Despite their drawbacks, companies still often use paper forms to collect data in the field. Yet, with the advent of smartphones and tablets, mobile electronic forms are now a more productive and efficient alternative.
Here are five good reasons why paper forms should be replaced with mobile electronic forms.
1. Limit the risk of errors
In most cases, paper forms are completed by hand, increasing the risk of human error. Filling out a paper form can be long and tedious, employee handwriting can be illegible, incorrect calculations, form fields can be omitted, and it is difficult to secure paper. In general, a manual data entry process is often time consuming for the business. Conversely, electronic forms can be pre-filled with contextual data (client file, missions, etc.). They make it possible to validate entries, automatically perform calculations, make entries compulsory and reduce
2. Reduce hidden costs
There are many hidden costs associated with using paper forms, whether they are printing, shipping, or archiving costs. Not to mention the time required to compile, manage and analyze the information. With electronic forms, field workers have the ability to instantly download data. Their employees have immediate access to information, which facilitates collaboration and helps reduce time and costs.
3. Facilitate access to data
As consumers, we demand very short response times. Unlike electronic forms, paper forms cannot be instantly transferred to a team member (s) or entered immediately into a back office application. Usually, field staff should forward paper forms to the office where they are re-entered and archived. During an audit or control, the corresponding forms should be sought in a filing system or filing location. With electronic forms, you get instant access to data without having to do long searches.
4. Enrich the data
The format of a paper form is fixed. Conversely, electronic forms offer many possibilities that can improve a business’s workflow. With electronic forms, you can insert photos, capture signatures, scan bar codes, automatically geolocation and time stamp information, record audio, and more. All of these can be seamlessly injected into an electronic form and transferred directly to a back office application or configured to be delivered to a specific location in the format of your choice.
5. Exploit the data
You can’t manage what you don’t follow. Electronic forms allow you to generate reports and analyze field data to emerge patterns, identify meaningful correlations, and isolate the cause of critical problems. Being able not only to access your data, but also to use it in the context of an audit or control to demonstrate using dashboards to your customers, partners or inspectors that you comply with the regulations, is way beyond what you can accomplish with simple paper forms.
Directeur Marketing & Développement / CMO