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Equip Your Service Field Force With An Enterprise Mobile App

The biggest advantage of enterprise mobile apps is that they allow employees to do their most urgent and important tasks while being away from their workplaces. For field workers a ‘workplace’ is simply the base they take off from in the beginning of their working day and get back to only at the end of it.

A mobile enterprise app can solve many issues connected with remote work, significantly improve the quality of your employees’ services and provide managers with useful data that will help them deal with working processes and time management better.

But what should you do to develop a hands-on service field force application?

STEP 1: Choose the features

Certainly, you neither want to pay a fortune for your enterprise application nor have it overloaded with features and information. To make an app convenient, it’s important to analyze the whole scope of your employees’ work and decide what the most essential app features to aid their work are. Below you will find some examples of the features you might take advantage of:

Interactive installation guides

Guide-apps are indispensable for workers with a wide range of equipment to install. Handy references in one’s pocket will provide some extra reassurance for your employees and help to avoid potentially costly mistakes.

An enterprise mobile app with a knowledge base could always provide employees with any corporate or product information instantly, wherever they are. No need to make calls, just a peek at the device – et voila.

Time-tracking

At the office, paper timesheets may do their job just fine, yet in the field they are awfully inconvenient. With a time-tracking app your employees won’t fidget with a pen that suddenly ran out of ink just to make a table entry. Instead, they will easily choose a specific operation on their device, see its standard duration and input necessary data. Additionally, such an app can record the time spent on each task and automatically upload it to the company’s server.

Schedule

Field workers normally receive a day plan as soon as they arrive at work in the morning, and later, with their schedule available via an application, they can easily stick to it. Due to its flexibility, a mobile timetable could allow managers to plan shifts according to the workload, and such changes would be instantly visible for all the app users.

Geo-location

Such a feature can assist in work optimization by offering an employee the most advantageous routes while getting from one client to another. Also, it can be used for driver logs and even remote vehicle diagnostics.

 

STEP 2: Choose a platform

Once you decide on your app features, it’s time to think about the development method that will help you implement the solution you now have in mind.

If you have only iOS or Android devices in your infrastructure, you don’t have to think much and can confidently go for native app development. But if your company has a BYOD policy, you have to take a closer look of most applicable options of cross-platform development.

 

STEP 3: Choose an architecture

One more choice to make is about your future app’s architecture: whether you need a back-end or not.

FieldMI strongly recommends to make all enterprise apps server-based. This way, they won’t be overloaded with information and will have most of the complex tasks processed on the back-end. Besides, as our Enterprise Software Architect has stated in his recent blog, a back-end is the best way to integrate an enterprise app in both legacy and cutting-edge IT infrastructures.

The pros do not end there: with a back-end you will be able to create a network of your employee’s devices and allow the data to be uploaded to the server for analysis and statistics generation. After all, when it comes to product improvements and marketing strategies, nothing can beat the direct feedback and customer data gathered by your field workers.

 

STEP 4: Find a vendor

Once all the previous steps are taken, you can start searching for a vendor who will implement your idea. We hope that this guide was helpful and would welcome it if you contacted our enterprise mobile application development experts to develop your app with FieldMI Platform.

For Enquiries: Call on +91-9021836764 or E Mail: sales@fieldmi.com

10 Key Challenges for Field Force Automation

The mobile workforce must live up to its name and have the ability to execute their jobs wherever they are. As a consequence, it is vital to provide that workforce the proper tools. If you are considering to take action in this domain, it is important to understand that there are some challenges to overcome.

1)Digitize Information on the Go

There are still a lot of organizations and institutes that equip there field force with only pen and paper. As a result, reports, contracts or any other data-capturing document are written manually and must be entered in the system manually. If a field worker had the possibility to enter information in the system immediately in an easy manner, he would be able to spend more in time in the field than in the office.

2)Get Correct Information Quickly

It is important to offer a better experience than pen and paper to convince the field force to replace those with a mobile solution. If the app helps in getting correct information more quickly, you’re on the right track.

Typical functionalities you might need are:

  • Support for reading electronic identity cards (like the Belgian e-id card)
  • Intelligent guidance. For example show & hide parts based on its relevancy or auto complete form fields based on previous selections.
  • Use of GPS coordinates to prefill the form
  • Use of the date & time to prefill the form

3.Include Evidence

At some point in time, every field worker needs to capture some evidence. Two examples. For sales representatives, this can be a better proposal from a competitor. For insurance claim assessors, this can be evidence of damage.

To be able to capture this evidence, integration with the camera of the tablet is the functionality you are looking for! The field worker takes a picture of the evidence and the evidence is included in the form.

4.Use Available Information

In a paper world, a field worker starts with a blank form, but this is not the best approach in a mobile and digital world. Available information should be gathered from your existing applications (such as case management software, planning software or workflow systems) and pushed to mobile. For most companies, this requires integration with on premises software applications and data sources.

5.Share New Information

Captured information in the field typically leads to new follow-up actions. The sooner the information is made available for other software applications, the sooner a follow-up action can be triggered. Therefore it is important to share the information as quickly as possible. Again, for most companies, this requires integration with on premises software applications.

6.Secure Access

The information that is gathered by the field worker can be sensitive, may contain personal details, which much be treated with care. Therefore it is of utmost importance that a solution in this area must be secure. Secure connections and encrypted data are the functionalities you are looking for in this domain.

7.Data Connection Everywhere

Pen and paper work everywhere. So should a mobile solution. A lack of data connectivity may not hinder the field worker to do his job. Therefore it is important that the mobile solution can work in offline mode.

8.Signature

Often captured information must be confirmed by a third party (a customer, an inspected party etc.) A good way to tackle this requirement is to require a signature. Depending on the requirements you could decide to use a visual signature field or integration with and electronic identity card reader.

9. Visualize & Distribute Data

Often it is necessary to visualize and distribute the data that is captured by the field worker. Think about a sales representative that completes a contract together with a customer. The (signed) contract must be delivered to the customer via the channel he prefers (postal service, email, portal etc.) and the organization the sales representative works for, wants to keep a copy in his or her archive. This highlights the importance of the integration with a customer communications platform.

10.Let Paper Go

It happens in digitization projects that people don’t spend enough time on rethinking the paper forms to web or mobile forms. I advise not to start from the paper form to design your mobile form. Start from scratch. And get into the user’s mind. What are the logical steps to complete the form? What input is relevant when? When to suggest information? This is the only way to gain the highest benefits from your mobile forms!

Contact for Solution@ sales@fieldmi.com or Call: +91-9021836764