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Solving the mobile worker problem

One of the problems with mobile workers is managing the work they do and ensuring the customer is properly charged for the services provided. Lost paperwork, incomplete or missing information on job forms, no customer signature; the list of issues can seem endless.

Now, there is an easy solution to these problems.

There are four (4) common issues with on-site service jobs.

  1. The mobile field worker does not have access to all the information he needs to properly complete the job form.
  2. The job form is not completed properly, or even worse, is completed with incorrect information.
  3. The job form is lost, damaged, or late being returned to base.
  4. None of the above occurs because the job falls "through the cracks" and is simply not recorded at all.
You only have to manage one or two mobile service technicians to understand that the above list is just the tip of the iceberg. Revenue from unchargable jobs directly affects your profitability. There is only one thing worse than forgetting to do a job, and that is doing a job and forgetting to raise the invoice. You will still have to pay for parts and wages, so forgetting to raise the account will hit you twice.

Providing your mobile workers with a tablet PC, and placing job forms "under glass" is a sure-fire way of reducing the above problems. All jobs the mobile technician has to attend are provided via email, WiFi or other suitable communication mechanism, thus ensuring a job is not 'forgotten".

Pre-populating each form with data that is relevant to the task at hand reduces the possibility of mistakes, and can ensure only correct "answers" are provided on the form in question. Automation of responses can lead the user along the correct completion path depending on previous responses and ensuring the form is returned in a timely manner is as simply as clicking a button on the form.

The goodness doesn't stop there though. Once the form is received in the Inbox, automation can grab the form, process its contents, and update your back end database, ensuring that nothing is lost. Events and issues that require further action are notified by email and/or SMS so you can keep tabs on the status of every job all the way to completion.

Oh, and remember; a job is not considered complete until it has been invoiced.

Next week, I will cover the business case proving mobile computing will increase profits.

Posted by Mark Chimes
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