Category Archive: Field Service

Overcoming a Resistant Work Force to Mobile Technology

Fat Finger Mobile Devices - Field ServiceDo you find that some members of your mobile work force are resistant to adopting and using regularly the new mobile work management system you’ve put in place?  You’ve heard the excuses:

  • I’m not a technology guy.
  • I’m all thumbs when it comes to mobile devices.
  • If I was younger maybe I’d get it.
  • I just want to get to work.
  • It slows me down.
  • I don’t have time to learn a new way.
Yet in the follow-up breath you hear:
  • If I could just avoid going into the office.
  • It would be nice if I had all the parts before I left the office.
  • I wish you would plan my route better. I spend all day driving all over town.
  • Don’t they look at my schedule? I’m always over booked.

In rolling out hundreds of mobile field service implementations I’ve learned there are a number of critical tasks to ensure adoption across all departments.

  • Training, Training and Training:  Train every member of your team. Retrain them when necessary.  If you really want to learn where your field service techs are struggling shadow them for a day. You’ll be amazed at what you discover riding along with your crew.  Make video libraries of each step in the mobile process. This will save you time while providing tools team members can revisit as needed.
  • Choose a team lead or leads: Find that individual or individuals who are excited about the new mobile solution. Start with them. Get them onboard as quickly as possible. When your team lead sees the improvements they’ll naturally become your internal evangelists, leaders and supplemental support.
  • Rollout in phases: I’m a big proponent of rolling out any mobile solution in phases.  Start at the most critical point in your process.  I find this is most often centered around integration with existing accounting systems.  Take the time to get this right.  This is not only critical from an internal perspective but also from a customer perspective.  You want to ensure that any new system improves the customer experience. The last thing you want are invoicing errors sent to the customers.  Then move out to your pilot individual(s) or group who will use the mobile app.  Once you have the entire business chain polished, rollout out to the rest of your team.
  • Choose the right device:  This is critically important.  Consider carefully the needs of your team.  Do you need smartphones that support simple point and click apps, or do you need mobile devices with integrated scanners, GPS, etc.? Are you guys in rugged, wet, dusty or cold environments? Do they need credit card swiping?  What are the optimal screen sizes – SmartPhone, Fablet (super sized phones) or Tablets? Which do team members prefer? You may find you need multiple devices depending on individual roles and business needs.
  • Make sure your mobile solution goes the distance: Too many solutions tout mobile and, yes, they do a good job at providing a mobile app. But if you are just replacing your paper work order with a mobile app version of your work order, what’s the point?  Make sure your solution provides the tools and information needed for each business sector to complete their job.  Look for solutions that eliminate or diminish as many throttle points as possible.

Successful adoption will in large part be determined by how you manage your rollout.  Remember in some cases you are teaching old dogs new tricks. Remind your team that while there will be adjustments, the solutions we are implementing are designed to improve the business process for the entire company. Take the lead early and manage your mobile adoption to success.

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Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software SolutionsJody Sedrick, CEO
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenwareinc
LinkedIn Profile: Jodysedrick
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Zenware Inc. is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software. We also have a powerful line up of off-the-shelf mobile cloud solutions; ZenTouch now RoadFS, and ZWarehouse

 

Pimped Out Service Fleets – A Thousand Eyes on You!

What are the first things that come to mind when thinking of your service vehicles? Immediate thoughts might include…

  • Maintenance
  • Scheduling
  • Fuel Costs
  • Windshield Time

All of these are critical points for fleet management.  However, when is the last time you thought about your fleet vehicles as marketing machines?

According to the American Trucking Association study; The Visual Impact of Trucks in Traffic, showed a single commercial van with an effective exterior wrap can garner up to 16 million visual impressions per year. Here are some additional nuggets from their for you to consider:

  • 96% noticed truck side ads
  • 98% said fleet graphics created a positive image for the company
  • 96% said fleet graphics had more impact than billboards
  • 75% of people developed an impression about a company and its products
  • 29% would base a buying decision on the impression

Talk about an opportunity for company branding!

Some service companies have this dialed in recognizing their service vehicles are rolling billboards.

Here a few examples of how service companies have pimped their rides. to get your marketing and branding mind thinking:

Interior Magic - http://myinteriormagic.com

Interior Magic – http://myinteriormagic.com

Doctor Cool - Special look for Breast Cancer Awareness

Doctor Cool – Special look for Breast Cancer Awareness

Long Point Pest Control - A picture paints 1000 Words

Long Point Pest Control – A picture paints 1000 Words

Dent Geek

Dent Geek

If you’ve got an awesome ride you’d like to highlight send us a link and we’ll include it on this list.

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Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software SolutionsJody Sedrick, CEO
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenwareinc
LinkedIn Profile: Jodysedrick
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zenware Inc. is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software. We also have a powerful line up of off-the-shelf mobile cloud solutions; ZenTouch, and ZWarehouse

 

BYOD – Is It Right For Your Company?

BYODFor that past 18 months I’ve read a lot of articles about BYOD. If you don’t know BYOD means “Bring Your Own Device”. Basically, BYOD provides a way for your team members to use their personal device in your business environment.

BYOD has been touted as the new way to distribute business applications and manage employee owned devices. Some tout that BYOD is equivalent to the Wild Wild West fraught with security concerns for both corporate and personal data.

My intent in this article is not to sway you in one direction for or against BYOD. But I wanted to ask the question “How many of my customers are implementing BYOD”? “How many companies have even requested BYOD”? “Why or Why Not”?

The answer….. a whopping 1.

That’s right, one customer.

What is unique about him?

Enterprise Grade – Supporting multiple companies, users or divisions
He is deploying an enterprise mobile solution to multiple companies. Each of his customers (companies) have set their own mobile device standards in use by their teams. Thus, he needs a system that enables him to leverage the concepts of BYOD: distribution of applications to multiple device types, monitoring devices, control access based on user roles, etc.

Enterprise But Traditional
In talking with some of my other enterprise customers about BYOD they decided that taking the more traditional approach to mobile device management of standardizing on a set of devices is more manageable for them. Yes saving on device procurement costs was alluring. But they determined that any cost savings were offset in beefing up network security, protecting corporate data and providing monthly stipends for cellular use. Another common thread was the desire to control the types of devices that accessed their system whether it be SmartPhones, Tablets or laptops. One of the IT managers I spoke to put it this way “Knowing what I have to manage is critical to me. It’s bad enough when the CEO comes in and wants to add his latest device to the network, that isn’t compatible with our applications. What if I had to do that with 100 people? No Thanks!”

SMB Culture
BYOD hasn’t proven a fit in the small to medium sized business where mobile devices are bundled with cellular service. The device flavor of the week is generally chosen based on the preference of the guy making the purchase with some consideration of the needs of the mobile user. Admittedly this is probably more of a cultural and educational aspect of the growth cycle of SMBs. As BYOD solutions become more of an embedded solution in products purchased by SMBs I see a shift in the adoption of BYOD since they will have built-in tools to support the BYOD decision.

What I’ve found is BYOD can be ideal for solution providers or enterprises that are managing multiple applications and multiple mobile devices across different business sectors or divisions.  Here are few key considerations that have proven common with my customers.

BYOD Considerations

In the end as I’ve met with companies from diverse industry sector the decision is coming down to the personal and risk preferences of key decision makers  and the goals of each company. I’m interested to hear what you are seeing.

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Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software SolutionsJody Sedrick, CEO
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenwareinc
LinkedIn Profile: Jodysedrick
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zenware, Inc. is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software. We also have a powerful line up of off-the-shelf mobile cloud solutions; ZenTouchGlassBiller and ZWarehouse