For many field service organizations, paper is a thing of the past; the entire information is digital and data is passed through wireless networks from the back-end systems to the field almost seamlessly.
There’s no doubt that for the individual level, having a mobile application in the field improves the quality of work, reduces human mistakes and thus, increases the efficiency. But is that enough? How can organizations get to the next level and use of their mobile data to maximize their efficiency?
The answer lies in Decision Making. Decisions which are based on information only mobile technologies can supply.
The field users get the data they need in order to perform their work. In return they report back and send data to the back-end systems. Capturing those pieces of information in almost real-time can give the organization an advantage when trying to make better decisions.
GPS devices are a great example; using satellite navigators is a common way to reduce travel time and cost. But a bigger benefit can be achieved by using the real location of each field engineer to dispatch jobs more efficiently. Using LBS, emergency jobs can be assigned using precise information of the engineers’ location, idle time which is caused by unexpected jobs cancellations can be handled more wisely, etc.
During the day, plans which were built based on assumptions – are being changed. Getting real-time information means that the system relies less on assumptions and more on the actual events such as status reports, traffic jams, arrivals to the sites, and delays in work.
Back-end services can also be accessed by the mobile application. For example, appointment booking, in case needed, can be launched from the field (in front of the customer), triggering logic services that will eventually book a future task in almost real-time. This, too, is a great example of combining mobile technologies and data with decision making.
Mobile technologies are the best way to turn your organization into a real time organization, but this can only happen with a combination of data transfer and automated decision making.