If you have remote field workers who need to be given job instructions and/or need to collect data in the field, then good Mobile Service Software can really boost accuracy, efficiency and productivity compared with using a paper-based system.
We have developed systems for our customers that use applications developed for PDAs or Tablets to pull down the work schedule, capture data and then transmit that data back in a completely paperless process.
Typically the work schedule will be held on a central server, usually in the form of a set of jobs or tasks that the field worker needs to carry out. These jobs can be manually allocated to the field workforce for optimum efficiency or can be auto-allocated by linking each field worker with a region or set of locations.
Each field service worker logs into the system via their PDA, and then by knowing who is logged in the PDA-based Field Service Software is able to pull down all of the work for that person for a defined period ahead.
The schedule of work can be updated at any time where the mobile device has an internet connection. If work needs to be done to a regular schedule or there is a mixture of cyclic and ad-hoc work, that is no problem as the server application can create recurring jobs.
Normally the work to be carried out will be displayed in the Mobile Service Application as a list of jobs with the field worker able to tap on each job to see the full details of where the work should be carried out and what the job involves.
Typically each job will be broken down into a set of tasks that need to be carried out to complete the job. Each task is able to have a full description so the field worker understands exactly how to go about the task.
With this task-based approach, field workers are able to confirm when each task has been completed and if necessary supply a result as well as general comments about the task.
This approach is ideal where the user of the Mobile Service System is doing servicing or replenishment work or testing assets
Where the work doesn't contain tasks but requires data to be collected, each job can be associated with a form template, that when accessed on the PDA or Tablet translates into a set of data capture elements such as text fields, multiple choice drop-down lists, numeric input fields etc.
This approach works well when the field worker is carrying out survey type work.
Once the relevant tasks have been completed or the data collected, the user of the Mobile Service Software is able to send the captured information back to the central server. This can be done at any time the PDA or Tablet has a good internet connection.
Once the data reaches the central server it is processed to close the associated job and store with it all of the captured data
The results of the work can then be accessed as a PDF document, for example a job confirmation or survey results document, which can then be printed or e-mailed as needed.
The process outlined here is, of course, just a basic overview of how Mobile Service Software might work to improve efficiency and customer service and reduce cost. Every case is different and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you how a solution from us could help your organisation.