Does anyone like paper work?
I can imagine the overwhelming answer to that question is no.
Most field workers carry around NCR forms (white, pink and yellow 3 part forms) that they use to write out specifications on jobs, work orders, contracts and invoices. Some workers also carry digital cameras for taking pictures on the field, laptops for communicating via emails with their office, and a cell phone for other communications.
Wouldn’t it make sense to have all of these tools built in to one central location?
Piles of Paperwork!
A friend of mine works for a company in the area the does home energy conservation audits and makes recommendations to owners of the homes on what services are available for them to make their house more energy efficient. He is the person that goes into all of these homes and does the actual audits. At every site he must go through the entire house marking each item that can affect the homes energy efficiency. From the furnace in the basement to the ventilation in the roof.
Throughout the inspection he must mark everything down on paper. He also makes sketches of the house and takes pictures of problematic areas of the house that he then files away.
My friend does three to four of these a day. After a full day of work he has to go back to the office and painstakingly transfer all of his handwritten notes and digital images to their data entry system.
Can you say biggest waste of time ever?
We work with a company that has a number of field workers. Workers and management were complaining because of long hours and redundancy with paperwork. After meeting and consulting with AndPlus, we came up with an idea to create a mobile application that can run on iPad, iPhone and Android that will allow the field workers to enter all data directly into their data entry software from their mobile device. The application uses text entry fields and drop down menus to enter information about the specific job that they are on. It also utilizes the devices camera to add photos to each file.
Another great feature of the custom mobile application was the fact that it can run and fully operate online or offline. All of the data is cached to the device for offline viewing and updated once the user is connected to a network.
Not only has this saved workers time and stress, it has saved the company money in hourly salary. Also, now all of the employees have one device to access email, scheduling, data and valuable resources on the internet.
Do you see an opportunity for mobile applications in any other industries?