Mobile workforce management (MWM) is a process that consists of various actions each helping to improve how you manage your mobile workers. For companies with multiple technicians and engineers working away from the office, tracking and managing mobile workers can be a challenge.
A lack of workforce management can begin to affect your service delivery, resulting in poor customer satisfaction scores and declining customer retention levels. But that’s where a dedicated mobile workforce management system can help.
With an efficient mobile workforce tool in place, you’ll notice an increase in the productivity of your field staff, which impacts your entire field service operations to provide a good customer experience.
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What Is Mobile Workforce Management?
Mobile workforce management is the process of managing and tracking your field staff when they’re working off-site and outside of the company office. Whether that be HVAC repairs, gas pipe installations, or routine maintenance work. It is used to improve the efficiency and productivity of your mobile workers to help maximise service delivery and provide a good customer experience.
What Is Mobile Workforce Management Software?
Mobile Workforce Management Software provides a host of digital tools that allow you to automate and digitise the process of managing your field staff. Used primarily with a mobile field service app, it prioritises the ease of communication between managers, office staff, technicians, and customers. Meaning everyone is on the same page when it comes to the delivery of services.
An automated MWM system is a by-product of most Field Service Management (FSM) Software products. This allows users to utilise FSM tools such as automated scheduling and dispatch, real-time tracking, digital invoicing, and inventory management. With these features at your disposal, you can:
- Track workers moving between jobs
- Get real-time updates on work orders
- Gather vital data insights
- Quickly dispatch and allocate field staff
Why Is Mobile Workforce Management Important?
Having a mobile workforce management system in place provides multiple opportunities for your field service operations to improve. Most importantly, it allows for jobs to be completed on time without delays meaning more jobs can be scheduled.
With the tools to deploy a management platform for mobile workers, you can expect:
- Exceptional customer management
- Improved CSAT scores
- High first-time fix rates
- Improved customer retention levels
How Mobile Workforce Management Impacts Field Workers
Mobile workforce tools impact two key areas for field staff, these are speed and visibility. Both of these areas can correlate with the use of a mobile app and device. Instead of worrying about paperwork, all the data they need regarding a job is in the palm of their hands. Including:
- Customer details
- Job location
- Digital job sheets
- Inventory required
- Cost of parts and labour
The use of a mobile device means workers won’t be worried about losing work orders or job sheets that have been hand-written. It also allows them to create an invoice and take payment for the work at the job site, which helps to speed up the process.
3 Key Benefits of Using a Mobile Workforce Management System
1. Track Mobile Workers in Real-Time
The use of IoT-enabled devices such as GPS trackers allows users to track workers in the field. Linked to a shared dashboard, this provides the exact location of field staff and lets you know when an engineer is travelling to a job site or when they’re in transit.
The use of GPS trackers can also help track company vehicles and equipment. An advantage of vehicle tracking is assigning technicians who’re closest to a job. This eliminates job delays and reduces the 50% of service hours lost due to travel time. Vehicle tracking can also provide further data analysis of mobile workers, including driver behaviour data, vehicle idle times, and fuel optimisation reports.
2. Improve Scheduling and Dispatch
Efficient mobile workforce management starts with scheduling and dispatching tasks. This helps to make sure you’re assigning the right workers to the right job by knowing an engineer’s skill set, experience, and real-time location. Workforce planning and scheduling can be automated with a digital field service system. This helps to:
- Provide visibility of all workforce in the field
- Allow for flexibility when scheduling and dispatching workers
- Improve communication between office-based staff and mobile workers
From a single dashboard, you’re able to view your entire mobile workforce in one place. This allows you to assign qualified technicians to the right jobs. Ultimately, assigning a technician who has the best chance of providing a first-time fix and guaranteeing a good customer service experience. Service providers with a 90% CSAT score can increase total revenue margins by 30%.
3. Get Work Order Updates on Mobile
As well as location tracking, you can also view your workforce’s job progression in real-time. When an engineer updates a work order, you’ll be automatically notified via an email alert or mobile notification. This lets you see if a job is being completed on time to meet customer SLAs. As well as knowing what stage a job is at, meaning office staff can prepare for a worker’s next assignment.
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Using a Mobile App to Manage Your Mobile Workforce
The use of cloud-based mobile apps has elevated the efficiency of mobile workforce management. Most notably by accessing data via a mobile device from anywhere at any time. Whether for small business services such as plumbing, landscaping, or pest control. Or for larger field operations such as utilities and healthcare.
Along with real-time tracking and flexible schedules, mobile workforce apps provide:
- Real-time inventory management
- Self-service portals
- Customer information
- Work order details
- Contact information
When accessing data on a mobile device, field workers require a network connection. But, depending on their location, this isn’t always available to them. That’s why having offline access can help. Offline access gives engineers and technicians the tools to access job information instantly, instead of contacting office staff or going on-premise to check inventory. Without offline access, first-time fix rates can suffer. This can lead to an average wait time of 14 days for customers.
MWM and Field Service Management: What’s the Difference?
Although combined is most SaaS packages, there are key differences between a mobile workforce management system and Field Service Management Software. The former caters more to managing mobile workers and the latter focuses on the entire field service process.
There is a simple way to remember the difference between MWM and FSM; mobile workforce management is regarded as the management of human assets and resources, and field service management is primarily the management and optimisation of physical assets.