Other available features can allow a mobile work force to streamline processes and cut down on the administrative time spent on daily tasks. For example, wireless time sheets and forms can greatly improve customer service and employee satisfaction. It can also give mobile workers the tools they need to execute tasks efficiently. Wireless time sheets eliminate the need for workers to clock in and out at the office, saving time and fuel by having them report directly to the job site. Wireless forms help eliminate the massive amounts of paperwork typically used in organizations with mobile workers. Employees have the ability to instantly input and send job details, customer forms and inventory levels without the hassle of filling out paper forms.
Another feature that MRM solutions have is bar-code scanning technology. Bar-code scanning technology can be used to send instant updates and reports directly from wireless devices. This gives employees a more accurate and tamper-proof way to enter information, and eliminates the need for manual data entry entirely.
Finally, other MRM features-such as wireless job dispatching and mileage tracking-give managers in the office tools with which to work more efficiently and save money. By having the ability to locate and send the closest available field worker to respond to a certain job, management can cut down on miscommunication, improve customer response times and ensure that assets are used in the most appropriate manner. In addition, mileage-tracking features allow organizations to see the total mileage driven by mobile workers, including travel speeds. As gas prices continue to fluctuate, this not only helps with vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, but also with transportation regulations and reporting.
Address privacy concerns of workers
One of the most common issues managers will need to address when implementing a GPS tracking service is the privacy concerns of their mobile workers. The idea of being "watched" by their bosses can be intimidating, and many workers will not understand the personal and business benefits these services can offer.
By far the most important thing when handling these concerns is to address them directly at the outset of the deployment. Being honest about the reasons behind the service will show workers that managers are not trying to keep anything a secret. Also, it is important for business leaders to point out that the intention is not to "catch" workers doing something wrong but, instead, to be able to make improvements to overall business practices.
Another way to foster positive perceptions of MRM services by mobile workers is to highlight the personal perks. When implementing the solution on workers' mobile devices, many organizations permit access to GPS navigation on personal time as well. Having this access to turn-by-turn directions on a daily basis might be the motivation some mobile workers need in order to fully embrace the technology.
Additionally, it is important for managers to note how MRM services can increase the personal safety of their mobile work force. The ability to instantly locate a worker can be essential in times of emergency-employees will be more open to the deployment if they understand how it can help keep them safe.
Sal Dhanani is a co-founder of TeleNav. Sal brings years of experience in business strategy, product marketing and management, and operations within the telecommunications industry. Prior to TeleNav, Sal worked with the McKenna Group, where he developed market entry, product launch and expansion strategies for various startups, telecom companies and telecom infrastructure providers. Before joining the McKenna Group, Sal was responsible for product development and management at Schlumberger, Test and Transactions Group.
Sal completed coursework through Stanford University's IEEM program and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.