It’s a rare business that doesn’t have competition. Whether you’re in manufacturing or childcare, you have an arch-nemesis just waiting to take all clients (ok… not really, but it feels that way). Chances are, some of your competitors use electronic forms, or are making the transition. Here are three things they know about going mobile:
1. Faster Data Collection Saves Money
There’s no doubt about it: transmitting data electronically is faster than paper. We see it in the rise of email, and the decline of the post office. In 2014, paper is not an efficient way to transmit information anymore.
Mobile apps let you collect that information on your smart phone or tablet. When your field workers send that information, it becomes immediately available in the cloud. Mobile apps destroys the paper time lag. That means faster invoices and quicker sales cycles. Mobile apps let you know your inventory sooner, and make better material purchases.
Going electronic also frees up your workers, making them more productive. Inspections that once took 15 minutes written by hand now only take 5. With checklists, auto-populated fields, or barcode scanning, mobile apps gives you tools to gather great data fast. Demmer made the switch and saved 300 hours in one year alone.
Everyone loves lowering their costs. You and your competition are looking for ways to get leaner. Collecting data may not seem like the obvious choice, but it can be a game changer.
2. Humans are Visual Creatures
For most of us, we rely predominantly on our vision. Studies show that what we see can even impact how we taste our food. As infographics show, we also like to learn information visually.
This strawberry could taste fresh, but your mind will trick you (Clearly Ambiguous, source)
Mobile apps appeal to both of these human tendencies. Many apps automatically generate PDFs. They can be sent immediately to customers, or partners. With custom options, companies enhance their brand with appealing visuals.
Further, mobile apps also make it easy to send information visually. You can send pictures, maps with location, as well as copies of signature captures. Perhaps your partners want safety assurances. Maybe you want to confirm that your workers deliver products at the right place. Mobile apps makes not only gathering that easy, but seeing it even easier.
Whether looking for partners or customers, everyone shops around, trying to find the best fit. By giving them the best visual experience, you help give them better service. Your visuals will show off your strengths without ever uttering a word.
3. Adapt or Get Left Behind
There’s a reason radio is no longer the medium we use for drama or fictional stories: television. Companies like NBC and CBS survived the change because they realized that they needed to adapt to survive. They still brought entertainment to millions of Americans, just in a different way.
Something you don't see anymore: voice acting for radio (source)
You don’t have to be in the entertainment business to know this. Businesses of all shapes and sizes constantly look to the future. Success lies in adapting to the rapid changes in technology. Your shifts don’t have to be as huge as the transition from radio to TV. But sticking with paper? That will leave your processes, and your company in the past.