A mobile workforce presents new opportunities and new challenges. Workers in the field need communication solutions to connect them with other employees and the home office, and they need those solutions to be easy to implement. Mobile workforce solutions offer options for staying connected and accessing information when it is needed.

For contractors, a mobile workforce is often a requirement. Thiess, www.thiess.com, Brisbane, Australia, is a construction, mining, and services contractor with locations and projects located across the country. Thiess needed a way for workers in the field to connect, and the company chose a solution from ClickSoftware Technologies, www.clicksoftware.com, Burlington, Mass.

The solution from ClickSoftware helped Thiess to upgrade its field service approach, offering realtime mobility solutions. ClickSoftware provides a suite of solutions for mobile workforce management, including a mobility solution that connected field workers to each other and backoffice systems using handheld mobile devices.

During the first phase of the technology deployment, field workers were equipped with mobile devices and apps for communication and administrative processes. Before implementing a technology solution, Thiess workers used paper time sheets to report on field work. In addition to being time consuming, the process sometimes introduced errors when the information was re-entered in company ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems. This could result in delays in billing and invoicing.

With the ClickSoftware solution in place, Thiess was able to save time and reduce administration and operational costs. Now information could be send directly to backoffice systems from the field, instead of relying on paper forms. Thiess also benefited from reduced overtime, which resulted from more accurate scheduling.

Realtime insight into workers’ locations also allowed for better scheduling, as managers could see which worker was closest to a job and had access to the correct equipment. During the second phase of the implementation, Thiess will fully automate the scheduling process. Realtime information will be combined with other factors to select the best person for the job. The system will take into account factors such as employee skills, preferences, location, driving conditions, and job priority.

Mobile workforce management software makes it easier for employees to realize the vision of anywhere connectivity. By taking the office into the field through connected solutions, workers can use their time most efficiently.