In this digital age, employees tend to be unfocused and therefore unproductive with a lot of things going on. Social media alone can be very distracting. However, there are countless ways to be productive – one can be either be creative or organized.
For some employees though, especially those on the field, it takes them forever to complete a purchase order or get data from the client or fix a broken product or service. This low productivity would ultimately result to less profits. On the other hand, if they are fast but become too confident, leading to more mistakes, it certainly will not be any better. So how could we ensure the productivity of our field workforce?
1. Measure Their Productivity
It will really help if you know how to measure their productivity to begin with. This would be your basis in taking further steps, and should be in their Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or whatever evaluation grade you require them to meet. Have guidelines in place, talk to them, and discuss the company’s expectations and what they can do to achieve them. You can set aspects like:
a. Routes Taken
b. Time Duration in Each Account
c. Reports Submitted
d. Number of Accounts Visited
The first and second are important also to know if the allowances you give them are enough or being used efficiently. Time Duration would allow you to know if the length of their visit is in accordance with their required tasks for the visit. This is very important especially to companies with a lot of accounts or branches.
Reports submitted and number of accounts visited are reports that would tell you how they perform in the field. This data would give you the discretion whether this employee is doing his job or not.
2. Employ a Productivity Software
You can find a lot of tools online to help your team reach its productivity peak. There are web and mobile apps that are very useful to manage your team and your team’s information. A Field Workforce Management Software specifically can help your field employees to be more productive. Technology can be intimidating at first, but it was built to help make things easier for us. It can solve a lot of problems in any organization – and to some extent, can be a tool for being ahead of others. Kustom360, a field workforce management and field reporting solution, is one system a company can employ. It has the features that make it easy for you to know how productive your field team is. You can manage them effectively by assigning their account visits, tracking their route, seeing how long they stay in each account, and viewing their reports. It also works offline so areas with weak signal are no problem when it comes to doing what they’re supposed to do.
3. Have A Coverage Plan (And Follow It)
A lot of companies, depending on their nature, still deploy field workforce with no set schedule. It is important to plan everything ahead – with the managers, with accounting, or with any department of concern. Sales Representatives can plan their schedule ahead and plot it with convenience. Product Promoters can also have these schedules so they can properly submit reports about their accomplishments. If you don’t have a defined service area or a defined schedule, you run the risk of stretching yourself too thin. It’s always a good idea to discuss the schedule, the routes and the reports or data needed, with the team.
4. Track Your Field Workforce
Managing your field personnel would include not just assigning itineraries but also knowing if they have actually completed their assigned account visits. This would help you not just with productivity, but with trust and accountability as well. Moreover, the route tracking feature lets you know if they are efficient in using your company’s resources (transportation allowance, etc.)
5. Assess Effectivity Of The System
So, you already employed a system to make your team productive and efficient. You think it’s a good product. But has it really helped you? Is your team using it? Is it making them productive? Is the system generating desired results based on your team’s expectations? These are the questions you should ask because while you measure their productivity, you also measure the effectivity of the tools they are using that is supposed to help their productivity. Other important question is: does the developer of the system provide technical support when needed?
All in all, these are 5 easy tips to help any company with a field workforce. It may take a lot of focus, productivity tools, and a host of other things to be productive but it is taking this extra mile that can ensure that the task is achieved. Want to know more? Our experts from Kustom360 can discuss with you additional tips on how to make your field employees more productive.