The success of any business is hugely dependent on how the workforce is managed- scheduling of tasks, accountability of work, transparency of opinion, balanced feedback system- especially, in domains where the job primarily involves field work. Consider the cleaning industry where every worker participates in varying spaces (belonging to differing socio-cultural and economic classes), an effective network of communication is required to ensure that the needs of every client are communicated clearly and met sufficiently. A break in the chain of communication could result in loss of a client or worse, a negative review that would turn off a series of potential clients. By using a mobile workforce management app that connects the workforce and brings them under a single platform, it is possible to simplify and effectively develop management tasks of the cleaning industry.
The IDC Prediction: Mobile Workforce Management App already sweeping the Cleaning Industry?
Exhibiting the gradually increasing role of mobile technology, International Data Corporation reveals that by 2020, we can expect to witness the mobile worker population surpassing 105 million. Apart from becoming a common member in the family of management tools of the cleaning industry, mobile apps have also entered the other industries in full-force.
Essential Features of a Workforce Management App
In the cleaning industry, there are three primary categories of information essential to every business owner:
- amount of time taken for each task (Task-Duration Tracking),
- record of movement of staff (through GPS location monitor), and
- scheduling of tasks according to payment methods of the staff (automated time-sheets)
When you choose an app to manage your workforce, make sure it allows time-tracking, scheduling and reporting, automatic payment and GPS location tracking.
In most of the cleaning industry companies, not all the employees are on a fixed monthly payment scheme. There are contractual workers and those who work on hourly basis. With the time tracking feature, you can calculate payment per employee accurately. When your employee begins the task at client’s place, you will receive a notification (clock in-clock out function). This can be verified through the official app on your client’s phone. Moreover, in more sophisticated systems, you can allow the clients to tip individual works and to provide detailed feedback which could determine appraisal.
Within the app, there can be multiple projects: Drive-time, Client A, Break-time and other which would allow you to account for the clock-work of your employees.
With GPS location tracking, you can come to know the route taken by your team to reach a location, the pit-stops taken and potential causes for work delays. Once you have used the GPS tracker to save up routes to clients’ locations, you can begin creating pre-planned team schedules (with adequate contingency time span).
One of the most cumbersome management tasks of cleaning industry is dealing with the payrolls. The diversity of workforce is high: some work on monthly basis, while others could opt for per-assignment or hourly payment options. With your workforce management app, you will be able to decide which payment method must be used for each employee such that the payrolls are automatically calculated with pop-ups or reminders for impending payments.
Schedules and Reporting
When you have access to the way in which your employee expends their worktime, you can create employee-specific or team-specific workplans. Reports on individuals and teams should be accessible as sheets. In case you face any issues with a particular client or task, you can go through the time-tracking reports of involved employees and check out reasons for the same.
Technological Face of the App
While the above section covers the business management needs, you need to make sure that it is technologically approachable as well. The app should have an Android and iPhone app coupled with desktop version (which should run on Linux, Mac and Windows). It would be ideal if the app ran in the background without slowing down other phone functions. This ensures that the workers can concentrate on task-at-hand including important client calls or messages without having to log into the app continually. Get hold of an app which is optimized to sync well with the battery of your devices. Having a strong third-party software integration will help you to customize your management methods. The most prominent third-party software used within the cleaning industry (for which you can seek integration within the app) are-
- Project management: Asana, Breeze, GitLab, Basecamp, GitHub, insightly, LiquidPlanner, JIRA, Paymo, Podio, Mavenlink, Pivotal Tracker, Redmine, Producteev and Redbooth;
- Payment: BitWage, Quickbooks, PayPal, FreshBooks and Payoneer; and
- Support systems: Freshdesk and Zendesk.
In short, adopting mobile apps support commercial cleaning companies to manage their workforce effectively.
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