How to Get the Most Out of Your Mobile Workforce Management System

A Guide to Optimizing Operations with Mobile Workforce Management Solutions

March 27, 2019 | Ashley Benjamin |

When the success of your business depends on your ability to efficiently manage employees and equipment in the field, it’s critical you have the right tools to do your job.

Mobile workforce management systems make managing operations easier by automating as many steps as possible to reduce the number of man-hours needed to complete each of those tasks. Companies who rely on this kind of technology say these systems improve organization and productivity while reducing their overhead cost.

Industries such as shipping, waste management, military and law enforcement, utilities, and construction are now investing in this technology, and that trend is expected to intensify in the coming years.

What is Mobile Workforce Management?

Mobile workforce management is a type of software that provides automated solutions for various, everyday tasks, while helping you monitor and respond to what’s happening in the field. It simplifies operations by creating a digital connection between the office staff, field employees, and customers.

Whether your company is investing in a system like this for the first time or looking to upgrade your current one, these are seven of the main things your mobile workforce management solution should do for you.

Make Things Easier for Customers

Happy customers are the key to success, and the easier it is for them to do business with you, the more likely they are to return. Good mobile workforce management software makes it easy to track where a fleet vehicle or an employee is and accurately answer customer questions about their location or when they will arrive.

You’re better able to assist customers with features like digital signatures and digital proofs-of-delivery. Having evidence that you’ve fulfilled orders proves invaluable in the event of a customer dispute, helping you easily resolve issues.

You’re able to handle urgent orders more efficiently with GPS fleet tracking. The software helps you determine which drivers are available to pick up last-minute shipments so you don’t have to miss out on business opportunities that competitors might scoop up.

Provide Helpful Data and Insights

These digital solutions collect data in ways you’d never be able to on your own. They give you a bird’s-eye view of your company, so you can use that information to make the right decisions for your fleet.

Fleet reports show you how your drivers and equipment are performing in the field. They help you identify operational issues and inefficiencies while improving vehicle and driver safety.

Driver Scorecards provide detailed analytics about speeding, harsh braking/accelerating, HOS violations, and more. These reports help you determine who your best drivers are, as well as the drivers who may need coaching. By tracking which drivers are most reliable, you’re able to easily determine how to award bonuses or assign additional training, all while improving your CSA scores.

Being able to easily monitor and enforce good driving habits pays off. Drivers who quickly accelerate and brake too harshly add about 33% to your fuel costs every year. By having a virtual coaching tool in place, you save on gas and maintenance costs, along with all the time that goes into ride-alongs.

Save You Time, Energy, and Money

Fuel, maintenance, and mileage are all easy to track and report on with a mobile workforce solution in place. The software collects the data and presents it in easy-to-read reports that help you quickly spot inefficiencies in your fleet’s operation. This technology also simplifies IFTA fuel tax reporting by collecting and consolidating all your fuel and state mileage data into a single, exportable report. Many programs will let you integrate with fuel card providers to make compiling those mandated reports even easier.

Fleet routing software can automatically sort pick-up and delivery locations into the most efficient order while allowing dispatchers or managers to adjust as needed. Those routes are then dispatched to drivers, resulting in more stops in a day.

These systems also ensure important forms and reporting data aren’t overlooked. For example, you can require drivers to fill out missing information in their forms or conduct timed vehicle inspections before they’re able to clock out for the day. There’s no need to hunt down missing info later and worry that it’s being inaccurately recalled. And all of the “paperwork” is stored in the cloud, so you and office staff have instant access to the information from anywhere.

Automated maintenance reminders make scheduling garage visits easier to manage for your entire fleet; ensuring you don’t miss important repairs that could end up costing thousands of dollars more down the road. You also save on labor costs by being able to accurately schedule out your fleet’s routine maintenance and avoid backups in the garage that could lead to unnecessary overtime costs.

Help You Comply with Federal, State, and Local Regulations

A mobile workforce management system also helps you pass inspections and avoid audits. They make it easier to comply with federal and state filing regulations by automatically collecting the information you need and correctly sorting it into the right reports.

Some mobile workforce solutions are registered with the FMCSA as ELD-compliant; meaning you don’t have to worry as much about roadside inspections and costly fines.

With the ELD Rule going into full effect on December 16, 2019, having drivers that are already using approved software means you don’t have to worry about being caught with the wrong equipment next year. Real-time HOS violation warnings also keep your drivers informed about upcoming limits, helping them stay compliant and pass inspections.

Commercial navigation helps make sure vehicles stay on roads they are physically and legally allowed to travel down; helping them avoid impassable and unauthorized streets.

These tools can also help you keep your work sites safe and compliant by using data sensors to monitor equipment. You could create a customized safety checklist to make sure important inspection steps aren’t being overlooked on the job site. It helps ensure that site inspections are being properly completed and prevents dangerous situations that might lead to costly fines, injury or even death.

Make it Easy to Manage Employees and Job Sites

These digital tools go beyond standard GPS by not just tracking vehicles, but also allowing you to monitor the location and activity of assets like tablets, trailers, and other company equipment. That type of insight is invaluable on off-road locations like construction sites.

Two-way messaging provides a digital connection with you and your mobile staff, making it easy to quickly and safely communicate.

Activity alerts are sent right to your phone or inbox, so you’re aware of what’s going on in the field and can quickly respond when necessary. You’re notified when a driver makes an unsafe driving or braking maneuver, is speeding, excessively idling the vehicle, is violating HOS rules, or unplugs the GPS tracker. You can address the problem in real-time before something more serious happens.

You’re also notified if an issue is noted in DVIR, if the vehicle’s “Check Engine” light turns on, or the battery is low. That gives you time to order necessary parts, rescheduling deliveries, and schedule repairs.

Tracking your vehicles and assets gives you the chance to locate missing or stolen equipment and reduces the risk of shrinkage. You can choose to be alerted if drivers enter unauthorized areas or drive their vehicle outside of operational hours.

Geofencing is another powerful tool that lets monitor activity in specific areas with customizable perimeters. For example, you might choose to be alerted when one of your vehicles enters or leaves a job site, monitor activity at construction site or parking lot, or track shipments coming in and out of a facility.

Improve Oversight and Accountability

Mobile workforce management systems add a layer of accountability to your operation with digital checks and balances.

For instance, if a maintenance issue is spotted during an inspection, the program can mandate that the driver confirm the garage completed the repair on the vehicle’s DVIR while keeping a digital record of the entire reporting process.

Driver monitoring solutions ensure your drivers are making safety a priority while on the road, helping your company avoid being responsible for costly mistakes that can hurt your company’s reputation and bottom line.

Fleet cameras can be integrated into your mobile workforce management solution so you can literally see what’s happening around your equipment and vehicles while they’re in use. Researchers have found that fleet vehicle camera systems are one of the most effective ways to reduce driver-related safety incidents.

These systems give you a full, live view of your equipment and vehicles, and serve as a useful training tool. They offer a level of legal coverage as well, providing physical evidence that can help prove your driver and company were not at fault in the event of a criminal inquiry or insurance claim.

Meet Specific Needs with Customization

A flexible workforce management system lets you customize your solution to meet your company’s specific needs. It can integrate with programs or equipment that already work for you, allowing you to keep your existing fuel cards or mobile devices, for example.

These solutions can be fitted to help monitor specialized equipment like freezer trucks, safety devices, doors, sirens, lifts, and much more. You can keep tabs on your assets, no matter what they are.

Forms and digital DVIRs can be customizable to cater to your fleet’s specific needs. DVIR inspections can also be timed to ensure that drivers are conducting thorough walk-arounds.

You can also choose exactly which events you’re alerted about so you’re keeping track of what you need to, without interruptions from unnecessary notifications.

Let Your Mobile Workforce Management Solution Do the Work for You

Technology is designed to make your job easier. By fully utilizing your mobile workforce management program, you and your company can reap all the rewards that come from operating a smoother, more productive, and cost-efficient business.

Ashley Benjamin

Ashley Benjamin is a Public Relations and Media Specialist who served as a journalist for nearly a decade. Now, as a Content Specialist at Forward Thinking, Ashley focuses on putting together information that helps businesses better understand complicated industry issues, meet federal regulations, and optimize daily operations.

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