Editor's Note: This was originally posted in May 2014. This post has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
“The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers” – John Egan
For over 50 years, Schmidt Equipment Inc. has provided construction equipment to the construction, and forestry industry in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. With five locations, they provide parts, rentals, services as well as training courses on emissions. They work not only to provide for customer’s needs, but to help their customers have the best quality equipment.
But while their customers loved their work, Schmidt Equipment had a bad relationship with paper. When doing inspections or machine deliveries, they would take photos to go with their forms. However, employees would spend hours matching photos to forms. Schmidt Equipment wasn’t the only business with this issue: PWC found that up to 11% of business documents are misfiled or lost.
With various departments and locations, sharing information was also slow and difficult. More than the time it takes to find a form, it could take hours or days to actually arrive where it is needed. This slowed down their sales cycle and response time.
In May 2013, Schmidt Equipment switched to GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for businesses. With reasonable pricing options, they were able to start using GoCanvas on a small scale without a significant investment. GoCanvas ensured they had limited risks as they began to make the switch to mobile apps.
Thousands of organizations leverage Canvas’s cloud-based, “Software-as-a-Service” mobile app platform to replace cumbersome paper forms with highly-customizable mobile business apps that improve their data collection and productivity.
Businesses can search from over 14,000 ready-made apps in the GoCanvas Application store that can be customized to an individual business user's needs. In addition, GoCanvas offers a do-it-yourself app builder that enables non-technical users to build apps in minutes.
Schmidt Equipment still has many paper forms. However, they are slowly moving towards a paperless office. “People that have done their job for 20 plus years” Mark explained, “love their paper.”
Instead, he works to teach the more tech savvy employees how to use GoCanvas and find a champion in each department. Then their coworkers start to see that mobile apps are faster and easier to use than the old paper forms.
Nevertheless, Schmidt Equipment has found measurable results. The benefits include:
The past year has shown a dramatic rise in Schmidt Equipment’s efficiency and ability to share information. Previously, these forms could take hours or days to return the office. Then, they would need additional time to enter this information into their databases and share forms with the right departments.
Today their machine evaluations and inspections are all done on Samsung Galaxy phones. All evaluations and inspections going straight to the cloud, so they can easily share information across various departments and locations in real time. What once took days now happens in minutes.
“The more important savings are not dollars – but rather efficiency gained by allowing all employees easy access to the data” – Mark Drelinger
In addition, it’s far easier for the entire to company to access this information. Previously, an employee would have to find a paper form or search through old emails for the appropriate document.
Today, all these forms can be found with a quick search. GoCanvas also provides custom file naming. Thus, they can name a file on an entry in their forms such as customer name, date, or location, making searches even easier. What once took hours or days to find now happens in seconds.
Previously, filling out these inspections on paper was cumbersome. Employees would have to carry long paper forms, clipboards, as well as cameras to get photos. It was slow having to go between paper and the camera, while filling it all out by hand.
Today, employees enjoy an easier and faster experience with GoCanvas. Our mobile apps provide a rich feature set to make inspections, deliveries, and other forms go faster and return with fewer errors. Some functionality Schmidt Equipment has benefitted from include:
With these features, forms return to the office with fewer errors and complete information. Before forms could return with whole sections missing, now any time a required field is left blank, the inspection can’t be submitted. Thus employees spend less time on forms and the office enjoys more robust information set.
As a cloud-based, mobile platform combined with an easy-to-use mobile app builder, GoCanvas provides Schmidt Equipment the flexibility to add new features and functionality to any of their mobile apps. As needs evolve and change, GoCanvas makes editing apps a frictionless process.
For instance, Mark initially made their mobile apps. Today, he has an administrative employee creating new apps for their company. From the beginning, they never needed to rely on IT support or have any knowledge of coding.
With GoCanvas, it’s a simple drag and drop interface that anyone can use. Once the edits are made, they can b shared with all of their users in real time. What once used to take days or weeks to fully implement now happens within minutes.
Other mobile app alternatives make this process cumbersome or costly, weakening the effectiveness of their platforms. With GoCanvas it is a frictionless process at no additional cost.
Today, Schmidt Equipment is looking for more ways to turn their once slow and cumbersome processes into faster, real time experiences with the GoCanvas mobile app. With more and more of their workforce eager and excited by the mobile experience, they are only seeing the beginning of what mobile apps can do for their growing business.