mobile workforce automation
Arūnas Eitutis | 12 August 2021

Challenges and Benefits of Mobile Workforce Automation Working Remotely

The remote working model isn’t a new thing. Freelancers and independent contractors have been doing it for decades. But in the past years, the number of remote workers increased significantly. Coronavirus surged remote work and showed that it’s the only way to keep business running during a crisis.

Many traditional office workers easily transitioned, but it’s not that simple for field service teams and mobile workers. If you’re managing a team that’s always on the go, you know how important it is to ensure smooth work management and mobile workforce automation. 

In this article, we want to guide you through the basics of mobile workforce management for mobile employees. And how technologies can make the process of mobile workforce management much easier.

Why is mobile workforce management important?

Businesses during the COVID-19 crisis had to choose – stop working or move the workforce online. Most of them chose the latter, which proved to be a solution that could last beyond the pandemic. 

However, many were unprepared, and they couldn’t guarantee that each employee would have a stable internet connection, workstation, and time to work without distractions. 

Unlike traditional office employees, field workers have faced different problems such as a lack of or inefficient management. So it became clear that current tools and methods need to be improved.

The trends of mobile workforce management

Field service companies usually have office employees and field technicians and engineers. While office workers do most of the work online, it’s not that easy for technicians. 

The management part faces a challenge to ensure smooth and reliable employee supervision working remotely. And as many examples have shown with the proper tools and management system, everything is possible. 

One of the leading solutions to ensure effective management for the mobile workforce is mobile workforce management software or FSM. It’s a digital system designed to help field service companies control operations, plan and track tasks, ensure real-time communication, and manage remote teams. 

It’s a transformational way to reach your team from wherever you are, as everything can be done on the system. You can see the real-time location of your team, allocate tasks based on availability, and finalize them using a digital signature or scanning options.

Not only does it provide more control over tasks, but it also ensures contactless work. As otherwise, without innovative management ways, companies face many challenges.

The challenges of mobile workforce management

We have noticed that many field service companies had the same concern – how can the remote management part of the company effectively manage the mobile workforce? What tools do they need to ensure that everything is on time and in place?

While we also had to send our team to work from home, it proved that it’s possible to keep the work as usual by using the right tools. 

We noticed some common challenges that management faced monitoring a mobile workforce.

  • Lack of efficient tools. Many mobile workforce management companies still rely on manual tools such as paper documents or basic Excel sheets. While it might work for a while, when the business is growing, it’s challenging to keep track of a mobile team and manage it efficiently.
  • Over or double booking technicians. Without optimized digital tools, management risks overbooking technicians, which later on can damage their work quality. An exhausted team makes more mistakes, and their productivity decreases.
  • Lower technician success rate. Each technician has their own working pace. When management doesn’t consider that, it’s easy to schedule more tasks than one can handle. Poorly done or rescheduled tasks lower the technician’s success rate and affect their morale.
  • Reduced productivity. It’s still common to see the management role as something on top of all operations and employees. But every modern business would agree that management works as guidelines and leadership to ensure effective and trouble-free work. If the company micromanages the team or doesn’t provide enough guidance, employee productivity will plummet.

The benefits of mobile workforce management

Digital field service management and mobile workforce automation tools can help companies improve operations and task planning working remotely. 

Such tools are built for mobile workforce management regardless of location. It means that it doesn’t matter where the administration is located as long as they have digital software. It allows planning and executing most of the company’s operations online. 

A client registers an issue as a task request, office employees approve it and assign the task to the nearest available technician. Then the assigned technician is sent to the location to save time. After the issue is resolved, a client can leave feedback. After that, they receive a report with a performance review and details about a task both physically or remotely.

If you integrate FSM software into your business operations, then you might also transform your business workflow. Team members wouldn’t have to come to one office, and people would be able to work remotely from their desired location. 

Reduced administrative work

Other benefits mobile workforce management software gives

  • More autonomy for employees. Traditional management tends to strip employees of their independence, as all their tasks are closely monitored. When the mobile workforce can access and plan their tasks digitally, they reduce the time spent consulting with the back office. Working speed increases, allowing technicians and engineers to do more tasks.
  • Reduced administrative work. The system shows tasks workers have to complete. They can manage this information with a few clicks of a button. When the task is finished, instead of filling out piles of documents, a mobile workforce only needs to add some data, and the system processes it.
  • Faster task allocation. FSM system gives you a real-time map to see where your team is. That means that you can see the closest available technicians and designate tasks when needed.
  • Increased productivity. A well-managed team knows their goals and steps in achieving professional success. When employees clearly know their responsibilities, they can focus on their direct tasks: less multitasking = more productivity.

Mobile workforce management solutions

Frontu FSM tool is designed for the same purpose – to accommodate the needs of field service clients and the mobile workforce. The automated system breaks physical borders and allows you to manage work remotely.

The tool equips your mobile teams with the latest software, smart scheduling, real-time task planning, and more features for a modern business. 

In summary about mobile workers

  • The rising mobile workforce calls for innovative digital management solutions;
  • Poor mobile workforce management can cause low employee morale and productivity. Many companies risk an increased employee turnover due to inefficient management;
  • Mobile workforce management offers myriads of benefits from improved productivity to workforce autonomy;
  • One of the most effective ways to manage a mobile workforce is field service management software focused on frontline workers.

Improve your mobile workforce management – book a demo.

Arūnas Eitutis
Founder & CEO

Arūnas is spearheading the Frontu efforts as the company’s CEO but still finds the time to share some of his knowledge, expertise and experience in the FSM sector through our blog.

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