By katie simpson on February 26, 2014
Tags: Data Collection
Whether you work with cars or in retail, your inspections take you everywhere but your office. Many businesses still use paper inspections, or cumbersome older custom mobile systems. No matter what system you use, here are signs you need a mobile inspection update.
Some fields in your forms never die. For some companies, the fax field continues to pop up (though you got rid of your fax machine a couple of years ago). Other companies continue to ask about mailing lists, when they haven’t sent physical mail in years. In both cases, you ask for data you don’t need or want.
It’s understandable though: Changing mobile inspection forms can be difficult and painful. Perhaps it means going back and editing an old rusty word template. If you are still trying to finish your pile of paper forms, you may be hesitant to change. All those paper forms you won’t use will be wasting your resources.
Change is even harder with an expensive custom system. Edits can cost you money as well as intensive amounts of time just to remove one or two fields. For such small edits, it’s not worth the price tag or the headaches.
Yet not updating your forms hurts you in the long run. Why? It creates an appearance of being outdated and sluggish. You ask customers or clients for work that isn’t useful to you. This makes the process more painful for them and less likely for you to get data at all.
As times change, so too is the information that you need. Whereas once you asked for mailing address, now you might ask for email or cell phone numbers. The very pain points preventing you from changing your outdated fields also hinder you from gathering the data you need.
The data you lose are lost opportunities for insight. Perhaps the missing fields prevents your email list from growing. A small email list can prevent you from forging closer relationships with some of your customers. Suddenly they miss incentive programs, and might take their business elsewhere.
Limited data can also hinder your understanding of your customer base. Perhaps you make a decision that hurts your customer base rather than helps. Maybe you overlook a service your customers would want. It’s hard to know what the right decision is when you don’t have all the information in front of you.
Maybe it’s due to the five pages of paper you have to fill out, or the math you need to do by hand (personally addition is fine, but don’t ask me to do long division). Perhaps the expensive custom system you use takes awhile to process your entries. Whatever reason, the forms you use now are taking time.
More than an irritation, long inspections cost you money. The longer inspections take, the less time your worker has to do other more important projects. For instance, if you pay a worker $20/hour, and they spend 30 minutes on an inspection, it cost you $10 just to fill out one form.
Mobile inspections are a part of your business, but switching to a better system could make them faster. If your mobile workers can do one more inspection a day, you are adding 5 more inspections a week, and another 250 a year, growing your business.
An easier system can be found in a mobile app. Available on a range of platforms including iOS, Android, and Blackberry, you don’t need expensive hardware. With many employees already using smartphones, you can even use a bring your own device (BYOD) policy reducing your costs further.
This system as well makes updating mobile inspections easy. Simply go online and make edits in moments. Save and publish your edits to have them go out immediately to any users you have, whether you have one or one hundred. Edit your forms as much or as little as you like for no extra charge.
With checkboxes, drop down lists, and prepopulated fields, you can make your inspections faster while still gathering important data. Many customers of GoCanvas have found that they have taken mobile inspections from 30 minutes to 5 by going mobile.