Going mobile doesn’t have to be hard - and it can make running things in the field service business easier than ever with field service management software.
A lot goes on in the field. If you’re in a field service business or a government organisation like health, agribusiness,construction, sales and service, transport and more, you’ll know it’s where some of your most critical work takes place, and where you get some of your most important data. Field teams often take a long time, and cost a lot, to come back to the base and give their data and job orders.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: mobilise field service processes. And even if the field is far from your physical location, it’s indeed possible to get reliable data and real-time notifications to improve customer service and optimise business processes.
What is mobile field service?
In simple terms, mobile field service is the process of doing things in the field using mobile devices. An example is using field service mobile technology to record data and instantly upload it so it can be accessed and used far sooner than if someone were to come back with paper forms that needed to be transcribed.
Mobile field service is about creating a centralised system from which to run your field operations, including tasks like recording and transmitting data or scheduling maintenance and repairs for technicians to come by and fix. This can also be done no matter your industry.
Smarter farming and accurate data with mobile apps accelerate business margins
The Agriculture sector is one example where field service automation is particularly beneficial. Brownrigg Agriculture, one of NZ’s largest farming operations, improved their business margins by implementing field service automation. Brownrigg Agriculture is a complex dynamic business that operates at a large scale, with 12 farms specialising in cropping, beef and lamb farming. Their business requires them to perform multiple tasks carefully to maximise their business margins.
With Tabral, Brownrigg Agriculture staff capture data on stock movements as farm staff use a dedicated smartphone app to record details on stock weight, destinations and truck movements which is stored in their internal system. This helps the business to maximise production on every farm.
They also implemented a number of mobile apps to improve business workflow efficiency, such as Time Clock app to allocate shepherds’ time against a number of cost centres. This allows management to allocate costs more efficiently, with farm managers receiving a summary of staff hours every day.
Using Tabral mobile app reduces the admin burden on staff while increasing accuracy and fine-tuning efficiency, such as gathering animal health data efficiently and keeping it in one place for easy reference.
What are the benefits of mobile field service?
The benefits of mobile field service are numerous. It offers benefits from field service tracking, streamlining processes and removing time consuming tasks and making workflows efficient. Read to find out how it can be useful for various industries.
- Improved efficiency by saving time: Mobile field service allows workers to access information and communicate with their team in real-time, reducing the time and resources spent on administrative tasks.
- As mentioned in the above example, Agriculture can easily streamline their field processes with mobile apps
- Increased accuracy: Mobile data collection eliminates the risk of human error, leading to more accurate and reliable data.
- Industries operating at large scale such as Construction, Agriculture or Trucking industries that require multiple data entry on day to day basis, mobile apps can accelerate the data entry processes for these industries.
- Better decision-making: With access to real-time data, field service managers can make more informed decisions, identify trends and resolve issues more quickly.
- For example, Transport company, Rural Transport, integrated mobile forms into a web-based freight scheduling system to capture data which helped the managers to make better decisions and achieve faster invoicing.
- For instance, when transporting livestock, workers are required to monitor the state of the animals picked up. If a farmer wants to load cows that are in a poorer condition than expected, the driver can take a photo on the spot and send it to the dispatcher, who can make a decision whether the animals should be loaded. It helps in taking immediate decisions better than a phone call.
- Better tracking and reporting: A mobile app can collect data on job progress and completion, providing the field service team with real-time updates and enabling more accurate reporting.
- The mobile app can be used to collect data offline even if the mobile devices are out of coverage - a common event in the rural expanses of New Zealand - data is automatically transmitted when it comes into network coverage again.
- Increased productivity: Mobile devices can provide field workers with multiple tools they might need to complete a job.
- Improved data collection: Workers can easily collect and transmit data, such as time tracking, inventory information, and job completion details, improving the accuracy and speed of data collection.
- Better resource allocation: With real-time data on job progress and completion, field service managers can better allocate resources and prioritise tasks to improve overall productivity
- Increased revenue: By streamlining processes and improving productivity, mobile field service can help increase revenue by reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
What mobile field service ultimately does is put more control in your hands. This helps you make better decisions for your business or organisation that will save you money, time, keep staff safer, and improve service for your customers.
Read more about How to capture field service data safely
Mobile field service done right
Beneficial as mobile field service sounds, it’s important to set it up in the right way. An example is using Tabral. Developed in New Zealand in 2007, Tabral is a mobile data platform that is used to create mobile solutions that run on mobile devices - meaning you can have all the information you need instantly in the palm of your hand. There’s no lag time, no travel time, and no room for error. No more having staff having to remember things that might have happened hours ago and typing up handwritten field notes. Such is the advantage of mobile field service management software for field service automation.
One organisation that benefits from Tabral’s mobile solutions is TDM Construction. Their paper-based system involved drivers filling in a docket each time they took a load on board. With up to nine different loads carried for three different clients over the course of a working day - and for just one driver - the amount of paperwork generated from the field was enormous. And all the dockets needed to be placed in a container in the truck yard at the end of the day for office staff to collect and then manually enter into spreadsheets - a process that could take days.
But by switching to Tabral, they were able to get rid of the paper dockets. The entire process was reduced to less than an hour verifying the data from the platform, thanks to drivers using a mobile app to enter data instead.
Another organisation that benefited from using Tabral is Quinovic. New Zealand’s largest independent property management company, their more than 30 offices throughout the country generated enormous amounts of paper every day. Moving to a digital platform not only made it easier for owners, property managers and tenants to communicate with each other, it improved response times for inspections and maintenance on properties, greatly improving efficiency and safety.
What these two examples, and many others just like them, show is that if you’re a problem-aware business owner, operational manager or team lead who wants to improve your field operations, you can. If you’re keen to get rid of paper forms and move to easy-to-use digital forms accessible through mobile devices - and to improve efficiency and safety for your business or organisation while looking after people - then field service automation is well worth adopting.
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