Nothing is predictable and unknowns are bundled with unknown unknowns. Take the Covid-19 pandemic as an example! Strategising is not possible with so many variables and growth can take a hit at any moment!
Doesn’t sound like an ideal way to build a business, right?
That is why instead of using ‘living in the VUCA world’ as a crutch, the leaders of tomorrow focus on Industry 4.0’s principles of data-driven analysis, automation, and smart operations.
In this blog, let us understand how Workforce Management Systems can help you build the field teams of the future – powered by Industry 4.0, fueled by data, and moderated by VUCA!
The Future of Business is a Two-faced Coin
The business world is going through two major changes – VUCA 2.0 and Industry 4.0. Both are so well connected that they complement yet compete against each other.
Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll track the whole thing down to save your business money!
The Heads: What is VUCA?
The term VUCA has been around for decades but has recently gained traction in the world of business strategy. It is an acronym for
In the managerial world, saying that “it’s a VUCA world” is the equivalent of saying “it’s crazy out there”!
Because VUCA combines four unique challenges that require unique responses – all working on assumptions. However, assumptions themselves are impossible to make because, in the globalized and interconnected world, something like Spotify’s Wrapped release can impact your field executives’ productivity!
Through VUCA, the Universal law of cause and effect is taken to a new dimension.
The cause of decreasing field employees’ leave quotas might be expected to lead to the desired effect of increased productivity. This is possible under the assumption that more working days will lead to more time to complete more tasks. However, the control that ‘all other things shall remain equal’ is not possible when the cause creates unintended side effects like exhaustion and dissatisfaction. Therefore, the final effect might end up being even lower productivity!
Therefore, management can use VUCA as a crutch to avoid strategic planning. After all, nothing can prepare field teams for the VUCA world, right? Right.
No! this strategy is far from ideal business operations, and we’ll discuss how to combat it further in this blog.
The Tails: What is Industry 4.0?
The term Industry 4.0 or Fourth Industrial Revolution is an ongoing change in the production and manufacturing domain around the globe. However, any change in production leads to major changes in all social and business sectors. And hence, sales and marketing are also going through a revolutionary change – including field operations!
The fourth industry revolution goes a step further than the IT and IoT-based Industry 3.0 to use cyber-physical systems to improve business and production.
But, what are these cyber-physical systems?
Well, they are working models that are monitored and controlled through computer-based mechanisms.
And what are these computer-based mechanisms based on?
Industry 4.0 is defined by data, connectivity, AI, and ML that build the smart teams of today. It leverages data to build intelligent systems with predictive pipelines that help strategize against unknown unknowns and the lack of the desired effect due to the side effects unlocked by the cause!
Resultingly, Industry 4.0 can work on assumptions, considering that they are based on data.
You can test your field team’s productivity in various working models. The data collected over the years can give you an idea of what any organizational change might do to productivity. Therefore, if you are planning to switch from a 9-hour 5-day working model to an 8-hour 6-day model, the system will show you whether or not it is ideal.
Sounds great, right?
Well, simple cause-and-effect is always ideal. But that is not how things work. The system can test historical data, but not account for something such as a pandemic making social distancing important – and hence completely disrupting field operations!
So no, completely relying on Industry 4.0’s simplicity doesn’t work either.
How the Two Faces of the Coin Come Together to Make Money for Workforce Management Systems
Until now, VUCA and Industry 4.0 seem to be contradicting each other, right?
While VUCA says that nothing is predictable and hence, strategy is not possible, Industry 4.0 leverages data to build predictive mechanisms!
So, how are they the two faces of the same coin? Well, when translated to field operations, they make the following operative strategies necessary:
Leverage Data:Industry 4.0 is based on data and how technology gathers, analyses, and leverages this data. Using historical data to make predictive maintenance, management systems, and optimised operations is the way to go.
Interconnectivity:Field operations are most susceptible to external influences. Therefore, in the VUCA world, predictive data cannot only rely on internal and industry-specific data. Instead, the systems should use all sorts of data such as weather reports, social influences, etc.
Digitize All Systems:With Industry 4.0, all business operations need to be fully transformed into digital ecosystems. Only when computer systems gather crucial data can they utilise it for field applications. Industry 4.0 and VUCA reinvent the way businesses operate with a focus on higher levels of interconnectivity and security.
Result-oriented Focus:Whatever you do, things can still not go your way, right? Therefore, managers must focus on The Pareto principle that 80% of their effect comes to form only 20% of the cause and hence build robustness around the effect. Managers need to stay adamant about increasing productivity – not necessarily on how to do it. Basically, build resilience around the effect, not the cause.
Making Way for Chaos:Instead of believing that whatever you do, unknown unknowns will meddle with the result, managers need to plan for whatever historical data predicts. There should be some leeway for complete operational topsy-turvy so that resilient systems do not at least lose what they already have.
Higher Improvision:Field operations are extremely unpredictable. After all, the lack of supervision and the presence of constant distractions makes field executives fall prey to external influences the quickest. So, field managers need to be innovative enough to manage whatever comes their way and improvise causes to get to the resilient effect!
Where Does TrackoField Stand Between VUCA and Industry 4.0?
We’re sure you’ve had enough about where the business and operations of the world are headed. If you are a field operations manager, don’t you want to work with a system that will prepare you for the organized confusion of tomorrow?
TrackoField stands right in the middle of the VUCA and Industry 4.0 world – leveraging data to bridge the gap between the two. But how does it exactly do that? How exactly is it VUCA and Industry 4.0 ready? Let’s see in this section!
Data Collection:TrackoField focuses on data collection at every aspect of your field operations. It manages leave and attendance systems, task execution processes, document handling tools, and much more. Therefore, the system is always gathering and analysing everything about your team of field executives.
Geospatial Analysis:Coming from the house of TrackoBit, TrackoField specialises in Geospatial data collection and analysis. The software specialises in locating employees, clients, and tasks with insane accuracy.
Well-rounded Integration:Field force management systems build an exceptionally connected workforce management system by connecting to various sensors and applications. It offers maximum API integration so that anything from inventory to employee details are always accounted for while making predictive analysis.
Digestible Data Analysis:With all the gathered and synthesized data, TrackoField builds a dashboard that helps managers digest the most complicated of information at ease. It is organised, responsive, and color-coded so that no details go unnoticed!
Insightful Reports:Along with the dashboard, managers get predictive and insightful reports that detail the nitty-gritty of the team’s productivity and functioning. This way, the data also helps predict what future changes can do to your team’s operations.
How Industry 4.0-compliant Workforce Management Software Help Businesses
All talk about TrackoField being Industry 4.0 ready sounds great. However, how does it translate into business operations? How do workforce management systems help field operative teams reduce operational costs, complete tasks effectively, automate processes, and achieve predictive excellence through connected experiences and insights?
Predictive and Automated Paperwork:With enough data collected, systems know the files executives need to refer to and get filled for specific tasks. The system even presents custom forms and auto-filled fields according to the task’s details.
Standardized Customer Experience:The predictive system can help arrange achievable and realistic deadlines to avoid delays. It also accounts for the collected feedback so managers can better strategize how to enhance the customer experience.
Predicting Operational Cost Increase:The smart systems can analyse current field expenses and use past patterns and external influences to predict the expected increase in operational expenses. This can help managers be better prepared in advance.
Smart Employee and Task Management:By analysing each executive’s location and strengths, the system gives better insights into who to assign ad-hoc tasks to. It simultaneously also looks into attendance records for predictive leaves and keeps managers aware of each of the executives’ productivity in the team.
Better Utilisation of Resources:For workforce management systems, nothing is out of sight, out of mind. It keeps every resource in your team occupied to its full capacity. It can also predict the need to increase or decrease resources in the future with projected goals and historical resource optimisation data.
Easily Automating Field Operations:Naturally, you cannot put things on auto-pilot until you’re sure that the results will not be a crash, right? When TrackoField collects so much data from your team, it automates multiple systems while keeping the money graph up. Operations will automatically make money as you save time and effort!
We live in confusing times of rapid technological development, interconnectivity, and automation. Strategizing is both necessary and extremely difficult when there are so many factors affecting the tiniest field operations teams.
The only way to stay ahead of the competition in this rapidly changing business world is to use future-proof tools.
So, if your business is based in field operations or has at least some aspect of it depending on field force management systems, TrackoField is the tool that will help you do the same. It is the best way to keep your team up to date, operations smooth, and budget at an all-time low with results at an all-time high in this VUCA and Industry 4.0 world!
Ayushi Nagalia is a Senior Content Specialist at TrackoBit. She is passionate about music, writing, and reading. When not abusing her keyboard, you will find her lost in her playlists or organizing things.
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