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Friday, 19 October

What's The Future Of Job Management In A Connected Age?

Richard Harris

Richard Harris describes the evolution of job management in the facilities management sector - from piles of paper to market networks.

The World Economic Forum says we’re on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0). Self-driving cars and Artificial Intelligence are no longer just sci-fi fantasies. As our world and the workforce continue to rapidly evolve, it’s clear that we all need to be using efficient job management systems if we’re going to keep up with any of these changes.

Job management can often be a headache. Traditionally it involved endless amounts of paperwork and spending hours on the phone chasing up clients and engineers. In an increasingly digitised world, and with many Facilities Management companies now integrating IoT systems into the workplace, there is no need to continue managing jobs with these old and inefficient processes.

I believe there are some compelling reasons why the facilities industries should explore new and emerging digital possibilities for job management.

Traditional job management systems are costly for users; the systems are often very time consuming which means disputes can take a long time to resolve; information provided by paper job sheets can be unintelligible and out of step with modern internet society.

These days there’s a plethora of digitised systems with varying features on the market that can help companies manage their jobs. However, the problem of duplication still proves problematic when it comes to dealing with subcontractors, as each company will have a different software. Clients have a growing expectation that the services will be delivered not only digitally but in real-time; putting more pressure on companies to further streamline their processes.

 

Market Networks

While many job management softwares work well within a company, communication difficulties still remain when it comes to a company’s customers and subcontractors. Applying a Market Network model to this problem could be a step in the right direction. Market Networks for job management are attempting to kick-start a more fundamental transformation of the way job management is delivered.

 

So, what is a Market Network and what does it mean for job management?

It is a software-as-a-service tool which allows businesses to create a profile, connect with customers and subcontractors and manage their workflow; not just within their organisation but as they interact with other companies.

 Businesses using Market Networks for job management can receive jobs from customers on an online platform as well as add jobs for their employees and subcontractors. Accessible by computer, smartphone and tablet alike, any jobs put through these systems can be viewed and updated in real time, meaning no duplication of information or having to chase up workers for reports. Users can also communicate with each other using the integrated instant-messaging system. Connecting in this way helps to ensure that messages are easily retrievable and not lost between emails, texts and forgotten phone calls.

 

Images

One feature of particular advantage to those in the trade industries is the ability for workers to upload photos and videos onto these job management systems using their respective smartphone apps. An engineer, for example, could upload an image of a repair they have just made. Workers with the app installed on their phones can also be tracked using GPS so that businesses can quickly see who is at what job at any given time.

 

Visibility

Market Networks for job management increase visibility whilst streamlining communication both internally and with external stakeholders.

 

Connected

Working life is changing dramatically, we’re now much more likely to be working in small autonomous teams at different locations rather than working for one large company for life. Software and technology is evolving to copy with these changes. From Social Networks to Market Networks, people and companies are becoming more connected and this is opening up opportunities to better manage day-to-day work.

Richard Harris is MD of Okappy www.okappy.com

 

All Seasons Climate Control

All Seasons Climate Control now uses the job management market network system from Okappy to manage their operatives. Since using the system they are able to access all relevant information and become aware of the job details without chasing up subcontractors or clients by phone or in person.

“All Season’s transformation of the data aspect of the job management system has resulted in a service that is faster, more transparent, and more cost efficient,” says Colin Owen, director of the company.

 

Convert Water

Anthony, Director of Convert Water has also seen the system reap many benefits for his business. He told ThisWeekinFM: “It frees up our time and allows me to spend more of it visiting sites and bringing in more work. My engineers can add jobs for themselves so, if additional work needs to be done while on site, they can quickly add it on. Alternatively, if they need to go back to do further work, they can schedule it straight away without having to chase me.”

Picture: Richard Harris.

 

 

Article written by Richard Harris

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