Information Communication A Strategy For Success!
Communication of information to those who need it is a critical component of any organizations strategy for success. This is even more so for organisations with a mobile workforce spread throughout the world. The global mobile workforce is on track to increase to 1.87 billion people or 42.5% of the global workforce in 2022, up from 38.8% in 2016. As workers become increasingly mobile, so does their primary work devices and the applications used to capture and communicate the required information. Further, mobile workers are moving toward increasingly smaller, more portable devices and tablets. It will be interesting to see if wearables, such as smart watches and glasses, become the primary work devices of 2025?
In relation to a mobile workforce, information needs to be passed from the office to field employees providing them with all the information so jobs can get started, completed and they can move on to the next required task. Historically this sort of communication of information was a morning brief by a supervisor or manager. However these days, more tech savvy organizations may communicate this information over the phone, either by voice or a text message, or send emails with instructions to their field employees smart devices. Another, way that is being adopted by organisations with field workers is push notifications. Push notifications work much the same as a text message. Messages are sent from an organisations web application to an app on a field workers smart device. Messages can be sent to individuals or to a work group. In 2009, Apple launched the first push notification service and was followed by Google in 2010.
The tricky part is how do employees communicate information, in a understandable consistent format, from the field to the office in real time? The answer is right at our finger tips and most of us use it every day! The answer is our portable smart devices with applications that allow forms and checklists to be completed. Form templates are completed by the field worker on a smart phone or tablet and then communicated, via automated emails and the Internet, to the people that require that information. Further, the information communicated can be enriched by adding photographs, mapping, and time and geo stamping the information.
The competitive advantage is information can be sent in next to real time and acted upon sooner. Invoicing for completed work can start sooner increasing cash flow, materials and components can be ordered decreasing the time it takes to complete jobs, and reports can be finalised and communicated sooner. In most cases the improved efficiencies will cover the costs of adopting this technology and reduce other costs such as paper, printing and the archiving of documents. Mobile form technology is one-way organizations can improve the communication of information from field workers to the office.