Can Doughnuts Help Improve Your Mobile Workforce? - ClickSoftware

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Can Doughnuts Help Improve Your Mobile Workforce?

June 1, 2012 ClickSoftware 0 Comments

Author: Kristin Amico

In the fictional world of the Simpsons, doughnuts have often showed up as a plot device to motivate the oafish yet lovable hero, Homer Simpson. In fact, in the episode where Homer goes to work for the villain Mr. Scorpio–who aims to take over the world–the new boss compliments Homer on his ability to increase worker productivity. Homer attributes it to his “motivational techniques, like doughnuts and the possibility of more doughnuts to come.”

Here in the US it’s National Doughnut Day, and as I stood in line to pick up a box to share with the office, I thought back to Homer and his doughnuts. But in this case, it wasn’t the doughnut itself that was important; it was the delightful woman behind the counter at the bakery.

Given that it is Doughnut Day, the crowd was larger than normal, and even at 8am, the selection was starting to dwindle. As I called out my preference for a dozen, “four honey glazed, two chocolate glazed, two French crullers, two jelly filled, and two Boston Cream,” she interrupted to let me know they were out of jelly and without skipping a beat, asked me if I wanted lemon filled instead, and reached over to make the change.

Even in a crowded bakery, with many sold-out flavors, this bakery pro reshuffled my order in just seconds, and had me out the door in less than 5 minutes.

It’s the same principle behind a successful mobile workforce. Schedule optimization goes a long way to increase productivity,  but as soon as a field technician, or mobile worker of any type, gets in their vehicle to start the day it’s almost a given that something will come up to alter plans. Sometimes there’s heavy traffic, other times customers may call to cancel, the job requirements may be completely different than what’s on the work order, or a critical emergency may take precedence over the pre-planned schedule. So how does a mobile worker stay productive and meet goals when a typical day is anything but typical? This is where Enterprise Mobility adds value.

Workers with smart phones or tablets equipped with complete access to the network and company data from back end systems, have visibility and control to better manage their day and all the challenges that are bound to arise. Forgot the paper work order? No problem, they can pull it up via their smartphone. Traffic delayed? A smart system of interwoven apps that connect the address on the work order to a GPS system will automatically re-route a driver without pausing.

Like the bakery worker, it all happens quickly, ensuring not only increased productivity, but a seamless customer experience, too. And with a sluggish economy, companies are using factors outside of pricing, such as better customer service, to help differentiate themselves and their brand.

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