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Take a closer look at what's on our mind

3 features every SmartWorker needs

Posted by Simon Fenner on February 19, 2014

Cognito’s SmartWorker mobile application is an integral part of our Fieldforce iQ intelligent mobile workforce management solution. SmartWorker is not just a mobile application, it is a powerful tool that enables your field workers to deliver excellent service where it matters – on-site with the customer.

Built upon our pioneering activity-based workflow, SmartWorker provides your mobile workforce with the information needed to do the right thing at the right place at the right time. It is also a powerful data-collection tool. SmartWorker provides you with real-time data on what is really happening with your mobile workforce, by harnessing the power of today’s modern mobile devices. This enables you to make important decisions that ensure your organisation delivers continuously improving performance.

As part of our growing range of resources, within the Learning Centre on our website, we have started to release a series of Product Tour videos. These short videos will explain and demonstrate some of the key features of our Fieldforce iQ mobile workforce management solution. The first three Product Tour videos in this series look at the following features of our SmartWorker cross-platform mobile application.

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Q: What works even after it’s fired? A: a neuron!

Posted by Steve Alderson on February 11, 2014

Do you ever think about your central and peripheral nervous systems? That is, the combination of neurons, axons, fibres and synapses that coordinate “the voluntary and involuntary actions … and transmit signals between different parts of its body”.

That part of our bodies which receives environmental and situational stimuli, analyses the messages and responds. Directing actions in space and over time. Without it, we could not function. And, if it is not working well, then we cannot work well either.

Stop and consider that for a moment. Does the combination of dispersed and moving resources, connected together and acting in response to messages sent via communication channels remind you of anything? Your own service organisation? No, not immediately?

Well, it should – there are many parallels; in terms of structures and of functions. Both sense and respond, analysing data and making sets of interlocking decisions using various levels of autonomous and coordinated “next best actions” to deliver. Both monitor outcomes and modify behaviours in order to succeed. Both are vital to survival.

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The Service hot-seat can be a very cold place

Posted by Dave Webb on January 28, 2014

I wanted to kick off a new topic on the Cognito blog with a bit of a “wow!” and asked a well-respected guest writer to introduce the idea of ‘sustainable peak performance’ for us, from a practitioner’s perspective. I was thrilled that he agreed to share his real-world experience with us, and with you. Unfortunately, he has asked to remain anonymous. Read on and you’ll understand why …

The phone rang. It was Helen, our receptionist, with the welcome news that the heating engineer had finally arrived. And not a moment too soon, it had been freezing in my office for days!

Cold and confused

We were in the middle of (yet) another company transformation program to see us become ‘better than the best’ – or so it was claimed by the consultants this time. I am the Service Director for a medium-sized, national IT services organization. One led by a CEO who is obsessed with all the latest management fashions and crazes. Change is our constant companion as we battle to satisfy our real customers, you know, the ones with contracts and sky-high expectations. When faced with the question "How do you get things done around here?" the answer starts "Right now we …." and always ends with "but ask me tomorrow and it will be different".

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(Un)remarkable service? The choice is yours.

Posted by Emily Mason on January 24, 2014

Unremarkable service results? Unmotivated field workers? It’s not a coincidence.

As we all know, customer service is more important than ever today. In order to get the best from your field workers, you need maximum visibility of what’s happening at the front lines of your business - in real-time. Knowing what happened yesterday is too late.

A year ago, field worker Andy was working from a traditional workforce management system, allocating him a set number of tasks per day, over which he had very little control. His performance was measured solely on the number of jobs he completed per day - the only view his service manager had of his performance. As a result, he was not inclined to hang around any longer than he needed at any particular site - he just wanted to move on to the next job on his list to hit his quota for the day and go home early. This often left the customer feeling undervalued and unappreciated - they felt they were ‘just another job’.

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Field Service: From Task Management to Talent Management

Posted by Steve Alderson on January 15, 2014

Mobile workforce management solutions have traditionally been based around the efficient scheduling, allocation and completion of tasks. There’s no doubt that some significant productivity improvements have been achieved, particularly when replacing paper-based systems.

But, at the same time, lingering doubts often remain. The hoped-for benefits have been harder to realise than was initially projected in the business case, and the productivity gains that have been achieved often don’t contribute as much to the bottom line as they should.

Your people are the product

There’s a growing recognition - highlighted in recent research by The Service Council amongst others - that simply automating the management of tasks can only ever be part of the story. As the report’s author Sumair Dutta points out “In the business of customer service and service delivery, people are the product. Those that work with customers to solve issues and add value quite often are the only organisation representatives that come in direct contact with customers.”

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