Seven surprising business units that benefit from Enterprise Mobile Resource Management
While the concept of having workers out in the field is almost as old as work itself, for most enterprises, the physical workplace has become a more fluid concept than ever before. Your employees can be working in the field, in offices or homes dotted all over the world, let alone a country or city.
As a result, ‘Mobile Resource Management’ (MRM) becomes vital link between mobile workers and the office. By connecting vehicles, mobile assets, people and work, MRM gives the organisation the insight, agility and customer feedback to break down breaking down organisational or departmental silos and become more efficient.
However, there is a misconception that MRM is purely a fleet management, driver safety or operations tool. In reality, MRM has benefits that span the entire business. In this article, we will explore seven somewhat unexpected business units that benefit from MRM systems.
Risk management teams use MRM to help ensure regulatory and policy compliance and demonstrate duty of care. Further, by identifying unsafe driving behaviour, providing insights into accident or damage claims, mitigating fleet liability risks, and protecting against potential fraud, theft and supervisory negligence claims, businesses can reduce risk due to consequential losses.
Sales and customer relations
MRM tools give sales and customer relations teams near-real time updates on the status of jobs, helping them to deliver top-level customer service. This can help convert customers into brand advocates who’ll come back again and again. It can also mean your sales teams are spending less time on customer relations, freeing them up to do what they best – sales. This is even more important in an environment where new entrants are disrupting previously well-established sectors, and customer expectations are increasing rapidly.
Human resources can use MRM to gain an immediate connection to all on-the-go employees. Whether it’s availability, coaching, training or helping workers to hit more of their targets by being more efficient, MRM software gives human resources the tools they need to help make employees even better. This visibility is also vital when it comes to ensuring employee wellbeing and responding in the event that a driver is involved in an accident.
Driver apps included in MRM systems simplify the classification of business and personal journeys, digitise receipts and automatically produce mileage reports in an HMRC ready format. This greatly reduces the administrative burden of tax management and negates the need to spend time chasing drivers to get them to file paper reports.
For enterprise IT teams, version control, software management and endless integration across different departments can be more than a full-time job. Cloud-based MRM systems provide a unified solution across different business units, meaning fewer systems for IT teams to maintain, easier integration, no need to create or maintain application programming interfaces (APIs) in-house. Ultimately it makes the day-to-day lives of the IT team easier.
MRM systems also enable the IT team to collect key operational data from vehicles, drivers or mobile workers to be integrated with other applications. This data can support the enterprise’s digital transformation efforts, as well as the optimisation and automation of systems and workflows across the organisation, making the entire business more efficient.
An MRM system helps make financial reporting faster, with easy-to-create and distribute reports that demonstrate savings and productivity throughout the organisation. This is possible because an MRM program can help to automate the entire workflow – moving from paper to digital. It can also help improve cash flow and speeds up billing, by assisting the finance department to speed up all payment and processing operations, as well as reducing invoice and settlement disputes.
Through electronic, or automated timesheets, and making elements of people’s work easier to measure, MRM enables payroll to perform more efficiently. For example, it helps better manage wage bills by matching the right skills to the right job, rather than sending overqualified staff to easier, low-level jobs. It can also help to manage labour distribution efficiently so that you can assign jobs to less utilised employees earning standard time, rather than employees earning overtime for a given pay period. And, when payroll is more efficient, salaries and payments go out on time – helping to improve employee morale.
The benefits of MRM extend far beyond the traditional areas of fleet management, operations or safety. By employing an enterprise-wide MRM system, managers gain a holistic view of how the organisation is performing, link previously isolated business units and increase performance across the entire organisation. This is vital to meet ever-changing customer expectations, provide reassurance in the operations team and ensure your organisation is ready for the future.
For more information about Mobile Resource Management, and to download the free ‘Mobile Resource Management for Dummies’ e-book, produced by Verizon Connect and leading instructional book brand For Dummies, visit https://www.verizonconnect.com/uk/resources/ebook/mrm-guide/.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.