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How robots help monitoring employees working out of the office

Maria Skorik, Editor-in-chief of Redmadrobot, talks about how robots help companies organize the work of field staff, provide them with answers and instructions for all occasions, and make sure they do not go home for a nap during the day.
How robots help monitoring employees working out of the office

What do pharmaceutical and insurance companies, a telecom operator, a bank and a courier service have in common? Thousands of employees that practically do not show up in the office. Most of their work is in the field.

Despite the differences in content, a courier, an insurance agent and a sales representative (and other field specialists) have much in common:

  • a lot of time is spent on commute;
  • in order not to annoy customers with useless questions, an expert should know everything about the product and the working experience with each client;
  • all managers are human, and their memory is limited, the papers may be lost, and that means that notes should be made immediately;
  • "I'll be in 40 minutes", "I have already left for you", "Car damage is insignificant" - people tend to distort the facts, so customers have to wait longer, and insurance companies pay more (or less);
  • it is difficult to control the effectiveness of work: if a manager is used to sleeping during the day and does not intend to abandon this habit, his supervisor might never learn about it.

Mobile workplaces will not turn protein managers into robots, but they can significantly improve their productivity.

So the days of field employees are not spent on commute, the system provides for the integration of mobile workstations with fixed CRM (even closed and exotic). The system will provide managers with the necessary data even without access to the Internet, and if special knowledge is not needed, as in the case of couriers, it will help plan a route with jams in mind and reconstruct it if the situation has changed dramatically.

One company ordered a reporting system that could record not only the duration of each meeting and presentation, but also the interval between the meetings. If the interval between presentations of the product to different doctors was less than two minutes, there probably were no meetings. Also, the system would track time and location: if a manager was supposed to be in a polyclinic on Lomonosov Avenue, but held a scheduled meeting somewhere in the South-West, the system would have an alert, and a supervisor would have questions. Presentations held in the interval before 8 am and after 8 pm are not considered to be productive.

Almost all American pharmaceutical companies use such systems. For example, AstraZeneca with mobile workplaces reduced the costs of providing field staff with the necessary materials and monitoring their work by 30%. The efficiency of the work has increased by 89%. If we take into account that the company's revenues are almost 33 billion dollars a year, the amount, we can imagine, is impressive.  

People are cunning. The developers of the system encountered a variety of attempts to deceive the system. Once, the robot manager was searching for the bug discovered by the employee for a week, all meetings were recorded for one day. By the test results it was found out that everyone, except the employee himself, was working. The same situation was in the case with a broken authorization. The problem is not in the algorithms, failures occur in people. After the mobile workstation implementation in a bank's recovery department, the number of its employees has decreased by 40%. It turned out that almost half of the department simply was waiting for the borrowers’ conscience to make them return the debts.

To identify problems until they become critical, the manager can track the key performance indicators of each employee: how many meetings he has held, what presentations he has shown, what products have seemed the most interesting to the client. And the very possibility of the emergence of questions disciplines.

Not only sentences, but also assessments can be irrelevant, for the time that information comes to a person, but not to the algorithm, anything can happen to it. A tablet with a customer's list (service personnel has them) may be lost, or the data in it might slightly differ from what the operator finally gets.

You can negotiate with a person unlike the algorithm; the damage to the car can become more or less significant, and the insurance company gets information about another car. In order each driver receives a full comprehensive insurance or a third liability cover, that he deserves, the mobile workplace will memorize and take a picture of the location and the car, whether this insurance agent wants it or not.

People can be much more useful if they have algorithms in their hands.

The most different businesses have something in common; it is people with their bugs. Mobile workplaces can, if not eliminate errors in no the most advanced versions, then at least find them, and for business this is already quite a lot.

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