August 1, 2015
In a world where every business is just trying hard to stay ahead of the competition, new technologies are often taking the driver’s seat. Those times are already gone when business apps were viewed as something uncommonly great rather than essential ones. Suddenly paper forms are looking obsolete and businesses are feeling the need to go paperless. Switching to mobile apps would have far deeper impact on a business growth than ever before.
It all started at the level of consumers only. The typical ease experienced in downloading an app in seconds, real time sharing of high volume data, and ease of communicating and collaborating across devices, these and many more benefits impressed consumers on an individual level and gradually companies began to see the importance of embracing them for their benefits. That is how mobile apps from their typical status of being subject to individual choice went so far as to attract the attention of billion dollar conglomerates. Now following en suite a majority of small and medium businesses even considers replacing the bulk of office papers with mobile app.
Thousands of paper sheets are replaced with simple, user friendly, quicker to manage mobile app forms. Is not it smarter, cheaper and convenient for any business to go paperless?
Is replacing paper forms with mobile apps challenging?
The necessity of adopting mobile apps in pursuit of replacing paper forms is understood. But how much challenge is involved in doing so? Is there any potential risk for the businesses in respect of losing customers, creating confusion and unknowingly offering something which is unlikely to be well received? Such fears seem obviously groundless given the increasing mobile engagement of the customers in any business. Actually, the case is quite contrary in many businesses. Mobile users feel so called traditional filling out of forms and paper bound business process really cumbersome and time consuming compared to the smart responsive mobile app offering them everything to do within just seconds.
#1. Mobile workforce attendance replacing Time-Cards
A vast majority of businesses including an array of small, medium, and large enterprises have huge outdoor workforces who are not stationed in the company premise. Some of them are really mobile workforce who most of the time is on move except frequent stops to complete tasks and there are others who represent a vendor company in another business premise. These outdoor workforces comprising service engineers, salesmen, marketing professionals, transport professionals, logistic professionals are often considered to have the highest work hour liberty than the workers at the company site.
To track the activities of this mobile workforce on a daily and even hourly basis is a great challenge for most enterprises. So called attendance sheets, time cards and other similar paper forms are very unlikely to offer a satisfactory solution to this problem. In this context cloud based mobile apps with their real time input can be put to use for tracking workforce productivity in more ways than one. For example, businesses that rely on mobile workers in the field are fully aware that time cards are crucial for tracking employee time worked and thus, labor costs for projects. Real time mobile sign up with geo location input can prove to be just accurate mobile app alternative to earlier time cards and paper based means of attendance.
#2. Improving productivity with mobile reporting
When for field marketers or for salesmen or for field technicians, sending work orders and getting order reports along with details of the jobs takes too much paperwork, labor and time. Most importantly, this paper savvy clerical mechanism in business severely affects productivity as well. From getting work orders to seeking real time help from supervisors or executives in head office to submitting work reports, the whole process involves too many aspects that deter productivity severely.
Some of the most common complaints include, lack of readability, loss of paper orders, missing reports, improper filling of information, wrong calculation or estimation, etc. These aspects obviously results in delays and productivity suffers. Sometimes, this may lead to loss of business as well. On the other hand, a business app with real time collaborative apparatus can make job scheduling, tracking and reporting extremely simple and least time consuming.
#3. Tracking and collaborating with business transport over mobile GPS
There are many businesses where real time information of the business transport location and traffic information is crucial to the business process. Logistics, medical services, emergency services and even in sectors such as food home delivery, transport location and traffic information is crucial. With GPS enabled and cloud based mobile apps tracking on road traffic and business vehicles will be easier than ever. With efficient route tracking and real time information sharing via GPS business delivery and calculation of delivery timeline will be more convenient.
#4. Mobile business apps for better quality control
Inspection and vigilance in any business is important for assuring quality. Earlier modes of inspection that mostly required filling up inspection reports offered little scope for authenticating them and thus often large loopholes in the business process remained often creating risk of deteriorating service quality and consequent bad customer feedback over a period of time. Even though large businesses could manage this gap by their two or three tiered quality control process, most small businesses often suffer from the absence of any real quality control apparatus.
For addressing these vulnerabilities and inefficiencies mobile business apps have an array of smart inspection tools. When utilizing mobile apps time and date specific documentation cannot be hidden or manipulated from the authorities. Moreover, with GPS capabilities real time collaboration and tracking will add further authentication to the inspection and quality control measures. Higher data transfer capabilities coupled up with video streaming can further let the authority exercise remote control on the inspection process.
#5. More storage, higher participation and business intelligence with mobile apps
Business data apart from their day to day business usage is crucial for evaluation and value addition as well. When your business data storage is shifted over a mobile app replacing those huge volumes of dust covered files that no one actually bothers to look at, your employees will be more engaged with the business information and consequently they can produce for insights for the business. Thus, mobile app not only just solves the problem of business data storage it also makes the data accessible across all business verticals and makes real time business intelligence possible. With business apps not only data collection becomes more effective and business information becomes more accessible, decision making and overall business process become more participatory as well. Obviously from all of these, business gets benefited from continuous business intelligence inputs from its employees.
In a Snapshot
Mobile business apps are not just effective replacements of paper forms but they can truly be regarded as revolutionary avatars for taking the businesses to next level with an array of benefits and smart controls.
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