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Out of sight, never out of mind

Article provided by TomTom

When you need to make every cent count, relying on blind faith in your staff while they are out of the office is a risk you cannot afford. A mobile workforce management solution can give you peace of mind, maximise efficiency and make your staff’s lives easier too.

The number of jobs that require a substantial amount of work ‘on the road’ are always increasing –  from courier services and regional sales representatives to on-site technicians, handymen and even nurses – but the headaches for managers back at the office remain the same.

NSBC National Partner, TomTom South Africa, worked with IBS to identify the most common pain points that small business owners experience with their mobile workers.

Here are the top five:

  1. The abuse of company resources (particularly vehicles) leading to escalating maintenance and fuel costs. Example: staff taking company vehicles on personal trips, or wasting fuel by not following agreed-upon routes.
  2. Paper-based admin processes and telephone bills – from monitoring and keeping in touch with mobile workers – that cut into profit margins. Even if you have got an admin or operations manager chasing mobile staff, isn’t their time better spent elsewhere?
  3. The loss of revenue from incorrect or delayed quotes, job cards, orders and invoicing. Simply processing all the paperwork that is collected over the course of the day can take a lot of unnecessary time, and locating a missing crucial document is often impossible.
  4. Uncertainty over where mobile workers really are or what they are doing at a specific time. If you can’t reach a staff member on their cellphone because they are driving, how can you give them an update from a client or redirect them to a new job?
  5. Declining customer satisfaction levels due to business inefficiencies. Negative word-of-mouth about your staff’s inability to find clients or losing documents can spread.

Even for a small business owner with only five vehicles on the road, without the appropriate management the above factors could waste (conservatively) over R7 500 per month. This adds up from staff time lost on inefficiencies, communications expenses and high fuel bills.

The long-term business damage from poor client satisfaction can be far higher, as you stand to lose existing or prospective clients.

The solution? A modern workforce management solution that will help you locate your mobile workers, easily assign jobs to them, monitor their progress, send automated client notifications and incorporate digital forms that your workers can complete on-site and return remotely. By addressing all of the pain points above, this effectively frees up small business owners and their staff to concentrate on all the other critical aspects of their business.

TomTom South Africa developed just such a solution in collaboration with IBS – Business in a Box – and launched it at the NSBC Summit in February this year.

Coupled with TomTom’s Bridge device (a rugged Android tablet offering seamless navigation and support for custom applications), Business in a Box delivers a complete workforce management solution at a price that small businesses can afford. For more information, e-mail

TomTom is a proud Partner of the NSBC.