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.

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; RoadFS™, Harvest Bin™ and ZWarehouse™