Reports about using technology in business often focus on improvements to customer experience, but what about employee satisfaction?
While keeping your clients happy is crucial, maintaining an engaged and motivated workforce is equally important. Because if you can’t retain and attract the talent you need to fill essential roles, you’re never going to service your customers and keep your business growing.
Skills shortages are an issue for many sectors right now, particularly among business’ deploying field electrical engineers. A Building Engineering Business Survey in 2021 showed that a lack of skilled electrical personnel is hurting electrotechnical contracting businesses. Around half of respondents worried about hiring the right people and 41% said their top concern was retaining existing staff.
If the pool of talent is small, you need to do everything you can to make your company more attractive than the competition. For field electrical engineers in demanding roles, using the right tech for the job is going to have a massive impact. It could be the factor that attracts or retains talent to your business – and helps you fulfil orders in a period of high demand and growth.
We need to talk about paper reporting
So where is your business right now, in terms of field technology?
If you are still relying heavily on paper reporting, you are at a disadvantage. It’s inefficient, leads to errors and will slow your people down compared to the digital options we’ll look at below.
Or perhaps you are using some technology, but your approach has grown organically and is piecemeal. For instance, you use a combination of laptops, portable notebooks, consumer-grade devices, and some element of paperwork .
If this is the case, you need to know that other businesses are consolidating and improving their approaches, and are creating a working environment that is more standardised, efficient and satisfying for their people. They’re doing it in larger and larger numbers too. According to the Zebra Future of Field Operations Vision Study, over 58% of respondents say that mobile investment is a top priority.
If you wish to retain and attract people, it should be for you too.
Why enterprise tablets are the future for field electrical engineers
In all the points below, we’re going to be talking about rugged enterprise tablets, not consumer models. While it’s true that any wholesale move to modern tablets is going to help compared to paper or more piecemeal practices, tablets designed to meet the requirements of enterprise organisations – particularly in the tough-knocks world of fieldwork – are a must. They are more durable, better connected, more adaptable and faster than many consumer models. There really is no comparison. (You can find out more about the rugged factor in our blog post here.)
Some of the benefits below assume devices are running data capture and reporting software. If you need help with choosing the right package for your business, do get in touch.
Here's why using rugged enterprise tablets will help recruit and retain your people
Devices are a pleasure to use
Pick the right rugged enterprise tablets and your electrical engineers will be interacting with a large, well-lit screen that will remain bright and readable in the sunshine. They may also be using their device without having to remove gloves – potentially a huge time-saver.
No more ‘power down’ anxieties
Powerful battery life and swappable batteries (including hot-swap batteries where you can change batteries without shutting a phone down) keep your people working and free them from the anxiety of the dreaded power down.
Rapid deployment to the right jobs
A high-performing enterprise tablet with good connectivity can track a technician’s exact location. Realtime location combined with information on skills and expertise will help you decide who to send to which job. Efficient deployment mean shorter journeys and the right electrical engineer at the right job – a win for everyone.
Safer working environments
Electrical engineers will be exposed to less risk when using rugged devices. This is because they have access to more information to help them make safer choices while performing their jobs.
Easy access to data = increased efficiency
From customer service history, product information and warranties to related products and services, all the data your people need to complete a job efficiently will be at their fingertips.
Because all work can be logged instantly in a transparent, accurate process, confusion or disagreements with customers are kept to a minimum. Your people can even offer an above-and-beyond service by quickly getting information about complementary parts or products in the field. A win-win for the client, your field service engineers and your business.
Which rugged enterprise tablets should I choose?
There are many choices on the market, but we think Zebra Technologies’ rugged enterprise tablets can’t be beaten in terms of power, adaptability and affordability. They are engineered for the toughest and most demanding environments and feature a comprehensive range of add-ons – from vehicle mounts to power supply cradles – that are backwards and forwards compatible, so your tech won’t become redundant. Crucially, support plans are second-to-none and include next-day, ‘like new’ device replacement, so you can continue operations without costly downtime.
Nuffield Technologies can help you source Zebra hardware and accessories for your field electrical engineers, consulting closely with you to exactly match your requirements.
We are confident we can do all of this at a price no other provider can match.
Get in touch to find out how we can quickly dispatch the right solutions to you at the right price – and help you give qualified electrical engineers a very good reason to choose your forward-looking operation.