Evaluating, selecting, and deploying a mobile field service management solutions are very challenging for many companies. In today’s technology driven world, the options are virtually endless (which translates to overwhelming). Mix in a little budget and timeframe pressure along with some of the workforce who may be resistant to change and you can have yourself an uphill battle. That said, the benefits of mobility are clear so it is a battle that’s well worth fighting. Here are a couple of tips to make your mobile deployment process easy as it can be.
#1: Define Clear Goals For Your Mobile Solution
There are a few mistakes companies make early on in the mobile deployment process. The first is rushing to technology selection before you clearly define objectives for the solution you are putting in place. It’s important to think first about the challenges you’re having with the processes or (older) mobile solution you have in place, and what it is that you are looking for the new solution to accomplish. The second mistake companies often make, though, is stopping here. If you’re investing in a solution that will be in place for at least a couple of years before you make a change, now is the time to also think forward. What functionality will you need next year and the following years? Think about the workflow of your mobile employees and the value you provide to your clients. Are there other areas that you could automate to further improve efficiency (like integrating GPS with your field service management software solution), or functionality you could add to provide better service to your customers (like signature capture and credit card payment)? Maybe you won’t be able to incorporate all of this into your mobile solution right away, but thinking ahead like this gives you an opportunity to choose a solution that will allow you expanded functionality during its Iifecyle.
#2: Do Due Diligence In Technology Selection
It’s easy to want to rush through the technology evaluation and selection process because the options are so numerous, but you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. It’s also easy to make technology choices for the wrong reasons because it’s the “coolest” or “cheapest” of the products, versus because it best addresses the goals you have defined (the right reason). Do not rush this process, and really stick to selecting the solution that best addresses the needs you’ve outlined.
#3: Don’t Ignore The Need For Change Management
Whether you’re deploying your first mobile field service management solution, or upgrading from one you currently have in place, it’s still a change. And anytime you’re introducing a change into your organization and asking your mobile workers to do something differently, you have to manage this change. Otherwise your deployment is not going to produce the results you hope it will. From employee engagement and buy-in to proper training and ongoing performance management, change management is crucial to a successful mobile solution deployment. Next month we will talk more about how to master change management.