When we talk about plans ‘looking good on paper’, it shows an understanding of just how different things tend to be when they’re applied to the real world.
And this has always been a fundamental challenge that is faced with the mobile worker job scheduling. No matter how much you plan and prepare… things will change.
Vehicles break down, drivers get lost, jobs are cancelled and task orders are amended.
It’s dealing with this dynamic nature of mobile operations that’s so difficult for businesses who use traditional management methods. For most companies, scheduling is still done manually, with paperwork and Excel spreadsheets.
It creates a series of inherent problems that lead to slow, inefficient and inflexible processes. But these barriers to effective scheduling are now being removed by a multitude of tools and new generation of digital workforce management systems, such as MyMobileWorkers, as a way of boosting mobile workforce productivity.
How technology is transforming mobile workforce scheduling:
- Intelligent scheduling
- Flexible systems
- Improved efficiency
- Scalability solutions
There are so many possible permutations when it comes to creating a schedule for a mobile team that figuring out the best allocation of resources can be mind bogglingly difficult. It requires balancing a multitude of different factors - from road conditions to worker availability.
Trying to do this manually becomes harder as teams grow and schedules become more complex. It often results in scheduling decisions being based on what’s simplest rather than most efficient.
The system pulls together all of the information that’s required to make smart decisions and ensure the best use of available time and resources. Work schedules highlight potential gaps and overlaps while GPS technology provides managers with real-time information on the exact location of each employee.
Operations are further streamlined by the use of adaptive AI technology which allows the smartphone app to work out the best routes for fieldworkers. Route finding can factor in the level of traffic and the amount of fuel consumption for each option.
With manual scheduling and paper-based processes, it’s incredibly hard to manage any kind of changes to a schedule. Once worksheets have been printed and workers have hit the road, even the smallest of change can causes schedules to collapse.
The lack of information connectivity means that managers have to try and individually contact each worker that’s affected by a schedule change. A failure to do so can cause a domino effect - as one minor change sends a whole schedule out of kilter.
The ability to monitor the location and status of each mobile worker in real-time is a game changer. It allows any kind of schedule change to be easily handled and absorbed with each affected worker receiving instant updates.
The cloud-based nature of the system allows the scheduling to be centrally monitored and controlled with workers accessing all of their updated task information via the MyMobileWorkers smartphone app.
Putting together a paper-based schedule is a slow and resource sapping task. It requires information to be manually entered, printed and then distributed to the relevant workers. As well as the time, there’s the printing costs of paper and ink cartridges.
There’s also the cost of fieldworkers having to physically collect and drop off worksheets - often requiring employees to travel through rush hour traffic. It creates a multitude of needless journeys.
Creating and distributing a schedule can be done in a matter of minutes with information immediately being accessible to all mobile workers within a team. The smartphone app means that all the information a worker requires can be accessed from wherever they have a mobile connection.
By working digitally, it removes the need for workers to physically collect paperwork as data is automatically collated and updated. It greatly minimises the risks of errors being made as manual processing is minimised.
The inherent problems with traditional scheduling increase exponentially as organisations grow in scale and complexity. The increased volume of paperwork slows down operations and stifles general efficiency.
These kinds of scalability issues will often only reveal themselves when it’s too late - when a scheduling system becomes unmanageable. It’s an administrative weak spot that poses a serious risk to any growing business.
A major advantage of a digital scheduling approach is its inbuilt scalability. Removing any reliance on paper-based process, a system is equally capable of handling the scheduling needs of five or five hundred workers.
A combination of cloud-based software and real-time data allows centralised management to organise and allocate any number of fieldworkers. Automated processes and collation of information means minimal administrative burden for backroom teams.
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