By katie simpson on February 19, 2014
Efficiency, productivity, these words buzz through offices and the internet. We're all looking to get more done in the same amount of time. In this quest, technology, especially business apps and the iPad, can help organizations automate tasks to free your workers for more important tasks. How? By avoiding some of the most common productivity traps today.
1. Redundant Data Entry
Many businesses continue to use paper forms to collect information. For decades, this has meant bringing forms back into the office and entering the information a second time into the system. Even if this system only costs you two hours a week of employee time, that's over 100 hours a week lost each year. That's 12.5 days worth of work lost to redundant busy work.
Business apps for iPad remove the need for data entry entirely. Simply enter the information on your iPad. Once you've submitted your form, the data is immediately available in the cloud. You can download it as an xml or csv file to integrate it, or set up API webservices for seamless integration. Remove the need for data entry, and use your time on the work that deserves your focus.
2. Travel Between the Office and Field
For workers that spend the majority of their time in the field, driving to and from the office costs them time as well as gas. Even if it costs them an extra twenty minutes a day, that's an hour a week lost. Add that up over a year, just one mobile worker losses 50 hours, or 6.25 days worth of work.
Previously, this was the only feasible way to get paper forms quickly to the office and into the database. With business apps for iPad, your field workers can stay out in the field longer. That same instant transmission works as long as they have internet access. Your office gets the data in real time, and your workers can focus on the task at hand.
Do your workers go to places without internet access? That's okay, many business apps for iPad will store the submission on the iPad until the worker gets back to internet access. GoCanvas, for instance, can work offline up to 30 days. As soon as your workers gain connection, they can submit their forms.
3. Searching for Documents
Another silent but heavy use of time is the search for documents. The average amount of time a worker spends searching for a document is 18 minutes. While this seems small, in 18 minutes our marketing department has entire meetings. Rather than a productivity trap, searching for documents is like mud on your feet, slowing you down.
With paper, spending time searching for documents is inevitable. 3-5% of a business's documents are misplaced at any given time. Paper forms are easy to lose or misplace. A pile falls and becomes disorganized, perhaps a checklist gets mixed up with your invoices.
Switching to business apps for iPad makes it easier to find documents. All forms are available on the cloud, and searchable. Make your filing system even easier by having file names decided by certain entries, such as date, client name, or location. Finding your files should take seconds, not 18 minutes.
4. The Rut of the Status Quo
Business apps for iPad don't merely save you time by replacing paper forms. They transform the way you see data and information. Data doesn't have to be the ball and chain, necessary yet holding you back. By going digital, it can be a source of insight and efficiency, helping you grow.
By switching to iPads, you have the potential to collect new data. GPS location, calculations, as well as photos are some of the ways you can expand your data to include new ways of understanding your business.
This can help you discover other inefficiencies in your organization. Perhaps you can streamline your delivery routes after looking at GPS data. Or maybe you are ordering too much of a certain food and can cut back. Better data will help you find blind spots and correct for them.
No matter how you use business apps for iPad, they can save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. You'll streamline your processes and grow from data.
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