The use of paper forms in the mobile work environment has many disadvantages for all parties. Workers themselves must deal with the inefficiency and frustration of relying on incomplete or inaccurate data, which negatively impacts their job performance. As a result, customers have to endure longer waits or lower service quality. All of this reflects poorly on the employer—putting business relationships and revenue at risk.
Growing awareness of the advantages of electronic documents and workflows is pushing more companies toward incorporating digital forms into their standard operating procedures. The underlying technology for creating digital forms on mobile devices is is now well established—providing workers in the field with accurate, efficient communication and recordkeeping tools.
However, for companies that have always done business on paper the transition to digital forms raises many questions. In this article, we’ll focus on three critical issues:
- How do you make it easy for workers to transition to digital forms?
- What’s the best way to organize and manage digital forms?
- How do you maximize ROI in terms of increased efficiency and accountability?
StreetEagle’s app enables workers to create, share, and manage digital forms on a wide range of mobile devices.
Find out why going paperless has never been easier or more affordable in this short video.
Make it Easy for Workers: Replicate the Forms They’re Already Using
Deploying digital forms is easy for businesses in a world of smartphones, apps, and mobile data. But the transition can still be challenging for workers if they have to adapt to new forms and processes.
The best way to make the digital rollout simple and smooth is to create exact replicas of the papers that workers are accustomed to using—including any custom forms. If the new digital forms have the same fields and layout as the old paper documents, confusion is kept to a minimum. All you have to do is train workers on any new devices, applications, or processes – but NOT on new forms.
Best Practices: Organizing Custom Digital Forms
The next major challenge is organization. While digital storage is far more secure and efficient than physical filing cabinets, it’s still easy to lose track of critical documents if you don’t have a structured system for organizing your files.
If you have five workers filling out five forms a day, you’ll have thousands of new digital forms in your system within a few months. So, once your forms are digitized, what do you do with them? How do you capture the efficiencies of digitization while ensuring that you can quickly find and access the right form when you need it?
You need a total solution for creating, storing, and managing your digital forms. Once a form is complete, you should be able to associate the document with the worker who filled it out, the location where it was completed, and any relevant vehicle, asset, job number, or work order. This enables you to efficiently search for and find specific forms even when you don’t have all the details at hand.
Maximize the Benefits: Back-Office Integration and Strategic Insight
Digital forms increase the quality and speed of the data moving through your organization. Rather than waiting for a document to land on their desk, your back-office staff can react in near real-time to events happening in the field.
For example, if a maintenance worker arrives at a job site and discovers that a particular part needs to be ordered or a specialist needs to be dispatched, they can submit a pertinent request to their office on the spot. This saves time and ensures the fastest possible resolution for the customer.
With the right hardware and fleet management software tools, workers can also capture images, signatures, and time and location information. Data can even be fed directly into back-office systems like Quickbooks, Salesforce, MySQL, SharePoint and more. These capabilities help ensure accuracy and accountability in all operations.
The All-in-One Solution for Creating and Managing Custom Digital Forms
The StreetEagle platform from InSight Mobile Data offers the most advanced and easy-to-use mobile forms creation tool on the market. In addition to creating exact replicas of your existing forms, StreetEagle gives you a structured way to store and search your archive of digital documents.
By eliminating inefficient and insecure paper forms and manual data entry, StreetEagle provides the efficiency and real-time accountability that you need to achieve maximum performance in the modern field service environment.
Contact InSight Mobile Data to learn more about this powerful all-in-one platform.