As field service work goes digital, it’s important that employees who work outside of the office are able to use mobile devices equipped with the appropriate software to complete their work. Enterprise mobility has a number of benefits for field service organizations. Businesses that implement enterprise mobility have faster operations and are more efficient at gathering data and producing reports. Their workforces are more productive, since field service workers are being dispatched in a smart and more efficient way. On top of that, they are able to collaborate more easily with other colleagues in the field and the back office. Lastly, enterprise mobility makes operating remotely easier.
Every field service business should consider implementing enterprise mobility, and here’s how:
#1 - Decide Whether to Buy New Devices or Implement a BYOD Policy
When implementing enterprise mobility, it’s important to decide not only what kind of mobile devices your field service technicians will carry, but also whether you’ll be buying new devices for them to use exclusively at work or encouraging a Bring Your Own Device policy (BYOD). Some businesses choose to let their technicians to bring their own devices, others prefer devices that are dedicated for work use only. For a successful implementation, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page about the kind of devices you’ll use.
#2 - Start Doing Tasks on Mobile
While younger generation field service workers may already be accustomed to doing everything from online banking to communicating on their phones, veteran workers may need some coaxing before fully going digital. This is why you should try out a mobile initiative first before fully implementing enterprise mobility. That way veteran field service workers who aren’t comfortable relying on mobile devices for work will slowly start to get acclimated to using them to complete assignments. When you do decide to fully implement mobility, both your veteran and younger field service workers will be more likely to be on board for the new change, and feel comfortable and confident that they can successfully use it in their work.
#3 - See What Functions Departments Need
Knowing what each department of your field service organization needs will help you come up with a mobility strategy that will be helpful and benefit both your company and employees. The great value of mobility is in how you use data gathered in the field. Knowing who needs what data to help improve their workflow will enable you to develop a strategy that can help make your business successful using enterprise mobility.
#4 - Pick a Field Service Software that Works with the Back Office
Making sure your field service technicians have access to the ERP system will empower them to do their jobs well. This is why you want to pick a field service software that can be integrated with already existing systems in the back office. There’s no point in implementing a software that can’t connect to your CRM or ERP. If the field service software and the back office are linked up, the data received won’t just be seen by the field service workers on the frontlines, it’ll also be received by the people in the back office who are in charge of dispatching workers and sending out invoices. Before you purchase a field service software, it’s important to ensure the one you’re considering can connect to your CRM/ERP.
#5 - Make Sure the Field Service Software is Available Offline
Field service technicians often have to work in dangerous or controlled conditions where they may not have access to wifi or a data signal. So ensuring that the field service software they use is available offline is incredibly important. That way, they can always use the software no matter where their work environment is located. Since technicians use field service software for many different things such as completing dynamic checklists and reporting, it’s crucial that technicians are still able to do their jobs even without a network connection. Having remote network access is what makes enterprise mobility truly mobile.
#6 - Purchase Mobile Workforce Management Software and Pilot It
Now it’s time to review your options for mobile workforce management and field service software. Pick the company that best covers all of the previously mentioned steps and suits your company’s specific needs. Then, do a pilot with a small group of techs who use the new software for a particular project. With that done, you can consider rolling out the software to the whole company.
#7 - Implement Field Service Software and Deploy Your Mobile Strategy
Once you’ve decided what devices to use, and your field service techs have gotten comfortable with working on mobile, and you’ve learned how each department of your company will use the data that comes from the software, it’s now time to deploy your mobile strategy. Efficiently dispatch techs out into the field using mobile workforce management software, and with techs equipped with handheld devices that include field service software, you’ll start receiving useful data in no time.
#8 - Review Data Collected Regularly
The data you’ll receive from your field service software can be incredibly useful if you take the time to carefully review it. From data, you can learn how your technicians are performing and how productive they are. You’ll see how many service calls they can complete in one day, and what work they completed on the calls thanks to reports. You’ll be able to more insightfully and efficiently allocate resources and techs because you’ll be able to see areas that need improvement. Reviewing this data is part of having an effective predictive maintenance strategy.
#9 - Establish an Occasional Training Schedule
Even after you’ve managed to successfully implement enterprise mobility, it’s important to make sure that there are regular trainings for your employees. Technology is always changing and who knows when you’ll have to install a new update or process that they’ll have to learn. That’s why there should be regular training so that technicians continue to grow even more comfortable with their mobile devices and using software applications for work. You don’t want to implement an update a few months later and have things grind to an halt because your techs don’t feel comfortable using the mobile device anymore. Well-trained techs are able to adapt to the changes and evolutions of software and the devices they use in their jobs.