We were delighted to be asked to provide an editorial piece recently for LAPV also known as Local Authority Plan and Vehicles. This is a key target sector for our business for many reasons but namely the Health and Safety implications of lone workers and those driving company vehicles whether it’s a car, bus or lorry. Our range of solutions were created to protect both employers and employees; employees as they go about their daily tasks and employers from prosecution for failing to protect their staff.
In our article we discuss whether a mobile phone is an essential business tool or a hazard and highlight details of the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) that requires employers to ensure the Health and Safety of all their workers whilst at work.
The convergence of existing technology and the correct utilization of existing business assets is, in the current climate, a topic for much discussion. Industry statistics have shown that smart phones are the largest growth area of the mobile industry with mobile phone technology advancing so far in recent years that there is very little we cannot do from our mobile phones, no matter what your profession.
Adept use of technology can make mobile workers measurable and also increase workforce productivity. But this is still early days and is really only being utilised in some industries. In our new management brief – Mobile Workforce Management Guide 2015 – we detail the results of an IBM survey where participants were asked to “estimate the extent to which mobility has improved overall workforce productivity today.” Interestingly, in three years time 40% expect improvements of 10-20% and 36% are looking for improvements of greater than 20%.
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at The University of Sheffield, a UK-based research consortium, has developed a prototype for improving the workforce productivity of maintenance and repair operations in sectors such as aerospace, shipping, oil and gas. Using a combination of augmented reality and robotics, it is able to bring critical information and remote expertise directly to field engineers. Early use of the system has yielded reductions in capital expenditure from 3 to 7 per cent, increased production between 8 and 15 per cent and achieved 10 to 25 per cent operating cost savings. This is a great example of the adept use of technology to increase workforce productivity, reduce costs and in turn protect employees.
When will businesses take the lead by banning mobile phone use whilst driving?
In 2015 the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion representing 37.2% of the workforce according to a forecast from the International Data Corporation. To this end we have created "Mobile Workforce Management Guide 2015" available for download from our site.
This paper explores all aspects of a mobile workforce - the definition, looking at workforce adoption trends, the devices used and importance of digital deployment within companies around the globe.
It is very important to us to get our target audiences to understand the true benefits of our Romex Mobile Workforce Management solution. To this end we have examined the marketplace, talked to your customers and understood their problems and developed our technology to deliver the solutions.
What is interesting working with our clients is discovering how after even a short space of time our mobile apps has made a difference to not only the efficiency of their working practices but also enables them to be Health & Safety compliant, validate their service levels and benefit financially.
Two case studies I will feature in this blog are Amalgamated Lifts and LAPA Security. In discussion with John Brand, Finance Director for Amalgamated Lifts I was keen to understand the company and how Romex was helping. John said: “We have a strongly skilled mobile workforce of which 40% have been with our company for more than 10 years. They are dedicated to customer satisfaction; providing full, open and honest communication, solutions and quick, real time report information. However, we have been using a somewhat dated vehicle telematics system. A system that required the installation of expensive hardware and did not give us the ability to monitor our engineers once they stepped out of their vehicles.”
Volvo Car UK has announced that as part of its mission, by 2020 nobody will be injured or killed in a new Volvo. We are very pleased to be part of this major driver safety initiative entitled ‘Co-Pilot’ that is designed to help SMEs get on top of their legal and social obligations and ensure the safety of their fleets and drivers.
Co-Pilot is a program of practical support and expertise that delivers real financial benefits to business by improving driver safety and compliance. Volvo have designed the programme so that it is available free of charge when a business buys or leases their first Volvo.
Combined with Volvo's market leading safety technology, Volvo Co-Pilot delivers real value to small and medium sized businesses in three important areas: Legal Compliance, Safety & Risk Management and Business Optimisation.
Our Mobile Driver Protection module that combats driver distraction is part of the Volvo Co-Pilot driver safety initiative. This module automatically disables an employees’ mobile phone whilst they are driving through using GPS to detect movement. Blue Tooth use of the phone can be enabled, according to company policy, but any interaction with the hand-set is blocked. Notifications of email, text or social media are suppressed until the driver is stationary, thus removing the temptation to take their eyes off the road.
Other partners in the scheme include The British Chamber of Commerce, Specsavers, TFL, Driving for Better Business, Fleet 21, Lex Autolease, Enterprise, Regus Business Scene and South Essex Insurance Brokers all of whom are providing offers as part of the Co-Pilot Driver Safety initiative.
Information from the Department of Transport indicates that more than a quarter of all road traffic accidents on British roads involve someone driving for work and accidents involving business drivers cause 20 deaths and 200 serious injuries every week. This would suggest that the Co-Pilot driver safety initiative will hopefully reduce this figure and make the roads safer for all concerned.
What is the best way to manage your mobile workforce?