An efficient field team – can I improve something as a Manager?
DHave you ever wondered if your self-organizing field team is using its full potential?
Did you create analyses, summaries, implemented ideas to improve their work?
It is bread and butter for every manager. However, have the implemented solutions resulted in improved efficiency and a better team atmosphere?
In this article, I would like to analyze the most common problems faced by Field Services Management, as well as share the implementations of solutions that I carried out while working in the field and managing a team.
Widespread lack of time
Every day, a manager faces many obstacles, ranging from the temporary (but often unannounced) absence of employees, to technical problems, to ineffectiveness. Most of these incidents require some commitment, but obstacles can be resolved quickly. It all comes down to the right tools and organizational procedures implemented. So which solutions work best? The simplest ones!
What can you do to communicate well with colleagues?
1. Take care of the atmosphere
Communication, mutual respect, trust – the key to success of your team lies in fast information flow. Let team members communicate their needs, thoughts, suggestions. Closing yourself to your colleagues’ opinions, not having enough attention is a step towards lowering motivation.
2. Clearly declare your own and your organization’s expectations
Goals, benefits achieved through meeting these goals, as well as feedback are factors that are important in maintaining the positive atmosphere. However, they are such important aspects of communication that they are included as a separate point. Your co-workers like to know what we expect from her/him and what she/he needs to do to achieve certain benefits. Sales plan, milestone, indicator – anything will do. Achieving the set goals is the key to success and constant high efficiency. A bonus system that is appropriate, fair, achievable and clear to understand for the employee, based on the achieved goals is the best recipe for your team’s success.
3. Provide the right tools to support the work
Laptop, mobile phone, company car, fuel card, office package? Depending on the job, the tools may vary. However, it is worth ensuring that each member of your team has them. If there is a need for new tools, it is worth verifying whether their delivery will positively affect the achievement of the set goals.
It is also worth paying attention to comfort when using the device or application. Sales representatives, couriers, door2door employees, electricians, mechanics – these are industries in which speed will be important. It takes too long for the laptop to start up for a quick action. Dedicated devices to handle a specific process are often a large expense. In this case, it is worth using a common device that almost everyone has – a smartphone and a dedicated application for handling tasks in the field, e.g. VSoft Mobile Workforce – Field Service Management tools available for devices running on Android and iOS, thanks to which the employee will plan his daily schedule, optimize the route between given points, and report and immediately send the result of the visit to the manager.
360 ° overview
A good boss is one who notices undesirable phenomena quickly and makes decisions efficiently. To make this possible, he needs access to his subordinate team’s data almost online. The best way to provide such data is the implemented team management system with the ability to create reports on the data that appear online in the system. Dedicated Field Service Management solutions are able to collect, dynamically process and present this type of data in a user-friendly form. The most useful functions for managing a field team available in our product are:
- Overview of reported tasks and actions
- Quick view of the availability of our employees with vacation days schedule
- Access to the employees’ calendar with the possibility of dynamic planning
- Automatic task assignment based on defined algorithms
- Tools supporting the optimization of the daily task implementation plan (e.g. by creating the shortest route)
- Monitoring the position of employees and the route travelled with mileage calculation
- Reports, e.g. on the effectiveness, tasks completed, their duration, implementation rates
Can a comprehensive tool guarantee success? Certainly not. It is necessary to analyse data and make effective decisions based on these analyses. No tool will give us a 100% guarantee of efficiency improvement, but it will help an efficient manager make decisions that have a positive impact on the team’s work.