Lot of organizations hire people for market research, sales, business development, support roles with a primary job description that includes meeting people outside the organization. Such people are expected to meet vendors, partners, distributors, customers, prospects etc and actively provide their company’s products & services. Having people spend long hours outside the organization poses an obvious challenge of tracking. How can managers track attendance of employees who are on the field – that’s the question we actively try to explore in this article.
Companies have developed KPI’s that need their employees to visit customers, partners, vendors etc. Pharmaceutical companies train their medical representatives to constantly meet doctors to promote their latest drug, FMCG companies send their sales and supply chain professionals to visit departmental stores, supermarkets etc, automobile companies send their quality control professionals to visit dealer showrooms to ensure proper compliance etc.
Almost every company selling ‘commodity’ products such as generic drugs, cars, shampoo, soap etc needs to have an army of people on-field to support their sales, supply chain and quality control practices. Without feet on street, it is almost impossible to run the business at scale. With the rise of the gig-economy, there are now millions of field-agents who deliver products and accept returns from customers at their doorstep.
Organizations track key metrics to monitor their remote, on-field workforce. With improvement in technology, it has become very easy to smartly track these metrics, identify anomalies and notify them to the relevant stakeholders. Some of the key metrics tracked by companies are:
Total/average number of locations visited: Some companies track performance of their teams based on the number of visits they make to designated locations. Making sure that someone has indeed made ‘N’ number of visits to partners, distributors or prospects is the key reporting metric in this case.
Frequency of visits: Companies want their teams to visit their key customers, partners more frequently. Tracking frequency of visits to specific customers is another key metric.
Time between visits: Similar to the ‘frequency’ metric, ‘time between visits’ tracks the number of days since the last visit. Companies want to optimize their resources by classifying locations as high/medium/low priority and accordingly assigning a benchmark ‘time gap’ between two successive visits.
Optimal route: Another important metric is to track the path taken by ‘field’ teams to ensure maximum coverage. Tracking this metric helps companies identify If a particular agent is spending more time traveling and less time meeting.
Redundancies: Sometimes multiple resources have little co-ordination between each other and end-up going to the same location over and over again. Companies track location of resources to minimize redundancies in the system.
With the advent of facial recognition, GPS tracking and cloud technologies, we now have the means to track on-field assets in real-time at massive scale. It is also possible to generate real-time analytics based on the check-in history of employees and serve the insights to senior management over the cloud. Let’s explore each of these technologies in detail
In the age of smartphones, we now have access to advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to recognize a face within a few milli-seconds with more than 99.9% accuracy. Apple and other high end mobile manufacturers already provide face-recognition technology to their patrons. Technology has evolved to an extent where advanced filtering is used to separate spoof images from real person.
2. GPS tracking
GPS tracking technology is now mature and stable in all smartphones. GPS uses radio waves and cellular data to provide a location within 50 meters of actual location. Most smart phones available today give a reasonably accurate estimate of a person’s location. GPS tracking uses a combination of satellite data and cellular data and hence requires that a person has an active data connection.
3. Cloud technologies
All this data collected from smartphones would be useless if we cannot generate real-time, actionable management insights. And developing advanced visualizations over real-time data needs a lot of computing power – that’s where cloud technologies come to the fore. Sending data to cloud servers hosted by Google, AWS and Microsoft allow companies to quickly dissect this data and generate rich, visual dashboards and serve them on a mobile or laptop of a manager working from home.
Arvi selfie check-in platform provides comprehensive attendance with time & location tracking that serves needs of organizations with a mix of on-premise, on-field and work-from-home workforce. Arvi selfie check-in platform combines advanced facial recognition, GPS tracking and cloud technologies to provide real-time insights to managers on-demand. Our onboarding, user experience and accuracy is of the highest industry standards. To try out our platform for 30-days, click on the link below and start seeing the difference.