What is Mobile Workforce Management, and why is it important to your business?
3rd June 2019 - Throughout the service and transport sectors, a number of seemingly similar and non-intuitive terms have begun to form a modern dictionary of confusing scale and scope.
Is it CRM or FSM? Am I looking for an invoicing and scheduling system or a comprehensive, all-inclusive mobile workforce management system to run and organise my business?
With the mix of terms and functions, features and innovative approaches to running your day to day operations, we thought a short explanation to Mobile Workforce Management could help clear the air.
In this blog, we’ll sift through the haze and attempt to explain how a Mobile Workforce Management System, like JobWatch by BigChange can not only add significant value to your bottom line but bring your business to a new level of transparency and productivity.
What is Mobile Workforce Management?
Mobile Workforce Management is the automation of the entire end-to-end workflow and operations in any of the service or transport sectors. Mobile Workforce Management is also known as Field Service Management, Service Management, Job Scheduling Software and Job Management Software.
Mobile Workforce Management replaces manual planning and paper job forms with intelligent and dynamic electronic scheduling, making it easy to schedule for multiple mobile workers or resources at the same time.
In addition, Mobile Workforce Management means that mobile workers receive their jobs instantly out in the field on smartphones using native Android or iOS mobile apps. Lengthy and laborious job forms are no longer required – customised workflows are completed on the mobile device, and the job can be completed instantly in the field, allowing the customer to be invoiced immediately.
Why so many names for the same thing?
There are two prime reasons for the seemingly endless interchange of names ‘defining’ the array of CRM based technologies currently on the market; chiefly functionality & company branding.
Expanded functionality combined with the growing tool-box of mobile, and desktop-based service management platforms have caused a degree of mass confusion, and distinct systems overlap creating a dizzying collection of product and service names.
From Field Service Management, Job Scheduling Software, Service Management platforms and Job Management Software to integrated CRM’s and all in one platforms, the names and subtle nuances can be confusing to even the most refined eye.
What Makes Mobile Workforce Management different?
In practice, all of the above terminologies intends to reflect the expansive nature and potentially vital system functions which can simplify your business. What differentiates these various field service management systems from a comprehensive mobile workforce management platform is the ability to:
- Create schedules for mobile employees and back office staff
- Dispatch mobile employees to new jobs, with access to service histories
- Two-way communication between mobile employees and back office in real-time
- Perform capacity planning for high-volume or low-volume periods
- Track employees en route to different jobs to facilitate smart scheduling
- Log job start, completion and travel time to track driver behaviour
- Track average length of service engagements and complications which may arise
- Track employee performance
- Connect with a CRM or other system of record to streamline operations
Mobile Workforce Management systems often incorporate a number of existing tracking, invoicing, and customer relationship management (CRM) processes with a cloud-based element which previously was not fully integrated within a business’s CRM platform.
Recent research from Forrester suggests “the global mobile workforce management market is expected to grow with approximately 13% CAGR during the forecast period from 2017-2023.”
CRM vs Mobile Workforce Management platform
In simplest terms, a Mobile Workforce Management platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange integrates all basic CRM functions, with the ability to link field technicians with back office staff and a customer portal seamlessly through the cloud.
Whereas most off the shelf CRM typically provides the barebones customer information and basic service details, a fully optimised Mobile Workforce Management system like JobWatch by BigChange can use this service data to instantly form invoices, update comprehensive service and customer histories and provide real-time driver updates while demanding mandatory safety and systems protocols are followed 100% of the time.
Why now? What is driving the rise of Mobile Workforce Management solutions?
“Rising popularity of mobile devices, better network connectivity and expansion of the scale of operations in organisations have increased the demand for mobile workforce management and related technology. Small and medium level enterprises utilise these technologies extensively due to the majority of the personnel being in the field and a need to monitor and aid them in carrying out their activities with minimal resources.”
Recent studies have indicates that by 2020 in the U.S. alone, the number of mobile workers will increase to 105 million. Concurrently, the falling prices of tablets and smartphones, as well as the growth of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend in the workplace have caused a noticeable push to bring these mobile elements into the company purview.
Additionally, the “latest innovations in computing and mobile broadband technology are the key drivers for the growth of the mobile workforce management market. As mobile ownership is increasing, more companies are adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies which have many advantages like employees can use devices they are familiar with and work flexible hours which increases productivity and companies can save the cost on hardware.”
With an effective Mobile Workforce Management platform, like JobWatch by BigChange your company can expect:
- 10% reduction in fuel costs
- 8 hours of saved admin time, per mobile worker per month
- 10 hours of road time saved by each mobile worker per month
- 4 additional jobs completed per service vehicle per month
- 0 failed jobs
- Allows for real-time customer portal and live SMS updates
JobWatch by BigChange brings it all together
BigChange’s 5-in-1 Mobile Workforce Management platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors driving business success. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service request to optimise your staffs strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel.
Through the use of an integrated platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.
Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile Workforce Management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance. By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve First-Time Fix Rate.