Blog Post

How to Improve Data Collection Workflows Using Web Forms

Posted by Jennifer Herman

User logs into Device Magic web forms app.

Employers are being tasked with finding data collection software to accommodate a growing spectrum of operational settings. There are several categories of workers to consider, such as fully-mobile, hybrid, and office-based. This leaves you with the challenge of streamlining data collection workflows across multiple groups. Fortunately, there’s a solution: web forms. Web forms allow teams to complete and submit forms from their desktop computers, laptops or any internet-connected device via web browser.

Device Magic introduced a new web forms app designed to facilitate workflow flexibility and process efficiencies among mobile- and web-based users. In this blog we’re going to outline the benefits of web forms and demonstrate how this feature will help you improve data collection workflows across your organization.

Key Benefits of Web Forms

Selecting a data collection tool that offers a web forms app will make it simple to collect valuable data from your entire team. Here are some of the key benefits of using a using a data collection app with robust web form capabilities:

  • Access to the same data collection capabilities on mobile or web. You can easily capture and annotate images when completing forms using the web forms app. Upload a photo or snap a picture with the camera on your device, add context or annotations, and submit it. While location won’t vary as much for your office and home-based employees, geo-tagging functionality facilitates organized record keeping and audits.
  • Streamlines mixed mobile/desktop workflow scenarios. Web forms provide a solution to common workflow challenges, such as approval sign-offs from a desktop on collected form data. Client approvals, internal sign-offs and other digital signature needs are all possible using Device Magic’s mobile and web forms apps. Once the form’s complete, signed copies will be sent to your selected destinations and stored in the cloud so you’ll have permanent, accessible records.
  • Ability to complete forms using any digital device. Your field workers can submit forms on their smartphones, while your office- and home-based workers can submit forms on their laptops, desktop computers or other internet-connected devices. To access web forms, all you have to do is log in using your web forms username or device authentication. (See more on the log-in methods below.)

Video Guide: Using Web Forms to Submit Data on a Laptop or Desktop Computer

Data collection can be done in the field using our mobile forms app on an Android or iOS-supported device, or be completed at home or the office by accessing the web forms app through a web browser. And we’ll show you how to do it! Check out the video below for an introduction to our web forms app and how to submit forms on a web-based device.

Logging into the Web Forms App

There are two ways to log into the Device Magic web forms application.

  1. Device authentication – If you or the user already has an assigned device, you can use that device to authenticate to a web form without the need for an additional device fee. All you have to do is go to the web client log-in page on your web browser. There, you’ll see a QR code. Use your mobile app to authenticate as a web client and scan the QR code on your browser. And voila – you’re signed into the web forms app.
  2. Log-in authentication – Simply navigate to the web client log-in page and enter your username and password.  However, this method does require initial set-up within the web management console. Navigate to settings, then select manage users & roles. Create a new role that provides the user access web forms. Keep in mind, all users you set up in a web forms role will count as a device fee.

Solve Workflow Challenges Using Dispatch for Web Forms

A common data collection workflow challenge we hear from customers is getting forms submitted from the field, then getting approval signatures from the appropriate team lead or manager. This isn’t surprising. Field team members are often mobile-based, while managers and team leads are more often office- or home-based and primarily using laptops or desktop computers.

Fortunately, Device Magic’s web forms app supports dispatch functionality. This feature opens the doors to more workflow automation, including:

  • Using the dispatch feature to send forms with pre-loaded data, such as details for a work order, to a web forms app user. The dispatched form will automatically show up in the dispatch tab when the team member logs into the web forms app on their laptop, desktop or other web-supported device. This includes geo-located dispatches.
  • Automating the collection and distribution of data across your team, no matter which digital device they are using. You can customize your dispatch workflows to send forms in an ordered sequence among mobile- and web-based users who need to fill out information before passing it to the final destination.

Dispatch for web forms serves as a solution for several, common workflow obstacles. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Approval Sign-Offs – Consider forms like timesheets, purchase orders and daily job reports. These often need to be reviewed and approved by a manager or team lead before getting submitted to the final destination. In many cases, the ‘approvers’ are office- or home-based team members who use a laptop or desktop computer. You can set them up as a web forms user, and create a dispatch workflow to automatically send them any forms that need their approval.
  • Audits & Appraisals – Many companies across industries need to gather data from the field to conduct various types of audits and/or appraisals. With cross-functionality between apps, you can set-up a dispatch workflow between your team members using the mobile forms app out in the field and your desk auditors or appraisers who are set-up as web forms app users.
  • Quality Control Procedures – Whether you’re testing soil samples to determine viability for a new crop or inspecting a product batch fresh off the assembly line, at least two parties are usually involved: field and lab agents. And the common differentiators between them are their work environment and type of device they are using to submit the data necessary to complete the quality control process. That no longer presents a workflow obstacle with dispatch enabled for both mobile- and web-based users.

We hope you found this guide on using web forms to improve your business’s data collection workflows helpful. Device Magic’s web forms app is available for our Professional and Enterprise plan users. You can test out the new feature by signing up for our free 14-day trial.

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