Field workers may sometimes be called upon to perform unscheduled tasks that they had not prepared for before leaving the office. During those times, they may not have the necessary manual forms and other paperwork with them. This may end up hampering their work. Field services may range from highly complex workflows that could encompass design, repair, renovations, servicing, etc. Using manual forms to handle such tasks can be a big challenge. This is further compounded by the fact that field officers are required to regularly record and report various field activities to the office.
The good news is that mobile forms are rapidly changing the way businesses operate and interact with their field officers in a number of ways.
1. Improved Efficiency
The beauty with mobile forms is that information is entered only once on a field officer’s device to capture data on site. This avoids duplication of data since once captured, it is easily accessible by all relevant personnel. Modern mobile devices can capture rich media such as scanned documents, photos, signatures and even video.
2. Enhanced Accuracy
Mobile forms can be auto-populated. They feature drop-down menus that make data entry convenient and precise. As you fill in data from the field, the forms prompt and guide you from one task to another, enabling you to complete relevant sections and skip the irrelevant ones. As a result, correct, accurate and precise data is captured immediately. The captured data is then sent over a secure network to the relevant personnel for further action.
3. To Keep Everyone Updated
All technicians can instantly receive updated mobile forms electronically, and at the same time. They don’t have to report to the office to pick up forms. Again, the fact that everyone works on the same forms enhances consistency and efficiency since all the processes are synchronized. There is no risk of one team using outdated forms while another uses the updated ones.
4. Enhanced Compliance
Reporting, monitoring and auditing processes require data management for compliance purposes. For this to happen, data has to be captured correctly, recorded and properly managed. Appropriate mobile forms should allow easy collection, sharing and use of information. Besides speeding up the various processes, it also ensures that all compliance benchmarks have been achieved on time and by every worker. The audit trail and the ability to communicate with customers or the regulatory authorities instantly enhances accountability.
5. Efficient Communication
Mobile forms make instant, real-time communication possible. Since no paperwork has to be physically transported to various offices and departments, information and data are electronically transmitted. This allows for instant feedback once the transmitted data has been received.
6. Makes Access to Data Easy
Unlike those days when you had to plough through the filing cabinet looking for files, today, mobile forms make access to data easy and accurate. You can easily retrieve data instantly by entering the correct search term or code. This enhances operational efficiency.
7. Expedient Invoicing
Invoicing can be done straight from the field once all the information has been gathered, synched and processed. This means that customers can be invoiced instantly and work processes set in motion almost immediately.
8. Enhanced Service Quality
Field technicians use mobile forms to gather information with greater accuracy and efficiency. The information is then shared with relevant personnel or customers without having to print paper-based forms.
Field workers understand the importance of precise data for the effective functioning of a business. Having the right information at the right time helps them make informed decisions. However, outdated processes such as manually filling out forms and then ferrying them to the office are too laborious and time-consuming.
Most field operations largely depend on how data is gathered, processed and disseminated. If your company relies on paper-based processes, decision making is seriously hampered. For instance, a delay in receiving vital information from the field or relaying the same to the head office could cost a business dearly.