Digital technology and mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, have embedded themselves into our lives by us constantly checking emails and logging into Twitter accounts to catch up on the news.
The big winners of this technology are organisations with a mobile workforce. Tradesmen can complete time sheets on jobs and start the invoice cycle as soon as a job is finalised; Transport operators can complete pre-operational checks on their equipment and notify managers in real time when a fault is identified and field workers are able to submit reports without stepping foot in the office. In a sense, office workers have also become mobile workers by checking emails, making appointments and reading reports while out of the office.
This new technology has shown us a way of capturing and communicating information, making paper based forms for information capture and communication obsolete. All organisations and their employees can benefit from this technology as long as they are prepared to invest. Take for example, submitting an annual leave request form through an app on your phone. Once the request is submitted, the HR department is alerted of the pending request. Once approved, payroll gets notified and the person requesting leave receives an automated email informing him or her of the approved leave — no more lost paperwork and no more bottlenecks.
An organisation in Australia that has adopted a mobile platform for their facilities management checklists, audits and maintenance requests is currently in the process of automating invoice based on the information captured by a person in the field. A bottleneck was identified between information captured in the field employee and the raising of an invoice through their accounting software. An automated solution will have invoices delivered up to three days earlier. The main benefit to the organisation is increased cash flow. This is just once way mobile form applications are helping organisations improve processes.