What You Need from a Mobile Workforce Management Solution
We’ve already identified some symptoms that show your business could benefit from a mobile workforce management solution. To most effectively solve your pains related to unhappy customers, inefficient operations, disengaged employees, untrustworthy data, and broken systems, you need to closely evaluate the functionality and capabilities of the mobile workforce solutions available.
Focus on the benefits to the people that your business touches: your customers and your employees—and not just your mobile workers, but back office employees, too. As you scale your business, your success will be measured by how you invest in your people and grow your human capital.
Mobile workforce management solutions can vary, but consider some prerequisites to ensure your chosen system will solve your business challenges and grow with your organization:
Prerequisites for a Mobile Workforce Management Solution:
- Mobile-first Product & Approach: Is it a mobile-first solution that is made for deskless employees and supports their unique needs?
- Customer Centricity: Are customers’ preferences and unique needs incorporated into scheduling and resource allocation decisions?
- Making Mobile Work Better: Are employees’ needs and preferences incorporated into the system logic?
- Supporting an Interoperable Tech Stack: Does the solution integrate into your existing systems and help connect your tech stack across your business teams?
Pillars of Capability for Mobile Workforce Management
Fundamentally, your chosen mobile workforce management solution should add value to your business and help you develop a competitive advantage. It should have these five main areas of capability: workforce management for mobile resources, scheduling and job management, mobile work execution, the end-customer experience, and platform power. Let’s go deeper into each pillar and ask some questions about solutions you may be evaluating.
Workforce Management for Mobile Resources
Your mobile workforce management solution should help manage all the information about the people that work for your business and help you make intelligent decisions when matching customers, employees, and work. It should serve as the source of truth for your mobile workers’ locations, certifications, skills, availability and any other relevant constraints that can impact the services that you deliver to customers.
Workforce Management Capability Checklist:
- Does the system manage full-time, part-time, and contract workers in the same place?
- Does the system make it easy to maintain information about employee skills, attributes, and certifications?
- Does the system easily map and visualize past, current, and future work locations, including optimal routes?
- Is the system flexible enough to manage complex and patterned availability?
- Can the system help schedulers and managers make cost-effective decisions about who works and when?
Scheduling and Job Management
Assigning and dispatching your mobile workers to wherever they need to be can be time consuming, resource intensive, and prevent your organization from becoming operationally efficient. There’s an added layer of complexity that comes with scheduling and managing jobs at multiple locations, particularly across employee and customer availability that be highly variable and non-linear. A mobile workforce management solution should reduce the burden on your schedulers and help you make intelligent scheduling decisions—reducing the cost of service, increasing worker utilization, and delivering on the promises made to your customers.
Scheduling and Job Management Capability Checklist:
- Can the system prioritize customers’ needs and preferences when choosing among available workers?
- Is there intelligence to optimize schedules to increase resource utilization? Balance workloads? Reduce travel time and costs?
- Is there a clear, visual pipeline of jobs requested, scheduled, dispatched, and completed?
- Can my team manage single jobs, shifts, recurring work, or even irregular work patterns easily with this system?
- Does the mobile workforce management solution automatically notify mobile employees of new jobs, cancelled appointment, or schedule changes?
Mobile Work Execution
True to its category name, a mobile workforce management platform should support and enable your workers when they’re traveling to and from jobs and onsite with customers. It should include a mobile-first solution that serves as a versatile tool beyond routing optimization and provides mobile workers with the guidance and capabilities they need to deliver the best customer experience. Most importantly, if well designed and enjoyable to use (taking inspiration from many consumer grade apps), the mobile app can help you retain your employees and increase their productivity.
Mobile Work Execution Capability Checklist:
- Does the job notification provide all the relevant details a mobile worker needs to understand the customer and work?
- Does the solution empower mobile workers to choose when they work? Can the system push work offers to mobile resources as well as work assignments?
- Are there integrations to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Uber, Lyft, and Waze to support workers however they travel?
- Can the app capture notes about repeat customers that may be accessed by different employees over recurring appointments?
- Does the mobile app allow employees to collect signatures from customers and save photographs of their work?
Similar to mobile workforce management, field service management also addresses work that occurs out in the field—wherever equipment needs to be installed, maintained, and repaired. The critical difference is that mobile workforce management is human-centric and helps you optimize your customer’s experiences. Look for a solution that keeps your customers connected to your business and provides a smooth experience, including timely communication and appointment updates.
End-customer Experience Capability Checklist:
- Does the scheduling and matching system respect your customer’s priorities and preferences so that they get what they need and want from your business?
- Can the vendor provide a customer scheduling portal so customers can schedule an appointment with you at their convenience?
- Can the vendor connect data between a customer scheduling portal and the other systems of record that provide or need related information?
- Can the system send an SMS to confirm an appointment with your customer and remind them that the appointment is upcoming?
- Can the system provide your customer with real-time updates when your team is en route so they know who is coming and when they will arrive?
Your chosen mobile workforce management solution should do more than just eliminate paperwork for your schedulers and mobile resources—it should connect all of the major stakeholders involved in delivering onsite service to your customers. Your solution should close the gaps between sales, finance, and HR by integrating into your tech stack and sharing data across your organization. When data moves effortlessly between your systems, all of your employees are empowered to make better decisions for your business.
Powerful Platform Capability Checklist:
- Can the platform connect workflows across functions to create seamless customer and employee experiences?
- Does the platform automatically capture details related to a job on the service record for easy sharing with other systems?
- Does the platform make your data more trustworthy to support better business decisions and an improved customer experience?
- Does the solution limit the need to calls, send emails or otherwise communicate in ways that cannot be accurately or easily tracked?
- Does the platform organize data in a consistent and structured manner so it can be easily pushed into a business intelligence tool for deeper analysis?
Find a solution for your people, not your equipment
In your search for a solution to solve the challenges facing your business, you may come across field service management software that advertises the ability to schedule and dispatch workers out in the field. These solutions are often built to manage the work of installing, maintaining, and fixing equipment and capital assets. They won’t be able to solve challenges related to the people in your business, including your customers and your employees.
The optimal solution will allow you to schedule and execute mobile work in a way that positively impacts the people across your organization and the services they provide. It will also equip you with the data you need to make better business decisions and optimize your operations. As a result, your customers will be happier and remain loyal to your company.
For more questions that you can use to evaluate different mobile workforce management solutions, download our Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Workforce Management here!