Mobile Workforce Management
The mobile workforce is not a new concept. It has existed for years and is an entrenched part of the sales industry. Stemming from the concept of door to door sales people, mobile workforce management has built on the idea of organizing the sales process of field reps to include more complex technology based solutions that Canadian organizations can use to maximize the efficiency of their mobile workforce.
Defining mobile workforce management
Mobile workforce management (MWFM), which is commonly referred to by a number of names such as mobile workforce automation, mobile resource management, and field service management, is a business function that is concerned with the development, implementation, and completions of tasks and business processes that are assigned to employees that work remotely for your organization.
Mobile workforce management uses the latest technologies to connect organizations with their employees through the use of wireless devices such as smartphones. It enables remote workers to access company resources such as CRM’s, email, and desktop applications so they can provide the best possible customer service to clients, typically at their clients office or from a remote meeting place.
Mobile workforce management is used in many different industries. Some of the most common organizations that use MWFM include:
- Sales and marketing
- Transportation and logistics
- Other companies related to repairs and installation
Technologies impact on MWFM
Modern technology has drastically changed how field workers do their job. With devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and WI-FI internet connections, workers can essentially perform their job functions as if they were in their office as long as they have an internet connection. In this sense, more and more people are working outside the office and can afford to spend more time with their clients and accommodate remote meetings without having to sacrifice productive time.
Additionally, mobile workers can better serve the needs of their customer’s because of their ability to remain connected with their organizations resources. They can directly answer questions, forward documents, and process orders on the spot without having to go back to their office.
The types of mobile workforces
The mobile workforce varies not only based on the specific needs of a company, but also the individuals position within the companies and the resource they need to complete their assigned business tasks and projects. Therefore, there are a number of mobile workforce types that can be present within a company. The following outlines four types of mobile workforce types:
- Field workers: These workers typically spend the majority of their time away from the office and perform roles such as a sales and delivery. They commonly visit many sites during the course of the day and use technologies such as email and voice communications through the use of a mobile phone
- Telecommunications workers: These workers typically work remotely from their home and perform customer service or help desk related functions. In most cases they require the use of email, access to a CRM and use a laptop, mobile phone and VOIP to complete their job.
- Remote executives: These workers are typically executives and consultants that spend the majority of their time outside of the office traveling to meetings, conferences, and client offices. They heavily rely on their smartphone to remain connected.
- Office travellers: These are typically individuals where their job requires them to be away from their office, but still remain on location within the organization. These include managers, HR professionals, researchers, security, and retail associates. They typically use a wide range of tools specific to their position such as smartphones, laptops, and industry specific tools.
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