People resist change, even when it’s good. This is especially true when working routines and tools change. Field staffers are no exception; they’re constantly on the go, so they need for their productivity tools to be seamless and easy. This is where well-designed mobile workforce apps can really help.
How can custom mobile workforce apps help field staff?
Your field staff won’t use their new app if they don’t believe it will help. That’s the bottom line. Here are some big benefits you can show them.
Streamline administrative chores.
Whether your mobile team is doing sales or field repairs or home health care, there’s one common denominator: they don’t like doing paperwork.
Maybe your company uses paper forms for field staff to complete in real time and then key in at the end of the day; maybe your field staff gives their completed paper forms to back office staff to enter. If your processes have been updated more recently than that, you may have provided tablets for field staff to use. Maybe your company has adopted a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, but your team members choose their own third-party apps to manage their tasks. You can do better than that.
Mobile workforce apps provide convenient, real-time data capture on the job site…
Your field staffer is ready to go to a job site. The mobile task view shows who, what, where, when, and why at a glance.
While on the job site, the staffer can pick values from dropdown lists to document findings, update statuses, and log activity. Time and location can be tracked automatically. Where appropriate, the staffer can take before-and-after photos of the job site. There can even be a customer signature field to confirm that the job is completed.
All this happens easily and seamlessly as the work progresses. There’s no paperwork hanging over your field staff at the end of the day. That’s a reason to celebrate!
…including expense reporting and documentation.
Another boon to field staff who use personal vehicles for work is the ability to submit mileage and expenses with just a few clicks. Mobile workforce apps can support this in real time as well.
Submitting their expenses sooner means they can be reimbursed sooner, with less administrative overhead for both the field staff and the back office team.
Reduce travel time.
Mobile timekeeping and jobsite logging have another benefit for field staff: fewer trips to the office. They don’t need to clock in at the office before heading to the first job site or return to the office to catch up on paperwork and clock out at the end of the day. This maximizes their productive time while ensuring that your data is entered in a timely way.
Enhance personal safety.
Let’s face it: solo field work can carry some personal risk. Mobile workforce apps can incorporate location awareness and automatic alerts. For example, a realtor may need to show a home in a high-crime area. An HVAC technician may have an on-site accident. A home-health professional’s car may break down or, worse, be involved in a collision.
Your app can alert your back office team if a field staffer is at a location longer than expected, for example, so they can follow up to make sure your employee is okay and send assistance as needed.
How does this help the back office team?
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. In other words, streamlining administrative chores for your field staff will also benefit your back office staff.
Reduce paperwork backlog.
How much time does your back office team spend chasing after paperwork from the field? If it’s not zero, it’s too much, isn’t it?
Even the most conscientious field workers fall behind on data entry sometimes if they can’t simply capture it in real time. Everyone benefits from timely data entry. Reports are consistently accurate, and invoicing is much more efficient.
Enhance network safety.
For companies with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies in place, custom mobile workforce apps can offer better data security. Too often, in the absence of an official company app, employees fill the void with haphazard collections of third-party apps to get the job(s) done. By eliminating these workarounds, you can reduce exposure of your company’s data to unauthorized third parties.
More and more organizations are embracing mobile workstyles. Managed appropriately, this change can bring benefits to both field personnel and the back office team. Well-designed mobile workforce apps are keystones for realizing the benefits of mobility.
Click here to learn more about Susco’s work developing mobile workforce apps.