Deciding to change your entire management system is a tough decision, sometimes sticking to older, inefficient methods seems easier than facing the upheaval it takes to implement a new system.

The truth is, whilst you’re struggling between 3 offline spreadsheets and a google calendar other businesses are utilizing cloud Workforce Management (WFM) technology to reduce their costs, increase their efficiency and grow their business. Here’s 5 reasons why you should quit making excuses and start making the switch.

Quick and cost-effective implementation, deployment and running.

Contrary to what you may think, implementing cloud based WFM is relatively easy. In comparison to premise based software there’s very little implementation or disruption on your side. Cloud based technology takes care of hardware, software, and  new releases which makes deploying the software a quick as well as an easy process. This means no dragging heavy servers into the office or leaving devices on all night for those all important security updates. Maintenance is entirely in the hands of the software provider you choose – one less job for you! In a nutshell this means less capital expenditure, less expenditure maintaining said capital and less expenditure on IT support meaning more funds to spend elsewhere on your core business. At an operational level, cloud based WFM is scalable and flexible – subscription plans are available based upon the size and needs of your business and as these grow and change you can change your plan to suit – increasing the functionality of the system to suit your individual business needs.

A flexible, collaborative and productive workforce.

When interviewing a candidate for a job do you look for someone who doesn’t work well in a team and perishes in different environments? Didn’t think so. So why aren’t these skills you’re encouraging past this point? “70% of the working population in the UK will be mobile, flexible workers by 2020.” – And this isn’t just about your mobile engineers. Cloud WFM allows your workers to access and share important reports, documents, customer details and forms from anywhere. So what does this mean? Well, firstly your office workers are now more flexible. Instead of Sue having to come into the office, sift through the office computer to sort out next week’s schedule she can do it on her iPad on the train to that important meeting. Also, if Sue later realises she forgot to schedule an important job she can sign in at home and rectify it on the spot. What about the mobile workers? Well, Steve can automatically receive updates to his phone, so when Sue arranges a job for the next morning he’s instantly aware.

‘I didn’t know I was scheduled in for 9’

Following on from the last point, having a cloud based system increases transparency between the workforce. Scheduling is more efficient and viewable by everyone in real time. This makes a more efficient workforce and also, by having everything updated in real time encourages motivation for the workers, they’ll always have an accurate picture of whats on their plate for the day. By having a Cloud based WFM system in place you can avoid numerous other scheduling disasters such as double booking, sending workers to jobs they don’t have the skillset for and sending workers to jobs that are geographically unviable.

Data capture and security

Through a cloud based system data capture is enhanced, mobile workers can upload data straight to the system rather than it being passed through several sources and then uploaded to a spreadsheet or filed into a cabinet. This reduces the likelihood of mistakes – no more deciphering messy handwriting. Having your data cloud based also makes historic data more accessible. Overall, data is captured and used more effectively under cloud based WFM. Security is another key benefit of cloud based WFM, in an age of cyber attacks it can be understandable why businesses are hesitant to put sensitive data online, the reality however is that cloud-based technology providers, regardless of the industry, invest in security and typically offer a more secure IT environment than offline software. Also, cloud based systems offer the opportunity to remove a mountain of unsecure paperwork from your work processes – how many physical forms – which can easily be misplaced –  do your engineers handle each day which could reveal sensitive data?

Increased customer service

All the previous points merge together to create a better customer experience, if costs are decreased this could be transferred to your customer through lower prices, if your workforce is working more efficiently and productively your customer will receive an enhanced customer experience, improved scheduling will lead to quicker and more available appointments and more accurate data will increase the quality of the service provided. What else? Well, a cloud based system allows everything to be handled in real time, this means customer faults will be immediately flagged up. Your mobile workers can use this to address and resolve issues as they happen – and have the required documentation to do so available instantly.