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Field Service Managers: 3 Things You Need To Know About Going Paperless

By Keith Bateman on January 18, 2017
Tags: Data Collection, Productivity

Field Services & Canvas

Quality Data + Real-time Insight = $$

In today's business world, data is as valuable as currency. The same is true in the Field Service industry. 

The ability to send, receive, and share data in real-time using mobile tech is how one company gains a competitive edge over another. It's what allows one company to complete 15 jobs in a day versus just 7 or 8 for another.

So that begs the question, why aren't more companies making the switch to mobile data collection?

Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. 

In order to eliminate this fear, we want to share the 3 things that you should know about going mobile in the Field Service industry.

#1. Mobile Dispatch vs. Paper Management

Field Services & Canvas

With paper, everything from creating, scheduling and assigning tasks is normally done by hand. These manual tasks can lead to the loss of hundreds of hours in productivity on a monthly basis. So how does Mobile Dispatch address this? 

With GoCanvas you are able to log into the Dispatch Manger online and schedule tasks for today, tomorrow, or weeks in advance. These tasks will be individually assigned to specific field employees who will receive a push notification on their mobile device when the tasks are due to be completed. The office will then be able to track the completion status of these tasks throughout the day. Easily filter jobs by their status to see what is completed, in-progress, or what hasn't even been started yet. Jobs can easily re-assigned with the click of a button.

By going mobile, there is no need for the employees to drive to the office to pick up their orders for the day, or for the office to email, text, or call with instructions of where to go and what to complete. You eliminate the headache of trying to locate employees or paper forms at the end of each day.

With GoCanvas, everything for each job is accounted for automatically.

#2. Smart Fields for Faster Completion of Reports

Field Services & CanvasWith the average paper form in the Field Service industry having approximately 40 to 60 data fields, it's not a surprise that these reports commonly suffer from misspellings, missing data, and illegible handwriting. Also take into account the amount of time it takes to manually fill out 40-60 single fields by hand.

9 out of 10 times the combination of all the above factors results in the collection of poor-quality data, but there is hope.  With a mobile platform like GoCanvas, you are able to reduce data entry by up to 50%!

How is this possible? With a feature called Reference Data

This feature gives you the ability to pull data into your GoCanvas mobile forms using your own existing databases. This is done by simply importing a spreadsheet into GoCanvas and connecting it to the relevant mobile forms. For example, if you're using paper then normally you have to carry around an address book and materials catalog in order to properly quote a customer. But with Reference Data, you can simply pick from a drop down list of all your clients' names and it would auto-populate the street, city, state, and zip code of the one selected. With materials, you would select the ones that apply to the job and it would automatically fill in their specific price and material descriptions within your mobile form. 

The ability to auto-fill large portions of your <a href='https://www.gocanvas.com/mobile-forms-apps/5806-field-service-report'>field service reports</a> with the selection of a single value not only saves you hours per day, it also ensures the quality of the data. Reference Data eliminates blank fields, unreadable reports, incorrect calculations, and more. You know have the confidence that the data being returned is 100% accurate based on it coming from your own internal datasets, and not being manually filled in by hand. 

#3. Real-time Updates & Reporting

Field Services & CanvasWhen it comes to field service and data reporting, the one word that comes to mind is PAINFUL. Every day the office has to wait for each employee to drive or scan back each completed report and then manually type each into their backend database. This data re-entry alone can take 1-3 hours per day.

But what if this backend data transfer could be automated? What if you could know the status of each job in real-time? This is the basic nature of a mobile form. 

By implementing mobile forms through GoCanvas, the office is immediately notified as soon as a task is completed. The completed PDF report of the task is also instantly sent to the company's secure cloud database. This allows for instant retrieval and sharing of data, no matter the location of management personnel. With reports being analyzed in real-time, proactive decisions can start being made in hours instead of days. 

The elimination of redundant data re-entry, unnecessary travel, and delayed reporting can lead to productivity increases of more than 15% across the entire organization!

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