Thanks to our computers, smartphones and other tablets, we practice dematerialized entry in our private life in many circumstances. Whether it is ordering a product on a merchant site or completing your tax return, online services encourage us to do so every day. It is therefore paradoxical to note that, in the professional world, paper entry is still so widespread.
And yet, dematerialized data entry is a working method that quickly generates a tangible return on investment. Take the example of a situation we experienced at a restaurant.
The waiter takes your order using a smartphone or tablet. It performs data entry using an application whose ergonomics allow it to combine speed and reliability. This application can even communicate the constitution of a dish so that it can describe it to you. When the order is valid, it is displayed or printed directly in the kitchen and its preparation begins when the server has not yet left your table. The icing on the cake: the application built in real time to report on the results of the day, week or month. These dashboards make it possible to determine, among other things, which are the most efficient servers, what are the potential points of improvement and to analyze, in order to better manage, the necessary supplies taking into account variations in consumption according to the time, day of the week, even the weather!
As you can see, this tool increases the restaurant owner’s productivity, while improving the quality of the service provided, and gives him a decisive competitive advantage.
All businesses are affected by dematerialization
Whether it is health and safety, inventories or asset management in the broad sense, installations or maintenance, inspections or audits, all sectors of activity are concerned by the dematerialized entry. And the fields of application are numerous. Consider these examples from everyday life: a real estate inventory, an automobile appraisal, a home parcel delivery, a repair on a household appliance, etc. How many times are we still faced with paper forms?
For the company, it is also about being able to more easily assess overall performance, the productivity of field teams, quality of service or process compliance. Let us cite the case of a player in the food industry whose production manager experimented with a functional optimization solution with tablets and a custom application. This experiment should make it possible to achieve three objectives:
- avoid handwritten entries, sources of error and imprecision
- allow real-time feedback from production tools in order to accelerate decision-making (the immobilization of a production line in industry is extremely expensive)
- refine the diagnostics to make maintenance more reliable and make improvements to industrial processes
In the project phase, the company had the intelligence to involve machine users as well as maintenance technicians. Different working groups made up of young and old employees, occupying different positions, have been set up. Among them were people familiar with tablets and others who had never used tablets. In fact, it is the latter who made the most relevant suggestions for improving the ergonomics of the application.
In the end, this new working method simplified the work of the field workers. Real-time feedback has made it possible to reduce the downtime of machines in curative maintenance. Not to mention that more precise information allows for more efficient preventive maintenance.
Another advantage is that the company now has a technical knowledge base, including photos and videos, which allows it to better train new maintenance technicians as well as production operators.
What are the main characteristics of a dematerialized data entry solution?
No one questions the usefulness of a digital form that can be used with smartphones and tablets. Everyone understands that being able to collect data and transmit instantly is a definite benefit to the business. But what are the functionalities of a mobile paperless entry solution? Here are five essential features.
Rich data – collecting data isn’t all about ticking off cases or writing a note. It is often necessary to associate photos, sometimes assorted sketches, audio or video comments, a signature, barcode scanning, etc. Having the ability to enrich data with contextual information is essential to meet the demands of your processes. And when it comes to security, it is sometimes essential to provide time-stamped, or even geo-located, information to establish your compliance.
Data routing – the connection to the cloud of the entry forms must allow pre-filling of information relating to a site, a customer, etc. In the same spirit, the information collected must be automatically disseminated to the right applications or to the right people depending on the nature of the data collected. In order to stay focused on their task and remain productive, field staff should not worry about who to pass the information on.
Customizing Forms – Not all businesses are the same and do not work the same. A dematerialized entry solution must make it possible to build personalized forms, adapted to the contexts and challenges, capable of collecting any type of information. Whether it’s an oil rig safety inspection visit or a company specific timesheet, you need to be able to make a form as complete and simple as possible. .
Integration and Notifications – When the data has been collected in the field, you should be able to transmit to as many recipients as possible, whether it’s your own back office or shared folders in the cloud, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, SharePoint or whatever. It may also be necessary to notify by SMS or email one or more people when a particular form has been submitted.
Dashboards – Since electronic data entry improves business processes and increases productivity, data analysis should be one of the criteria of choice. Whether verifying a service level or verifying compliance, the solution should allow actionable data to be displayed in an easy-to-read format so that parties can view trends and make necessary decisions.
The ProntoForms electronic data entry solution
ProntoForms automates, manages and improves processes and productivity for any type of business. This mobile forms solution allows users with smartphones or tablets to collect and transmit data to the back office or in the cloud and to instantly share information with their teams. Field staff are notified when a new assignment is assigned and the corresponding form is automatically downloaded to their mobile terminal. Conditional logic allows you to build dynamic forms whose questions take into account previous answers, and helps reduce the risk of errors and increase the quality of service.
Directeur Marketing & Développement / CMO