Mobile workforce management software and SMBs

What is mobile workforce management software?

Managing mobile workforce means coordinating the activities of employees who work remotely or outside of a traditional office setting. Suitable software typically has features such as time and attendance tracking, job scheduling, job dispatch, and job reporting.

Illustration of an employee on the go - to signify mobile workforce

Mobile workforce management software is mainly used by companies that have field employees, such as delivery drivers, technicians, or salespeople. They need to be tracked and managed while they are away from the office. For the same reason, they need access through mobile apps, which can be installed on smartphones and tablets. This will sometimes also allow managers to view and track the locations and activities of their employees in real-time.

A central task management app that replaces Excel sheets, endless emails and phone calls is a dream for all team managers. All of the above are usually inconvenient for employees on the go. And a workforce app can be a magical solution.

How to choose a workforce app for your mobile employees

There are tons of workforce management apps out there. But not all of them are perfect for a team that is always on the go. Software for managing mobile workforce is a category of its own. and the difference is that it’s built for people that move around and can only access their mobile devices.

The office apps are meant to be used on a large screen in an office environment. The mobile apps are meant to be used everywhere else – in transit, on a worksite, while visiting a client.

Eventually, the key is implementation— the perfect solution is what works for your team. The important questions you need to ask before making the choice are:

  • Will this solution make our life easier, not more complex?
  • Can team members use it on their devices?
  • How complicated is it to learn? Do we have the skills and resources to provide enough support and education to team members?

Surely there is a good choice out there for all kinds of teams. Are you upgrading from a grid notebook? Or are you still doing data entry in spreadsheets so that anything is an upgrade?

Some administrators are tired of using complicated database tools (because everyone loves simplicity over function). You just need to find the one that’s working out for your business.

👉 Here is a list of our favorite mobile workforce management apps.

👉 Alternatively, jump directly to our very simple workforce management app. It only takes a few minutes to start a free project to manage your employees on the go!

Everyone is a mobile worker after 2020

Even while COVID-19 has reduced or cancelled all travel, the work-anywhere mindset of digital nomads still remains. The transition to working from home has become to mean working from any remote location. And this has essentially transformed all office workers into mobile workers.

The core team can no longer rely on the water-cooler talk to get business done. Therefore it is also easier to work with outside talent. This means gig workers, and temporary collaborators on the go are easy to onboard. All team meetings are now on Zoom anyway!

A good mobile workforce management app can help you outperform your competitors

In many industries, you can quickly earn a competitive edge over other companies who still work the old-fashioned way. A digital app lets you dispatch a worker within minutes. Is your competitor taking their time to check tickets, send emails and fill in Excel forms to reach the same result?

“Email isn’t going to cut it when you are out on the field. Email works for people who sit in front of computers. Or can check it frequently to stay in-the-know, but field techs are too busy to constantly check for updates. In fact, most never check it at all!” writes Sarah Nicastro from Field Technologies

Fast onboarding is key

Bringing extra workers on board can make the major difference between a struggling company and a successful business. Having a suitable software in place will let you easily accommodate multiple kinds of employees in the same platform. Some can be committed to their job from nine to five on a daily basis. And some can just pop in for a short period of time.

Well-implemented workforce management software increases productivity and efficiency. But it can still keep a human-centric focus to meet the preferences of employees. Not all people are alike, so having a flexible system allows you to get constant results out of personal working styles.

Keeping it safe and secure

Security and team privacy is something that should never be overlooked. The transition to remote work has been relaxed in large corporate cybersecurity to accommodate connecting from private residences. This may be a new challenge for small businesses who used to rely on a grid notebook on the office table.

The well-known business firm Forrester elaborates: “Many employees have been forced to use their personal devices to work from home. We need to protect company assets that are being accessed on personal devices. We invest in app-based solutions such as app virtualization, app containers, and app security. These enable security professionals to de-emphasize device-centric endpoint protection,” explains the consultant group in a recent report.

In other words, if your employees work outside the office environment using mobile devices, your need to keep things secure. And your best bet is to implement a secure workforce management solution. This way you can make sure only your employees can check client addresses, access inventory, and sign delivery slips.

Remote work forces us to build good management practices

Good mobile workforce management software also promotes good management and a better use of time. Especially remote and mobile work require the work to be designed around tasks. This is a more formal process that demands more work upfront.

This could an unfamiliar and possibly uncomfortable approach for many managers, who are used to a more relaxed approach. But supportive software will help them overcome these challenges.

Setting up task-oriented processes help the independent workers. This lets them do their own time-planning and optimise the tasks based on their routes and availability. Also the internal team should start measuring their progress based on results and not hours spent at the office.

Many third-party solutions are available to implement in-house, and many software providers also offer custom branding and functionality. This is especially useful when you want to have your own logo on the management app.

Gen Z workforce craves for modern solutions

Your employee demographic is a major influence on choosing working methods and communication channels. The younger generations are more likely to prefer flexible and remote work. When the right environment is provided, they will reward you with results.

Modern workforce management apps are shaped to suit the needs of the current generation of workers, says business blogger Sandra Moncada. “It is no surprise that individuals who do well in remote settings are far more independent than their office-bound counterparts. This is a gift, truly, because they take action instead of waiting for instructions,” she writes.

We can also learn innovative management processes from the leading digital industries. Common in IT projects, self-managed teams have extended to other industries. These processes known as agile methodology can produce great results also outside digital design and software development.

Consulting firm McKinsey and company reports that many companies are welcoming this work approach to compensate for inefficient planning. “While agile methods are still uncommon in capital projects, some early adopters have reduced expenses by 10 percent. They have also increased productivity by the same amount.”

Implementing mobile workforce management software

The hardest part, as always, is getting started. But integrating your internal team with your people on-the-go is possible with the right tools.

Onboarding a mobile team to a new app can be a lot of work, states business consultant Jasmiina Galenius. “Employees working in operational functions usually have very different needs than those in the administrative tasks. Think through the number of part-timers and lease workforce that need scheduling, industry-specific legal and local requirements,” she advises.

How we can help

Zelos Team Management is a simple workforce management app. It is perfect for mobile workforce management for small and medium businesses. Sign up for a free account on our website or contact our team for a free personal demo.