Coordinating workers in the field can be a major headache for businesses. Even businesses that take the time to plan efficient routes for their field-based employees can face problems when traffic or other delays throw their remote team off schedule. By monitoring employees with field service management software, managers can get a real-time picture of where each person is and what they are doing. Using this data, managers can update schedules and communicate accurate information to customers.
Decide What Metrics to Monitor
The first step in setting up a monitoring program for field employees is to decide which metrics need to be tracked. Employee location is an obvious metric to track, but many businesses choose to collect far more data than just this single piece of information. For example, many businesses find it useful to track the hours worked by each field employee and use this information to automatically work out the employee’s pay packet each week or month. Vehicle mileage is another useful metric, as servicing vehicles after they have been driven a certain number of miles can reduce the risk of breakdown.
Find Software That Can Track These Metrics
The next step is to find tools that can track the metrics that are most important to the company. Many field service management software solutions include tools that allow businesses to keep track of their field employees, as well as tools for scheduling and managing customer orders and enhancing client communication. By reading reviews of the various field service management software packages currently available, businesses can ensure that they choose software that fits their needs.
Combine Software With Suitable Hardware
As well as field service management software, businesses also need hardware that can collect information about field workers and send it back to head office. Sometimes, it is possible to use employees’ own devices to collect GPS data and report it back, but purchasing dedicated remote tracking hardware is a better option for many businesses. Hardware that is designed to monitor a vehicle’s mileage and location can be installed in each company automobile, making it easy for managers to track employees as they travel to and from sites.
Building and Maintaining Trust Among Field Workers
Some field workers are suspicious of devices that monitor their activity. Therefore, it is important to communicate openly and transparently with the workforce about the purpose of the monitoring project. By explaining the value of the collected data to the company in terms of schedule and route planning, managers can reduce employees’ suspicion that they are being checked up on by the boss. Explain that the data collected will not be used to penalize field employees who don’t manage to make as many site visits as their workers, but rather to give them the support they need to work efficiently and safely. Businesses should also check that their plans for monitoring employees meet legal requirements.
In today’s data-driven world, businesses that don’t monitor their field employees are at risk of being left behind. By choosing appropriate hardware and software for monitoring their field workers, businesses can boost communication between the main office and field workers who are out on site visits, leading to a more efficient business model.