Mobile Workforce Management: Best Practices, Solutions, and Success Stories

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Updated: August 8, 2019

The technology used for mobile workforce management has been around for years (e.g. mobile devices, mobile apps, secure wireless networks, software-as-a-service, cloud solutions, big data, etc.); but now investment in devices, hardware and software to streamline and improve mobile fleet management is more important than ever for field service companies and managers.

What is mobile workforce management (MWM)?

MWM encompasses the growing number of software solutions and hardware devices being used to manage employees who work in the field. GPS fleet tracking solutions have grown to be an integral mobile tool for managers of fleets of all sizes by providing access to near real-time job scheduling, insight into mobile employee location and availability, as well as asset tracking.

Mobile workforce management trends

According to a 2018 survey conducted by Verizon Connect and Bobit Business Media, 59% of fleet managers are using a telematics solution.1 That means more than half of U.S. fleet managers are already embracing current and new technology and preparing their fleet for the future. It also means that an astounding 41% of fleets are lagging behind in an industry where margins are slim, costs are rising and the slightest advantage can make a big difference.

How to bring field service and mobile workforce management to your business

Let’s cover some best practices for MWM adoption:

  • Take a top down approach mentality to implementing MWM. Leadership needs to be involved in the process and active in the execution.
  • Having an internal project manager who is dedicated to implementing MWM as a policy makes the process much smoother. This person should be considered your fleet’s champion of mobile workforce management.
  • Develop a thorough training program that includes plans for when your workforce has turnover or new hires.  
  • It’s likely that some of your workforce will resist change and object to new policies. This is where having an internal champion and thorough training process can help.
  • Emphasize that MWM is designed to benefit field workers; it’s not a “Big Brother” enforcement technique. Offering incentives or rewards for compliant employees may help.

Mobile workforce management tools

There are countless telematics tools now available to fleet managers and owners that increase transparency for mobile workers and can help impact your bottom line. Let’s cover a few:

  • GPS fleet tracking: Take the guesswork out of knowing what’s happening in the field. GPS tracking can give you a full view of your fleet’s daily operations and help you find solutions for productivity and utilization.
  • Field service management software: Simplify the job scheduling process and make work order management more efficient by being able to search available job slots and employees quickly so you get the right person on the job, quickly. This tool also enables fleet managers to eliminate paperwork and takes quotes, invoices, schedules and more into the cloud instantly.
  • Driver management software: This tool gives fleet managers the power to measure driver performance and coaching tools to help them improve. The power to alert drivers of risky or aggressive driving behaviors in near real time helps drivers to improve their driving skills and safety records.

Mobile workforce management solutions & ROI

Regardless of fleet size, mobile-dependent organizations share common struggles: the need to control costs, remain productive, improve resource allocation and streamline overall business management. Investment in an integrated telematics solution can provide a competitive advantage and positively impact a company’s bottom line by helping to identify gaps in mobile operations: 

  • 97% of organizations using telematics consider it beneficial.1 
  • 38% realized a positive ROI in under one year1
  • 13% overall decrease in operating costs
  • 13% average decrease in fuel costs1
  • 25% average decrease in accident costs1
  • 17% average decrease in labor costs1

Benefits of mobile workforce management software

After implementation, fleets and fleet managers realized1:

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  • Improved customer experience and service (up to 52%)
  • Improved productivity (up to 49%)
  • Improved routing (up to 48%)
  • Improved vehicle maintenance (up to 40%)
  • ELD/regulatory compliance (up to 38%)
  • Decreased fuel consumption (up to 34%)
  • Decreased number of accidents (up to 32%)
  • Decreased labor costs (up to 12%)

From preparing for future growth to improving business intelligence by the way your teams, jobs, and costs are managed, mobile technologies like GPS tracking pave the way for bottom-line success. But as evidenced by the stats shared in this post, investing in telematics technology is no longer optional for mobile-centric organizations. Those who lag behind will find themselves at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to sustaining a profitable future business.

Choosing the Right Mobile Solution for Your Fleet

When looking into the available MWM options, consider this: the top five most important factors1 for fleet managers in selecting a GPS fleet management solution are:

  • Ease of use (84%)
  • Service coverage (78%)
  • Monthly fees (75%)
  • Customer service (70%)
  • Software features (68%) 

To be sure the mobile workforce management technology you implement is a good fit for your organization, keep these steps in mind that should help you make the appropriate choice: 

  • Identify your company’s goals and objectives
  • Do the research to find out what mobile workforce management systems are available
  • Choose a service provider that can meet your needs in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Additionally, when it comes to selecting the right solution for you, business owners should look for fully integrated solutions that can make it even easier to see comprehensive, fleet-wide results.

Success snapshots: Two companies benefit from the move to MWM

Poolsure is a pool water management company that services the entire Gulf Coast. They struggled with knowing how many trucks and field technicians to add when entering new markets. After adopting fleet management technology, they were able to determine correct resource allocation, resulting in top-line revenue growth of 20%–25% and a 50% increase in EBITDA. “We physically added about 9,000 gallons of daily capacity, but increased business by more than 11,000 gallons each day," said Alan Falik, president, Poolsure.

Witmer’s Feed and Grain is an Ohio-based feed supplier that delivers feed throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. They needed a more efficient way to keep feed flowing from storage bins into waiting delivery trucks. After rolling out fleet management technology, they realized significant operational improvements. Staff could get status updates of truck locations and their estimated arrival times at the feed mill, and dispatchers could locate the closest truck when a customer requested a backhaul of grain from their farm to the mill. In the end, productivity and customer satisfaction greatly improved.

Verizon Connect offers a comprehensive solution for mobile workforce management. Contact us today to learn more about our solution and how it can transform your business.

Sources

1 https://www.verizonconnect.com/resources/ebook/2018-fleet-tracking-trends-report/

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