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Take a closer look at what's on our mind

How many hedges received an unexpected parcel this Christmas?

Posted by Steve Alderson on January 6, 2014

It’s no surprise to learn that the run-up to Christmas 2013 proved to be a record-breaking period for online shopping, with the vast majority of parcels and presents delivered on-time. However, two logistics firms (neither of them Cognito customers) have been singled out for careless and thoughtless actions on the part of their delivery drivers.

According to reports in both the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, rogue drivers have been caught losing packages, stuffing them into bins and hurling them over fences. The British Online Retailing Association (BritORA) has gone so far as to call for a reform of the parcel delivery system - dubbing the current system a 'Wild West'.

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Traditional timesheets aren’t worth the paper they are printed on

Posted by Steve Alderson on December 2, 2013

Printed timesheets and job forms are at the heart of many traditional field service environments. Because they are typically seen as an administrative intrusion into the worker’s day, they are often completed after the event - in the evening, or at the end of the working week.





It’s no wonder that much of the information is incomplete, inaccurate and untimely. These factors have often been used to help justify the implementation of a mobile workforce management solution that uses electronic forms on a handheld device. But if they are to realise their full potential, software solutions must do much more than simply emulate the previous paper forms.

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Winning with People: 7 secrets to ensuring that your field force is aligned and engaged

Posted by Steve Alderson on November 25, 2013

The Service Council recently reported the results of their latest survey of leading global service organisations. Their report concluded “In the business of customer service and service delivery, people are the product” - and went on to point out that “those who work with customers to solve issues and add value quite often are the only organisation representatives that come in direct contact with customers”.

Our latest executive briefing “7 secrets to ensuring that your field force is aligned and engaged” suggests seven specific ways you can help to ensure that you’re building the sort of highly-aligned and engaged workforce that will allow you to anticipate and address the rising tide of customer service expectations - and create a field service offering that will enable you to stand out from the crowd.

You can read the full document here, but in the meantime, here is a summary of our recommendations:

1: Focus on behaviours - not just tasks

If you’re to fully engage with your workforce and ensure that you are doing all you can to realise their potential, you can’t afford to focus only on the things you need them to do. Scheduling resources and managing tasks are just part of the picture. It’s how jobs are done, and not just what is done, that influences the achievement of outcomes.

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When it comes to service, your people are the product

Posted by Steve Alderson on November 12, 2013

The latest research from The Service Council: “Field Service Workforce Management: Winning With People” confirms a significant shift in priorities amongst leading service organisations.

The report points out: “In the business of service delivery, people are the product … field service workforce management strategies need to extend beyond the scheduling and allocation of existing resources to the acquisition, management, empowerment and retention of the appropriate service workforce”.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the top areas of strategic focus for service organisations of all sizes for the coming 12 months are field service workforce management and performance management and visibility, ahead of the traditional emphasis on technology/automation infrastructure.

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A fix for the service bug: engaging the workforce

Posted by Steve Alderson on October 14, 2013

In last week’s blog, Cognito’s Consultancy Director, Dave Webb, discussed how technology can help solve some of the issues concerning visibility and engagement faced by service departments.

In this follow on blog post, Steve Alderson addresses the topic of employee engagement and why technology alone is not the answer to improving service levels.

There is no doubt the use of technology can aid service improvement. However, there is a wider issue concerning the reasons for employee sickness. This is rooted in engagement and morale levels, something that technology can not alone resolve but provide trends and statistics for managers to act on.

The correlation between engagement and the impact it has on performance and resistance to change has long been proven; from psychology experiments through to our own research, which found employees are more likely to adopt a mobility solution if they are engaged in the change process:

  • 55% of enterprises struggle getting workforces to adopt mobility
  • Poor executive sponsorship and employee engagement were seen to contribute to slow rates of adoption, with 27% stating these as key issues

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