Technology has transformed how businesses operate. Employees are no longer restricted to a desk in order to get work done. Mobile forms enable employees who work in the field or outside of the office to collect and submit data in real-time from their mobile devices, ensuring business workflows can move forward even when an employee is offsite.
Paperwork is also received 25% slower and has 50% more errors than mobile forms, which should convince you to consider making the switch from paper. Here are some of the top ways mobile forms can be used by your business.
1. Remote Work Locations
Reliable cell or internet connection is never a guarantee when you’re working in rural or remote locations. But you still need data from the field. The offline functionality of mobile forms allows you to collect data in real-time, regardless of where a jobsite is located.
The ability to fill out forms while your team is on the jobsite helps increase data quality. It’s fresh on their mind; they remember to include important details. Your teams can access and complete the forms out in the field, then easily submit them once they return to an area with a signal.
Offline functionality is the one of the primary reasons businesses like Farmers National Company onboard a mobile forms application. It allowed them to scale a new business line that requires inspections in rural areas.
“Our inspectors are sometimes working in the middle of nowhere on a south-facing mountain, trying to count 3,000 head of sheep. First and foremost, we needed a mobile data collection tool that can work in these extreme, remote settings,” explained Matt Gunderson, senior vice president of sales & marketing at Farmers National Company.
2. Daily Job Reports
Many businesses operate without a formalized process for daily job progress reporting, or have a process that is rarely followed. When you have some employees sending in an email at the end of the day with incomplete information, while others calling their supervisor to report updates, information is bound to be missing and it is difficult to put together a clear picture of where a job stands.
With mobile forms, employees don’t need to worry about finding a computer so they can send in an email, or ending up without an actual record of the work that’s been done after a phone call. Everything is submitted to the correct person through the mobile forms app right on the employee’s mobile device.
Accurately collecting daily job reports allows the office to understand how much progress has been made on each job each day, so they can ensure that they’re on track to meet deadlines.
3. Creating Custom PDFs
The data that is collected with mobile forms can be sent to recipients as a PDF. A customized PDF version of your forms can be created by uploading a template with the question order, branding and logos for your business, and customized font sizes and colors.
This allows you to recreate a digital version that matches your original paper form, and can easily be added to your digital documentation systems and records without the need to scan and save a printed paper form.
4. Driver and Fleet Management
Many logistics and transportation companies need the ability to meticulously track their fleet vehicles, driver jobs and deliveries. Paper forms bog down the process and leave a lot of room for error. With a mobile forms app, drivers can complete their required forms on their smartphone or tablet. They can include any necessary photos, GPS and time stamping data, and send it back to the office instantly.
This provides your administrative team or logistics managers with real-time insights on the status of the haul, vehicle and driver. Quick access to this data allows dispatchers to keep clients better informed of every stage of transport and delivery.
5. PO Requests
When your team is running on tight deadlines, parts and supplies ordering needs to be fast tracked. Submitting materials requests through a mobile forms app can automatically generate a Purchase Order. This allows employees to get the orders in quickly and continue working, without having to wait for the accounting department to get back to them with a PO.
This is also helpful for accounting because the PO requests can be set up to automatically send to them, as well. When they receive the bills later, they’re easily able to match up the POs and make sure that each purchase has been authorized.
6. Billing & Invoices
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to send an invoice to a customer automatically after completing a job? Mobile forms can significantly speed up your billing processes, meaning your business will receive remissions faster.
When you don’t have to wait for documentation from a job site to make it back to the office before accounting can invoice a customer, billing delays are reduced and your entire billing process becomes faster.
Accessing real-time data from mobile forms allows managers to keep track of the materials that are being used or purchased for jobs as well. On longer projects, this allows materials to be billed back to the customer throughout the job, instead of waiting until the end and trying to work backwards or trying to guess which materials were purchased for which project.
7. Maintenance Reports
Whether maintenance work is routine or in response to an issue, a summary of the work completed needs to be documented and filed. When the details from a maintenance visit are recorded on paper, they need to be hand-delivered or scanned into a computer for the office to access. Mobile forms can simplify the data collection and delivery process and be used to create maintenance reports.
Keeping accurate maintenance reports means that you can predict future work required more easily, and have a place to begin troubleshooting if something goes wrong. Historical maintenance data needs to be easily accessible and digging through old paper files is a huge waste of time.
A maintenance report form can also live on a service tech’s mobile device, so they’ll always have the form they need if a job should come up unexpectedly. They won’t need to run back to the office to get more blank forms before they can get started on the work.
8. Dispatch Forms
When team members work outside of the office having a way to send them updated information or paperwork eliminates the need to run back to the office to pick up a form, or jotting down notes that later need to be rewritten or entered into a computer.
With mobile forms, you can dispatch forms to the team in the field to notify them of a new job or provide updated information. The form can be pre-populated to include key details, such as the address of a job or customer information.
This can also be helpful when a job is ongoing. A tech can complete their checklist during the first visit, and when they return they’ll know exactly where to pick back up. If another tech will be completing the rest of the work, they can pull up a dispatch of the form that was begun previously and know where to get started.
Dispatches sent to techs live on their mobile devices and can be accessed at any time, instead of being stored back in the office or somewhere else less accessible.
9. Vehicle Inspection Forms
The Department of Transportation requires vehicle inspection logs at the beginning and end of each day. A driver’s failure to collect and submit this documentation can cost a business time, money, and customers.
With a mobile forms solution, driver’s can quickly collect crucial vehicle inspection information, error-free and instantly at the beginning and end of each day, ensuring compliance is maintained.
10. Service Quotes
When a potential customer requests a quote, the sooner a quote can be returned to them and a decision made, the better. You don’t to miss out on potential business because your office is too slow to send a quote back.
Mobile forms can be used to ensure all items are covered when creating a quote for potential work. A form can be filled out from a mobile device while a tech is onsite with a potential customer evaluating the work, which can then be sent back to the office for evaluation more quickly, or even used to generate the quote immediately by using calculated questions, for example.
A form with a request for a quote can even be dispatched to a tech with the information they would need when they met with a potential customer. Speeding up the quote process leads to more work won for your business.
11. Supply Chain Management
Keep track of what supplies and parts are being used and when items leave your facility in real-time with a mobile forms solution. You can match up this data with order and delivery information or even use it with your maintenance records to see which parts were used during service. You can send the collected data to your CRM or billing software to update customer records or make accurate invoicing easier.