8 months ago by Timothy Cox
Mobile Forms Apps are projected to be the magic bullet that businesses need. But are they really? Curiously when these mobile apps are leveraged well, they do a lot more than just data collection. This blog will uncover how to use these mobile forms apps in a way that solves productivity issues and a lot more other challenges that your business faces.
Did you know the universal truth about businesses and technology?
‘When technologies are introduced, they can certainly rejig the entire way industry operates - and this, in turn, has an effect on the business, no matter how small or large it is.’
You certainly cannot agree more with this statement, can you?
There are two types of companies that we get to see - one, those who adopt new technology quickly to learn and evolve.
The second type - they turn a blind eye to the newer emerging technology - they just ignore.
Difference between the two? The 1st type remains competitive, while the latter one dies a slow death.
Quite obvious, isn’t it?
There are so many companies who were big names but are struggling or don’t exist today because they did not adopt the technology with the changing time.
This blog will unveil one of such interesting emerging technologies today - mobile forms app!
We all know how mobile penetration has taken the world by storm.
Billions of mobile devices and zillions of mobile applications exist in the world today - let’s not get into statistics, they have been written about an umpteenth number of times.
But did you ever imagine a simple mobile app changing the dynamics of the business entirely?
Before we jump to how businesses are changing with mobility, let’s quickly learn what these mobile forms apps are.
In a nutshell, a mobile form is a digital version of the paper form, which can be accessed through mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, etc.
You have already guessed that - and it’s a no-brainer.
So, an app with multiple mobile forms in it is basically a mobile forms app.
So far, so good.
But how do these mobile forms apps work?
Imagine that instead of filling a paper form, you fill data on a mobile form through a mobile application.
As simple as that.
But if you are wondering if this is just about digitizing processes by making the physical form digital, then the answer is no. There’s more to it, in fact, a lot more.
So many enterprises out there are building mobile forms app for a reason.
Let’s find out the reason!
Mobile forms app promise certain benefits to businesses.
These are some basic benefits that a mobile forms app will offer to your company.
Of course, it will depend on the industry that you are using for, and what type of mobile forms app you are using for your business.
But interestingly, there are some enterprises who are using simple mobile apps for even advanced benefits.
What more could benefits be apart from these? After all, it’s just a simple mobile application.
Okay, here is your surprise: few mobile forms app also allow building workflow.
When businesses found out these mobile applications, they started automating their business processes.
Simple and easy mobile forms app offering the capability of automation sounds unbelievable, but it's true.
Platforms such as Axonator has enabled many enterprises to build mobile forms apps that don’t just allow data collection, but also automate the processes, generate report automatically, use advanced analytics, etc.
These are some advanced benefits that businesses are already seeking from mobile forms app.
(Not all mobile applications come along with these features though - you will have to check.
You can read our previous blog here about the checklist)
Now that you have a basic understanding of how mobile forms app work, let’s dig even deeper.
Well, even if a long list of benefits has been given above, there are companies who will just be more than happy to use a mobile forms app even if the app solved their one major problem.
Any guesses what major problem am I referring to? It’s productivity!
Okay, here’s a short example to help you understand better:
Let’s say you are a facility management company that has around 20 different centers spread across the state.
You have around 200 front-line employees (inspectors, sales team, maintenance team, contractors, etc). in your team - they are constantly working on the field.
They collect data on paper forms while completing the tasks - and then bring back those long paper forms and documents to the office at the end of each day.
If they are working from remote locations, the forms and documents reach even late.
Now, let’s say you introduce mobile forms app for data collection in your business. And here are some surprising results that you found:
1. The amount spent on data collection was reduced by 60 minutes for each front-line executive on the field, each day.
2. The average time spent on transit from field to office by these front-line executives is around 30 minutes, which was saved as teams weren’t required to just submit any paper forms to the office.
Now, not taking other factors into consideration - just these two aforementioned factors can leave a significant impact on your business.
Still not convinced? If you are someone who loves to see the numbers, let’s look at calculations as well:
The total minutes you save on each employee each day: 60 + 30 minutes.
This is good 1.5 hours, every day - per employee.
For a team of 200 employees, you save 300 hours straight!
Tell anyone that this mobile forms app will save you 300 manhours a day, and they will start listening right away.
Large organizations are always on toes to boost productivity - and such a tool can really help them do that.
300 additional manhours mean you can do more jobs/tasks a day - that’s a straight boost in revenue, anyone with basic math will be able to tell you that.
Believe me, these are just modest figures - it can get even better if you know how to put this mobile app to use and leverage it.
If this has got you to think how can a mobile form save that kind of time? After all, it’s just the same paper form in a digital version.
You have a valid question - here’s your answer.
The mobile form that you create will allow you to do the following things:
Example: If you choose ‘no’ as a response for a question - ‘did you inspect the 1st-floor facility?’
It might make the next questions related to 1st-floor facility disappear.
If you had chosen ‘yes,’ other relevant questions might appear for you to fill.
Such advanced logic of visibility, validity, etc. allows teams to not fill irrelevant details and waste time.
1. You can capture images, record video, and audio through mobile forms app - this saves time since teams would have wasted loads of time writing the description.
Need an example?
Imagine that you recorded a video/audio testimonial of a
customer instead of writing a page-long testimonial with a pen on a paper form.
Phew, that’s saving much time!
2. Few mobile forms app come along with features such as Barcode scanner, QR code scanner, etc.
What this means is you just scan an object with the mobile app to fetch all the related information - without having to type/ write everything.
That’s cool, these mobile apps are saviors - aren’t they?
These are few features of mobile forms app that can save man-hours in a way that you probably didn’t imagine.
Not one or two, but so many industries like construction, mining, oil & gas, HVAC, facility management, utility companies, supply chain, logistics, fleet management, professional services, etc. are using mobile forms app to boost productivity.
The moral of the story is that a mobile strategy or mobility is helping businesses conquer new opportunities like never before.
But hold your horses, there’s something more that you need to know about the capabilities of mobile forms app.
Did you know that there are mobile forms app that allows you to collect data even when you are offline?
So if your teams are working at remote locations - then this is one tool that will surely make them fall for.
When teams travel to remote locations to collect data, one of the biggest nightmares is fluctuating internet connection.
If you have used mobile form apps whose data collection depend on the internet connection, then you have already faced the issues of data loss due to a bad network.
But not anymore, since there are mobile apps like Axonator that allow data collection and data submission even without a connection.
Whenever an internet connection is restored, the data collected is synchronized automatically.
The real-time sharing of information empowers the managers to access data from their desks - exactly at the same moment when the executive submits the data from the field.
This scenario isn’t possible if you are using paper forms for data collection.
There is no real-time sharing of data, which is very critical in today’s business environment since the companies are moving at a breakneck speed, and having the right information at the right time to make a decision is very vital.
This is another pain point that mobile forms app has the capability to answer. Mobile forms app allow tracking the status of any task very easy.
Managers are notified when the task has been completed through mobile apps.
When any task moves through a lot of hierarchy and approvals, it is difficult to know what stage the task is in, agree?
With mobile form apps, managers can easily know the status of any task in no time.
Notifications on the mobile devices enable the team and managers to stay updated at any point in time.
Bottlenecks can easily be identified and taken care of - especially if tasks are stuck due to non-approvals. Therefore, delays can be avoided without any effort.
Managers can approve tasks or requests through the mobile while on the go.
So, what does this do? It accelerates the decision-making and no time is wasted in waiting.
Since everything can be tracked smoothly, this also brings a higher degree of transparency and accountability in the business.
Businesses spend so much of time on admin tasks, data entry, and report-making. Imagine if this could be easily done in just clicks.
Some mobile forms app come along with feature like report generation - as soon as the data is submitted on the mobile app, the report can be fetched through clicks.
These reports can be fetched in PDF formats. Platforms like Axonator even allows customizing of PDF reports.
What this means is that PDF reports generated after data submission can be designed in a way you want and can be branded with company logo, name, color, etc.
Do you imagine how much of time this can save which otherwise would have been wasted in making reports manually?
Mobile Forms App like Axonator also allows integration of different other platforms like CRM, SAP, Salesforce, PeopleSoft, Zapier, Google Drive, etc.
The data flow from one platform to another is automatic after integration - this means you don’t have to enter the data again manually.
Data entry on multiple platforms is a huge headache for executives.
A survey conducted by Forbes gave some interesting insights. Did you know that sales representatives spend only 35% of their total time selling?
The rest 65% of their time is spent on non-revenue generating tasks like data entry, report generation, etc.
This time can be entirely saved with the help of mobile forms app. Just imagine your sales reps using their entire time in just selling - a mega boost in sales, isn’t it?
Mobile forms app can help you manage the teams very efficiently. Imagine your teams are always on the field visiting different sites.
As they submit the data by adding the location and timestamp on the forms, it will help you can know exactly when the task was completed.
This allows you to track the team on the map as well. You can make decisions in real-time, check the performance of the teams location-wise by tracking various parameters like time taken to complete the tasks, time consumed at each location, etc.
It’s a blessing, especially if you are managing a fleet - every stage of transport, delivery, dispatch, etc. can be tracked with a mobile forms app.
Sending bills and invoices on time is another challenge that many enterprises face occasionally. It’s a part and parcel that you can’t get rid of.
With mobile forms app, bills and invoices can be generated and sent to customers directly on their emails as soon as the form is filled and data is submitted - automatically!
This can help tackle the delays in billing, which leads to faster invoice-processing.
Paper forms can take way longer since forms have to be brought to the office. The accounts department will prepare invoices manually and then send the same to customers.
All of this is cut short when a mobile application used for data collection.
Same is the case with purchase orders - they can be sent to vendors for new material requirement through mobile forms app. Even better, if you can integrate the same with the ERP system.
Forms can be designed for purchase orders, which can be filled through the mobile app, this will trigger PO to be automatically sent to the respective vendor.
They can take care of many other functions for you like maintenance reports, dispatch reports, vehicle inspection forms, service quotes, supply chain management, etc.
If you are wondering how a mobile forms app will be the magic bullet for your business, then you can get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Axonator is one of the best mobile forms apps available in the market today which is robust and hyper-agile. As a platform, Axonator allows businesses to build enterprise-level apps easily by just dragging and dropping widgets.
You don’t need to have any technical knowledge or write any code to make an app using Axonator. You can customize the mobile application at any point in time - it is fully scalable and secure.
Collect rich data faster, automate your business processes, create custom PDFs, deploy intelligence, etc. with Axonator today.
To discover more powerful features, click here!