As technologies for mobile workforce have developed, the use of mobile CAFM applications designed to bring functionality and processing beyond the confines of office based work has grown.
However, not all mobile CAFM applications are created equal. Many of these applications were designed for a specific industry or specific tasks without the benefits of adaptability to a wider range of functions as an organisation’s mobile workforce needs grow. This means that companies are forced to continue investing in a wider range of apps that don’t necessarily suit their needs.

Demands on mobile IWMS or CAFM systems are becoming ever more complex. Organisations need to be sure that the systems and solutions they invest in will not only meet their current needs but can expand and develop as their requirements grow or change over time.
Know Your Organisation Needs
Many ‘off-the-shelf’ CAFM applications attempt to meet mobile workforce wider ranging needs by offering too many functions from the offset, although most of them are surplus to requirements. Such CAFM apps demand a high level of data to store and access, limiting the accessibility and functionality of mobile devices and not satisfying the needs of the organisation. These are clunky applications which add to the workload of those using them, rather than streamlining and making mobile workforce management easier.
Aligning
Aligning the functions of mobile workforce software to ensure role-based security is one of the unique ways in which systems can be designed. It allows organisations to deploy CAFM apps and release further functionality as needs grow, without bloating an application with unwanted functions that not every user needs.
Keep It Simple
The right IWMS or CAFM systems suits the wide-ranging needs of your business at every level. Functions are only released as necessary to those who require them as their role develops, while maintaining a streamlined functionality that doesn’t over-complicate.
Tailored Mobile Workforce Management
Mobile workforce management tailored to your specific needs ensures that your organisation manages information and simplifies processes across the board. It allows for customisation and growth without the need to move to new systems as your needs develop, avoiding mistakes, maintaining simplicity and uniform data entry.
Where an off-the-shelf mobile CAFM application can meet some of your needs, they can’t be tailored to suit your niche industry and can’t be expanded or reduced. Tailored systems can be specialised and unique to your industry, with no compromise of functionality.
Tailoring these applications means that the data footprint on your mobile device is smaller. Each user is only accessing the processes they need to complete their work, yet there are still possibilities for expansion from a basic application to a more complex multi-functional solution for everything from auditing, working hours, orders, surveys and more.

Investing in a mobile workforce management solution is a considered decision – when you’re thinking about this kind of investment you have to accurately measure the benefits and the return on investment it will bring.

But what things do you need to consider?
Collect the Right Data
As with so many things, data has the answers. The right data will determine whether it’s a sound investment and will allow you to measure the improvements that a mobile workforce management system will bring to your day to day business.
Identify Costs
Before you invest, consider what it is that you’re hoping your system will do and what cost and time savings you are anticipating from the system long term. Identifying these costs early on can give you a baseline from which you can accurately measure savings and how quickly the benefits of your investment show return.
Have a Contingency Budget
With every investment in new software and devices there should be a contingency budget included for lost or damaged devices in the field, and ongoing maintenance costs for the system, as well as the initial outlay.
Reduce Administration
The benefits that your mobile work management solution can bring include financial savings, but also process improvements and streamlining of communication – which can reduce the number of administrative staff you need for back office functions.
Measure Investment
Most systems should come with reporting tools or provide you with the raw data to help you measure your investment. Make sure your mobile workforce management solution provides unrestricted access to the original data to ensure you can adapt your ROI reporting as your organisation matures.
Automation
The main benefit of any mobile workforce management system is the automation of manually intensive processes. Ensure at the outset that you prioritise and identify the critical processes that can bring the most benefit to automation. Process streamlining not only means that your business can reduce the number of administrative staff required to run the business smoothly, but can also reduce the time taken to process orders, create opportunities and increase the number of jobs completed each day.
Reduce Errors
Automating many processes has been proven time and again to reduce errors, streamline processing and improve record keeping – all of these not only lead to cost savings but reduce the time it takes for your workforce to deliver on services and products, and simplifying their workload. This means that your staff are more efficient and that you need less people to perform daily business tasks. Less mistakes are made, with better communication, meaning that your customer base is happier with the service you provide.
Improved Data Analysis
All mobile data can be measured. Make sure you know what data you wish to collect and what the benefits are. Understanding the benefits of the data will help you decide which mobile work management system is right for your business. Understanding before you invest which areas of your business you want to improve means that you can more accurately measure the improvements in these areas once your system is fully implemented.
For help how to choose the right mobile CAFM application, check our post Not All Mobile CAFM Applications Are the Same.

 As with any technology, implementation can involve a degree of change in process – and sometimes even culture. It’s rarely a magic wand that will deliver everything without effort from its users and managers. However, promises are so often made by software vendors that in reality fall short. Before implementing a Mobile Work Order Management Solution, it’s important that you ask yourself what you want to achieve from it. b

Here we are going to discuss the top ten mistakes we’ve seen being made, and how to avoid them.
b
1. You get what you pay for

When it comes to investing in Mobile Work Order Management Apps, knowing that you ought to have one and understanding how to get what you need are often very different things. With this in mind, we’ve seen too many businesses opting for the least expensive option, thinking that all systems are much the same, and then failing to get any real benefit from the software and tools they’ve chosen. This leads to businesses thinking that Mobile Work Order Management Solutions aren’t really for them at all – when in fact they’ve simply failed to match their solution to their needs! While the initial outlay for the right systems can seem significant, the returns and efficiencies the right set up will bring to your business will more than pay for itself in less time than you would expect.

2. Planning
When you’re setting up your system you have to plan what you want from it – meticulously. While we can, of course, tweak the functionality and expand the initial software beyond what you select, you have to know precisely what it is that you want to get from your system in order to really reap the benefits. We can advise, from our experience of working for many years with a wide range of industries, but you should plan in advance what it is you’re hoping to achieve – and communicate that clearly.
3. Full functionality
When businesses implement a Mobile Work Order Management Solution they often pick a package and a specification without really looking at the finer details of what that solution can achieve for them – and then they plough on using the new devices and software without ever really exploring all the many and varied ways in which it can help. As with any technology, implementation can involve a degree of change in process – and sometimes even culture. It’s rarely a magic wand that will deliver everything without effort from its users and managers. Before implementing a Mobile Field Service Management Solution, it’s important that you ask yourself what you want to achieve from it.
4. It takes time
Implementing an entire new system across your whole organisation takes time – not just to set up and connect the system, but to train, tweak and perfect – ensuring that the entire workforce understands and utilises the system. Streamlining a system isn’t an overnight job – and it can take longer than you think to perfect it. Many businesses get frustrated by the time it takes to fully implement the new system – but again, once things are running smoothly, the time saved across all processes is worth the investment of man-hours and facilities initially.
5. Pick your people
There’s often an attitude of “That’s not my job” when it comes to implementing a new system – and while the executive team may be on board, it’s important that other vital stakeholders – from every department – are involved in the decision making, design and execution of the system to make the transition as smooth as possible. If the right people are involved from the beginning of the process, they are actively involved in ensuring that the right decisions are made, and that things work the way you need them to. After all, the executives aren’t the people doing the daily grind in the trenches – you need people involved who can say more clearly what it is they need the system to do and who will ensure that it happens.
6. Train the team
Ineffective training is the biggest issue when you implement a new system – not only does it mean that you don’t get the best out of your new system, but it also leads to dissatisfaction in the workforce as more and more voices mutter that they don’t understand the new programmes or technologies, that it doesn’t do what they want, and that they want to go back to the way things were.
Investing in a full and detailed programme of training – with ongoing support and communication over an extended period of time – is another outlay that we see far too many organisations try to skip. It’s absolutely vital if you want to get the best out of your new systems to invest in the right training and support to help integrate the Mobile Work Order Management Solution into your organisation at all levels effectively.
7. Gimme gimme gimme!
While your new system can streamline many aspects of your organisation’s day-to-day business, many businesses make the mistake of wanting it all – and asking for far too many features that simply aren’t needed. Being specific about what you want, what benefits you expect your new system to bring, and the steps you want to reduce in running your business means that you can tailor what you get to exactly what you need. You won’t be left with clunky technology that doesn’t really help because you’re asking far too much of it and investing too much time in things you don’t really need.
8. Take out the trash
When a new system is implemented we often see that outdated, old systems aren’t effectively decommissioned – meaning that legacy applications loiter and reduce the efficiency of the new system. When the new system is rolled out, make sure that the previous incarnation is effectively removed from play or you’ll end up maintaining and financing applications and systems that you aren’t using, which are simply draining resources and getting in the way of the new.
9. Maintenance
Pressing ‘go’ isn’t the only step to implementing the new Mobile Work Order Management System; once the new technologies are in place, you can’t just let it run and hope that it’s giving you its best. Ongoing maintenance can stop any minor niggles from becoming big issues, ensure that what you selected initially is truly what your business needs, expand the system to include more functionality over time as your needs expand, and ensure that your technologies stay completely up to date.
10. Future proofing
New technologies are constantly being developed and designed – picking an off-the-shelf solution might meet your needs right now, but will it continue to do so in years to come? Investing in the right systems from the right people comes with the knowledge that the software you’ve chosen can be expanded as newer technologies become available to better utilise the most modern business methods, with support and development, for many years.
To learn about useful tips for Implementing a Mobile Workforce Management Solution read Top 10 Tips for Implementing a Mobile Workforce Management Solution .

Many companies are frustrated with field service management software that is poorly optimised for their mobile workforce and burdened with unnecessary features – they also feel alternatives to their current mobile solution are not available because of the significant expense, delays and implementation issues associated with custom development or replacing entire systems.