Often, you’ll realize there are several field operations that your business will undertake. During such times, your employees may be out and about without the proper equipment and infrastructure that’s always available on the office premises. This could affect the running of operations and affect the productivity of your team.
Any business should invest in tools to ensure that field operations are streamlined. Fortunately, with many businesses adopting technology, it has been easy to conduct field operations.
Factors such as communication and data access have been made easy between teams. Moreover, there are companies like FieldInsight and others that offer field management services to businesses.
Therefore, with the right management and tools, it’s possible to streamline your field operations.
Ways To Streamline Operations
There are several ways that a business can use to streamline business operations. The goal is always to let your team members have an optimal working environment and to deliver good value to your customers. The management should also be able to manage all these teams so that every process flows accordingly.
If you want to achieve this, here are some of the tips to put into considerations:
1. Utilize Cloud Management
Cloud management is one of the best ways to help field teams communicate and manage data through one system, making it easy for integration. With many companies offering software as a service, your business can get the software that helps to establish real-time communication with stakeholders, teams, and customers.
Cloud hosting can help you reduce response time between on-premise staff, management, and the field staff, which means requests are attended to as they arise. Moreover, using cloud software means teams can access and work on data using only one system, which is vital to streamline workflow. With an effective workflow system, it’s easier for field operations to be conducted and completed in time.
2. Use Data to Forecast Events
Early scheduling is vital to help businesses streamline their field operations as they prepare for any event and ensure that everything goes well. While some situations, such as climate changes, may be difficult to predict and the business has no control over it, there are some, such as consumer behavior, that can be predicted.
Team members can collect data from past events and field operations and forecast when they will happen again. You can then channel resources and services to align with these events early enough. Forecasting helps your field team prepare for events early, making processes manageable.
3. Define The Entire Process
Before sending your team to the field, you need to define the entire process to your team members. Even though there may be a workflow system, it’s still important to tell everyone where they’ll go and what duties will be delegated to them. Moreover, you can also define the goals and targets that need to be achieved during each field day.
Clearly defining the process can also come in handy if there’s a problem with your automated workflow systems, as your team will be able to retain the schedule. It’s also important in resource allocation because your managers will distinguish each process and channel resources accordingly.
4. Allow Flexibility in Your Operations
There are some cases where you’ll find out that the situation in the field is different from what you anticipated and prepared for. For example, when promoting a product to new customers, their response may be negative. So, instead of your team sticking to the same marketing strategy that’s not doing quite well, they should change their tactic according to how the environment responds.
Your team shouldn’t be confined that they have to get approval from the manager before deciding what to do. Though it’s advisable to have a centralized decision-making point of contact, you should give your field team a range of freedom to change decisions depending on each situation, especially since they’ll be out of the office.
This kind of flexibility and agility will allow your business to deal with challenges as they come up. It also helps streamline operations by decentralizing some parts of decision-making to your team members.
5. Get A Workforce Management Software
Managing your field team could be a problem if you don’t have the right tools to communicate and track their performance. This may lead to others performing better than the rest, which could generally affect the field operations. Additionally, there could be cases of time and resource wastage that affect the productivity of your team.
Investing in reliable workforce management software will help you to monitor the activities of your staff. The software can have features such as time-tracking, which help you track how they allocate their hours in the field. This software allows you to manage your team regardless of where you are. You can also collect data and use it to analyze their productivity and take the necessary measures.
6. Use Mobile Devices to Enhance Communications
Mobile phones and tablets account for the highest Internet usage in the world today. This means that your customers and field staff are likely using phones, and therefore, you need to find a way that connects your customers, field staff, and your business through mobile phones or tablets.
You can design field service applications that can allow teams to communicate with each other regarding the business. This will increase collaboration through data capture, such as real-time location capture. Moreover, customers can use the application to place requests, communicate with field staff in real-time, and get attended quickly by reducing downtime.
7. Improve Response Time
Response time is important to business, not just for customers but also for your team. When customers make requests, they hope to get attended to soonest. The same applies to your field agents, who would appreciate completing assignments as soon as possible.
Therefore, your business should focus on improving response time by scheduling your team depending on availability, location, and skills. Resources can also be channeled depending on priority; for example, more staff and resources can be assigned to a highly-populated area to improve response time. Besides customer satisfaction, focusing on improving response time means no staff gets more tasks than they can handle, hence streamlining field processes.
Businesses that offer field services should focus on how to streamline their operations. Your customers will want to be provided with the best services, and you can achieve this by giving your team the right tools and management. When you focus on optimizing workforce management, workflow, response time, and using clouds software for your field operations, you’ll streamline the processes.