There’s no denying it: BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is reaching virtually every industry and sector under the sun these days — field service included. And as we’ve said many times: The use of mobile devices in the field is revolutionizing the business, streamlining everything from parts and inventory management to logistics and scheduling. So as field service goes mobile, managers need to get with the program — or else.
Service managers ignore mobility trends and BYOD at their own peril: Employees are bringing their own devices on the job whether you offer a program or not. So It’s important for companies to address BYOD head on. But what should that look like? And where do you start?
Field service companies must first accept the change, then adopt a clear and appropriate policy around it. This policy should address who pays for what, how data should be shared and stored, who has ownership of what and general security issues. More important, companies need to imagine how mobile devices and apps can simply help service techs do their jobs better, faster, and smarter.
Here are some strategies to consider when adopting BYOD in your organization:
Give Your Service Techs the Right Apps
Just because your employees are using their personal devices in the field doesn’t mean they should be left in the dark to search for appropriate work-related applications. In fact, it’s important to inform your fleet about which applications they need so that they can do their jobs. In some cases, it may even help to create your own in-house app or app store.
For example, Cleveland-based company Safegaurd Properties launched an application geared towards its BYOD employees in the field. The company, which inspects and maintains foreclosed-on homes across the country, employs more than 8,000 freelance field workers. Its application, INSPI2, was specifically developed for workers’ personal mobile devices. The app creates driving routes for workers, allows them to auto-fill forms based on pre-existing data, uploads pictures to a company database and helps with data reconciliation.
“Most of the users love it,” Bill Cook, senior IT manager at Safegaurd, told Forbes. Cook loves it, too. Since its impimentation, Safegard has seen a direct correlation between the application and the accuracy of work in reports. “Even a 5% increase in accuracy can translate to significant speed and cost savings on back-end processing,” Cook said.
Read the other two strategies on The Smart Van blog ›