Is Your Back End Cutting Into Your Bottom Line?
It’s ironic that many organizations with mobile workers spend tremendous amounts of time and money implementing mobile resource management solutions, but then don’t maximize the potential benefits of these systems by integrating them with back-end functions. Some companies don’t realize that this integration is possible. Or if they do, they may not be aware of the many ways that integrating their mobile resource management solution with their back end can drastically improve business processes.
InSight Mobile Data Director of Product Development Chris Eller explains why many companies are losing money due to back-end inefficiencies.
Examples of Integration Benefits
Payroll, time accounting and dispatch are good examples of functions that will benefit from integration. Unfortunately, some companies that have implemented a mobile resource management solution are still forcing their employees to clock in and out manually and be dispatched from the office. Drivers commute from their homes to the office to clock in manually and be dispatched, go out and do their work for the day, drive back to the office to clock out, and then drive home. This arrangement is a tremendous waste of time and resources. When companies integrate their mobile resource management solution with their back office, however, drivers can clock in and be dispatched using a mobile device to prevent unnecessary trips to the office. The data from the mobile time clock is automatically fed into the payroll and time accounting system on the back end, so there’s no ambiguity about the number of hours worked. Work order management is another area that can benefit greatly from integration with the back end. Instead of giving drivers a set of paper work orders in the morning, companies can use their mobile technology to automate work order distribution to drivers in the field in real time—thereby increasing efficiency and saving money. Finally, job accounting can be streamlined through real-time fleet activity data integration. When the amount of time that each vehicle and driver spend on a job site is automatically fed into the job accounting function, it gives companies proof of service for customers who might request it, along with an accurate picture of how much time was spent on the job site. The results are increased employee accountability and more accurate accounting and billing.
Is Your Provider Able and Willing to Integrate?
When searching for the right provider of a mobile resource management solution, it’s important to ask detailed questions about integration capability and willingness. Some providers lack the capacity to integrate their systems with their customers’ back office, while others simply aren’t willing to help their customers accomplish the integration. Still others charge extra for it. It’s also important to choose a provider that offers a high level of technical support and proactive and responsive customer service for integration. Integration training and support are critical for ensuring that you are implementing and using your mobile resource management system’s capabilities in the most productive way. If you are currently working with a system provider that is unable or unwilling to integrate your fleet data with your back office—or one that wants to charge you extra for this kind of support—you should start looking for another provider. Ask probing questions to determine the provider’s integration capabilities and its commitment to helping you with the back-end integration process. Picking the right provider will ensure that you maximize the benefits of your mobile resource management solution.