One way to tackle a problem is to adopt the classic ‘ignore it and hope it goes away’ approach.
It’s a strategy which usually ends badly, particularly when it involves ignoring strange rattling noises coming from your car’s engine.
But this is an approach that’s commonplace within business management. We know about problems and inefficiencies but they remain a low priority until...something goes wrong.
It’s a particular risk for mobile service businesses where the daily pressure to deliver makes it so hard to take a step back and assess some of the organisational dangers that lie ahead.
It’s one of the reasons why so many companies continue to use paper-based and manual management methods despite all of the benefits now offered by software solutions.
You can find a full guide to the advantages of digital workforce management systems here.
So how do you know? How can you tell if your work processes are sustainable and when’s the right time to upgrade your approach? Here’s a guide to identifying problems that may lie ahead:
What you need for a sustainable management process:
- Growth strategies
- To meet customer expectations
- The right workforce
Can your process handle growth?
One of the most common causes of inefficiency within a mobile service business is the failure to handle growth. It’s the organisational stresses and strains that start to emerge as a company expands its operations.
This is a particular problem with paper-based processes. Backroom staff find themselves struggling to manage a rising tide of paperwork and this has an impact on performance throughout a business.
A major advantage of digital tools and systems is their innate scalability. With cloud-based data and automated processes, they’re just as effective when handling 20 or 2,000 mobile workers.
Are you able to stay competitive?
While your traditional management approach may ‘work’ for your company, how does it stack up when compared to the performance of your competitors? If your rivals are using digital processes and tools, they will always have a significant advantage when it comes to delivering mobile services.
And as more business move over to software solutions, these differences will become increasingly obvious. No matter how well managed or efficient a mobile workforce is, there are some areas where traditional methods just can’t compete.
The real-time nature of digital communications allows workers to be tracked and managed in ways that simply aren’t possible with paper-based processes. By making the switch, a company allows itself to compete on a level playing field.
Are you meeting customer expectations?
While your business may be happy to stick to traditional management methods - what about your clients and customers? People now expect the kind of efficiency and convenience that can only be delivered by digitally managed services.
Customers expect access to real-time information and the convenience of being able to digitally signing for something. They expect accurate delivery times and processes that take days instead of weeks.
These expectations will only grow over time and companies who are unable to meet these demands will struggle. Paper-based processes are out of sync with the digitally connected way people live their lives.
Can you communicate externally?
Your business has to exist within a wider administrative and legislative world. And this is a world in which there’s a growing expectation that you are using digital ways to manage and store your information.
Whether it’s submitting performance data for a tender or providing safety compliance details, it requires a level of information management that’s hard to achieve when using paper-based processes.
A digital approach automated the data collection process and allows that information to be easily shared with any external agencies. Supplying this with a conventional management approach is becoming unsustainable.
Will you attract the best workers?
The best workers are attracted to companies that seem to be going places. But that’s not a perception you create when using outdated tools and processes. For a new generation of workers, the world of papers, form filling and Excel spreadsheets is something from a bygone age.
People are used to the simplicity and convenience of digital processes in their everyday lives and that’s what they expect in the workplace. If you can’t offer that then it’s going to have an impact on the ‘brand’ of your business.
The flip side of this is that if you do provide employees with digital tools and systems then you create the perception of a forward-looking and dynamic business. It’s the kind of workplace that can really boost recruitment.
The key to creating a sustainable mobile workforce operation is to prepare for what’s ahead.
While your current process may be able to handle the here and now - how will it cope with the impending challenges your business will face?
The switch from paper-based to digital processes helps to future-proof your operations with more efficient, flexible and scalable ways to manage a mobile workforce. You can find more information on the benefits of a paperless process here: