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How to use MMS for smoother field team coordination

Fatima Puri
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Visual imagery is a valuable way to convey a message, as sometimes, pictures can express what words can’t. The use of visuals in messaging is important for the same reason, enhancing conversations on communication channels like texting. As mobile has become increasingly popular globally, more and more people use its features to take and send pictures to one another. Around 90 percent of the 1.4 trillion digital photos taken year-round are from smartphones.

picture icon with 90 percent
90 percent of the 1.4 trillion digital photos taken year-round are from smartphones.

In business texting, multimedia messaging, also known as MMS, is often used in logistics and coordination to improve communication between companies and their employees on-the-go. Better communication leads to better job performance and maximizes productivity. In short, communication can save your company money in the long run by improving key metrics, like the time it takes to complete a job, order accuracy, and much more. Field workers are also more likely to use texting because it’s easier to implement into their existing workflows than other communication systems. 

How to use MMS for logistics and operations

Here are some examples of how to use MMS to assist with business logistics and operations.

To verify job completion

A photo can serve as documentation that someone completed their job. Third-party truck drivers can use MMS to show that they’ve completed a job, such as dropping off a shipment at a store. Field or part-time workers can snap a quick photo of themselves, a location, or a product to verify that they’re present at their shift or completed their task. Having a “paper” trail can also cover a company for any unforeseeable job completion discrepancies that might occur in the future. Digital pictures or documents are less likely to be lost, as photos can be kept in the text thread.

Texting a photo to serve as documentation that someone completed their job
A security guard uses MMS to show their attendance at an event.

Delivery workers commonly snap pictures of package deliveries as, unfortunately, package theft is a common occurrence. Thirty-six percent of Americans reported package theft in 2019.

By having a photo of delivery on record, companies can prevent being held accountable for thefts. Companies can ask delivery drivers to collect these photos on their behalf, in case they need to share it with a customer in the future.

Texting a photo of a delivery to prevent theft
A delivery driver uses MMS to confirm a prescription drop-off with a dispatcher.

Communicating issues on the job

While out on the field, workers can experience complex problems that are difficult to conceptualize. MMS can replace a lengthy discussion over the phone or text, saving everyone time. It’s easier to send a picture or video and have someone see a problem visually rather than try to communicate word for word what the issue is — for example, explaining how a product is damaged or documenting product damages for later analysis.

Example of texting to communicate about a damaged product
A field worker uses MMS to communicate a damaged product to HQ.
Example of resolving a problem on the job via text
A contractor uses MMS to ask HQ for a new estimate on a project.

Share and store important information

The primary use of MMS is to share and store important information, either digital or physical. You can take a photo of printed documents to communicate via text or attach a PDF directly from your mobile phone. MMS is a great way to share and keep track of crucial information without the need for a scanner or printed collateral. Digitizing forms also makes it easier for field workers to access paperwork since they don’t want to carry around a binder or laptop while on the move. You can even send a screenshot of a long paragraph of text instead of copy and pasting it into a message. 

Sending important forms via text for easy access
A dispatcher uses MMS to send an invoice to a field worker.

Give location details 

MMS works excellent for field workers because they’re always going to new and different locations, so having easy access to location details saves them time and effort. With MMS, you can use PDFs, images, or screenshots to clarify any location questions. Field workers commonly use MMS to get location information from their dispatcher, or they use it to communicate with a customer while on the job. While GPS is helpful, sometimes it can be incorrect, so having a visual to reference helps field workers cut back on mistakes.

Example of sending location details with pictures via text
A dispatcher uses MMS to communicate job site details with a field worker.

The bottom line

In most cases, MMS can communicate what words alone can’t. In conjunction with business texting, MMS helps companies store important documents to protect them from legal problems or work as proof of job completion. Businesses can also use MMS communication with field workers, making it easier to combat one-off problems or minimize a long back-and-forth text convo. After all, time is the most expensive currency, and MMS can save you tons of time.

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