It wasn’t all that long ago that the phrase “mobile workforce management solutions” would’ve described something wildly different from what it does today. Even as recently as twenty years ago, that phrase wouldn’t have had much meaning to anyone in the mobile workforce.
Back then, “mobile workforce management,” or MWM, would’ve likely referred to a supervisor overseeing a mobile team. They’d work with a dispatcher, a scheduler, and then each individual employee in the field. They’d communicate over land lines or not-so-smart cell phones.
It was pretty tedious work back then and there were lots of avenues for mistakes.
Things are quite a bit different today. A field technician might have a laptop in her van or truck connected to the Internet via a mobile hotspot, and a smartphone with work software installed on it, and maybe even a smartwatch for added functionality.
All of these devices need to work together seamlessly to get the job done, just as that aforementioned supervisor of yesteryear needed to coordinate their team in real-time. Mobile workforce management solutions can take care of all that, leaving humans free to focus on other tasks.
Put simply, mobile workforce management solutions are collections of hardware devices — known in the IT world and at the enterprise level as “endpoints” — and software applications, aimed toward industries that utilize field service teams, sales teams, telecommuters, freelancers, and other remote or on location workers.
Each employee in the field is carrying one or more devices. They may also have even more devices in their car, van, or truck.
A full suite of mobile workforce management systems would include all of those endpoints, as well as the software installed on each device. And back at the office, IT professionals can manage those devices remotely, or update software for your BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) crowd who’d rather use their personal phone at work than need to lug around two.
This is of course a lot of tech-heavy stuff to deal with. Most companies aren’t staffed to take care of all this, or to keep an eye on compliance and regulatory issues as they deploy an MWM system. That’s why you’ll need a fully-packaged mobile workforce management solution, dished up by an experienced company that takes the time to appreciate your needs.
Mobile workforce management solutions are primarily aimed at companies involved in field service work. If that seems like a fairly broad description, that’s because it is. MWM solutions can be beneficial to pretty much any sort of team with employees working in the field.
The most obvious (and common) MWM deployments involve companies working in construction, delivery services, cable and telecom services, and emergency services (first responders). However, MWM can be applied to just about any company that has the vision to invest in it.
Companies like Uber use real time communications and GPS location updates. Or a large local food chain orchestrating their delivery drivers like DoorDash. Or remote sales teams sending their locations, sales orders, and more back to HQ. All while HQ is sending them customer information, product details, and other important info right back.
Perhaps the biggest benefactors of your company’s mobile workforce management solution are the people least likely to even know you’re using one: your customers.
Through an efficient MWM deployment, your customers can be kept updated accurately with arrival times. They can be informed of any last-minute changes required to their preparations for your incoming service team. They can utilize web tools to offer feedback live, conveniently and privately.
These MWM systems can offer employees and customers alike added security. Everyone is safer when your field team is able to alert customers precisely about their arrival times, presenting validating information to confirm identities and authenticate services.
The benefits of full utilization of mobile workforce management solutions can positively impact the way you conduct business. MWM is really only limited by your budget and your imagination.
An MWM suite can facilitate full communications for your team across the board, from supervisors, dispatchers and to employees in the field. Everyone would have clear lines of audio communication, or even video if you wanted to up your telecom ante.
Not everyone would need full audio-video, of course, but it would go a long way toward bolstering your Section 503 compliance. Which can benefit employees and customers with disabilities in innovative new ways.
With MWM, all of the staff who need it would have access to scheduling, planning, job order tracking, employee tracking, company asset tracking, customer information, GPS location management, real-time internal or external situational or emergency alerts, remote timesheet access or management, HRM software, tools for talent management, and more. And all of that would be available on the fly, dynamically updated to everyone and by everyone in real-time.
The benefits don’t begin or end with each field job, either. With MWM, your company can easily track insightful analytics that can help fine tune the company’s efficiency across the board.
Imagine what sort of cost-cutting, time-saving measures your company could undertake if you had access to accurate, to-the-millisecond start, complete, and travel times? Or the ability to track employee performance, service engagement timing, or data on which of your products are being installed the quickest, and where?
If your company is new to these advanced mobile workforce management concepts, you might not be as prepared for the security implications that come along with MWM solutions.
Juggling all of these devices will require an endpoint management solution that best suits your company’s needs. CTS offers strategic planning services for mobility programs that can help your company optimize outcomes, maximize uptime, and realize the full potential of mobile first deployments.
Your employees are only human, and humans inevitably make mistakes. The one drawback to mobile workforce deployments is that each device serves as a standalone attack vector — a potential point of entry for cybercriminals — and that means each device could potentially be one easily-made mistake away from exposing your entire company to risks.
That is without adequate endpoint management tools.
The right endpoint management solution can mitigate the risks posed by human error, allowing you to track lost or stolen devices. It can shutdown or remote-wipe endpoints to prevent critical data or IP from falling into the wrong hands. It can enable your IT staff with all of the tools they’ll need to ensure your customers, your employees, and your data remain safe 24/7.
All of this mobility workforce management stuff sounds great, but where does your company start? Well, you’re doing the first step already — researching ways of improving your company’s efficiency, security, communications, and more.
The next step is to contact CTS to learn more about our mobility workforce management solutions, including our revolutionary FOIAB: Field Office in a Box.
With our FOIAB service, CTS will do all of the heavy lifting — figuratively and literally — to prepare a mobile workforce suit custom tailored to your specific needs. Using our deep contact sheet of top tier vendors, CTS will procure all of the equipment, software, and accessories necessary for your deployment.
Next we’ll help get you enrolled in just the right MDM, EMM, or UEM endpoint management solution for your deployment. We’ll help get you configured from top to bottom, too, with company policies, security policies, and regulatory compliance at the root of everything we do for you.
Once we’ve built a tailored solution for your deployment, CTS will go through the process of packaging everything for you, recycling packing materials and presenting your company with a ready-to-go, out-of-the-box solution that’s ready to start making an impact from the start.
Our involvement doesn’t end there, either. CTS offers training and ongoing support so you’re never left feeling overwhelmed. Before you know it your company will be reaping the rewards of an advanced mobility workforce system.
Let’s face it, folks: the old tried-and-true methods of managing a field team remotely simply aren’t going to cut it in a competitive field of 21st century companies using modern mobility first practices.
Gone are the days of handheld radios, clipboards, physical punch cards, and huge stacks of paper. The overburdened office staff struggling to keep up with the growing demands of data entry is a thing of the past, too.
The applications of those “old school” systems are growing more and more limited by the day, and in their place are smart, agile, fully scalable mobile workforce management solutions that cut wasteful practices in every manner there is. Wasted time, wasted materials, wasted fuel, wasted resources … wasted talent. All of that is null and void in the digital age.
These days, customers expect services to be cost-conscious, efficient, environmentally friendly, and fast. They expect their services to show up on their schedule, not that of your company. And some consumers demand human interactions, while others find that to be archaic. In some ways, customer service itself has rolled back to a sort of “Wild West” status.
CTS can help your company realize its digital mobility evolution in an affordable, user-friendly manner, without cutting corners or dumping a ton of advanced tech in your lap that no one at your company knows how to make good use of.
Contact us today to learn more about how CTS can help you find the mobile workforce management solutions that are right for your deployment.