Overview of Mobile Workforce Management
The term “mobile workforce” refers to a group of employees providing service in the field, often on-site with a customer.
“Mobile workforce management (MWM)” refers to the suite of tools—including processes, software, applications, networks, and related services—used to schedule, monitor, track, and analyze the performance of mobile teams as they deliver services and support your customers. Usually these are SaaS (or Software as a Service) tools meaning they are cloud based and delivered on demand.
Mobile workforce management solutions are designed to help company leaders more effectively manage employees in the field while they interface with customers. While functionality can vary by industry, most MWM solutions include tools to:
- Create and automate schedules for mobile employees
- Dispatch mobile employees to new jobs
- Communicate with deskless workers in real time
- Perform capacity planning for high-volume or low-volume periods
- Track employees en route to different jobs
- Log job start, completion, and travel time
- Track average length of service engagements
- Track employee performance against services promised
- Connect with a CRM or other system of record
The Benefits of Mobile Workforce Management
Though proper mobile workforce management requires an investment, many companies who employ deskless workers are realizing the benefits of getting it right:
When you arm your mobile workers with the resources they need at the precise moment they need them, they’re able to spend their time focusing on what really matters: customers. Mobile workforce management streamlines scheduling, dispatching, and communication through centralized tools. That means less down time, fewer inefficiencies, and ultimately, better performance.
Planning for capacity, understanding where your deskless workers are, and resolving incidents is nearly impossible if you don’t have a clear view into day-to-day operations. Mobile workforce management aims to provide transparency into otherwise cloudy details with real-time status updates, location tracking, and seamless integration into other systems.
Enhanced customer service
Customer service is a driving factor for any business with a mobile workforce. But delays, missed appointments, and a lack of communication threaten your ability to provide excellent customer interactions. Proper mobile workforce management gives your deskless workers access to key client information, real-time communication tools, and optimized routing so they can ensure personalized, prepared service every time.
What is Mobile Workforce Management Software?
Sure, the benefits of successful mobile workforce management are enticing. But implementing best practices to actually reap those benefits can be daunting, and failing to get it right can lead to major inefficiencies.
Mobile workforce management software ties everything together with tools to help you automate schedules, track mobile workers, and capture crucial details. The right software should make it easy to oversee your mobile workforce operations and empower your deskless workers to be more productive and efficient.
Mobile Workforce Management and Field Service Management
Field service management is often discussed in the context of mobile workforce management. However, understanding the difference between the two helps maximize the value of a mobile workforce.
The key difference between mobile workforce management and field service management is this: MWM optimizes processes around human assets, while field service management optimizes processes around physical assets. Each is extremely beneficial when applied to the right use case, so spend some time identifying your business’s unique needs before choosing a solution.
See how the field service management landscape is changing and how to stay ahead of the curve.
Trends and Challenges Shaping Mobile Workforce Management
Modern workforce trends are putting new pressure on companies—and their mobile employees—to deliver exceptional service at a moment’s notice. Here are the top trends and challenges shaping mobile workforce management today and in the future.
Data-Based Decision Making
Big data is here to stay. Data collection is faster and more pervasive than ever before, and the industry is expected to continue growing. Collecting data on customer history, interactions, preferences, behavior, and so much more brings valuable insight for businesses—but only if you know what to do with it.
Data collection and data-based decision making is a crucial part of managing a mobile workforce. By analyzing data points around customers and workers–like travel time, appointment length, and survey results–managers can make important decisions about the mobile workforce as a whole.
But capturing the right data and leveraging that data properly is a giant hurdle for companies going it alone. Organizations with a deskless workforce are realizing the value of mobile workforce management software that captures and analyzes essential data for key insights and informed decision-making.
High Customer Expectations
Customer expectations are higher than ever, and companies that put the customer experience front and center are seeing the most success. In fact, customers who receive excellent service are likely to spend 140% more than those who don’t.
These high expectations present unique challenges for a mobile workforce. How can you best accommodate your customers’ schedules? Can your scheduling and dispatching tools keep up with customer demand? How can your field employees better deliver on your brand promise when they are interfacing with customers?
Mobile workforce management software is designed to navigate these challenges. The right tool can boost overall customer satisfaction by ensuring real-time communication, scheduling, and dispatching, and by centralizing key client information.
In the past, mobile employees struggled to stay connected to the main office. An employee would arrive at the beginning of the day, get a schedule of jobs, and head out to complete them. If they ran into issues along the way, they had to call in to the main office or wait until they returned at the end of the day to get it resolved.
With modern mobile workforce management tools, employees in the office and out can be more agile and collaborative. Information can be collected and imported into the CRM straight from the field in real-time, and employees can access customer data on the go to ensure they are prepared for the job.
Modern mobile workforce solutions are much better equipped to handle the unpredictability of the workday, and everyone benefits as a result:
- Mobile workers can stay connected throughout the day with real-time access to job locations, customer information, and schedule updates..
- Schedulers and managers can see team performance in real time, communicate about schedule changes, and analyze productivity.
- Customers receive more accurate arrival times and employees who are better prepared to provide the service they need.
Complexity of a Blended Workforce
Things were far simpler for businesses when the majority of employees worked full-time and delivered customer service from nine to five on weekdays. However, the homogenous workforce may be a thing of the past.
These days, it’s common for an organization to have a mix of full-time employees, part-time employees, and contractors performing work in the field. But this presents a new layer of complexity and often leads to scheduling issues, poor communication, and mistakes in customer data.
That’s why a mobile workforce management system needs to be equipped to handle the needs of businesses that rely on contractors, while providing full functionality for full-time employees. A great mobile workforce management solution can automate scheduling, connect disparate information, improve communication, and capture customer information for all workers—all in one centralized location. That means your deskless and fixed-location workers can operate efficiently and focus on what really matters: customers.
Software to Help Manage Your Mobile Workforce
As the mobile workforce evolves, it’s crucial that organizations provide the proper tools to help their deskless workers succeed. A modern mobile workforce management solution can collect and analyze key data, streamline communication, automate scheduling, and arm mobile workers with the resources needed to exceed customer expectations.
Skedulo’s mobile workforce management solution offers deep insights and analytics, real-time communication and scheduling, and a mobile-first approach to boost your mobile workers’ efficiency and productivity.