By katie simpson on February 10, 2014
Tags: Data Collection
“To err is human”, Alexander Pope famously said. Making mistakes may be a fact of life, but as an enterprise business, every error costs your business. You may never have 100% perfect data, but mobile business forms are giving enterprises from transportation to retail more accurate data. Below, see 7 ways electronic business forms are strengthening enterprise businesses with more accurate data.
It may be beautiful, but my handwriting is impossible to read.
In a large business, you will have a variety of handwriting. From beautiful cursive, to unintelligible scrawl, the variety of handwriting affects the quality of your data. Bad handwriting can easily confuse information.
This can lead to problematic errors. 100 can be misread as 700. If there’s an issue with a piece of equipment, an illegible form can make it difficult to know both which piece of equipment has the issue and what the issue is. While you can find the worker who filled out the report, this could occur hours or days after they original filled out the form. Will they even remember the issue? No matter what, illegible handwriting costs you time and money.
Electronic forms level the playing field. Every submission comes in with perfectly clear text. Typed up on a smartphone or tablet, you’ll never have to worry about the text you receive. It will be clear and easy to read each and every time.
For most jobs, you don’t need math majors. However, calculations for invoices can be crucial for your business. When these numbers are right, your sales go smoothly. If your workers have to fill these out in the field with paper, it’s easy for them to make errors in the numbers. Maybe they’re rushed trying to finish the sale. An error can lead to either quoting too much or too little. That leaves your business losing money and gaining another customer service headache.
With electronic business forms, let the tech do the math. For an invoice, your worker can simply enter information into the fields. Whether you need to include the materials, hours of labor, or sales tax, the app will give the quote based on your own reference data.
As your costs change, changing the information on your forms is easy. Simply upload a new reference file, and publish your changes to the app. Mobile business forms allow your business to change and adapt. No matter what, you’ll get accurate quotes and pricing each and every time.
You can highlight, bold and asterisk a field, but it’s easy for your workforce to leave it blank. For some kinds of data, like a customer’s address, or a piece of equipment’s serial number, adding it later just won’t work. This leaves enterprises with lopsided data or, lacking data. You can work with your employees, reminding them, and strengthen training. But in a large organization, that requires work with various managers and leads through the organization.
With an electronic business form, required fields are a fantastic way to ensure you collect crucial pieces of data. With one click, any field can become required. This means that workers can’t submit their forms without filling out those fields. They will get an error message, and will be prompted to fill out those fields. This easy safeguard will ensure that your workers collect all the data you truly need.
If you’re in construction or manufacturing, you need accurate reporting when your workers clock in and out. This data is crucial to understand your workforce’s productivity and labor costs. In many cases, your time data are estimates done by the head on site. If someone comes in late, it’s a hassle for the lead to go back to the truck or office to report the exact time they got in.
By switching to an electronic business form, your data is more accurate because the information will be automatically filled in for you. Simply open the form on your phone or tablet, and the time and date stamp are clocked. Most people keep phones on them at all times, so it takes managers just moments to enter a late worker into an app. This simple add, will make your understanding of labor and productivity better.
If you work with equipment, or sick individuals, a picture can be crucial for your data collection. With one click, you visually tell the story of a malfunction, or signs of a medical symptom. Previously, capturing photos was difficult. You had to bring along a camera, print out the photo, and attach it to the correct form.
Capture an image with a click of a button (Mr. T, source)
On both smartphones and tablets, the cameras can be as good if not better than some point and shoots. Combined with an electronic business form, not only can workers easily collect photos, but also automatically attach photos to the form. This seamlessly keeps your data organized while adding new data effortlessly.
When we update our prices, or information, it can take employees time to learn. This can lead to some understandable, but problematic headaches. For instance, say you have a sales person in the field. The price list has just updated, but they don’t have the new list memorized. Based on habit, they give a quote based on memory that is now too low. They may have gotten a sale, but your business just lost money.
With paper forms, sending out these changes would take time and require a loss of some forms that you have but can’t use. You can make this transition seamlessly with electronic business forms. In minutes, make the edits you want online. Upload a new price list, or change the fields they need to enter. Once done, save and publish your changes. All of your users will get an updated version immediately for use. No mispriced quotes, no confusion, just seamless data, as you grow and change.
To have accurate data, you need both great collection, and great filing. Today, paper filing systems are flawed. At any given time 3 to 5 percent of an organization’s files are lost and misplaced. These files cost organizations tremendously: misfiled data costs $125, while lost documents range from $350 to $700 dollars. This data loss leads to time wasted trying to find documents, and holes in your understanding of your own business.
Electronic business forms prevent data loss from bad organization. Every submission goes straight to the cloud. There, they are safe from being misfiled, lost, or damaged. At any time, simply search to find your document. You can even make file names correspond to certain field entries. Perhaps your organization will want to know work orders by date and customer name. Another company may want to know their inspections by site name and date. These combinations and more all possible.