digital field worker tools

How Digital Tools will Change Your Relationship with the Field

Posted by Stacey Papp

In the not-so-distant past, sending employees on jobs wasn’t too different from scattering dust in the wind. (Cue Kansas on the jukebox.) Once they hit the road and were scattered among their various jobs, there was little you could do but hope for the best. Coordinating schedules and calculating routes required a lot of time and paperwork. And forget about updating drivers if something changed while they were en route.

Thankfully, those days are over. There are a multitude of digital tools that help enable dispatchers and fleet managers to manage employees, no matter where they are. All of these strategies will help your business run more efficiently and keep your workers functioning at peak capacity. So what can these tools help you do?

Sort schedules and assign jobs. Knowing who’s free to take a job used to take a lot of coordination and communication. But now fleet management software does the work for you by tracking drivers’ schedules and letting you know in near real-time who’s available for a job — and who’s the best match for it based on skills and proximity to the site. You can then communicate with the chosen driver via text message, emails, or push notifications (when they’re not actually driving, of course) to receive confirmation that they’ve accepted, as well as send them more details.

Ensure drivers take the most efficient routes. There are usually many ways that a driver can get from point A to point B, and there can be just as many obstacles along the way that slow progress and lower productivity. What’s more, a route that was as open as the clear blue sky might be congested as mud the next, thanks to construction or a particularly heinous rush hour. Why leave your drivers guessing? Help them find the best routes with fleet management software that keeps tabs on the roads and automatically calculates the fastest way to get to the next job. 

Update job details automatically. So you’ve got your driver assigned. He’s traveling the fastest route. But now something has changed with the job — say, the customers found two hornets nests instead of one, or they want to make sure the worker doesn’t go anywhere near their pachysandra. In the old days, you had to call up drivers, tell them the changes, and cross your fingers they remembered to enter all the new information into the work order. But through a fleet management app, you can make the changes for them and send a notification that they’ll see as soon as they stop driving. They’ll have all the details they need to complete the job effectively and keep the customer happy — and you’ll be sure that the bill they draft accurately covers the work order.

Adopting even a few of these strategies will dramatically change your relationship with employees in the field. And before you know it, you’ll be changing your theme song from “Dust in the Wind” to Rihanna’s “Work.”

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