With increasing demand on services and rising costs, the pressure on our mobile workforces and industries is growing. Workforce capacity is becoming squeezed. Time to complete jobs, update records and maintain regulation and standards is under threat. Many industries are facing additional problems, such as workforce retention, rising costs and increasing waiting times. For the health sector, demand on workforce professionals has increased, due to unstainable workloads and a high leaver rate. The pressure to maintain the high level of care they provide is growing.
How to Meet the Growing Demand on our Mobile Workforces
To begin, most organisations believe that to meet greater demand or reduce waiting times, the answer must lie with hiring more staff: more staff equals more work completed.
But for most organisations, this additional cost isn’t feasible, forcing them to make sacrifices in other areas to try and meet that demand. For those who can afford to hire new staff, they are missing an opportunity to look at processes that could be causing the delays or inefficient processes were additional capacity is possible. Resulting in the same problems repeating themselves as the demand continues. Staff overheads can quickly spiral out of control.
Let’s explore the outcome of hiring additional staff, hypothetically if you require 50 additional staff, working an average salary of £16,000 per annum, this will ultimately cost: £15,400 per week. During a time were many organisations are facing budget cuts, this is a large commitment, even before the cost of training, pensions and required equipment.
The Relationship Between Cost and Capacity
Within construction and manufacturing, they face a major skills shortage with increasing demand and costs. These directly affect an organisation’s capacity and an individual’s ability to meet the level of demand, resulting in growing pressure on existing workers and a costly reliance on agency staff to supplement skills. It becomes increasingly important for employers to maintain a quality workforce whilst ensuring they have the mobile technology they need to complete their jobs on time and to a high standard. By investing in mobile workforce management, staff are able to reduce their use of paper-based administration, reduce travel time and overall feel invested in, boosting their confidence, whilst increasing retention and helping to attract a skilled workforce.
The healthcare sector faces similar issues, it experiences the greatest strain on capacity. One in ten nurses are leaving the NHS every year, according to a recent article from the BBC. There are now more leavers than joiners, causing huge pressure on existing staff and workloads. More than half of those are aged under 40 and state that pressure and stress are the major factors, due to being so understaffed they can’t provide the level of care they are trained to.
Health and social care workers require support and the easy access to patient information so that informed decisions can be made and the patient can be supported throughout their care. By enabling this sharing of information, through mobile workforce management, patients can be supported back in their homes and in the community.
Other Ways to Increase Mobile Workforce Capacity
But is there another option? What about the latent potential in your existing mobile workforce? What if with just 10% greater efficiency per mobile worker the same outcomes could be achieved? Your existing workforce could take on additional jobs per day, resulting in similar outcomes as hiring new staff.
Greater capacity in our mobile workforces is possible by assessing the processes that currently take place. Areas like travel, administration or scheduling can all cause delays or time wastage that could be otherwise be spent providing valuable services to your customers.
Mobile technology has become the norm in our everyday lives and by implementing mobile workforce management solutions, some of these key problems areas we’ve identified can be improved. This improvement is driven by the creation of greater workforce capacity. By using an intuitive mobile application that contains all visit information at the point of service, mobile workers have full visibility and can make informed decisions. By using forms to fill out information quickly and capturing evidence such as signatures and images, the time spent completing paperwork is reduced. All information is synced automatically to their back-office system – eliminating their need to return to the office to type up notes or spend personal time completing compliance. These provide relief from the pressures of their workloads.
For staff, these improved working processes mean that time is saved, with additional time they have greater capacity. More time is spent on doing the important work that drives continued capacity for the greater workforce. Additional capacity takes many forms, it can mean more jobs with the same staff, shorter waiting times, the ability to take on new work or even for staff to have a better work life balance. For any organisation, it’s important to begin tackling the issues we have outlined if the growing demand on services is to be met, it begins with establishing mobile workforce management as a key solution for transformation.
Which business areas can be improved to help achieve greater mobile workforce capacity?
By removing lengthy paper based processes and replacing these with a mobile technology solution, staff can access and record job information at the point of service delivery. The benefits see staff reducing time spent on admin, time that instead can be used to get work completed efficiently, creating additional capacity for more work.
Using mobile workforce management and dynamic scheduling together ensures that efficient routes are created, eliminating wasted travel to and from jobs. By giving staff the right mobile technology, they can start work from home travelling to the first job without the need to travel to the office. All relevant information can be conveyed straight to their device, eliminating any miscommunication and unnecessary travel. These travel reductions result in additional time in a mobile worker’s day that can be spent on completing more jobs.
Dynamic Scheduling is an essential tool to enable your mobile staff to work as efficiently as possible. Using the right scheduling solution ensures that the right person, with the specific skills required, are assigned to the matching job, reducing wasted time and the need for multiple visits. Scheduling also provides greater visibility of the overall day; any changes can be dealt with and immediately communicated to retain productivity throughout the day. Streamlining these processes produce additional capacity within each member of your mobile teams.
How is this greater capacity in your mobile workforce achieved?
The mobile technology exists for these improvements to be achieved, Mobile Workforce Management and Dynamic Scheduling from Totalmobile have proven to achieve these efficiencies for our customers, see some of their results in our case study page.