1st Touch has launched Mobile Workforce as a complete solution for managing a mobile workforce within housing, property services and local government. Its existing customers include Coast & Country, Powys County Council and the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust.
1st Touch Mobile Workforce manages, supports and controls mobile operatives across all aspects of housing management including property maintenance, inspections (including voids), mobile service provision, asset management, responsive repairs, utilities, performance monitoring and contract management.
Mobile Workforce allows programming-free, user-customisable solutions to be created and is designed to simplify handheld form design and data capture applications. Any type of electronic form can be generated, closely replicating existing working practices without the need for business process mapping. The forms, which can be pre-completed with information such as customer name and address from back-office systems, are then sent electronically to field-based users’ PDAs, to collect additional information as required. A field report generator enables the PDAs to automatically generate one or more field reports from a single data-capture exercise; a user-configurable web portal then delivers access to the field reports and the data collected.
The system uses low-airtime ‘smart client’ technology to automate links between the field-based mobile operative’s PDA and the housing organisation’s back-office systems, its depots and the warehouse. In contrast with many other ‘always on’ mobile systems, Mobile Workforce works with or without a signal, transmitting encrypted data in periodic small bursts, reducing communication costs by up to 75 per cent.
Through GPS mapping, Mobile Workforce can identify the location of all operatives on a clickable map, with their job information and route-plan. The same functionality supports lone worker safety through the ability to identify nearby workers and a panic button to alert the head office.
John Stabler, managing director, 1st Touch said, “Many mobile solutions are only partial answers, with specific vendors focusing on their own functional aspects of the mix. 1st Touch Mobile Workforce unifies the different back-office functions, providing both mobile operatives and management with a single, easy-to-use integrated solution.”