What is a firstline worker platform?

A digital firstline worker platform like ProntoForms sets the stage for working with others to produce better ways of completing a job.

As digital transformation turns business processes upside down and inside out, working in isolation or siloed operations, or taking direction from top-down directives are all coming under the microscope. The fact is, like everything digital these days, the fundamental factor behind a successful technological transformation is connection—the relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked with something else. That’s where a digital firstline worker platform sets the stage for working jointly with others to produce better ways of completing a job.

In the field service industry, a firstline worker platform like ProntoForms’ is a harbinger of what can be. Digital transformation—as suggested by the authors of the Forbes article Going Digital? Your Firstline Workers Will Pave Your Way To Success—is about many connected small steps. Rather than taking one big stride, the experts suggest you take lots of small ones based on your frontline employees’ insights and actions. Why not position field service workers as the experimental vanguard of your digital transformation?

The power of a firstline worker platform

The ability to capture, access, share and use the right information at the right time is what makes a frontline platform so powerful. It’s about the deep integration between data collected in the field, the mobile-enabled tools used by frontline workers to do their jobs well, and the cascading positive impact on workflows and decision-making across departments and out into your organization’s external networks. It’s what 43% of executives in organizations “with excellent progress in digital transformation” credit for their success: digitally empowered firstline workers.

The change from “this is the way we’ve always done things” to “this is what we need to do now to secure our tomorrow” is an across-the-organization rethink that involves participation from everyone.  

What really sets the more successful [digital] transformations apart is the involvement of frontline employees. McKinsey & Company, The People Power of Transformations

Engaged participation

Frontline workers are key. They’re your brand ambassadors, the face of your organization, the people your customers know, and who know your customers best. They have their ear to the ground and a first-hand understanding of processes, procedures, and management. They see gaps and opportunities for improvement. They’re your compass for successfully navigating digital transformation. 

Data collected from the field helps leaders spot patterns and change direction with confidence and agility. Yet, only 37% of executives say input is sought from firstline workers to map out digital transformation strategies.

Forbes’ Insight team questions this approach, given that the path to true digital transformation—in which “firstline workers are equipped with the latest technology tools and platforms—requires a rethinking of not only technology investments, but the roles and responsibilities of firstline workers. To help them succeed in today’s competitive digital economy, firstline workers require greater autonomy, information sharing, decision-making power and training. Technology is the enabler of these capabilities.”

Technology is also the reason why field service participation is vital to digital transformation. Frontline service techs need mobile tools and apps that let them contribute to and access digital information. Input from those in the field ensures your firstline worker platform is intuitive and simple to use. A low-code application platform makes it even easier.

An approach with more transparent exchanges of information can remove long-standing barriers. The playing field—between field techs out on job sites, functional managers at their desks and leaders at the boardroom table—is leveled when the platform becomes a conduit for problem-solving and idea-sharing. Increased levels of employee engagement occur. And as countless studies show, when employee engagement is high, customer satisfaction tends to follow.

Empowering data analytics

Digital data flow heightens agility and accelerates next steps. Field service workers can access remote resources and expertise instantly and use apps on their mobile devices to follow checklists, complete work orders, upload photos and log notes. When aggregated and analyzed, data fed into a firstline worker platform can flag inventory and supply requirements to support service, model preventative maintenance scenarios, and optimize an asset’s life cycle from installation to retirement.

Backed by these tools and insights, field technicians become more than installation or repair or maintenance service providers. Putting data and resources at their fingertips empowers workers in the field to understand customers’ needs and expectations at a deeper level.

A firstline worker platform is essential – not just for field services

Although back-office staff aren’t out in the field, they play a critical role answering customer calls, scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, and reporting. A field services digital platform provides the necessary tools, communication, and support to ensure administrative employees are productive. It provides customers with more immediate access and control over last-minute scheduling changes if needed, and the real-time ability to follow a service call in progress. Data is stored in the cloud for quick audit-compliant reporting. Health and safety protocols, changing regulatory requirements, work orders and checklists can easily be updated and communicated for everyone’s benefit.

Whether it’s used to increase collaboration, improve workflows, provide better access to vital information, or raise employee and customer satisfaction, a firstline worker platform has the remarkable power to transform business as usual.

To learn more about how ProntoForms’ field service platform puts people first and arms frontline employees with the tools to lead your digital transformation journey, check out our resource library filled with case studies and customer success stories.

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