We have all experienced the frustration of wanting to bill for a completed a job and the required information is missing, so the process is delayed waiting on another person to provide the data. With the aid of advanced mobility technology, fixing these sorts of problems can change your business.
When companies seek our help to improve how they manage data flowing back-to-base from the field, a common pattern we see is that they’ve never previously provided employees and subcontractors with “forced workflows” to ensure the information received comes back in a standardised format.
WATCH THE SHORT VIDEO (below) where Jonathan Patchell shows how technology can be used to easily achieve this outcome:
In many cases, we see that teams in the field are given far too much leeway when entering data which opens them up to (a) risk if something goes wrong, (b) wasted time if something has to be re-submitted and/or (c) there is a mismatch of information.
We are not saying every form requires a standardised response. We understand that there is still a huge requirement for unforeseen data capture and end users can still add ad hoc information. However, we believe that the power comes when you can combine these requirements.
For example, we work with customers to build complex or simple forced workflow “eForms” to cover all facets of their business, then allow them to review the data collected in easy-to-use dashboards.
BEST CASE EXAMPLE
Workers tap their phone on an NFC tag or scan a QR code as they arrive at the required location which brings up an eForm that they can complete on their phone. Within the eForm there are mandatory fields you must complete, photos to be taken and a signature to acknowledge task completion. The eForm and all photos are held on a server and easily accessed at any time.
MANY CURRENT PRACTICES
Administration teams send paper forms out to site, the manager hands them to workers who fill in the data with their pen. They give the forms to the manager who then drives back to base for the administration team to enter in the system and store.
Current practice is not only laborious, further losses in productivity can be experienced if the worker forgets to fill in a section, their handwriting is illegible or the paperwork is lost in transition. The process cannot be closed out until the paper form makes another round trip out to the site.
For this reason, Kynection recommends that any company who collects data from the field needs the following as a bare minimum:
- Forms and documentation are completed by workers using mobile technology (phones or tablets) for convenience
- Workers follow forced workflow processes, which ensure that nothing can be submitted incomplete
- Systems are in place to notify other stakeholders in real-time when exemptions need addressing
By introducing forced workflows into your business, you’re going to experience two wins: (a) the workers will be able to easily enter the data and (b) your back office will run more efficiently – which will ensue higher productivity gains and an easy path to growth.