When done correctly, it can transform mobile workforce operations to drive customer satisfaction, all while reducing administrative costs and burdens.
But successfully managing a mobile workforce doesn’t come without its challenges. Organizations often fail to address the unique obstacles deskless workers face in the field, which can lead to inefficiencies and breakdowns. Your employees—and overall business—may be in danger of some of these major pitfalls if you’re not managing your mobile workforce properly.
1. Employees struggle to manage their work, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction.
No matter the organization, employees rely heavily on proper communication to do their best work and avoid frustration. But communication is even more crucial if you have employees both in the office and in the field, as staying up-to-date is much more difficult. If your teams are using disparate communication systems or don’t have real-time access to essential information, their overall efficiency and preparedness can suffer. The same is true for communication between employees and clients, especially if deskless workers don’t have the proper tools to update customers of appointment delays or broader company news.
Mobile workforce management that doesn’t take streamlined communication into account can result in reduced employee or client satisfaction, an increase in staff turnover, a disjointed organizational message, and a variety of other problems.
Companies that properly manage their mobile workforce use tools that offer real-time communication, which can help alleviate issues and improve processes by keeping all necessary information up-to-date and accessible at all times. A more informed, better prepared workforce leads to happier, less stressed mobile workers which, in turn, leads to more satisfied customers.
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2. Schedulers and administrators are over-burdened, causing mistakes and burnout.
Scheduling both in-office and field appointments requires a great deal of time and effort. When done manually, the strain on staff schedulers can result in employee burnout and inefficient use of company resources. Traditional scheduling methods don’t offer visibility into resources and availability, so administrators must juggle the ever-changing schedules of multiple workers, track updates and delays, field time-off requests, and more—often through the use of disparate tools and spreadsheets.
The overwhelming task of manually scheduling workers can become even more cumbersome in times of crisis, when staff schedulers are faced with a sudden and massive increase in appointment scheduling. If your organization isn’t prepared to efficiently schedule and support mobile workers, your clients could suffer. This is particularly paramount in healthcare, where patients may face increased wait times, missed appointments, or unknowingly be matched with under-qualified providers. When schedulers are unable to ensure proper scheduling for patients with providers who have the right experience, qualifications, and patient history, they’re at risk for needing to reschedule and damaging provider-patient relationships.
Proper mobile workforce management requires tools that enable administrators to quickly and easily schedule appointments, gain insights into updates or delays, and match the right provider with the right client, every time. When scheduling can be automated and include essential details like travel time, route optimization, and location tracking—all in one succinct place—schedulers are relieved of manual burdens and clients are offered a better experience.
3. Capacity plans are inaccurate, so mobile workers are underutilized or overworked.
It’s impossible to correctly spread out your available workforce without an accurate breakdown of everyone’s schedule and availability. If capacity plans are outdated or inaccurate, that leads to two opposing problems:
- Large gaps of time when employees have little or nothing to do
- Double-booked or missed appointments when there aren’t enough people available (with the right qualifications) to do the job
This is frustrating for both the employee, who suddenly learns that they have multiple appointments at once (or none at all), and the customer, who is told that they will have to reschedule an existing appointment due to unavailable resources. Without visibility into your workforce capacity, it’s nearly impossible to properly plan for surges or declines in appointment requests and demand.
Successful mobile workforce management relies on visibility into your employees’ capacity. If you can see and understand your mobile workers’ availability through real-time status updates, customer demand, and location tracking, you can reduce the time spent dispatching and manually scheduling workers and ensure accountability and customer retention.
4. Disparate systems make it hard to find the right information at the right time, resulting in rework and higher expenses.
Another roadblock for managing your mobile workforce is the inability to collect, track, analyze, and access information from one consistent place. Many organizations use different tools for different purposes—from scheduling, to communication, to route optimization, to capacity planning—and must shuffle between platforms to find and record information.
Managing disconnected systems can lead to low workforce visibility and reduced business insights, costing you time and money. What’s more, if your mobile workers are depending on disparate systems for scheduling updates and customer information, they may be scrambling to stay up-to-date, organized, and prepared throughout the day.
Some companies are still relying on multiple legacy systems—as opposed to SaaS (Software as a Service) or cloud-based systems—to help them manage their workforce. This can present another obstacle, as legacy options often don’t easily integrate with other products or systems, which makes accessing correct and current information more complex for mobile workers. Additionally, legacy options cost more up front and are not easily scalable with a growing business.
Many modern organizations with a mobile workforce have replaced their legacy systems with a SaaS-based mobile workforce management platform. These types of MWM solutions connect fragmented data, provide a centralized location for operations, and reduce overhead expenses. They’re also scalable with your organization, integrate easily with other systems, and are generally more cost effective than their legacy counterparts.
The importance of choosing a legacy or SaaS-based option can hardly be overstated when considering potential risks in managing your mobile workforce. While the right mobile workforce management platform can ensure interoperability and connectedness across different systems, investing in implementing and updating legacy solutions can throw a wrench in efficiency, customer experience, and information management.
5. Data stays in silos, or is not collected at all, leading to less-informed business decisions.
One of the most important resources for any company is its data. This data could include a client history, personal or patient information, communication preferences, or any number of other indicators that shape future interactions with that customer. Such information is paramount in the healthcare industry, where there are additional laws involving who has access to it.
Failure to collect or properly utilize data could result in missed business opportunities or bad decision-making down the road. In some cases, it could lead to misinformed choices about the mobile workforce that affect the entire organization. If you’re not tracking data against higher level strategies—like resource utilization and cost of labor—you aren’t empowered to adapt and improve those strategies.
Informed mobile workforce management means taking a look at all available data and basing decisions on the insights gained from that process. In doing so, a company can streamline its future mobile workforce management with confidence knowing that they’ve collected and examined data for actionable insights.
Reduce Risk With the Right Mobile Workforce Management Solution
Many organizations are realizing the benefits of proper mobile workforce management to help simplify, schedule, and organize various departments and employees—in turn maximizing efficiency and profit. However, every company has different challenges and budgets. Choosing the right mobile workforce management platform requires research, time, and effort, but can mean the difference between happier clients, employees, and an overall more successful mobile workforce.
There are many potential pitfalls to not putting forth what’s required to ensure that your mobile workers are as efficient and connected as possible. To avoid these setbacks, it’s best to spend some time evaluating which system best fits your workforce and use case.
Skedulo’s SaaS-based mobile workforce management platform offers a solution that can streamline processes and increase operational efficiencies, saving your organization time and money. Book a demo to see how Skedulo ensures success for your mobile workforce.