The field staff spends the majority of their day outside any immediate supervision. Both large and small field sales/service organizations face challenges to manage them. There had to be some solution to make field teams operate on-target with the work assigned. Voila! The answer is Field Activity Management.
It refers to the management of a company’s resources operating outside of a central office. It is the art of managing and reacting to all the business operations happening in the field.
The specifics of the operations differ from industry to industry and from business to business. But in general, it is about acquiring new customers and maintaining existing relationships.
Various Type Of Field Activities (Industries)
Retail and Wholesale
Retailers are now adjusting their business model to gain control and visibility of their mixed workforce. It comprises of in-store employees, distributors, drivers, field service providers, and others. That is why they use technology to improve the management of finance, stocks, and the workforce.
Banking & finance
Field activities such as insurance claims, debt collection, and customer services are optimized by advanced scheduling, real-time tracking and enterprise mobility with a single software.
The organizations ensure the availability and location capture of pick up/drop drivers, vehicle testing drivers and teams who capture instant customer feedback upon service completion/test run.
Field teams handle installations, services and repairs comprising of utility engineers, technicians, field service providers, inspectors, HVAC workers, on-site managers, and other stakeholders. Employing the right software increases the efficiency of the field activity workforce manifold. It allows them access to complete information and enable them to contact for help at any time.
Government & NGOs
They are faced with the need to deliver extensive surveys and verification with transparency and accountability. Therefore, the field workers are being empowered with technological boon. They now capture everything on their mobiles with specialized features like digital forms and Geo-tags.
Functions That Help Define What Exactly Field Activity Management Is
Sales Representatives, Merchandisers, Marketers
Sales team generates leads and sets up meeting with new/old customers to introduce them to your products and services. They meet with retailers, merchants, distributors to take further orders on products and services from time to time.
Whether restocking consumer goods at a retail location or supplying a distributor, they are a staple of Field Activity Management.
Maintenance Activities (Field Service)
It is a set of applications which help the organizations of different levels, to manage work tasks of any kind to be completed at any location. Field service aligns tasks to skilled agents. They are given assignments based on geographic territory and available inventory.
Mostly refers to companies who need to manage installation, service, or repairs of systems or equipment.
Data collection & Market Research
They perform price and promotional audits while collecting information on competing brands and product location. This is necessary for the age where data is king. This team comprises of the ability to perform in-house market research.
Moreover, the field team collects data from businesses, customers, vendors, merchants, government offices. They capture the basic details like business name, demographic details, address of the owners with their location.
Audits and Surveys
Audits are on-site verification activities to inspect or examine a process or quality system. They ensure that they are complying to requirements. A field audit team visits your vendors, merchants, channel partners, distributors, or retailers. They confirm their business practices, branding, location presence, and other aspects of businesses.
The field survey teams collect and gather information at the local level by conducting primary surveys. They meet the public, shoppers, protesters, citizens, and others to know their views. Field surveys collect local-level information that is not available through secondary sources.
Trends At The Focal Of Change in Field Activity Management
Every organization wants a paperless communication and database handling. Eliminate your reliance on paper in the office and on-field. From progress photos and checklists to daily logs, material receipt forms, site inspections, and work notices can be done on a single software.
Customers want transparency in field service processes. They want to able to track the location of the field agent on the scheduled day of service to get an estimate of the exact time of arrival. Thus, businesses are trying to notify customers when their field services are due. Customers can reschedule through emails, text messages, or chat messages anytime and anywhere.
When the field activity team is out of sight, the manager might face difficulties to analyze them. Micromanaging should be replaced with a more empowering management style. Thus, tracking the employee’s location and activities is becoming the latest trend. Along with the team’s freedom to make decisions, it’s essential to receive ongoing job updates, costs, and asset information.
No Communication Barriers
Understanding work limitations and challenges of the field workers are important. They should be allowed to discuss the problems that they face on the field openly. When they are working in different locations, they communicate in the virtual space. With the right tools, communication barriers, inefficiencies, low team productivity can be tackled. Encourage them to video conference to ask questions and communicate to connect as a team.
This leads us to the question what could the managers do to fix these problems?
A Right Field Management System Can Bring You Success
Uploading jobs or tasks to your field force is a crucial responsibility. You have options to manually type in the details of the task i.e., whom to meet, where and when to meet and what to discuss. Or, you can upload an excel file to insert hundreds of tasks at once through field management software. You know which one to choose!
Don’t Forget Your Customers
It is a false assumption that field management software is only to manage your business processes. You must remember that strengthening relationships with customers is a key factor for your business. Maintain a dedicated space for your customers to receive guidance about your actions.
You have a field team for marketing, delivery, repair, verification, inspection or others. But you are never up to date about who is going where, when do they meet the customers, clients or merchants and how much time is spent with them.
To ensure proper management lookout for a software that informs you about the locations and activities of your employees. For instance, where are they, number of clients visited or how long do they take to finish the tasks? Tracking your workforce is an easy and ethical way to maintain their accountability.
Maintain & Secure Database
A field force management software not only manages the entire data exercise but also secures it with firewalls. It also provides you with user authentication for both the organization as well as the user. You can analyze your data to identify the strategies that work best for you. And, allocate your resources and employees according to the need.
FeetPort is ready to use software for field force automation. It provides features like mobile forms, attendance app, checklist app, location tracking, and data collection. FeetPort also provides easy solutions for field service management, sales force automation and much more! You don’t need to build anything from the start as all the solutions are already available at FeetPort. It’s a necessary tool for survival, and one of the best gifts you can give your agents. Contact us to get the best field management solutions!