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How Automation Benefits Your Organization’s Fieldworkers

February 7, 2020

By Jean McGann, CPA

Automation for your Organization's Fieldworkers

This is the second article in our three-part series on the benefits of automation for governments. The first article described a few ways automation can make life easier for your office staff, and the third will focus on your most important stakeholders—your residents.

As defined in the introduction to this article series, “automation” is the act of automating certain processes within an organization (e.g., processes related to finance and administrative functions). Although automation often relies on software, it’s never about minimizing staff. When implemented correctly, automation can get rid of redundancies, paper, and inaccuracies. Best of all, it can enable your employees to focus on the work that matters most.

Automation, when implemented correctly, can bring about several benefits. Implementing an electronic work order system, for instance, is an automation tactic that directly benefits fieldworkers. Here’s how it could benefit fieldworkers within your organization.

1. Streamline Scheduling

Scheduling work orders can be a tedious process for all involved. Many cities rely on paper and email to make it happen, which can lead to redundancies and inaccuracies. Replacing manual work orders with an electronic work order system can improve the entire process.

With an electronic work order system, customers can call into an automated phone system or visit your organization’s website to schedule a work order or inspection. Then, the work order automatically shows up in the scheduling system—and even in fieldworkers’ calendars. Fieldworkers can access the work order information in the field via a tablet or laptop, saving them from having to decipher it or take a trip back to city hall to get the details.

2. Reduce Time Spent on the Road

As I mentioned, an electronic work order system allows fieldworkers to access and review work orders in real time. This often prevents them from having to make a trip back to city hall to find out what’s next on their schedule. You can also set up this type of system to allow residents to report potholes online. This can limit the amount of time fieldworkers spend looking for them.

3. Finalize Inspections On Site

When inspectors complete their inspections, they’re often left with one final step: sending the certificate, such as a certificate of occupancy, to the customer, or alerting the customer it’s ready for pickup. Without an electronic work order system, an inspector has to take the notes back to city hall where someone else must enter the data, print the certificate, and mail it to or notify the customer. Automation eliminates four steps in this process. If an inspector has a laptop or tablet in the field, he or she can email the certificate to the customer or print it from a portable printer.


In order to do their jobs, fieldworkers must coordinate with both customers and in-office staff members. Automation in the form of an electronic work order system can minimize headaches for all. If you have questions about automation or how it could make a difference for your organization, please contact us today.

Jean McGann, CPA, is the President of the AEM Financial Solutions segment and also a Partner at Abdo, Eick & Meyers. She leads the Financial Solutions group providing financial management services, day-to-day accounting and customized solutions for local governments and nonprofit organizations.

You can reach Jean at 952.715.3059 or click here to contact her via email.

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