For a big chunk of the corporate world, distributed teams are quickly becoming a new and uncomfortable reality of work. As a result, mobile workforce management solutions have experienced some technological advances thanks in part to smartphones and GPS tracking. For companies with mobile workforce – like in HVAC/ Plumbing, home-care & hospice or property management etc, GPS time tracking has been and will continue to be one of the most important components and a key challenge in their business, perhaps the most important piece in the – field data collection. We’ll get into that later in a moment. First, let’s discuss your choices for mobile team management solutions.
Mobile time clocking: a streamlined solution to clock in, clock out
Since the inception of hired help, there has been some sort of time tracking system. The employees arrive at their place of work at an agreed-upon time, do their jobs for however many hours they are required to do so, and then they leave when their workday is finished. After a set amount of time, employers paid their workers for the tasks they completed in the time they were completed in.
This is still the gold standard for the employer-employee relationship. As decision-makers, higher-ups still like to know exactly where their employees are and what they are doing. Many jobs now require that employees be off-site to complete their tasks. This is where mobile time-clock service for time & attendance monitoring along with a mobile data collection app can come into play.
Location-based services for mobile team management
Geofence – a virtual perimeter around place of interest, marked on a map – this can be your customer jobsite, warehouse depot, employee home address or anything that’s of interest to the business.
The entire teams may not be in the same location, the virtual perimeter encompassing a geographic area means that employers can now be 100% certain that their employees are in the right place. And many companies have jumped on board with GPS tracking; human resources companies globally use it to monitor employees working in remote locations.
Mobile team management doesn’t stop at just tracking location; it can be a huge advantage for HR departments when determining the number of hours an employee works. With the addition of enterprise messaging, employers can also stay in constant connection with their mobile workforce.
Advanced mobile data collection using geozones – geofence helps collect multitude of information along with time & attendance data that can be used to optimize the operations – such as time of arrival, time-spent (elapsed) inside, time it took to reach the next jobsite and so on (drive time) etc – these data can be analyzed and optimized as a part of operations.
IFTTT rules for real-time workforce management
Modern web enhancement such as the internet of things has paved the way to an ‘Intelligence Layer’ – the IFTTT (If This Then That) automation workflow intelligence. This uses pre-defined business rules along with triggers to do something when something occurs. “If This Then That” makes field data collection from your mobile workforce much easier. Need an example?
Example: If your employee has seven planned stops over their shift per day, then you can be set to get notified as and when they make their stops one-by-one and send you an alert/notification on the progress on how things are going and or send alerts when there’s a delay, etc – the IFTTT rules can be highly customized including the notification message or they are always contextual and neatly ties into the day-to-day operations at large.
Real-time field data collection
Mobile team management doesn’t end with GPS tracking, enterprise messaging and GPS time clock. Employees that work in the field often need to collect signatures, forms or photos that then need to be added to the company’s database. Mobile signature capture is in its prime with mobile photo collection becoming a norm as well. The biggest draw is the convenience. After the field data collection is complete, all of it is automatically sent to a back-end, cloud-hosted service which can be accessed as needed. Different types of mobile form collection can be included in the features used for workforce management.
We are truly living in the future. With ever-advancing technologies, there is no better time to experiment with and upgrade your mobile workforce management software for a comprehensive solution that includes mobile data collection and field management. Endless options, cloud-based systems, and IFTTT rules mean that every company’s ideal mobile team management solution is out there.