Mobile Workforce Management: Your Productivity and Customer Satisfaction Growth Strategy
May 3, 2022
As routing and mobile technologies have become more sophisticated, it’s become easier for field service companies to manage their workforces efficiently. However, only 50% of mobile workers in a recent survey report they have access to a connected device in the field.
A key reason more businesses haven’t invested in the tools to manage mobile teams is they simply don’t know how much value these technologies provide.
In a business environment in which remote and hybrid work are here to stay, companies should invest in high-quality mobile workforce management to increase their productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of mobile workforce management — what it is, its key benefits, and features to look out for in mobile workforce management software.
Jump ahead to the section that most interests you:
- What Is Mobile Workforce Management?
- What Does Mobile Workforce Management Software Do?
- Benefits of Investing in Mobile Workforce Management
- 5 Key Features for Choosing a Mobile Workforce Management System
- Manage Your Mobile Workforce With OptimoRoute
What Is Mobile Workforce Management (MWM)?
Mobile workforce management (MWM) refers to the practice of coordinating a distributed team of employees to help them best do their jobs.
MWM applies most directly to businesses that have field service operations, like HVAC companies, appliance installation and maintenance services, cleaning businesses, and non-emergency medical transportation businesses.
What Does Mobile Workforce Management Software Do?
Mobile workforce management software provides tools and systems to help coordinate field employees’ work through improved efficiency, transparency, and communication.
A MWM software solution like OptimoRoute enables business owners and managers to do the following:
- Automate work order planning and scheduling
- Optimize routes and schedules
- Modify routes in real time
- Adjust workloads based on shift times
- Provide job information to workers with minimal paperwork
- Streamline remote worker tracking during shifts
- Capture job start and completion accurately
- Assess worker performance with built-in analytics tools
Benefits of Investing in Mobile Workforce Management
Businesses can use mobile workforce management systems to improve their productivity, efficiency, and their customer satisfaction.
Mobile workforce management solutions use route optimization to reduce travel time between service locations. This enables businesses to increase productivity from their existing workforce i.e. they can execute more service jobs with the same number of field employees.
The productivity gains generated by MWM solutions are substantial: McKinsey estimates that MWM solutions increase the number of jobs a business can execute by 20-30% per full-time employee per day.
MWM solutions assign workers to jobs more accurately than manual assignments, so businesses can reduce inefficiencies to meet demand.
They’re able to account for a number of operational efficiency factors — worker times, service time windows, worker skills, vehicle features (if a specialized vehicle is required for service), etc. — when they assign orders to a business’s mobile workforce. Manual dispatching teams can also make assignments using these factors, but it takes longer and there’s a higher risk for human error.
MWM solutions match technicians with the right skillsets and tools to service calls, so customer issues get resolved faster.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
When technicians reach customer sites faster and are able to fix service-related issues during their first visit, customers will be more satisfied.
First-Time Fix rate is a metric in the field service industry to measure a business’s ability to fix work orders when they are first scheduled. A 2016 Aberdeen Group study found that businesses that have a FTF rate > 71% have 20% higher customer satisfaction than businesses that have a FTF rate < 70%.
Increased customer satisfaction has a direct impact on your business’s sales and revenue. When customers are satisfied by your business’s levels of service, they’re more likely to recommend you to their network by word of mouth. Word of mouth marketing accounts for 20%-50% of purchasing decisions by consumers, so when you increase your customer satisfaction, you increase your top line as well.
5 Key Features for Choosing a Mobile Workforce Management System
When you’re looking for a MWM system for your business, it’s important to choose a solution that can be easily integrated in your daily operations. Here are five key features to look out for in your selection process:
1. Automated Planning
Sophisticated MWM solutions have automated planning tools and workflows that can assign dozens of workers to hundreds of jobs. They also account for worker skills, service areas, and preferred service windows as chosen by the customer.
OptimoRoute’s Automated Planning offers all these features to field service businesses. Clarke Customer Care, a Massachusetts-based field service business, uses OptimoRoute’s automated planning tools to assign jobs to its technicians several days in advance. The tool allows them to pair technicians with specific skillsets with jobs that are best suited for them. As a result, Clarke Customer Care has an 80% first-time fix rate.
2. Route Optimization
We’ve already explained how route optimization enables your workforce to be more productive and more efficient. What we haven’t explained is the importance of route optimization in MWM solutions.
Consumer routing tools like Google Maps allow you to manually enter your origin and destination points. However, these tools have a limit of how many stop points you can enter and they don’t have the functionality to accommodate any constraints to better optimize your routes.
If you have dozens of technicians executing hundreds of service jobs per day, any time wasted by an inefficient route costs you time and money. It’s better to go with a system that is customized to your needs rather than forcing a consumer routing app to serve your route optimization requirements.
3. Real-Time Route Modification
Real-time route modification enables you to adjust your workforce’s schedules while they’re in the field.
A field worker or technician’s schedule isn’t set in stone — last minute calls, cancellations, and delays have to be accounted for by dispatchers to improve their service levels for customers. A recent survey of 1,200+ professionals in the fleet management and mobile workforce businesses revealed that “quickly re-routing technicians” was one of the highest impact factors for their business.
OptimoRoute’s ability to modify routes in real time makes it easy for dispatchers to make changes to their worker’s schedule after they’re already in the field. You can access any planned order and make changes to any of the order details by choosing the Manual scheduling option within the order.
You can also add new orders in addition to an existing batch of planned orders so you don’t have to re-plan your route sheet for a particular day.
4. End-User Mobile Apps
Businesses use mobile apps to track and monitor their mobile workforce. Mobile employees use these apps on their mobile devices to provide real-time status updates to dispatchers as they move from one service site to another.
Without an end-user mobile app, your team’s performance data will be inaccurate and you can’t make informed decisions around your workforce.
Several MWM solutions offer end-user mobile apps that share live tracking information with you. You can then keep your customers updated about when they can expect a technician to arrive. This improves the customer experience because customers can plan around your worker’s schedule, instead of waiting around all day.
5. Workforce Analytics
Powerful MWM solutions organize your team’s data in a dashboard that makes your team’s performance easy to understand.
Field service and mobile workforce businesses need to track key performance indicators like order status and arrival accuracy so that they can keep delivering high quality service to their customers.
When you see your team’s performance displayed on a monthly and quarterly basis, you begin to see patterns and trends that can help you make critical decisions.
Manage Your Mobile Workforce With OptimoRoute
Now that we’ve shown the benefits of mobile workforce management and using MWM solutions, we hope you’ll consider investing in one.
OptimoRoute is an all-in-one mobile workforce management solution geared towards field service businesses in every vertical. We work with businesses across the world to power their mobile workforce needs and we do it with a flexible pricing model that doesn’t break their budgets.
See it for yourself by trying our platform today with a 30-day free trial!
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