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  • Jon Brown FCCA

6 Benefits of a Mobile Workforce

Mobile working is truly revolutionising the workplace, and to solidify this fact, with recent events and continuing lock-downs, mobile working has not only kept jobs, but also given rise to the mobile workforce, where employees have the flexibility to work from the comfort and safety of their own home or while on the move.

80.76% of the entire world’s population owns a smartphone, if you put that in numbers it becomes 6.37` billion individuals and by 2022 there will be an additional 200 million users using these devices. That is an incredible figure that shows how integral smartphones have become not just in our lives but also within the workplace.

With the rise of powerful mobile processors and applications, smaller devices such as tablets and smartphones are able to blur the line between a traditional computer and mobile device. In an ever-evolving global market the key to keeping your customers and suppliers within your ecosystem, is through purchasing powerful ERP systems that come with a slew of powerful mobile applications, that offer an incredibly user-friendly experience and also provide value through options that give the end user flexibility.

By cutting the cord to the physical office, help your employees achieve a greater degree of productivity, save on overhead costs for your business and be an incredibly efficient organisation. This is the basic framework of a successful mobile workforce.

So, what exactly is a mobile workforce?

Essentially a mobile workforce isn’t tied to a particular physical location, instead employees are interconnected through various forms of mobile technology primarily through laptops, smartphones and tablets. Not only are these technologies offer a greater degree of portability but they also offer savings in terms of costs (which we will explain soon).

It isn’t just the idea of remote work that plays into a mobile workforce, now employees who are out in the field can conduct and perform field work and finish up reports that would have otherwise required extra trips back to the office.

A mobile workforce empowers your employees to be productive whenever, and wherever they are, offering your employees the flexibility to work within or outside your office. It is important to note you will need to have software that is accessible remotely and also user friendly across mobile devices. This offers not just flexibility but more productivity in the long run as you’re employees can focus on the work ahead, rather than dodging traffic or depending on public transport for their commute.

The primary focus for a mobile workforce is to offer you’re employees a flexible working environment giving them the ability to be productive where ever they go, provided you equip them with the resources and support they require, to help your organisation evolve, and provide a flexible working environment.

Here are the 6 Benefits of having a mobile workforce

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1. Enable Business Continuity through Business Strategy

With ongoing constant lock-downs, having business continuity as part of your long-term business strategy is incredibly important. As this keeps your business running during these conditions by maintaining essential functions during times such as these.

Instilling a mobile workforce is essential to this strategy as during a lockdown or even a disaster level event, mobile-based employees can still continue to work even if the company’s physical location is inaccessible or even destroyed in an extreme event. Ensuring the essential aspects of your business stays running for your end users.

Here’s an example of how organisations plan in the case for such extreme events:

A piece of data technology your IT department might be familiar with is Disk Mirroring, where you can keep your data updated across a variety of locations and not just the primary data center. However, it is important for smaller enterprises maintaining all functions during a disaster will not be viable but keeping essential functions and a capable mobile workforce will be more efficient and save costs on running all functions within your business.

2. Expand your talent

Small enterprises are often limited by the talent available within the specific location they are based in, however with a mobile workforce they have the ability to look for talent globally, garnering more experienced or even more capable individuals that have the ability to drive growth within your business.

Having the option/ability to choose who you employ on a global scale, not only gives your organisation the opportunity to crowdsource a diverse spectrum of potential talent, but more importantly it offers a level of geographic and economic flexibility that wouldn’t be otherwise possible without a mobile workforce.

A remote workforce can give you wider access to employees who are disabled, helping them to easily be brought into the workforce.

Image by Mathieu Stern

3. Keep your costs down

We know it’s challenging to keep your expenses to a minimum, especially when you are experiencing growth. Often with growth and rising demand for your product/services means hiring more employees and with a traditional office, this would mean expanding your workspace. This would increase your expenses as with a traditional office you would either have to create more space on location or further rent/buy more office space in other locations.

There are additional costs with buying or renting a workspace for your business, these would include time spent on finding and settling on a new premises, but also additional costs of utilities that pile up as you grow your workforce.

There are also travel costs, this can be from the expense of traveling to a central site for employees to time costs due to daily or frequent commutes. With a mobile workforce you can eliminate these costs and have a more productive workforce through online communication tools where meetings can be done anywhere as long as your employees have access to the web.

With a mobile workforce, employees have the flexibility to work from home as part of a hybrid working model. This can be offering employees a part time schedule such as working 3 days from home and 2 days within the office.

This sort of work flexibility boosts employee satisfaction, as the ability to work from anywhere as part of the mobile workforce means employees can carry tasks on hours that are more molded around their lives.

Image by Joshua Aragon

4. Increase your productivity

The flexibility of working on the move means you eliminate time costs such as travel, and even trips to central locations for meetings, leading to a higher degree of productivity. However, with a mobile workforce such as service technicians it is important to have portable technology so technicians know where they are going and the job they have been assigned to do.

With mobile technology that is integrated into your ERP system, your technicians can keep track of their time and materials needed, give you and your customers pictures of the work done, letting them sign off and also sending an invoice for the work down as your technician leave the house. With systems like Triumph, you can record multiple jobs to start at the same time for your technicians, keeping track not only of the time and materials but also their geo location.

Having these tools to collaborate with your off-site employees is essential for further growth and expansion in your market sector

5. Simplifying Stocktake

You can further simplify your business using mobile technology, this not only extends to the capability of making and receiving calls, with smartphones you have the ability to transform them into mobile scanners, which in turn is connected to the web and in turn connected to your systems removing the need for paperwork, this is incredibly effective and convenient if you have stock whether it is inside a warehouse or store. Essentially this whole process is quite simplified through mobile technology.

Having a mobile scanner means data is collected automatically without additional user input, this not only reduces warehouse errors, but also helps to improve and make the process of picking more efficient, meaning an increase in productivity for your employee who is part of your mobile workforce.

The technology used here also translates to increasing customer satisfaction as through the use of these mobile apps you can pick accurately and with speed, leading to your customer getting their order quickly and importantly given the right product.

The key here with mobile technology is through the automation of your supply chain systems you simplify your business processes

Image by Clay Banks

6. Mobile Sales & Ordering Systems

In today’s world, mobile sales systems are revolutionising the workforce by the way orders are created to being processed for warehouses. A mobile POS system is not only convenient in terms of taking orders from customers or making orders for your warehouse, as a result of being on a mobile device means sales people who are part of your mobile workforce out in the field, can check stock, accounts, orders and submit this right on the spot for processing back in your warehouse or store.

Mobile Sales systems offers your employees flexibility to move around your shop and warehouse, as most Mobile Sales systems like Triumph are integrated so where ever they maybe and if they were to create an order or check stock or even process payments, these systems will help your employees in real time due to being fully integrated with ERP software.

Another benefit of mobile sales systems like Triumph mobile Point of Sale, is that they quickly highlight and undertake improvements needed in terms of productivity and customer service to enable the faster delivery of goods. Moreover, Triumph offers additional functionality not just through smart phones but also the ability to interact with the POS system remotely through whichever system you choose to use such as iPad, Android and even Windows tablets.

At Avenaut Consulting

We ask ourselves how do we make your job easier, how do we make it easier for you to keep track of your inventory, your service technicians and down to your payment and ordering systems.

This ability to work remotely, not only enables your business to be incredibly flexible but also if you have employees in healthcare, IT, and construction for example.

It is essential to ensure the workforce is primarily mobile with the help of workforce management technology like Triumph’s Job Mobile that gives you and your employees the ability to assign jobs based on skill or to a technician with the skill and who is preferred by your customer, helping you attain a greater level of customer satisfaction and also higher quality of labour.

Mobile technology is the future for us, not just in terms of keeping up with the market but also offering you as a business the convenience of having portable systems that can give your employees the tools to be productive while on the move.

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