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What makes ‘Cloud’ a dependable solution for the independent field workforce?

Swati Kungwani

5 Major Reasons to Switch from Paper to Digital!

The web of wireless networks has connected the entire world. It’s not wrong to say that today’s generation breathes in the air of the Internet. Such is the influence of the technology that every corner is ‘uberised’ with on-demand services. Undoubtedly, the businesses are seeking ways to infuse the cloud solutions into their operations.

It’s the era of quick and connected services. That’s why; there is a stern pressure on the service management companies to be on their toes to meet the customer expectations. To emerge as pioneers, the businesses have to make a forward move towards embracing the mobile culture.

The eventual goal of any business is creating happy customers. But, earning customer loyalty and retaining them is hard as a rock. In the growing competition, maintaining a position requires employee engagement and commitment. Then only, they will contribute towards delivering better customer experiences. So, it becomes the responsibility of the organisation to empower its workforce. And, technology helps to immune an organisation against wasteful hours and inefficiency. Instead, it promises increased productivity and profits.

The word ‘cloud’ is not new for businesses dealing with a mobile workforce. It replaces the conventional business processes with a digital approach. The new-age mobile working solutions are a big-time gain. If leveraged in a proper way, the cloud platform has the power to optimise the work scenario with improved communication and collaborative working.

But, it is not only about implementing the technology. Rather, it takes a wider perspective of creating a whole new culture of efficient working. An organisation dealing with independent mobile workers must frame a cloud strategy and inject the digital features to serve the customers and manage the workforce.

Listing five major ways to go paperless with the cloud solution-

Tickets and Tasks

The process of juggling through piles of paper tickets is tedious and time-consuming. The back-office executives managing the service schedules find it quite tough to dispatch jobs without any automation. It’s difficult to check the documents and handover the details to the workers. On the other side, robust field service software promotes painless administration. It captures the detailed information directly in the system. There is no need to maintain and search files. So, it becomes easier to communicate the task description to the field workers via the service desk to the mobile application.

For example, the office staff receives incoming service requests from their online channel, call or self-service application. They’ll record the entire set of details in the system. The task is queued up and dispatched to the nearest worker carrying the necessary tools. The use of automated applications eliminates the need for the field workers travelling to and from the office to collect their daily schedule. Also, the updates are synchronised immediately whilst they are in the field.

Training and Support

Many field service organisations are already facing the problem of aged workforce getting retired and the shortage of skills. It’s very necessary to capture their knowledge. Then only, we can make the millennial workforce ready to do their jobs in an effective manner. The cloud-based solution offers a perfect way to create, store, update and share the training and knowledge modules. It reduces any form of dependency and confusion. The organisations can evolve and pass their wealth of resources to the new-age workforce who is anyways habituated to the digital channels than going through the papers.

The field workforce can also collaborate with their crew members for any type of support. The employees don’t need any manuals for solving or answering a particular problem. A content-rich electronic repository is available to share the knowledge. It contains step-by-step instructions, quick search to queries and relevant images and videos. The cloud-based knowledge base gives access to complete set of support documents on their mobile.

Quotations and Invoicing

The use of digital applications reduces the invoice-to-payment cycle. Taking approvals is faster with technology. Otherwise, the cycle takes several days or months. The system considers the customer history, quotations, type of request, contract governance and automates each stage with complete transparency. As the customers are aware of the proposal, service agreements, pricing, and the outcome, the transactions are rapid, secure and synchronised. Thus, the customers can expect accurate service and companies can expect a good cash flow.

The organisation is able to meet the service level agreements. Further, all negotiations and change requests are well-documented to check any time. The job completion evidence, updates, automated emails, and confirmation drive an end-to-end service delivery resulting in speedy payments.

Inventory Management

Managing the stock of repair parts and tools is crucial. The service managers should dispatch the right jobs to the right people and also ensure they possess the right tools to execute the tasks. The company can a incur loss if someone misses out on updating the stock, the lost tools or the unused ones. That’s why; manual-oriented inventory management fails to achieve the goals. Whereas, the automated platform uses RFID tags with IoT (Internet of Things) to keep a count, track the location and allocate the resources to the workers.

The use of software promises accuracy. There is no room for errors, delay in task and wastage of hours. The managers have a 360-degree view of the entire inventory at their fingertips. They can configure alerts to notify the shortage of tools or return the excessive ones on a timely basis.

Time-Keeping and Monitoring

A company is always concerned if its workers are performing as expected and utilising their time for which they are paid. Since field service involves the workforce moving to different locations across the day, it’s hard to keep an eye on them. But, independent Mobile Worker applications get the workers going paperless! They offer the capabilities such that the supervisors can track them in real-time. It’s not merely a morning and evening signature on the paper that counts. The process is standard, leaner and accurate. Cloud technology ensures seamless synchronization.

For instance, the app facilitates communicating any messages, rescheduled appointments, bad conditions; emergencies, changed requirements as well as even the worker can alert the staff about his safety on-the-go! The customisable dashboards give a fair idea of performance. It also enables dispatching urgent jobs to the nearest available worker. Ensuring high-level customer satisfaction.

Strategize. Streamline. Strive.

Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further.”
– Thomas Carlyle

This mobile revolution is just the beginning. Things will get bigger and brighter for the companies who go with the flow. The advancements in IoT, Artificial Intelligence, 5G networks and smartphones indicate digitization in every sector. In fact, the recent 2018 IDG Cloud Computing study revealed that the total cloud investments are increasing exponentially. The average cloud budget has increased from $1.62 million in 2016 to $2.2 million in 2018.

Those who fail to recognise the value of this transformation are risking their future. The channel shift from paper to cloud will be a game changer. The paperless working will help you cut the extra costs, enhance customer relationships, boost productivity, meet sustainability and compliance standards.

We suggest a 3-step strategy- Strategize with a cloud solution provider who understands your industry requirements and promotes business-wide mobility. Streamline your processes allowing the employees to do their actual work and empowering them to be flexible. Strive to achieve operational excellence by all means. Bring a positive change to your business with cloud-based bespoke field service software applications.

By Swati Kungwani

Swati Kungwani

Swati Kungwani is the business analyst and content manager for iTouchVision, a UK-based customer service platform. She specialises in customer experience management and driving new customer initiatives. Connect with her on Linkedin.

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