10 Ways Employee Apps Can Double Data Collection Efficiency
June 2, 2015
Data collection with paper and spreadsheets can quickly become a labor-intensive routine: reviewing, copying, and organizing piles of information collected in the field. In between each of these stages of data collection, there's extra time spent on communication and data delivery between the field and the office.
Basic form solutions for mobile devices, or even Excel spreadsheets, can replace the paper, but they don't help with the whole business process and often result in extra work themselves.
Marshall & Stevens, a North American consulting firm that delivers valuation services to organizations in a variety of industries, was facing this exact problem. Data collection was consuming too much of their time and resources, slowing business processes and filling employees' days with hours of data review and copying.
Marshall & Stevens selected Flowfinity software for mobile forms and workflow, because it is not just a digital solution for paper forms; it's a way to automate your entire business process. This solution increased Marshall & Stevens data collection efficiency by 60%. Here's a look at the ways Flowfinity helped them achieve such dramatic results, and how Flowfinity could help your business, too.
- Real-time, two-way transactions between the field and the office
With information being sent instantly from the field to the office, it can be instantly reviewed for errors. But what good is this feature if the office can't alert field employees of their errors while they're still on site? That's why Flowfinity includes two-way information flow in their solutions, allowing the office and field employees to communicate instantly through the app. This communication allows for any issues to be resolved instantly, and any important changes to be quickly communicated between the two locations.
- Reduced spreadsheet work
The key to Marshall & Stevens efficiency is making sure information is formatted correctly, the first time. This means being able to capture information in different ways, not simply a cut-and-paste form. Flowfinity allows Marshall & Stevens employees to input data in the correct format before it's even submitted, so that the data does not have to be edited or reformatted at the office. Information can go straight from the field to other back-end systems, saving time and labor spent on spreadsheets.
- No more paper
For anyone who has had to interpret illegible handwriting, search for lost sheets or enter data from paper forms into a computer, the benefits of paperless operations need no explanation. For Marshall & Stevens, this means that data can be sent in real time between the field and the office, less money needs to be spent on paper forms, and data is more consistent, legible, and properly formatted every time.
- Reduced errors in the field
Flowfinity's design is simple and logical, taking the guesswork out of data collection. Capturing data and inputting it into the app is easy to follow, even implementing skip logic to bypass unnecessary steps for a specific project, or validation rules to check that the data is correct before the form can be submitted. This intuitive design increases both the quantity and quality of work. For Marshall & Stevens, this means a faster turnaround on projects.
- Reduced training time
Training new employees in the field is much faster with Flowfinity. Apps can be configured to guide field staff through complicated business processes, giving them a step-by-step of the necessary tasks and even help text. At Marshall & Stevens, visibility into field operations lets management see new employees' work in real time, so that correct methods can be communicated while appraisers are still in the field.
- Automated integration with other back-end systems
A solution is only as good as its compatibility. What's the point of having a shiny new workflow solution if it doesn't work with your other systems? Flowfinity has flexible integration options to work seamlessly with existing back-end systems. This helped Marshall & Stevens quickly set up the new system, sending data straight from their Flowfinity app into their own models.
- Improved management visibility
With complete transparency in into daily operations, Flowfinity's mobile app solution enables management to immediately review data coming in from the field. This gives management more control over their projects, in real time.
- Reduced day-to-day management revisions
With data coming instantly from the field pre-formatted and organized, it's easier than ever for management to review data quickly and efficiently. Mistakes are easy to spot in a more organized set of data, and there is no wait time for the information to first be organized and formatted.
- Faster to add or modify forms
In a fast-paced, ever-changing industry, Marshall & Stevens need to make changes and updates to their forms quickly and efficiently. With Flowfinity, the user-friendly interface allows for fast changes to the existing app without programming. Changes are deployed on all devices remotely, as soon an updated app is published. Whether a customer requires a unique set of data to be collected or a different organizational method, Flowfinity's apps can quickly be changed to support the customers' wishes, allowing you to offer higher quality customer service.
To read more about how Marshall & Stevens increased data collection efficiency, check out the case study.
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