When most people hear the words "Mobile Workforce" they think corporate guys with cellphones working with clients and on business trips. But when you get down to it, there is no workforce more mobile than field service. After all, your teams spend their days traveling from client to client providing on-site service to a dozen or more different locations every day. And you have every reason to equip them with the best possible mobile workforce technology to enable efficiency both when en-route in the vehicles and on site providing service to clients.
Today, we're here to talk about the five leading mobile technologies for a field service team and how they can enhance every aspect of the services provided to the customer.
Interactive GPS Navigation
Route planning is one of the most important steps in field service navigation. Both before your teams set out in the morning and re-routing in response to traffic or schedule changes. Consumer routing can't always help you dodge obstacles, find the fastest speed-limit route to your destination, or conveniently incorporate gas and lunch stops along the way.
The ideal solution is a navigation system that can accept routes sent from HQ and from nearby devices. This way, new routes can be intelligently planned and drivers can respond hands-free to the most recent navigation updates.
Team and Vehicle Tablets
Depending on your type of field service, there are many different uses for a utility tablet or IPad provided to each team and vehicle. Team members riding passenger can sit as navigators, updating the best possible route based on digital, visual, and HQ-provided information. They can also control the sound system of compatible vehicles without interfering with the driver.
On the job, tablets are also incredibly effective. They can be used to take pictures and video and to fill out reports quickly. Or to quickly pull up digital manuals instead of carrying around books or flash drives. Interacting with customers, they can be used to collect signatures, send confirmation emails, and to show clients any parts or plans that may be necessary to complete service.
Each member of your teams should have a way to get in touch with them, and work smartphones are a good way to go if you have the budget. Utility smartphones in sturdy water-resistant cases function in many of the same ways as a work tablet and ensure that your team is always in contact. The key is having the right apps installed and a mobile hotspot to provide connection almost anywhere.
Many field service teams provide one tablet or smartphone per team, but every member of the team has a two-way radio. These are most useful in areas where signal from cellphone towers is not available but your team needs to keep in contact. They help you coordinate on-site activities, don't cost 'plan minutes' and work in any location despite the strength of the available 3-5G or wifi signal.
GPS Vehicle Tracking & Logistics
Finally, HQ should be able to track vehicles in-detail while they are out with teams. Not only is vehicle maintenance vital to team safety, but you can also collect data that will help optimize both vehicle performance and route efficiency. Logistics tracking software can tell you if anything is wrong with the vehicles while they're in motion. You can also keep track of speed and turn velocity, break usage and vehicle diagnostics.
Precise GPS tracking of your vehicles pairs with this data to show you exactly where your vehicles are and how they are moving. This allows you to provide real-time navigation, assess driver performance, and know exactly what is going on with each team.
The Right Software Makes a Big Difference
When it comes to building a cutting-edge mobile workforce, no industry has more potential use cases than field service. With the right software and equipped mobile devices, your teams can become significantly more efficient.