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Thinking outside of the (cardboard) box

Posted by Emily Mason on April 11, 2014

Cognito customer trials service of the future

A recent news article by Retail Times revealed that Cognito customer CitySprint is to pilot a two hour ‘store to door’ delivery service. The trial is the first of its kind in the UK and highlights the importance of instantaneous access to data in today’s convenience culture.

Users of the new service will choose a 2 hour time slot for delivery of their shopping and then be able to track progress in real-time. A similar service is already in operation in the US, with Amazon customers being able to order a product in the morning and have it in their hands that afternoon.

It just goes to show that traditional ways of thinking are no longer adequate to match rising expectations. In order to meet these increasing demands, more convenience and greater flexibility must be offered to the customer.

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Sustainable Peak Performance Step 2 – Performance Management

Posted by Dave Webb on April 1, 2014

In the first post of this series on sustainable peak performance, we introduced the topic and defined how this subject relates to field and mobile service. Then, we covered the first of three steps on the road to achieving your best possible performance, and doing so consistently over time:

1) Mobilise core processes to connect the office with the mobile workers more effectively

2) Implement a performance management framework and toolset that uses the data flowing through the processes to guide decisions on improvements

3) Centralise and automate repetitive tasks and release capacity for higher-value tasks

This time, we are going to look at the performance management step. Understanding and measuring the performance of a mobile workforce is complex and demanding, as explored in this recent article by Turq, our blog editor. We are often asked why this is the second step and not the first. Surely, the argument runs, you need to put performance management in place before you rollout a mobile application.

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Straining to see through the fog, I mist the target!

Posted by Emily Mason on March 25, 2014

Much has been written about the significance of rewarding staff for their efforts at work but it’s easy to get lost in a fog of numbers and competing theories! Google are celebrated as a world leader in this area, but a company of any size can replicate that success through a rewards system relevant to the size and nature of its own business.

People who feel appreciated are more confident about themselves and their ability to contribute. When you give people positive, specific and realistic feedback about their potential, their efforts and their accomplishments, their self-esteem goes up; making them potentially your best employees.

The first step to improving engagement is your desire to create that dedicated and focused workforce…and to reap the rewards for you, your company and your customers.

But how can you accurately recognise who to reward and avoid it being perceived as a popularity contest, or a rite of passage where everybody eventually gets a turn?

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Sustainable Peak Performance Step 1 – In The Field

Posted by Dave Webb on March 18, 2014

In the opening part of this series, we explained what we mean by Peak Performance for service delivery organisations and the challenge of reaching that peak consistently – every single day. Achieving that will definitely deliver better customer outcomes and business success. We identified 3 steps on the road to that success:

1) Mobilise core processes to connect the office with the mobile workers more effectively;

2) Implement a performance management framework and tool set that uses the data flowing through the processes to guide decisions on improvements;

3) Centralise and automate repetitive tasks and release capacity for higher-value tasks.

Today, we are going to address the first step – mobility. It is one of those topics everyone is talking about these days, and no surprise. With the number of mobile/smart phones sold now greater than the total population of the country, it is fair to say this is a ubiquitous technology. But, that does not mean it is easy to implement, maintain and support in the mission-critical context of mobile workers delivering on-site services. Because it is not.

Often, technicians/engineers/delivery drivers have to work in harsh – sometimes hazardous – conditions and all are required to operate out of doors, whatever the weather. That can impose considerable constraints of the technology that will work for them. But, even so, there is no shortage of infrastructure options to consider. Consumer-grade or ruggedized? Which operating system? Which manufacturer? Which applications software – buy or build? Which network operator? On premise or in the cloud? Up-front licencing or SaaS? All contribute to the lifetime cost of ownership and are a big factor in calculating the Return On Investment.

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Solving your service mysteries

Posted by Emily Mason on March 11, 2014

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data”.

But, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s wise words don’t just apply to the world of Sherlock Holmes.

Just as Sherlock used his data to solve mysteries, it is beneficial for you too to collect as much information as you can to help solve your service problems.

We know that service managers just haven’t been able to get the detailed information required to make solid judgements and drive individual conversations. Without this knowledge, the ‘evidence’ gathered is sketchy at best. You can’t see the complete picture and so cannot come to an accurate conclusion about why. Knowing what happened, when, and where, is the key information needed to enable you to ask (and get the answer to) this important question.

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