Workforce management software is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, particularly when your workforce is field-based or works ‘on the road’. It helps to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business. In this blog we’ll take a look at what you should look for when choosing a suitable workforce management software for your business.
1. Features and Functionality
When it comes to selecting the right workforce management software, the first thing you should consider is the features and functionality that it offers. You want to make sure that the software can handle all of your needs, from planning and scheduling routes, tracking deliveries and consignments, to providing detailed reports using live-data so you can ensure your team is on-track.
It’s also important to ensure that the software is easy to use so that your employees can get up to speed quickly. An intuitive solution will make it easier for all staff to pick up the software as soon as possible and utilise it to its full potential.
When searching for software, the hardware element can be easily overlooked but it’s vitally important. If you select a software which uses a single Operating System (OS), you will always require mobile devices using that OS in order to use your software. Take Apple for example, if a software is built on their proprietary iOS platform, your staff will always need an Apple device to access the mobile platform.
Choosing OS agnostic software means your staff can access everything they need on any type of mobile device. And, if you want to operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model where staff use their own phones at work, an OS agnostic software is essential as staff will need to use their own iOS, Windows or Android devices.
It’s worth noting that many software suppliers don’t supply hardware as part of their solution and for those who don’t work in partnership with a trusted hardware supplier, you’re on your own when it comes to choosing appropriate enterprise hardware. That’s why it’s important to ask this question early on in your discussions. Ensuring your chosen supplier can direct you to a dependable supplier is essential if they don’t supply hardware as part of their solution.
While it may seem counterintuitive, purchasing purpose-built hardware typically lasts much longer than BYOD hardware which isn’t built to withstand harsh working conditions. While the cost of the device may be higher in the beginning, you can expect a longer device lifetime and an overall lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) if you invest in enterprise hardware.
The cost of workforce management software can vary greatly depending on the features and functionality that you need. Some providers may offer free versions of their software while others may charge a monthly fee or require an upfront purchase price. It’s important to compare different options and determine which one best fits your budget while still providing all of the features you need.
While off-the-shelf (also known as out-of-the-box) software can sometimes appear to be cheaper than a bespoke solution, there are often hidden costs which soon mount up. Additional features or something out of the ordinary i.e. a bespoke integrations or features all add to the cost of your solution, so it’s important to get all fees in writing up front to avoid any unexpected additional charges.
A bespoke solution is built to meet your exact needs so you know you are getting all the features and functionality your specific business needs for an agreed price, which is why it’s typically the most cost-effective solution, particularly in the long term.
When selecting a workforce management software, security should be one of your top priorities. You want to make sure that any sensitive data such as client information and any personal details are kept secure at all times. Look for a solution that offers strong encryption protocols, especially if your clients demand specific security requirements.
Security is even more of an issue if you operate a BYOD policy, so it’s vital that your software solution has built-in protection against breaches should an employee’s device be compromised, lost or stolen.
Finally, you want to make sure that the workforce management software you choose has good customer support in case you run into any issues or have questions about how to use it properly. Look for suppliers with in-house support so you know you’re speaking to an expert who really understands the software they are supporting and check their Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure it meets your expectations.
A good quality solution provider will also support onboarding and staff training to help you get up and running with your new software as quickly and efficiently as possible.
By taking these factors into consideration when selecting a workforce management software solution, you can ensure that you find one that meets all of your needs and helps your business run more efficiently and cost-effectively in the long run.
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