The Cloud Enables Mobile Workforce Management
Ask anyone who worked in field service years ago – or managed those in field service. Trying to “stay on the same page” as the organization while working remotely was a nightmare of dialing in, syncing up, mail merging and basically running to catch up. Sales professionals on the road could access enterprise systems from the road, but they were never really sure if they were getting the most updated information, or duplicating the efforts of another salesperson.
Today, thanks to technology, businesses are better able to achieve a global presence without huge investments in capital infrastructure, mostly due to cloud-based systems. This is essential not only for remote sales and field service professionals, but also contact centers that might be spread over different offices and even agents’ homes. Workforce management is more critical than ever, but with employees spread out over the country or the world, these solutions have had to go natively mobile.
In a recent article for Cloud Plugged, Sameer Manas wrote that mobile workforce management software automates office administrative tasks and provides greater visibility into daily happenings to aid in better decision-making. It gives managers and supervisors detailed information reporting about labor usage, regardless of where workers are located, and provides full visibility into the job lifecycle.
“How do global enterprises share the same information throughout all branches, nationally and internationally without major time delays?” asked Manas. “By making it accessible through a cloud-based server instead of an in-house server. Cloud platforms are the metaphoric bridges that connect mobile workforce management with field technicians and similarly, field service branches with other branches no matter where they geographically exist.”
This is also relevant to the contact center, which may strive to provide even service levels by using not only on-site personnel, but workers in remote offices or other related departments (such as billing or shipping), knowledge workers who are on the road, third-party outsourcing firms and even home-based agents. Without a cloud-based, centralized workforce management solution, it would be impossible to manage all these disparate workers from a single platform. It’s necessary to do so, however, to avoid wasting money, duplicating efforts and building inefficiency into the customer support process.
“As long as individuals have an Internet connection and administrator-deemed access, they’re connected to everything they need to complete their jobs from anywhere in the world,” wrote Manas. “Benefits of enterprise solutions like cloud computing include superior remote support, increased productivity levels, enhanced automation of scheduling tasks, and visibility into daily operations.”
Mobile workforce management software can work not only on desktops in physical offices, but also on company-issued wireless devices as well as workers’ own devices under a “BYOD” (bring your own device) policy. Best of all, the mobility element allows for better collaboration between remote employees, which builds efficiencies of its own into the enterprise.
“In the most simplistic sense, all of these enterprise solutions are working toward one common goal, superior communication. With the implementation of mobile workforce management software paired with service dispatch software and hosted on a cloud-based platform, the potential for growth is limitless,” wrote Manas.
Edited by Alicia Young