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Extending Your ERP/CMMS to the Field & Workshop

Amy Garcia

Eye roll – that’s the reaction of many when they first come across the concept of connecting field workers to their current back-office ERP/EAM/CMMS system. Most expect the next pitch to be an extensive and expensive update to the said enterprise software system. Or, there is the problem that their back-office just can’t do it – for any number of reasons ranging from “it’s old and has no mobile capabilities, and we are not going to change it” to “we can’t invest the few millions and the eight (or eighteen!) months in an upgrade for capabilities that we don’t know will actually work”. Worst of all is to give up – “that’s the nature of the beast – you enter stuff manually, generate manual reports, collate them manually, and hope you don’t ever get into an audit.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get there – just not the way conventional thinking tells you.

Cloud-mobile technology that is built for the mobile world makes effective workforce integration not only possible, but also cost-effective, and can be up and running within weeks.

Bridging the Divide Between Field Workers and Back Office

For most field workers and technicians, ERP and EAM systems are hidden digital structures. They rarely have insight into the system’s function, let alone the key insights and analytics that they are capable of producing. This is more problematic when the companies are directly related to physical infrastructure as is the case in the transit, transportation, construction, and utility industries.

The skilled workers that make up the heart and soul of these industries are often left in the dark from an ERP/EAM point of view. Complaints regarding these tech systems often inundate leaders and executives within these companies. And because most enterprise-level software companies focus on the back office, their systems are designed and formatted for web use (the so-called back-office applications). And, of course, these systems are primarily sold to those in the “back-office”.

Simply put, traditional ERP/EAM/CMMS is from, for, and of the administrative and managerial space.

Even as the traditional enterprise system vendors begin to understand the growing need for mobile-based versions of their software, the usability of some of their mobile versions is far from ideal for field workers. By many reports, these workers are essentially trying to access a web platform that comes in the packaging of a mobile app. Precious (and costly) minutes are spent buffering, gaining secure access, and navigating an unwieldy interface.

So much for being lightweight and efficient.

Connixt and Field Worker Integration

The core of the Connixt business model is built on three pillars: smarter, simpler, and faster. These are the three keys to achieving effective and productive integration between fieldworkers and the back office. As cloud-native technology continues to penetrate across markets, completely dismantling the old operational model, Connixt is perfectly positioned to reduce the pain points and cognitive demand of cross-department communications.

To create a plug-and-play mobile system to improve the performance of field workers, mechanics, truck drivers, linemen, and other skilled trades, you need to know what their everyday life at work looks like. The Connixt team has experience in this domain and actively applies it to our product development so that back-office ERP users have a more symbiotic relationship with workers on the ground.

The result? Our innovative iMarq™ cloud-mobile app suite.

iMarq and Legacy ERP/EAMs

iMarq is Connixt’s solution for connecting crews to the back-end systems their businesses use. Whether they are full-time, contract, or temporary, your staff is easily onboarded and can immediately leverage the mobile-first iMarq app suite to digitize and automate their work. This includes:

  • Receiving, creating, and updating work orders and service requests
  • Workflow and routing for signatures and approvals
  • Automated reporting
  • Incident reporting & damage assessment
  • Fieldworker location assistance and time-sheet tracking
  • Printing/scanning of barcodes on site
  • Using speech-to-text, photos with annotations, and auto-geo-tag/timestamp to maximize productivity

Again, these functions are fully integrated with current ERP/EAM/CMMS systems, so no significant changes are required on these back-end systems.

Once installed, fieldworkers are equipped to meet all the day’s demands without having to worry about wasting time learning or using unwieldy software. iMarq is also systems agnostic, meaning the front-end user will not experience any changes in format or process in the event that the back-end system is upgraded or changed.

Connixt provides the ideal solution for providing front-line workers with the same advanced capabilities their back-office counterparts are used to for many of the industries that have been hardest hit over the pandemic, whether by staffing issues, supply chain delays, or otherwise.

If you want to learn more about how Connixt is bringing skilled workers into a more effective, profitable relationship with back-office enterprise software systems, reach out to us for a demonstration today!

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