Sustaining operations and managing a workforce has already become a cause of concern in the oil and gas sector as it grapples with a “skills crisis.” Workforce management today is a significant determinant of productivity and operational efficiency. Field workers and managers are the primary resources ensuring uninterrupted operations. Efficient workforce management is an important aspect that can’t be overlooked. Mobile workforce management and modernizing work allocation processes, therefore, can become a differentiator in tackling the increasing complexities of managing resources in the sector.
Benefits of Mobile Workforce Management
Of several benefits that mobile workforce management offers, integrated operational efficiency, seamless resource allocation, real-time visibility, and tracking stand on top. Digitization of workforce management bridges the gap between field operations and backend systems and helps break the information silos for creating an effective and error-free maintenance process. Let’s look at the advantages of implementing a mobile workforce management system.
Effective Planning and Scheduling:Providing a unified view of required work and work-in-progress, the automated workforce platforms pave the way for better planning, scheduling and resource allocation. Managers/supervisors have information about the availability of their team members, which helps them in the efficient allocation of work. By generating a mobile work order for available field workers with the required expertise, supervisors can get a task done without having to reallocate work which is a common occurrence in manual systems. Through mobile scheduling, workers are immediately notified and the process starts without any time lag.
Real-time visibility and tracking: In the legacy system, visibility into the operations of field workers has been a real challenge. Once work is allocated to a person, it was traditionally not possible to track the progress until the worker returned and manually updated the backend system. However, with a mobile workforce management suite, real-time tracking of work order progress is possible. Supervisors and managers get a parallel update on what is happening in the facility.
Improved productivity and efficiency: Allowing for the better organization of a workforce, effective work allocation, visibility into progress and performance, mobile workforce management solutions ensure better productivity and higher operational efficiency. By offering a single source of truth, the platform brings better collaboration and streamlined communication to help workers perform better.
Digital work instruction and field support: While most oil and gas facilities have recorded maintenance procedures; many rely on employee knowledge and skill. Lack of time to train maintenance technicians and expectations to be productive from their first day can create complex challenges. Modern workforce solutions give an option of providing digital work instructions where veteran maintenance staff members and supervisors can mentor a new hire or less-experienced technician on the go. They can give real-time feedback and instructions, answer questions and transfer tribal knowledge while the field worker is on the job.
Mobile work order management and transparency: Giving an option to create digital work orders spares supervisors and managers from time-consuming paperwork. Besides the ability to create a complete work checklist, mobile workforce systems offer a full overview and transparency into the maintenance work allocation process. An insight into work allocated to the available workforce leaves scope for finding faster replacements if the planned worker is already finishing the earlier assignment. Transparency in the process also helps with faster and better scheduling in case of any emergency.
Key Factors for Choosing the Right Mobile Workforce Management System
There are many mobile workforce solutions available today, but the right decision pivots around choosing the solution that fulfills the industry and specific business needs. Here’s a list of factors to be considered before making the final decision:
Ease-of-use: Fresh-to-market platforms and solutions offering everything under the sun may sound lucrative, but overly-complicated systems can be challenging to use so they should be avoided. Select a mobile workforce solution or connected workforce platform that is easy to use.
Flexibility: Solutions must be flexibility. Regardless of the platform chosen, it should be able to accommodate changes essential for individual enterprise needs.
Return on investment: Delivering faster ROI is critical for mobility solutions. The chosen platform should offer cost-efficiency and be quick and easy to implement, allowing users to maintain productivity.
Hardware agnostism and integration: The mobile workforce solution should work with a variety of digital devices and operating systems to offer mobility in real terms. It should also allow easy integration with other systems to create a connected process flow.
Analyzing the myriad of benefits that mobile workforce management brings along besides offering higher efficiency and productivity levels, it will soon become a business imperative in the oil and gas industry.
Ready to Be an Early Adopter? Request a Demo.
Innovapptive, a mobile work order management pioneer, specializes in SAP- and IBM Maximo-compatible mobile plant maintenance systems that improve productivity, transform reactive processes, and cut downtime costs. Schedule a free demo of our mWorkOrder solution today, then call us at 888-464-6668. Our oil and gas experts can show you how replacing a cumbersome paper-based process with a mobile work order solution can dramatically reduce costs and improve efficiencies.