An operations manager sits alone in their office, tired from a long day of fulfilling customer demands and shifting operational priorities. Scattered on their desk are work orders from the day (and days prior) that need to be closed and recorded in the system—which, if delayed or inaccurate will cause performance metrics to show poorly and undoubtedly result in a phone call or visit from the Boss!
So, before going home for the day, they must review and approve timesheets, submit reports summarizing the work for the day and ensure work order packages for tomorrow’s jobs are ready to be scheduled and dispatched to the available field workers. They want to check these things off their to-do list but do not have the requisite information or the tools to do so quickly and accurately. Without such information, they have no way or really knowing if the assigned jobs are being performed efficiently, whether assets are being utilized most effectively, and if customer commitments are being duly satisfied. Exasperated, they grab their things to leave, dreading coming back to work tomorrow, because they know it holds more of the same.
This scenario plays out all too often at utility companies and public services agencies. Thus, it is time for its operations leaders to think differently and formulate new approaches. The good news is Software as a Service (SaaS) is providing answers that were previously unimaginable.
SaaS workforce mobility solutions leverage cloud computing platforms, and internet-connected devices we use every day, such as smartphones and tablets, allowing field workers to process critical work transactions, when they are being performed in field locations. Transactions are electronically submitted—directly from mobile devices—to back office systems, giving operations leaders immediate access and real-time visibility to data and other information required to carry out reporting requirements and make quality decisions in support of their operations. Additionally, SaaS workforce mobility solutions alleviate the need for bulky and expensive laptop systems that aren’t always efficient in support of dynamic field work. Overall, such solutions are essential in helping operations personnel efficiently create, process, complete, and track daily work transactions in real-time, thus, improving the performance of field workers and minimizing daily operational costs.
For example, a field worker uses a SaaS mobile app that allows them to receive an electronic work order directly on their smartphone or tablet. Native GPS features efficiently navigate them to the job site and the app accurately records relevant travel details (to be used later for more accurate job estimating!). Once on the job, the field worker records job-related information using digital data collection forms on their smartphone or tablet (i.e., an inspection or job-hazard analysis form). They can quickly and easily access reference documents such as operating procedures or training videos, and electronically record all required information, snap a few photos to illustrate the work performed then complete the work order with a simple tap of a button—again, all on their smartphone or tablet. The finished work order and all associated information are electronically transmitted to back-office systems allowing for timely updates to customers, operational performance metrics and daily work summary reports.
Best-in-class SaaS Mobile Workforce platforms such as the Smart Mobile Workforce (SMW®) solution, gives you the ability to perform the transactions described above in an easy-to-use, intuitive interface while leveraging the native capability of your smart device [for instance, voice-to-text features, personal assistant (e.g., Siri), GPS tracking, etc.]. SMW® is a comprehensive workforce engagement solution that ties all your work management transactions and information together into one system thereby giving you immediate access to the most critical pieces of information necessary for optimal performance management, tracking and reporting. Moreover, SMW® also works in the offline mode allowing users to carry out transactions even in the absence of an internet connection and, it can easily be deployed on your iOS, Android or Windows devices.
- Increased customer engagement
- Improved asset utilization as performance information is summarized in real-time allowing for better "fix/replace" decisions
- Elimination of costly manual data entry requirements due to digital data collection methods (e.g., job hazard analysis, work verification, vehicle inspection, safety observations, etc.)
- Decreased IT costs as SaaS applications do not require expensive IT infrastructure and leverage inexpensive cell phone/tablet technologies
So, get started now and begin to leverage the power of SaaS and smart devices to improve your field operations. For more information, visit Smart Mobile Workforce.