Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is Not the Way to Mobilize Work Orders for Handheld PDAs

I was in Starbuck's on friday. I must confess this is not out of the ordinary for fridays, nor any other day, but I witnessed an event that was. Two service technicians were sitting at a table reading a work order on their mobile phone screen. This phone had about a 1" x 1" screen. They squinted at the screen and then filled our a paper work order on a clipboard. This is certainly one way of mobilize field service technicians, but I would recommend some better ways, and different mobile handheld PDAs or smartphones.

  1. Provide a service technician with a full work order on a mobile device that has a big enough screeen to read. I can still see both service technicians squinting at their tiny screens over their mochas.

  2. Don't make them rewrite the work order. Use a mobile work order software application on the handheld mobile device. Let them read the service ticket, fill it out, and sign the screen.

  3. Don't use a paper work order. Wirelessly send new and completed work orders back and forth wirelessly. There is no need for paper.

  4. Track inventory on the mobile work order application so inventory levels are automatically deducted when parts are used.

  5. Let service technicians view their schedules on the mobile device.

  6. Let service technicians view the status of ordered parts on the mobile device

  7. Track time on various projects using the mobile device. Compare actual time with estimated time.

  8. Complete job estimates on the handheld mobile devices and wirelessly send back to the office

  9. Dispatch new work orders directly to the mobile handheld device

There are many more reasons to mobilize field service operations. MobileDataforce has been helping companies mobilize their businesses since 2000 and deploying powerful work order software applications for use on mobile handheld PDAs.