FieldMotion 8 Launch Event

We are delighted to announce the launch of the latest iteration of our mobile workforce management platform. Help us celebrate the release of FieldMotion 8!

On November 9th 2016, we are having a launch event from 09.30am in the Newry Omniplex at the Quays Shopping Centre in Newry, Co. Down.

We’ll be giving the world a glimpse of some exciting new features we’ve added to the system in an effort to bring an even better experience to our customers worldwide.

The event will be open to all with registration starting at 9.30am and we would like to cordially invite you to attend. FIELDMOTION CEO Jim Finnegan will give an introductory talk starting at 10am, followed by a presentation of the new platform by Jerome Finnegan. The launch will be followed by refreshments and chance to catch up with other local business people.
There will also be a draw held on the day of the launch to win two amazing prizes:
First Prize: £15,000 worth of FieldMotion software for a business of your choice.
Second Prize: 3 tickets to any Man Utd home game during the 2016-2017 Season.

Read more about the event on EventBrite.

Managing Compliance Within Pest Control And Keeping Your Customers Happy

Being “compliant” means we are ready and willing to do what we are ordered to. As business owners we try to make sure all the rules are followed and in doing so, our customers/clients get the best experience.

Pest Control is such that recording each job step by step has become more and more important over the last 10 years. From surveying a job to disposing of rodent bodies, each step has to be carefully measured and documented.

New legislation in early 2016 ensured that not just anyone can use lethal products to get rid of vermin but indeed they have to show the proper credentials in order to do so. This in effect leaves those companies that are accredited by British Pest Control Authority (BPCA) with having to comply even more.

Recording what baits are being used, how much, how often, and when it is changed is required in order for you to be compliant. Previously, toxins had been passed down the food chain, which lead to secondary poisoning of other non-vermin animals. This is why not just anyone should be able to administer baits.

A lot of smaller pest control companies in the UK and Ireland depend on repeat business. Competing with the larger companies requires you to be different. How different are you? Have you been managing your workforce properly? Have you been recording all relevant information properly making your customer aware that you are the best for the job. These are questions only you can answer.

Now is the time to get your own house in order. ‘Yes’, you probably have heard this all before…but it’s true. If your processes are in place then your business will prosper and be able to compete. People talk, so when you do a great job you are guaranteed you will be talked about.

Maybe it’s time to take a look at how compliant you are. Is there something out there that can help? All you need to do is ask…

FieldMotion New Release!

We’ve listened to feedback from clients and potential clients about what they really want from their management tools. We know your pain points and we understand your business needs. And we’ve been working hard to add some amazing new features and functionality to FieldMotion!
We’re very excited to let you know that we’re close to a new release of the FieldMotion system, so watch this space for further updates. Launch date to be announced soon!

Working from home. Fieldmotion fieldservices software gives you the flexibility

Working from Home, Is this the future?

Working from home. Fieldmotion field services software gives you the flexibility

Should businesses allow their employees to work from home?

The advancement of modern technology and its position in the workplace has for a few years now sparked the debate of whether it would be functional, profitable, or even wise to allow employees to work from home. If your company has more than one office or branch in more than one city, thinking about allowing employees to work from home may be a very beneficial option both financially and logistically.

Like with any proposition, there are definite pros and cons. Firstly, companies need to consider whether the necessary requirements are in place to make this a viable option.

The first precondition to consider is adequate connectivity between the main office and the employee at home. This would include a stable telephone line (particularly if the employee is working in a customer service or telesales role) and a quality computer and Internet connection. A thing that definitely needs to be secured is the connection to the company network that would enable the employee to access the necessary company resources, intranet and e-mail, but which would also allow you as an employer to control the productivity and quality of their work.

The possible benefits of allowing your employees to work from home can be quite persuasive:

– There is a possibility of definite financial savings on office space, resources and commuting to work.
– More flexible hours can accommodate both work and family responsibilities.
– Work at home can provide a more comfortable and peaceful environment.
– Since employees can work longer with fewer interruptions, it can lead to higher productivity.
– Working from home can lead to your employees being more motivated and more loyal.
– It can raise the reputation of your enterprise as being family friendly and socially responsible.
– There is a good chance you will have fewer situations to deal with stressed employees.

As with any argument there are also the possible downsides. Here are some considerations in that respect to keep in mind:

– There is the risk of possible distractions, like children that have to be taken care of, or lack of will to do office work in a home environment.
– There is a collaborative element involved in office work. Employees working from home will have less opportunities to interact with others that they are supposed to work with, and that can particularly impact joint tasks.
– Of course there are also employees who need more supervision or who are just starting out and would need to spend more time at the office under the supervision of management.
– Lack of direct communication, both between you and your employees, the employees themselves, as well as your business customers. This is particularly important if the essence of your business involves direct communication with customers.
– There is always confidential information to safeguard, even if it is only personnel files. You would need to set up steps to safeguard confidential and sensitive information, particularly if your company e-mail and intranet data is to be available outside office network.

There are obviously many arguments for and against allowing your employees to work from home. Before making a decision it may be best to look at the structure of the business and see if it is viable option for any particular department or area. For example it may make more sense for field based sales agents to work from home given that they may have to travel great distances to visit prospective customers. If they cover a particular area of the country then it would make more sense for them to be based from home rather than having to ‘clock in’ at the office each morning. In this case it would only be necessary for them to visit the office once a month to give a report on progress or sales pipeline. If the company used a Field Services Software solution such as FIELDMOTION, they could receive up to date information in real time from their employees at any time.

A wise course of action may be to run a test program. Not only to see how the employees are adapting to such a situation, but also to see how all the technical elements such as data security is operating. Also bear in mind that as an employer you would still be responsible for all safety regulations, even at the employee’s home and that includes, electrical equipment safety, workstation assessment, lighting levels and other health & safety considerations.

Fieldmotion –  Workflow Management & Field Services Software

Contact us to try out a free demo.

Who remembers the first time they used a TV remote control??

 

Can you remember the first time you encountered the magic of a TV with remote control?

If not, you’re probably in the enviable position of having grown up surrounded by this technology and are younger than me…

But yet…there was a time that if you desired to change the channel, well you had to stand up and do it yourself, or perhaps unfairly get your younger sibling to do it for you.

But then the 1980’s happened and the infrared TV remote control became more and more popular, to the point where TV manufacturers stopped making TVs with buttons for channel selection and a dial for volume.

The tech moved on.

The digital revolution has pretty much changed so much of how we interact with the world, communications, consumerism, everything from booking a flight to making a purchase online. Catching up with friends with a skype call, listening to new music instantly, everything is in the \’now\’. That’s been one of the big drivers of this digital revolution. If we can have something now, it doesn’t make sense to wait longer than we need to for it.

So, you would think this philosophy has worked its way into every facet of business as well…

And it has in terms of fast internet access and our ability to collaborate with people not just sitting beside us in our office, but with people on the other side of the world…

Yet, some old habits die hard. Let’s imagine \’Steve\’ works in our office administering a team of field workers, assigning jobs based on location, availability, priority and a multitude of other factors. Steve is good at his job, but all his time is taken up with maintaining contact with field workers and chasing up on paperwork from each job. And when the paperwork eventually  arrives into the office, then he spends even longer processing it……after that he spends more time issuing invoices, scanning documents, entering data from paper forms into digital medium….

It’s clear that this way of doing business is very far removed from the ‘now’. When you think about it, this business practice is arguably as old as commerce itself. So why is it that if life is moving at \’the speed of now\’, in business, some of us move at the speed of 1 day late, 3 days late, 1 week late, 2 weeks late etc…

Why are some businesses, to use an analogy, ‘getting up from the sofa, walking over to the TV, pressing channel 3, then channel 4, changing the volume, walking back to the sofa, sitting down and then realising we don’t even want to watch that show…getting up again etc…’,

Getting back to Steve in the office, if his business were operating at ‘the speed of now’, Steve would allocate jobs to his field workers in real time, deciding which worker is most appropriate or closest based on an instant visual timeline. Steve would be able to ‘send’ that job directly to his field worker – \’Ben\’, who would receive instant notification on his mobile device, and instructions on where, when and what is required to carry out the job. Ben goes and completes the job, fills in his paperwork….except ‘in the speed of now’, Ben’s paperwork is not a paper sheet which has to eventually make its way back to the office for Steve to input and process…

All the paperwork and form data is right there on his mobile device. Right down to signature capture, barcode scanning, photos of the work carried out…and in ‘the speed of now’, Ben clicks to complete the job. That job is immediately marked as ‘complete’ back in the office. Invoices are issued, PDF documents with the form data are generated, stock levels are updated. Follow up actions are scheduled.

Steve sees the job is complete, sees that Ben is available for another job near by. Steve and Ben’s productivity has rocketed. Not only that, customer satisfaction is at an all time high. More work done means more profit.

Steve even has time to daydream about when he was a kid and used to make his younger brother change the TV to the cartoons for him. He decides he probably should say sorry…

 

Fieldmotion Field Services and Workflow Management Software

We enable your business to operate at ‘the speed of now’. Contact us to arrange for a free demo.

How to motivate staff?

 

The success of any business is closely tied to the degree of motivation of its employees. A happy and hardworking team leads to high levels of productivity, which in turn leads to profitability for the entire organization. When morale is low, however, nothing seems to turn out well, and it\’s a good bet that employee turnover levels will increase, as well. High turnover rates mean that management is constantly hiring new staff, expending both time and financial resources to bring new hires up to speed. It\’s hard for any business to maintain a level of success when employees aren\’t feeling happy and fulfilled; satisfied employees make positive contributions to the company\’s bottom line.

Although the process of employee motivation is almost as much an art as it is a science, there are some general guidelines as to how successful companies effectively motivate their staff. The following points have been culled from the organizational policies and procedures, employee performance systems, and compensation systems that have been effectively utilized within many of today\’s most profitable organizations.

Organizational Goal Alignment

The primary consideration when designing an effective employee motivation system is that it must be aligned with the strategic goals of the business. Any program that offers rewards for behaviours or accomplishments must ensure that these behaviours or accomplishments serve the best interests of the company. An exceptional employee motivational system ensures that all employees are working as a whole in the direction in which the business plans to move.

Don\’t be Afraid to Set an Example

Not every employee will be a success as a member of the organization. In spite of your best efforts, there will always be a few individuals who, despite plenty of training, support, and encouragement, repeatedly fail to meet their goals. Non-performing employees need to be disciplined or discharged, not only for the sake of the company\’s profitability, but also as a clear signal to other employees that they are expected to meet their goals.

In fact, research conducted across multiple corporations has identified that the failure to fire non-performing employees is highly de-motivating to other employees, as it signals that management is not concerned with whether employees meet there goals or not.

Empower Employees

Once you have met with each employee to determine what motivates them and designed goals and rewards that are commensurate, empower your employees to determine exactly how they will reach their goals. Micromanaging is a behaviour that many employees find to be de-motivating, so trust in the people that you have hired to carry out their activities in concert with their goals, which are aligned with the company\’s goals as a whole. Of course, status checks are an excellent idea to make sure that an employee is not stuck or heading off in a divergent direction, but by stepping back and letting the employee direct their own efforts, you allow them autonomy and a increased sense of accomplishment in their efforts.

Reward the Behaviours You Wish to Encourage

Once the motivating factors for each employee have been determined, it\’s time to set up a motivational system to encourage each staff member to perform in accordance with the organizational goals in order to earn rewards and recognition. Design the program so that each employee is provided with specific, attainable and realistic goals which are associated with positive performance in the capacity of their position. Make sure to practice objectivity when designing the motivational system and assessing progress; focus on employee behaviour and achievement, and not on individual personalities.

Celebrate and Reward Achievements

Even the most motivated employees will lose their enthusiasm if they feel that their achievements go unnoticed. Be sure to acknowledge progress and make a big deal when a staff member meets or exceeds their goals. Post results so that other employees can see that success is noticed and celebrated. Without adequate acknowledgment of their successful efforts, employees are likely to become cynical with management and frustrated in their work efforts.

Employee Motivation is an Ongoing Process

Because the people who make up the staff of an organization can change over time, employee motivational systems must be fluid and be regularly assessed and revised. As employees become more skilled and more proficient at accomplishing their goals over time, their motivations may change. In a similar fashion, the goals of the organization can and will shift as time progresses, so employee goals and motivation programs may need to be updated to reflect the organization\’s new direction.

Written By John Finnegan

The UK Pension Fund Change And What It Means For You And Your Company

 

The UK Pension Fund Change which started on Easter Monday 2015 has many implications for businesses around the country. In a survey made by the CBI, 80% of top executives are against the constant pension changes made by the government given the costs and compliance burdens they come with.


So are UK Pension Fund Changes Good or Bad for Businesses?

In general, it seems it is a bad move. Given the fact that tax benefits are being cut, employees may not feel motivated to save in UK Pensions. Only 25% of the total amount is tax-free. However, if the employee\’s non-tax free amount plus his or her income exceeds £42,386, tax will go up to 40%. If the total amount is over £100,000, the personal allowance is lost.

Most UK businesses ask for stability in terms of UK pension regulations. This is because when a new reform is introduced it is always for the detriment of the employee and thus, the business itself.
Another factor that is causing concern among businesses is the “pension freedoms” issue. Pension freedom means that the employee can withdraw the entire sum saved in one or a series of payments to be used as he or she desires it when reaching age 55. This leaves businesses with a problem since older employees may decide to spend a significant amount of it instead of saving it as retirement funds. Thus, businesses will have to provide them with jobs for longer and longer periods of time. Human resources departments will have to deal with this issue in some way or another. Pension freedoms don\’t require employees to buy an annuity, thus creating a potential of many people left without or with little savings as they get older.
The auto-enrolment rule has also caused rising costs and compliance issues, especially among smaller companies. As processes get more complicated, expenses also rise and this affects the company from a financial point of view. On top of that, lack of compliance in every little detail can also cause delays and possible fines.
The new UK Pension Fund Change has also stated that the maximum amount of money that can be saved in a tax-free pension pot will come down from £1.8 million to £1 million. Employees with higher savings are now more discouraged to save in this new scheme.
Many businesses use pensions as a form to attract and retain employees. With these recent changes, they won\’t be able to use that tool as effectively as they used to. This could mean more potential loses as the cost of losing an employee could range from 30 to 100% of the employee\’s annual salary. On top of that, they wouldn\’t be able to use a pension scheme as bait to attract new talent but would have to resort to other more costly and complex methods.

UK Pension Fund Changes: Employee vs Employer
Employers aren\’t the only losers with the new UK pension fund change. Employees will also see their taxes being increased and thus, their total savings being reduced accordingly. There new limit on the total amount of the pension pot will also reduce the income received annually. Thus, the quality of life for retirees will diminish significantly.
One thing that worries both employers and employees is a possible new fraud wave. Pension freedoms are an easy way for scammers to withdraw other people\’s savings. The way fraud is now being committed is that the fraudster calls a person reaching age 55 and tells them he is the representative of a company that invests in high-growth start ups or other similar investments promising attractive returns. This way, employees are lured to take their money out and put them in the fraudster\’s accounts. It is important for businesses to inform their employees about this illegal activity which could leave them empty handed.
Qualifying for a full state pension will also become increasingly harder. It is estimated that less than 50% of people will see the full amount. And with possible changes in the future, this number could go down.
If employees don\’t have financial education or a competent adviser they might risk running out of money before they pass away. This could also create a social problem for the UK itself.
The only positive thing for employees with this change is that it will be easier to transfer it to his or her dependents. If the person dies before turning 75, no tax will be applied. If aged over 75 at the time of death, the inheritors will pay a 45% tax instead of the prior 55% tax rate.

Written by Eddie Maguire

When Is The Right Time To Add A New Product To Your Business?

 

There are many new products that are launched every year by companies all around the world. But if you look at the success rate, you can see only few of them are successful. Launching a new product needs a lot of planning because if it is not launched at the right time it will not be as successful as you want it to be. There are a lot of factors that depend on the success of a new product.

 

What Are The Factors?

First of all, it takes a lot of strategy, time, as well as resources when you are planning to create a new product. So, before you start planning for the new product launch, consider these factors:

 

– Ready to meet market needs? 

First and foremost determine whether or not your company is ready for a product addition and whether or not you can meet the market needs. If you are adding a product then there should be an objective behind it. Do the customers really need that product? Are you fulfilling their needs with this product? This is very important.

 

Consider competition?

When you are thinking of adding new products to your own company portfolio, you have to consider your competition. If you are launching the same product that your competitor has already launched then there needs to be a reason why people will buy your product? So, you need to think differently and outside the box. When you have a different or innovative idea in your mind about that you believe will be highly beneficial as well as offering something different from the competitor’s product then you can think about adding it.

 

Fit for the market?

You have to know and realize whether or not the product you are launching is fit for your market. The sales of your product will increase only when people will get something beneficial from the product. For instance: there are a lot of products already in the market related to anti-aging. So, is your product fit enough for a competitive market? What is the difference? Also, you have to be clear about the target audience and whether or not they are interested in such a product.

 

Follow ups?

When you are launching a product you have to plan whether you want to release any follow up product. A better and upgraded product is always an attraction and also helps in customer growth. For instance: If you are planning to launch a phone or any other electronics product then you have to make sure that you keep  upgrading it along with the advancement of technologies. If you are not coming up with follow ups then the demand will generally decrease as it will become out dated.

 

Resources?

Another important area is proper resources. Resources are essential to produce and manufacture the product that you are adding. So, it is very important to have proper resources as well as a proper plan too. You need to plan well and come up with proper strategies regarding the resources and from where you are going to import them. For this, you also have to make a full budget. This will help you to run the business smoothly without any issues.

 

Conclusion

When you are launching a new product for your business you have to keep several things in your mind. It is not a simple task and requires proper planning, including budgeting, resource planning, pricing, manufacturing and also marketing. You have to understand that the marketing is very important for a new product. This will help your product to reach the desired target audience. So, before you launch this product into the market you have to clearly plan each and every step. You need to understand that when a product is first introduced to the market it needs a lot of attention to take hold in that market. So, make sure it is the right time for adding a new product otherwise you can have a huge loss.

Written By Jim Finnegan

Fieldmotion Field Services and Workflow Management Software

Is it time to try a new product for your business. Visit us at fieldmotion.com to arrange for a free demo.  

Going Paperless: Take The Plunge, Reap the Reward

Why Now is the time to go paperless

Since the beginning of time, people have been writing things down in order to track everything they do. For a large business with several cash flows, a payroll, 200 meetings a day, and hundreds of expenses big and small, this has never been more important. However, the traditional systems require you to set up an entire department to cater for this, resulting in shelves and shelves of incomprehensible paperwork. If you want to try to optimize your meetings or look up expense reports…good luck! But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Computers are very good at the simple repetitive tasks involved with paperwork. Digitizing everything and going paperless may seem like a herculean task, but it really isn’t as hard as you might think.

The world of customer and internal relations is evolving. People don\’t really write down much anymore. Move your meeting scheduling to the digital world, and suddenly you have access to the power of graph theory and algorithms to optimally schedule your meetings. Move your internal employee relations to the internet and suddenly distance doesn’t matter, and managing field based staff becomes a breeze. Move your customer interactions to the cloud with a CRM service and you suddenly have AI-based analysis, per-user and demographical insights, and pattern recognition. Just like that. There’s no delay in getting information about events and such to your employees and users. You can search through your expense reports and performance reviews online, with a few mouse clicks.

There is basically no sector of business unaffected by this. You can digitize your distribution systems, vastly speeding up the whole process while simultaneously increasing fault tolerance, identifying errors, and providing demographical insights that you can use to identify the areas with the largest customers that you could expand your distribution network to. You can digitize health and safety inspections, engineering reports, internal services like printing, and so much more. It’s also environmentally friendly.

So how do you digitize? The process may seem daunting, but here are a few key principles:

  1. Start now. Don’t worry about the backlog. It’s okay to have both digitized and physical records for a while. Pick a date, and focus on digitizing everything after that day. You can work on the backlog over time. Some records may not even need to be digitized, which saves some work.
  2. Pick a service and stick with it. There are a lot of services out there for digitizing paperwork, and all of them have their pros and cons. Most do not follow any sort of common protocol, so switching between them is rather difficult. Decide on a service depending on the size and category of your business, and stick with it.
  3. Work it into your SOP. This isn’t going to happen unless you ensure digitizing is a part of everyone’s standard procedures. Get your employees on a Workflow Management System; ensure your finance department is working with an accounting package. Get your developers and engineers to track their progress online.

FIELDMOTION Workflow Management Software is revolutionising the way that companies do business today. Their unique approach to the paperless office is not only helping to streamline day to day business practices, but it is also helping to save vast amounts of money for its clients.

Take the plunge and go paperless today. You won’t look back.

Contact us for a free consultation.

IT’S ALL APP FROM HERE FOR FIELDMOTION

On Friday Night, the FIELDMOTION team headed off to the DANI Awards at St Columb’s Hall, Derry. There may have been a few small errors in getting there…nothing to do with co-piloting. However we arrived in time for Northern Ireland\’s Premier Digital Awards, celebrating excellence across the digital sector.

The evening started well with some great entertainment from Teresa Livingstone. Everyone settled for the most important part of the night and the award winners to be announced.

FIELDMOTION was shortlisted for the \’BEST MOBILE APP\’ category and came away with an award on the night. FIELDMOTION\’s Workflow Management Software allows companies to send job appointments to employees’ mobile devices. All information is accessible on our completely user friendly mobile application.

Jim Finnegan, CEO, was delighted to collect the award and expressed “to even have been shortlisted for the award was a great honour, we are thankful to all. Our team is continually growing as is our customer base. We have a strong customer presence across Northern Ireland, ROI and UK, Midlands”.

The FIELDMOTION team would like to extend its thanks to judges, DANI organisers and representatives for a great evening and the opportunity to be part of an extremely successful event celebrating the tremendous talent in Northern Ireland.

Congratulations to all winners. FIELDMOTION look forward to adding more silverware to their presentation cabinet. We are off to the Greater Newry Awards on Thursday night in Canal Court, Newry. Hopefully we are lucky again and bring back more awards.[divider scroll_text=””]

[gdl_gallery title=”DANI” width=”150″ height=”150″ galid=”1″ ]

Photos from the night courtesy of Martin McKeown (Inpresspics.com)