We recently told you that a FSM product’s ROI is directly linked to the existence of a quality mobility solution. In order to see that ROI fully, you need to successfully implement the mobile solution first. We have decided to collect advice and tips from the top mobile workforce management providers to help you with your MWFM implementation. Whether you are an SMB or enterprise field service organization looking to get the best results from your mobility investment, we hope these tips will give you a bit of guidance and encouragement along the way.
As the first field service management provider to offer off-the-shelf apps to power any company’s mobile solution, ClickSoftware has helped lay the path for the MWFM of the future. Their implementation advice comes from their blog post “How NOT to End up Stranded – Top Tips to Get Mobility Right.”
- Get Everyone Involved. While this tip may sound obvious, I often see projects where a subgroup dictates the changes that can dramatically influence the success level of the project. Some decisions (devices, workflows, UI) are just too important to leave for a minority ruling, and field users must be also involved in the decision making. Remember, those users are the ones eventually to use the system the most, and you better take their opinion seriously in order to improve their performance and satisfaction.
- A balance between open and closed. The world of mobility presents a fascinating conflict between closed enterprise environments with a strong focus on security, and the open consumer-based world which is constantly growing and impacting the enterprise. Organizations should seek a balance between the two: a tightly closed approach will reduce employees’ satisfaction and impact productivity. An open approach hides security risks. There are new mobile technologies designed to create this balance by combining the two in a secured way.
TOA Technologies offered the first natively-built SaaS based FSM solution. They provide a comprehensive iPad mobile solution as part of their cloud offering. Their advice is taken from their blog post “Connecting Mobile Service to the CRM.”
- Connect your CRM to your mobile solution. The bottom line is that with the more dynamic CRM solutions available today, there is an incredible opportunity not only to extend the capabilities of the CRM, but to transform its role into what could be the new modern customer experience. The evolution is happening now. Rather than simply building apps that add bells and whistles, leaders are creating software applications that use the CRM as a linchpin to unite and empower the key parts of the organization impacting its relationship with every single customer.
FieldAware’s FSM solution was designed with mobility as its primary focus considering the fact that their software is built as a mobile platform. Their advice was taken from the blog post “Have a Mobile Strategy Sorted Out Before Implementation” which also happens to be their tip:
- Have a mobile strategy sorted out before implementation. No matter what kind of business is being run or operated in concert with mobile, Network World said there needs to be a roadmap created for success. Measurement and goals for success should be cornerstones of any mobile plan. Some things organizations adopting a new policy should consider include:
- How and where data will be stored?
- Who owns and operates the mobile strategy within the company?
- How much research has been put into the plan and what requirements are necessary?
- Do users have the correct level of experience?
- What will the end goal be for the mobile workforce? Will it be able to grow?
Kony is a mobile technology focused company that is changing the way companies approach mobility. Their cloud-based technology makes it easier for companies to integrate mobile apps into their organizations. Their tip is taken from their blog post “Mobile Technology for Dummies.”
- Know your mobile lingo. The IT industry loves its acronyms and buzzwords. So it’s little surprise that the next wave in IT innovation – enterprise mobility– is chock-full of them. For a full list of mobile terms – visit their blog post, which is hyperlinked above.
ServiceMax boasts a flexible, customizable, mobile solution with 31% increased productivity and 16% increased customer satisfaction scores based on a survey conducted in early 2013. ServiceMax’s MWFM tips are taken from their white paper “Five Drivers Enabling the Field Service Mobile Revolution.”
- Join the mobile revolution. Look for a solution provider that has embraced mobility, offering rich mobile applications capable of running on off-the-shelf devices. If a vendor still has mobility ―on the road map,‖ they have already missed a major market opportunity, which often means they are spending resources overhauling an outdated infrastructure, not expanding into innovative areas like mobility.
- Leverage social media. No amount of training or knowledgebase access can make a single employee as knowledgeable as the entire team. With more people participating in social media today, encourage employees to share expertise and make themselves available to respond to peers via a social channel when someone encounters a difficult problem while on-site.
So there you have it: top advice from some of the world’s leading vendors of mobile workforce management solutions. Advice that is so good, it still mystifies us why so many service businesses choose to ignore such guidance. For your mobile implementation to go smoothly, take a moment to listen to the experts.