This is a copy of a post originally posted on my LinkedIn account.
It might have been two months since BigChange last released an update to our mobile app JobWatch, but we have been keeping our app developers Laurent and Chad busy behind the scenes.
5.12 that was announced a few weeks ago has finally been launched to the Google PlayStore, with its iOS brother due for release to the Apple AppStore within a few weeks.
This release was huge (although 5.13 is going to be even bigger trust me), and contains many excellent time-saving features, however as with tradition, I’m going to pick one and expand upon the problem that we were trying to solve and the excellent solution my colleague Ed produced.
For those who may not use our amazing system, JobWatch (amongst other things) allows customers through a web browser to schedule jobs to a mobile app for completion by resources. These jobs could be anything from delivery and collection, through to door repairs, house clearance, boiler installation, electrical re-writing – anything. This is possible as you create your job types, and you create the worksheets (or questions) that you want to be filled in.
Since the release of our software over 5 years ago, we have operated on the basis that the back office users allocate the work to the people in the field, and whilst it is possible to access our web interface from a mobile browser we have pioneered functionality and scheduling benefits that are best consumed on a desktop device with a larger screen.
This view and direction align itself with the way that the overwhelming majority of our customers operate, that is to say, an office-based function works with customers to take details, allocate the work, act as customer service, finance, and technical functions. Resources in the field support them in carrying out the work that they have been allocated.
The more our customers use the system, the more data we amass which in turn allows us to present to the back office user information when scheduling the work to determine the likely duration; such as how punctual that resource is, are there any other jobs that are unscheduled that could be completed at the same time, and do they complete that type of job quicker than their colleagues.
However, there will always be times when a resource is on-site that they have additional time to perhaps squeeze in another job that has not yet been allocated – saving another visit. Alternatively, they might have finished early, and want to see jobs nearby that are unallocated that they could complete – utilising free time.
This was something that we wanted to solve and introduce a method that would allow certain resources the ability to self allocate jobs that they were able to do.
You might only want certain resources the ability to do this, and only allow them to view certain types of work. Well, we have that covered, in fact, we already did through our roles and restrictions settings.
So what was the solution? Oh well, it was an easy one, we just put a button in the app that the user had to press.
If only it were that simple, I’d be a developer!
Seriously thought, that is the experience that the user has. They see a simple new button that they can tap on at various points in the app. If they are on a CRM contact, it shows them unscheduled jobs against that location, and if they are against a piece of equipment, they can see the jobs that relate to that piece of machinery. Each screen has a convenient search option which allows you to further reduce the results returned.
One button press later, the job is allocated to you to complete.
This is going to be something that we know our customers will love as it allows those who want to move slowly away from the office-based allocation, in some scenarios to do so.
If you want to see it in action, you can do as we made short teaser video to show it off:
As always if you would like any more information on BigChange and the other amazing things we do, details are below.