One of the most important resources for any mobile services business is time.
Effective time management is critical when you’re handling a team of fieldworkers and trying to meet tight deadlines in a competitive market.
But until recently, time is something that’s been really difficult to accurately manage and monitor, thanks to traditional paper-based methods of management.
It means that even the most basic of operational information, such as how long a job takes to complete, has been difficult to accurately track across a business.
This barrier has been removed by the move to digital and cloud-based management methods which are able to precisely track and monitor fieldwork operations in real-time.
It allows an operations manager to access accurate data, from across an organisation, on exact job durations. Here’s a look at how this can boost business efficiency:
Having to ‘guesstimate’ how long jobs will take is the cause of many operational headaches. The tendency is for schedules to be overly optimistic, leading to missed deadlines and frustrated customers and clients.
With cloud-based management of workers, data can be easily pulled up on how long similar tasks have taken. Rather than how long you think it takes or would it to take, this is how long it actually takes.
With more accurate data, schedules can be created which are efficient and achievable. It helps reduce stress for workers and to consistently meet the expectations of your customers.
When mobile services are based on an hourly rate, it’s essential that you’re able to provide accurate job durations. With a digital workforce management system, each component of a job can be accurately tracked.
It’s able to instantly generate an invoice that’s based on the real-world information. It reduces paperwork for back-office teams and provides customers and clients with a reassuringly detailed breakdown of costs.
It also provides a smarter way to reimburse tasks or services that are supplied by a contractor, agency or freelancer. And if there are any disputes or queries, it gives customer service teams the information to handle them effectively.
Improved profit v loss analysis
By collecting accurate information on how long different jobs are taking, it’s possible to start identifying their value to the business.
As well as real-world durations for each type of job provided, it can the time it’s taking to get to and from a particular location. It allows the true costs of a service or delivery to be identified.
It helps to highlight areas of profit and loss within a mobile work operation. Costs and prices can be adjusted and areas or delivery areas dropped if they can’t be made profitable.
As you gather real-world data on job durations, you can start to set practical performance benchmarks for individuals, teams and departments.
It helps managers to spot potential problems early, to identify where tasks are taking longer than the norm. Of equal interest are jobs that are being done unusually quickly - is quality being compromised?
From a workers’ perspective, it allows them to be fairly assessed, based on the performance they deliver. It removes the potential biases that can be caused when judgements are based on personalities and social connections.
From boosting efficiency to creating smarter ways to assess worker performance, the simple ability to accurately track job duration can deliver a whole range of practical business benefits. It highlights the way that digital management methods are completely transforming the way mobile services are able to be controlled.