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Wireless mobility for field workers

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The benefits of mobile business solutions for field service are many and wide reaching. Business drivers such as worker productivity, customer service and cost reduction are all positively influenced and the results flow directly to the bottom line profitability of the business.
According to Econz Wireless, advances in the technology of wireless  mobility has reduced costs considerably and the investment required realizing these benefits is less now than ever before. In today’s competitive marketplace a clear return on investment (ROI) must be shown – in short the numbers have got to stack up.
In developing a case for a mobile solution in field service, this article discusses the business areas positively influenced by wireless job dispatch applications and the ROI developed. It identifies areas where changes may be required within a company implementing wireless applications to ensure a positive outcome.
Using mobile devices such as phones or tablets for many mobile apps can be costly, but the technology is now available for management of small to large businesses that is affordable, measurable and brings great returns on the investment.
When companies have staff on the move or in the field, it’s difficult to track the time they start, when they end, whether they are in the right place, and if the job has been completed to the customer’s satisfaction and If you are still using paper timesheets, your payroll staff are living a nightmare.
Your field staff may be checking telephone lines, servicing appliances or photocopiers, repairing water leaks, or directing traffic. If they are salespeople managers want to know if customer calls are being made, what route they take and want their orders and sales reports to be completed as soon as possible. If in construction or using casual labour, your profit margin could be the difference between accurate timekeeping and false claims.
In addition, with fuel costs and vehicle maintenance costs at a premium, you need to know if your staff are taking detours, shopping, actually visiting the customer and when, and when the allocated job was finished. In addition, you need to know what parts were consumed, or deliveries made, orders taken and all the other things that create customer confidence and loyalty in your firm.

Business benefits of mobility
Deploying a mobile business solution is a powerful way for a company to gain competitive advantage. Many of yesterday’s early adopters have become today’s feared market leaders, as they use mobility to build capabilities that further separate themselves from those that have been slow to the game. In addition, changes in the wireless market are converging to promote wireless technologies adoption rates. Key factors include:
* Desire to make mobile workers more accountable;
* Recognition of current inefficiencies;
* Importance of customer service;
* Comfort with use of cell phones; and
* Drive to improve bottom line.

Field service issues
Within field service industries a number of attributes make them prime candidates to benefit from a mobile business solution such as wireless job dispatch and management. Central to this is the fact that managing field service is often difficult to say the least.  Poor response times, errors, lost paperwork, time wastage and customer service issues are just a few of the challenges faced.
Specifically, problems can be identified in the following areas:
* Communicating with and managing mobile workers;
* Data entry and the errors that result from paper-based job management and time/attendance systems;
* Large time gap between work completion and invoicing;
* Managing service level agreements;
* Vehicle costs, cell phone and other communication costs; and
* Maintaining or improving customer service standards.
These issues affect the business in various ways however they all have one thing in common – they hit where it hurts most – the bottom line.
The Econz Wireless suite of solutions provides employers with time & attendance, employee tracking, workforce management, dispatching and GPS tracking information.
* Econz Timecard GPS collects field workers’ time, attendance, jobs & task information, as well as sales calls, from a smart phone or tablet.
* Management is able to view employee location on Google Maps along with over 26 management reports.
* GPS Tracking information such as breadcrumb trails, speed triggers, idle time and GeoFence technology enables accurate description of mobile and field employees’ movements. Information may be captured by team leaders or individuals.
* Timecard integrates  integrates into over 100 accounting and payroll packages including Pastel, VIP, PayDay, etc, and is network-independent.
* Timecard offers GPS Tracking and is available on BlackBerry, Android, and Apple iOS devices.

  • roy lenhardt

    Great discussion. While the cost per device might be on a slight downward trend, the number of mobility device users is growing exponentially and therefore so are the overall mobile expenses to the company. Technological advances in telecom expense management can help CIOs, CFOs and Procurement Directors reverse the upward expense trend. If a qualified telecom expense management firm is used you can realize 20-35% in cost reductions. They can make it easy for your company to save money. Money that you can put towards additional profits or possibly buying more mobile devices/plans. Again, excellent discussion. Roy Lenhardt, Three Rivers Telecom Consulting