Geofencing 101: A Primer on Field Service Automation

If you have a team of mobile employees, it’s likely that you’re acquainted with the term “geofencing”.  If not, this post will reveal a secret tool that can help automate your field service operations and improve overall workforce productivity for your business.

What is Geofencing?

Geofence in a virtual perimeter/boundary (a fence) around a particular location on a map. The location can be any area of interest such as your office, home, warehouse, customer place, job sites and more.  By marking the area on a map, you can automatically monitor activity such as entry, exit and the time spent inside the area.

Geofencing: How It Works

Modern workforce management tools such as the myGeoTracking platform use a combination of GPS, Cellular data, and Wi-fi signals to accurately detect events and activities.

Why You Need Geofencing

Geofencing is an adaptive and easy-to-use tool that adds a lot of value to the overall business.  Here are some scenarios and use-cases:

Payroll, Attendance Verification, and Billing

Perhaps the most common application of geofencing in a mobile workforce scenario is for verifying employee attendance at a site.  When an employee clocks in and clocks out, a geofence lets you compare and validate their time with respect to their job site.  Modern tools such as myGeoTracking eliminate the need for employees to manually clock in and clock out by automatically detecting their presence and clocking them in/out.

Visit Verification

Geofencing helps verify visits your employees make.  This is very useful if your employees are supposed to visit clients/customers as a part of their job. Geofencing can help verify visits and provide reports that can be used for proof of service or compliance.

Monitoring Field Activities

Geofencing helps you stay on top of field activities in real time.  A modern workforce tool with geofencing technology can help your operations and back-office dispatch teams with updates from the field as they happen.  This means your operations and dispatch teams automatically have the real-time information to help manage teams without having to spend time making check calls!

Geofencing Adds Context

One of the benefits often overlooked is the context that a geofence adds to the data.  There are many tools to track the location of employees and assets, but not all have the geofencing technology and thus lack context.  Here’s an example: Without geofencing technology, such tools would rely on latitude and longitudinal coordinates or an address to report a location. While an address is good, geofencing makes it highly contextual by letting you name a site: “Sunnyvale Office”.  So with geofencing, you’ll see: Bob departed from “Palo Alto office” and arrived at “Sunnyvale office”.

Workflow Automation

Geofencing can help automate operations workflow using rules and triggers.  Very few modern tools, like myGeoTracking, support custom work rules that leverage geofencing to automate your business operations.

Here’s how it works: custom work rules can be setup based on real-world triggers involving people (employee), place (geofence), and time.

Here’s are some sample use-cases:

  • Remind Bob to take the customer’s signature when he arrives at the customer place

  • If Bob is running late, send an update to the customer with ETA and an alert to back-office dispatch team

  • Send alert to employee(s) when they are outside their job site for more than 45 minutes during work hours

So, geofencing can be a great force multiplier to your day-to-day operations and help you scale to higher levels of efficiency.  If you’re curious about the possibilities, let’s talk!  Let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436