When working with staff that isn’t tied to a desk, such as construction workers or housekeepers, your operations aren't limited to lo-fi methods such as clipboards of paperwork. Nor is your business limited to the inefficiencies of adding digital tasks on top of a full workload by sending emails at the end of a long day.
Instead, businesses with on-the-go staff can leverage mobile technology to improve productivity, communicate more efficiently, and automate workflows.
With Device Magic’s mobile forms, field workers can directly input information into your business’ digital app. This data then automatically syncs back to your main office. The productivity gains from this technology exist across the workplace, including helping managers, IT staff, and field crews all work more efficiently.
For desk-free staff, mobile forms provide the perfect combination of mobility and digitization in an easy-to-use app. In fact, field reps using Device Magic’s mobile forms save an average of 11 hours per week!
Consider five key ways that Device Magic can improve the productivity of housekeepers, drivers, construction workers, inspectors and other desk-free employees.
1. Fast and Clear Communication
Using Device Magic’s mobile forms can be an effective way to tighten the communication gap between on-site service providers and administrators. Not only does mobile technology allow communication to be integrated within the workday, but the format of mobile forms also makes it more effective than emails.
For example, in the construction business, an industry analysis by McKinsey and Company said that, “Due to the lack of digitization… owners and contractors therefore often work from different versions of reality.” This lack of swift and easy communication between on-site workers and office administrators puts businesses at a tremendous disadvantage, slowing down operations.
Consider the scenario where crews run into unexpected problems and need new materials to move forward with a job. Instead of completing a paper purchase order form and dropping it off at the office, field workers can submit the information to HQ via the Device Magic mobile forms app. Not only does this provide nearly instantaneous communication, but it also doesn’t disrupt the workflow on the jobsite.
Moreover, when employees enter information into digital form fields, that structured data has advantages that go beyond email or text messages. With digital forms, information can then be automatically synced into other software such as QuickBooks online, reformatted into a custom PDF customer receipt or provide conditional notifications based on the information entered.
2. Digital Checklists
The advantages of mobile forms go beyond their ability to streamline communication. Mobile forms can also help desk-free workers to be more efficient about how they use their time, and help them be more accurate in the job they’re doing.
For example, a housekeeper using a digital checklist wouldn’t have to jog his or her memory and could go between locations feeling certain about not missing a spot. In addition, when using a mobile form instead of a paper checklist, it’s possible to tailor the checklist to client specifications. This allows for the level of customization that keeps customers satisfied, while still achieving the productivity benefits of checklists.
Do you think that using checklists won’t have much of an impact on your team’s performance? After fighter pilots started using them, the risk of fatal errors dropped dramatically. When surgeons use them, the number of deaths decline by more than 20 percentor more.
Digital checklists can be useful across a wide set of facilities roles, including lawn care checklists, pool maintenance checklists, building inspection checklists, home appraisal checklists, utilities checklists and preventative maintenance checklists.
3. Multimedia Input
Another key advantage to Device Magic’s mobile forms is the ability to collect multiple media types in a streamlined and organized way.
For example, inspectors may prefer written reports because they provide the freedom to integrate photo documentation, incident drawings, and descriptions. The Device Magic app allows users to build custom forms that include fields for photos, sketches, text, signatures, GPS location, automated time stamps, barcodes, calculated values, and more. You can even use if-then statements to build more effective inspection forms.
With the flexibility and efficient communication that’s possible with Device Magic, inspectors can get answers to questions, receive fast quotes from repair shops, and tighten the production timeline.
4. Form Dispatch
Desk-free staff may have a harder time accommodating new tasks in the middle of a shift. Especially for a workforce that prepares daily tasks at the start of a shift, an addition can cause complication and slow down workflow.
For example, consider transportation drivers being asked to make a new stop in the middle of a delivery route. If admins relay this information by calling drivers or sending information via email, the driver would be forced to pause the delivery truck while reshuffling the shipment and responding to the new drop-off info.
A better way to automate a dynamic workflow is to use Device Magic’s Dispatch feature, which sends a pre-populated form to an off-site employee. When all the details for the additional shipment are streamlined into a driver’s existing workflow, it’s easy for staff to respond to the new tasks on the fly. Changes won’t slow down the productivity of your desk-free staff.
5. Offline Access
A major reason why going digital had been difficult for desk-free workers is that many environments don’t always have the internet connectivity that can be taken for granted by office workers.
Whereas this lack of connectivity could cause work to halt or staff to revert to using paper forms, Device Magic users don’t miss a beat due to offline access. Workers still have full use of the phone app and can complete forms as they normally would. After they regain an internet connection, their submitted forms will be automatically transmitted. No additional steps or altered processes are necessary.
In the case of the utility company, African Clean Energy, the offline access feature of Device Magic made it possible for it to work in remote, rural regions. We’ve also seen offline access be useful to workers in underground construction zones, manufacturing warehouses, and even in urban dead zones.
Learn more about how Device Magic can help your business be more productive and efficient.