In part 2 of this blog series, we explore the knowledge management features of mobile workforce management solutions. What do the feature do, and why might your organization want them? In case you missed it, check out part one of the series about scheduling.
Some service organizations may already use a knowledge database for their customers. It allows a customer to look up known and well documented problems and walk through step-by-step instructions to fix them. Some organizations, but not nearly all, use a knowledge base or knowledge management application to supplement their workers’ knowledge. The benefits of mobile workforce management (MWFM) knowledge management features far outweigh cost. The capabilities can keep giving once implemented appropriately.
Wearables and mobile video offer service technicians a chance to collaborate in new ways. Consider: a technician arrives at a job, only to discover that he or she is not sure how to diagnose or fix the problem on a piece of equipment. The tech can use wearables or mobile devices to contact a more experienced or senior technician, allow that technician to view the equipment and the problem in real-time, then follow instructions the advising technician provides. What if these moments, already captured on video, are recorded and stored for future use? Knowledge management applications can be updated with recorded collaborations. Similarly, a technician who knows he/she is seeing an uncommon issue can record the work, making the diagnostic and problem resolution information available to fellow technicians in the future.
Consider that video and similar recordings and imagine the additional opportunities they can provide. Training is important for service organizations looking to prepare the next generation of the workforce. For many repairs, providing a new hire the ability to watch someone diagnosing a problem and performing a fix is invaluable. In our guest post on Field Service Digital, we discussed training the next generation. One of the more important parts is a structured plan. What can an individual learn at the home office if an experience technician (your designated trainer) is not available for the new hire to shadow? Accessing the knowledge base and relevant videos are valuable alternatives! Think about the basics and record them or write them down. With a MWFM solution, you can add the basics to the knowledge management feature and assign a new hire to watch, read, or test them—freeing up your experienced technicians while also training your new techs.
Some MWFM solutions include offline access. Being mobile means encountering patchy Internet connectivity on occasion. A smart MWFM solution will evaluate the jobs assigned to each technician and automatically download potentially relevant and important articles, videos, and manuals from the knowledge management database to the tech’s smart device. The technician may arrive at the job and find he can’t access the Internet, but he would still have access to the most important data needed for the job.
From collaboration to training and offline access, a MWFM solution’s knowledge management capabilities should not be overlooked by service organizations. It helps those technicians who are new and less experienced, while also leveraging the “tribal knowledge” of those experienced technicians who might be preparing to retire and leave the workforce. If nothing else, knowledge management can be viewed as the capture and preservation of the work service technicians do on a daily basis, so that information can be used by other technicians in the future to speed repair processes.
If your company is considering a mobile workforce management solution, reach out to us today. We can help!