Managing mobile workers is challenging for many asset-intensive organisations in a number of ways. While there can be some problems that are unique to a specific business or industry, from my experience working with numerous companies across many different sectors, I believe there are four fundamental problems that almost all asset-intensive organisations struggle with:
Field workers don’t always have the tools and resources they need to do the job efficiently
Field workers find it hard to respond to changing circumstances and new work that comes up while out in the field
Field workers can’t easily connect with other people who have relevant experience and insights
Time and resources are not used efficiently
Let’s look at how worker enablement through mobile solutions can help address these problems.
Field workers don't have the tools and resources they need to do the job efficiently.
This is probably the number one concern I hear from field workers. They want to do a good job, and they want to do it quickly and accurately. However, that is hard to do when you don’t have access to the right information. In some cases, they can’t get to information at all while in the field. In other cases they can but it takes a lot of time to find what they need.
With the right mobile worker enablement solutions, such as Certus Mobile, organisations can overcome this problem. Smart mobile solutions can give field workers quick and easy access to the tools and resources they need to complete the job quickly and safely. The best mobile worker enablement solutions can do this regardless of whether the workers are connected to the internet and allow them to work in a disconnected state.
Field workers find it hard to respond to changing circumstances and new work that comes up while out in the field.
No matter how well field workers plan and prepare, there is always the risk of circumstances changing and for new work to come up unexpectedly while on site. Too often, workers find themselves unprepared and lacking the resources to deal with the new situation effectively.
By providing field workers with easy access to all resources and tools, mobile worker enablement solutions overcome this problem. The workers simply look up what they need in the system or connect with someone who can give advice.
Field workers can't easily connect with other people who have relevant experience and insights.
Even the best system can’t fully replace the knowledge and experience that certain people have in their area of expertise. Sometimes, what field workers need to do the job well isn’t access to data, but the ability to easily connect with someone who has the required knowledge.
Mobile worker enablement solutions make it easy for field workers to identify the people who can give advice and to reach out to them.
Time and resources are not used efficiently.
Imagine this common scenario. There is an issue at one of your remote sites that needs urgent attention. A qualified worker is doing a less critical job at a location nearby, so the most efficient option would be to send that worker to do the urgent job instead of sending out someone else. However, that worker didn't take the right resources with him and getting them to him would be complicated and time-consuming. So you do the only thing you can do; you send another worker to drive all the way out to the site.
This is just one example of the inefficiencies that mobile enablement solutions can overcome. By giving field workers access to the right information at the right time, you can allocate time and recourses based on what is most efficient without having to worry about whether someone has the tools and resources they need to do the job.
Those are the four most common business problems and how smart worker enablement solutions can help you overcome them.
My next blog post will explain how our Certus Mobile worker enablement solution is better than, and different to, a simple webform or the native IBM Maximo functionality.
If you would like to learn more about worker enablement through mobile solutions, check out our on-demand webinar in which I discuss the topic in more details with Certus Solutions Director Roy Lorenzen.