For field staff management, mobile workforce management software combines a variety of tools into one solution. Many of these tools have free counterparts available which work quite efficiently. So why is it that successful companies prefer specialized software for mobile workforce management and what are their advantages? Let’s break it down in our article with B2Field mobile app.
Location tracking: a free application vs. complex GPS tracker app
A GPS tracker allows you to track the location of field staff throughout the workday. The main advantage of a tracker that is built into a mobile app is that it is suitable for specialists who get around by car, public transport, bicycle, or on foot.
There are all sorts of GPS trackers available on the market, all of which perform a basic function — location tracking. What makes the tracker in the B2Field mobile app stand out are several features that are unavailable when using free analogs.
Track building using GPS in B2Field
Tracking quality assurance. The B2Field mobile app uses a multitude of geolocation systems: GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. This ensures high-quality track building with a precision of up to five meters (depending on the selected mode). With such precision, you can even calculate fuel reimbursement automatically.
Reporting. Based on the location data obtained, B2Field creates reports. You can use them to control task completion and performance of the following events:
- Site visits: the locations an employee has visited during the workday, stating the time of arrival and the duration of each visit;
- Geofence visits: unlike with the previous report, you can oversee not only specific locations but rather certain areas, the radius of which you outline yourself. This is particularly convenient when managing construction or industrial sites;
- Trips: detailed information on movements and routes.
Energy-efficient algorithms. GPS tracking in a mobile app is quite an energy-intensive process, and B2Field developers are constantly perfecting their algorithms so that the device battery lasts longer. A special system will choose the frequency of location data transmission depending on whether an employee is on site or en route.
Task allocation: an open source scheduler vs. service for mobile workforce
Scheduling is a painstaking and time-consuming process, but it can be simplified with the help of digital assistants. Many public services offer their schedulers, from Google Calendar to more specialized ones, like Trello.
Using such solutions, however, can be problematic, as employees are not always notified of their assignments, and it is difficult to view the entire team’s schedule.
B2Field’s scheduler, however, distributes tasks among performers. Once you choose an employee responsible for the task, they will get a push notification of a new task assigned on their smartphone or tablet.
The tool helps monitor the workload of a specific mobile employee as well as the entire field team. The scheduler allows you to easily find a spare window in the schedule if a new job comes up, or select a different performer in case of force majeure.
Tasks in B2Field
You can also check task completion via B2Field. Apart from the notification of the task completed, you will also receive the respective report: what time an employee got down to the task and how long it took them.
If a specialist arrives at the job late or fails to complete it, you will receive a notification in your web account of the mobile workforce management service. You can also set up push notifications in the mobile app or have them sent to you by email or SMS.
Communication and data exchange: personal messengers vs. corporate service
Messengers are commonly used by field employees and office specialists to communicate. When exchanging messages in public messengers, such as WhatsApp, several problems arise. First, images can be an issue. If a field worker sends a photo report, it has to be sorted additionally because after a certain time period, images can become unavailable or even lost in the stream of endless messages. The second major issue is that emploeyes use these apps for personal matters unrelated to work. This is a security breach. They cannot safeguard confidentiality of information.
In B2Field, documents and photos are shared using a tool called a mobile form. This allows for the data to be stored in relation to a specific task, so you can easily see how the work has been handled even after a while.
B2Field stores documents and photos on its servers, which means they are easily accessible at any time during the year. The data retention period depends on the settings you select.
B2Field mobile workforce management service
There are numerous software tools available on the market that make the work of a field team easier. However, using different programs means you need to transfer information from one to another; or work with a limited set of features. B2Field is a service for field employees that helps manage a team in a comprehensive manner and eliminates the need to transfer information since all your data will be in one easy-to-access space. With B2Field, you can easily:
- Delegate work tasks: with the B2Field e-scheduler, you can easily assign tasks,
- Track staff location throughout the workday: thanks to the energy-efficient algorithms, an employee’s device will not run out of power unexpectedly,
- Send data from the field to the office: with the help of our service tools the information will be secure,
- Track task completion: B2Field generates reports based on the parameters that you select,
- Analyze workflows: oversee how well the tasks are being executed, which employees are the most active, and assess what could be improved.
Specialized services like B2Field are constantly evolving and adapting to market needs. Every quarter, the B2Field developers release updates to the software and mobile apps. Over the past few months, we have introduced a task scheduler, the function of assigning tasks to employees via a smartphone, and the most recently released