Remote data collection is the wave of the future – a key to boosting your company’s efficiency and productivity. If you are just starting to venture out into this type of virtual data collection, here are several do’s and don’ts that you need to seriously consider to prevent any unnecessary complications and downtime.
Educate All Field Employees Thoroughly
Chances are that your field employees have already grown accustomed to the traditional system of data collection and field reporting that you currently use. Switching gears to a virtual field data collection system is going to take time and will require somewhat of an adjustment period. Before you decide to officially launch your new data collection procedures, make sure that you have educated your field employees thoroughly on the new system and how everything will work. Your company will not be able to benefit very much at all from this type of revolutionary system if your employees do not fully understand how to use it.
Manage the Remote Collections Regularly
Just because something can be done remotely does not mean you should completely remove human interaction from the equation. In most cases, a mobile data collection will still require an uploader agent or even a self-collection kit to be shipped to the targeted company. Instead of relying too much on these automated kits and agents, you should still focus on managing the collection yourself or delegating this integral task to a key employee.
Don’t Ignore Error Messages
As is the case with any type of software or mobile application, you may experience an occasional technical glitch or error message. Even if you can overlook the error and proceed with the remote data collection, take the time to identify and resolve the issue right away. The last thing you want is for a small issue that can be overlooked now to grow into a major problem that shuts your entire system down later.
Don’t Eliminate Physical Collections
If you are just transitioning to a remote data system, the last thing you want to do is to burn the bridge of your previous protocol too quickly. In-person collections are much more expensive and time- consuming than remote collections. However, in the event of an emergency or in case of unexpected downtime of your remote system, you will still have your physical collection protocol as a back-up plan to keep things running smoothly.
Do Not Rush into Workforce Expansions
With this type of virtual field service management system in place, you will more than likely consider expanding your workforce to boost productivity even more. While it is true that implementing a field data collection app into your workflow makes it easier to expand in the long run, this is not something into which you want to rush. Give your field employees plenty of time to get used to the new system and focus on identifying any issues or complications that may arise. Once your entire time is on-board, fully knowledgeable and has gained a sufficient amount of experience with the new system, there will be more than expansion opportunities available at that time.