Work in times of pandemic: How can mobility help companies to adapt and innovate even during the crisis
written by Pavol Luptak on April 16, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges we have faced in the modern era. Governments are now starting to carefully consider lifting some of the restrictions and lockdowns, but the coronavirus is probably going to stay around for some time. As scientists and health experts point out – until the vaccine comes, we will likely have to adapt to new conditions. This “new standard” will also impact the enterprise, and it won’t be just a short term change. So, how can mobility and, more specifically, Resco technology help you to overcome these unparalleled times?
Work during a pandemic
As countries will gradually lift restrictions and lockdowns, more and more businesses will restore their operation. However, safety precautions are going to remain essential to prevent another massive outbreak of the virus and to keep everybody as safe as possible. This will affect various industries, including fieldwork, manufacturing, retail, NGOs, and many others. And it will inadvertently bring some challenges, including:
- Implementing new safety procedures into practice as quickly as possible;
- Remotely managing field work operations, team collaboration, scheduling, or monitoring;
- Optimizing onboarding, training and support of employees;
- Ensuring customers about the safety and feasibility of on-site services;
These new procedures won’t come as an option and will be a must for companies that want to operate during and after the crisis. But the situation also brings opportunities. The crisis can be a time to think about adjustments and innovations that help not only to overcome the epidemic period, but that will improve work processes and management in the long term. And mobility can help you inject necessary flexibility and efficiency into these efforts.
Implementing safety measures for your workplace
Companies need to implement their own safety and health checks to prevent virus spread endangering their teams and customers. This poses a significant challenge for some, as the precautions need to be integrated quickly and widely available for employees. Many companies don’t have prior experience with such measures or necessary expertise in evaluating the data.
However, mobile apps can provide an accessible way for enterprises to improve safety policies and follow the government guidelines in combating the virus. At Resco, we’ve created a Health Check template and an AI Face Mask functionality within Resco Inspections to help companies solve the challenge. They help to ensure that employees meet the necessary sanitary measures even when working remotely or outside the office. You can learn more about how to get these new free capabilities into your mobile organization in our previous articles:
Managing and monitoring of work
Operation during pandemic requires dramatically increased demands on the effectiveness and management of workers. Preferably, they need to work isolated, carefully manage equipment, limit unnecessary travel, or work without in-person help from supervisors. Resco Inspections allows companies to set up dynamic forms, questionnaires, or checklists to help workers to manage their visits, equipment sourcing, or reporting to managers.
Companies also need to be able to plan and schedule tasks remotely, and to monitor the ongoing processes. With the functionality of Schedule board and Routes, you can plan and keep track of the work progress in real-time. This way, you can avoid the biggest problems in cooperation between teams. The fieldworkers receive all the instructions from supervisors via the mobile app and can also get in touch with the back office using chat or e-mail integration.
In Resco’s Summer Update, we unveil the new AR collaboration and remote video call feature, Resco Houston. With Houston, teams can share expert knowledge easier, locate and fix issues faster, and work remotely more effectively. All this is possible thanks to the utilization of AR technology enabling advanced instruction sharing.
Onboarding, training, and support
The onboarding processes of new employees can be tedious and ineffective, especially in demanding industries like manufacturing, maintenance, or field service. They require a long in-person trainee program with many team members involved. But during the pandemic, workers need to be able to learn using predominantly online materials. If traveling to a site, the lowest possible number of people have to be dispatched, and workers must work isolated, again without in-person supervision.
Mobile apps can help here too. An app configured for your field staff, contractors, volunteers, you name it, can include:
- All necessary documentation;
- Photos and images to provide further instructions – products, spare parts, diagrams, map of a site;
- Video manuals;
- Remote assistance provided by a senior team member;
- Step-by-step directions, so the app guides the user through a process and they have to confirm each step to progress;
Augmented reality can also be helpful in this. Thanks to mobile and easily available devices like iPhones and iPads, workers can get valuable information about the shop floor, specific setup/maintenance processes, or types of equipment directly while in the field. With these insights available even via AR, learning can be much easier and faster. Which enables organizations to optimize their trainee programs and related work processes. For that purpose, you can utilize the new AR functionality recently introduced in Resco’s Spring Update 2020.
Even after lifting the restrictions and lockdowns, people are going to be naturally hesitant and cautious with technicians, service staff, inspectors, or other personnel visiting their homes. Cooperating with customers in advance will become ever more critical, ensuring that all inspections, repairs, contract signings follow the necessary safety guidelines. Therefore, bringing your clients more into the loop can be beneficial for both sides.
The Resco platform allows to create apps not only for internal employees, but for your end customers as well. In multiple scenarios, a job usually performed by the company worker can be at least partially completed or initialized by the customer. This can include:
- Regular checks and telemetry reading;
- Simple maintenance (add oil, water, cleanup);
- Preparations for an on-site visit – if a worker’s visit is needed, it must be the right person with the right tools;
- Time-to-Customer (ETA) visit confirmation is a must to eliminate unnecessary repeated visits;
- App for third-party contractors who are hired for local work;
Apps built in Woodford are easy to install on every major platform and device. You can limit access only to information relevant to the contractor and, at the same time, allow key updates to flow from and to your customer. In Woodford, you can build these consumer-oriented app with a low-code to no-code experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic brings many challenges that companies will have to face in the months to come. These include safety measures, work management, team collaboration, and new ways of providing customer support. Mobility can help in solving them. What’s more, it can even uncover unexplored pathways to innovation and overcoming the crisis stronger than before.
At Resco, we want to provide you with tools to effectively adapt even to unexpected situations. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.