In December 2013, Frost & Sullivan published a study about the Mobile Workforce Management space in the North American marketplace, which includes the United States and Canada. The mobile workforce management (MWM) software category encompasses those solutions that use wireless and location technologies to locate, track, and/or manage mobile field workers and their work processes. This is an employee-facing mobile solution category that is sometimes labeled “mobile field service management,” “field force management, “or “field service automation.
According to the study, The North American mobile workforce management market is expanding in terms of competitors, capabilities, and customer expectations. An important part of driving this growth is credited to investments being made in utilizing powerful mobile devices that serve as a major enabler for companies to quickly absorb, analyze, and react to realms of previously-inaccessible field data.
Today’s work environment is fast-paced and flexible. Your enterprise mobility solution for field service must be the force driving your team forward in the field and not holding them back. This requires a mobile solution with both a strong infrastructure that can be easily extended to support growing numbers of employees, and a flexible platform that can be easily changed and adapted to real-time needs in the field, to new company policies and to new ideas from your team.
Visibity & ROI
Mobile communications technology has made the benefits of using workforce management software tools even easier to achieve. Today’s optimized service business is hi-tech, passing all job information to mobile devices instantly. The communication travels both ways. Resources update and close their jobs on their mobile device, and provide updates on their progress so you can spot delays earlier. Customers can give electronic signatures, resources can issue receipts and you can rearrange appointments – all using the resource’s mobile device. Gaining the maximum return on investment from your mobility solution for field service means that mobile communication is essential, and even if you use subcontractors, you can still communicate using text messages or other mechanisms regardless of the mobile device used. Mobile data, not speech, is the most efficient way of communicating. It may sound impersonal but if you’re still using paper, or voice, then you’re losing time. Your resources need to know about their schedule, and you both need to communicate changes from the initial plan.
By integrating mobile communications into your day to day mobility solution for field service delivery plan, you can gain tremendous improvements in resource productivity, customer responsiveness and satisfaction. Ultimately, satisfied customers help drive retention and profitability for the service organization as seen in Aberdeen’s State of Service Management: Outlook for 2013 research (January 2013) where organizations that reached a 90%+customer satisfaction achieved an annual 6.1% growth in service revenue, 3.7% growth in overall revenue, and an 89% current level of customer retention.
The bottom line is that forgetting to invest in an enterprise mobility solution for field service could greatly reduce the expected return on your workforce management software investment, and potentially prevent you from fully realizing the benefits of an optimized field service chain.