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Adopting Mobile Technologies

Kyle Adamo
  • Oct 18, 2021
  • 5 minutes

The benefits of adopting mobile technologies to optimize the workplace have long been documented. Logistics companies like FedEx have been mobile for as long as I can remember, and even in the last few years, entire industries have emerged with the likes of Uber and DoorDash, all thanks to mobile technologies.

There’s a huge opportunity in healthcare settings to introduce smartphones to maintenance technicians to ensure they have the latest work assignments, on-hand parts quantities and instructions while on the move around your property. It can reduce wasteful walks back to the maintenance shop to get further assignments; it enhances data accuracy through barcode technology, simplifies documentation through photo attachments and enables further costing data through job timers. Thousands of TheWorxHub™ users log on to our mobile web app each day. This simple touch-driven design allows for quick adoption and an experience focused on getting things done.

Why Go Mobile?

We’ve been tracking data around mobile usage since 2010, and although somewhat intuitive, there are a few findings worth noting.

  • Clients who deploy smartphones or tablets to their maintenance techs cut their average days open by a half. This means that a corrective work request might have taken two days before, and now it’s one day. That’s significant!
  • Clients who deploy mobile technology have 45% fewer overdue work orders. This is a tremendous finding and is critical for those needing to prove compliance and on-time completion.
  • Clients using mobile saw less disruption in their workflows during the early days of COVID. Preventive maintenance (PM) completion rates dropped to nearly 50% across our client base, but those using mobile only saw a 27% reduction in PM Completion.
    Work time
  • Clients using mobile to review and accept in-bound work requests saw a nearly 5-hour reduction in time spent at the Pending Request status. This is massive for the optics of your department. When care staff submits a request, and it gets processed quickly, it bolsters confidence in your team.
 We saved an hour per technician per day in travel time as well as $1,000 per month in paper costs because we used to print all of our work orders.
 
Shamekia Holliday | Facilities Manager | Our Lady of the Lake

Make a Plan

So maybe I’ve convinced you, and you’re ready to go mobile. Great! You’ll need a plan. Here are some recommendations:

  • If you’re not already a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) company, you need to budget to purchase devices and protective cases. This could be $300 - $1000 per device.
  • Go with Apple or Samsung. They might cost slightly more, but what you get from the availability of accessories, quality and performance is unmatched. You don’t need to buy the latest and greatest, considering they’re releasing new devices seemingly every quarter. Where possible, acquire devices that use the same type of charging cable – mixing Apple and Samsung on the same team will be a support challenge.
  • Talk to your IT department. This step is often skipped, and that’s a mistake. Get them on board to ensure you have the right Wi-Fi networking and security policies in place. In some circumstances, I’ve even heard of IT providing a budget to acquire the devices for the maintenance team.
  • Determine your acceptable use policy for the device, especially around photographs, social media and device security. There’s a good chance you already have one and need to review and tweak it for the new use case.
  • If you’re looking at tablets instead of phones, do consider whether your technicians are already carrying phones, and adding a tablet is another device to care for. I would strongly urge consolidation of devices. Equip them with just a smartphone and if screen size is a concern, there’s plenty of absurdly large phones out there!
  • Decide what a typical workday will look like. Will techs still meet at the maintenance shop in the morning to check-in, or will they go straight out to first job listed on their phone? Decide on frequency of face-to-face meetings throughout the day.

Training and Practice

Thankfully most everyone has touched a smartphone in the last few years, and there will be team members who are experts. Introducing mobile isn’t just about TheWorxHub, it covers an entirely new paradigm and it’s worth noting a few recommendations.

  • It’s important to cover off the basics of powering on, unlocking the phone, navigation, charging, accessing apps, the browser, bookmarks, as well as understanding when you’re on Wi-Fi and not.
  • Consider pairing people up – a mobile mentor with someone new to the smartphone world. This mentor can answer questions and help troubleshoot issues.
  • Bookmark the /mobile page of TheWorxHub on each device. Let’s say your WorxHub URL is myhospital.myworxhub.com, just add /mobile to that: myhospital.myworxhub.com/mobile o access a mobile optimized version.
  • Review TheWorxHub mobile help content with your team as well as our quick-start training video. Ensure you cover off features enhanced by mobile like barcoding, attaching photos and job timers.
    Barcode Scanning
  • Practice voice-to-text options that can dramatically speed up work creation and completion notes for your team members that complain about difficulty typing on mobile touchscreens.
  • Set up email or push notifications on the device so your techs can get an audible ‘ping’ when there’s a new assignment from TheWorxHub.
  • Introduce collaboration tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to demonstrate how you can have your HVAC expert remote diagnose an Air Handler by sharing your camera and pointing it at the equipment.

To learn directly from our clients using mobile on TheWorxHub, you can watch this recorded webinar to see how they benefited, the challenges they faced and powerful lessons learned.

Watch the Webinar

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