Category Archives: Facility Management

Benefits of Using Mobile Forms for Field Tech & Workflow Management

Field data collection is a weary and tiresome task, and carrying it out with paper forms only makes it worse. It’s no wonder why businesses are opting for mobile forms that make the data collection so effortlessly smooth. Mobile forms have upheld an impeccable image of bringing-in accurate data on time and rocketing the productivity through the roof!

But first of all, what is a mobile form? And what gives it the edge over paper forms? Let’s take a look.

A mobile form is a digital form that runs on a smartphone (or tablet) app and enables you to collect data. Using mobile forms is not just a trend, but simply a better way to go about collecting data. With mobile forms you can collect any type of data, such as text (notes, forms field inputs), photos, signature and more.

Managing paper forms creates lot of work and potential errors. The forms need to be transported back and forth from the field to the office for processing. The data entered may be erroneous and also processing the information alone consumes a lot of time for the back office.

Using mobile forms offers a host of benefits for your business: speed, efficiency, accuracy, and savings. These benefits can become your edge over the competition!

Let’s review the benefits of mobile forms:

  • Easy Field Data Collection: Collect on-field data (online as well as offline) with mobile devices by turning them into a smart data-collection tool through myGeoTracking app. Use custom forms to record customized data. Collect actionable data such as pictures, signatures, and run QR/barcode scans.
  • Better Workflow: Collect, save, upload, and share the data with different company’s stakeholders in real time. Submit forms from the field to the back office with a push of a button while removing the hassle of re-entering the information into a system before it can be analyzed. Dispatch forms to the phones in real time to field employees. All the data from collected forms can be shared with various business units and integrated with different systems, such as CRM and payroll.
  • Better Accuracy: Mobile forms are more accurate and customized to fit your needs. You can set up smart fields within any forms: auto-computed fields, required or mandatory fields, and validation rules to minimize user errors. Set up rules to validate data and generate real-time exceptions.
  • Always Available: With modern mobile forms applications such as myGeoTracking the forms can be accessed and filled out both online and offline. The form filled information or the data can be made available to the right people or teams in real time.

Businesses like myGeoTracking offer digitization of paper-driven data collection. The ease and speed of adaptation have relatively increased than before, and the app-based mobile data collection softwares are straightforward to use so you no longer need to spend hefty amount of funds to train your staff to use such technologies.

In a nutshell, using modern mobile forms to collect field data for your business will cut down your costs , improve efficiency and accuracy with a better workflow.

About myGeoTracking

myGeoTracking helps SMBs and Enterprise businesses better manage mobile workforce and field operations with tools such as real-time location, GPS time and attendance, geofence visit logs, Lone worker safety, Mobile forms and more! All the tools can be highly customized to fit each use case. The platform features powerful rules engine and integrates with popular back-end CRM, HRMS, and Payroll systems to automate day-to-day operations.

myGeoTracking serves customers from a wide range of industry including field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics, oil & gas, home health care providers. These customers do report improvement in productivity and savings in payroll.

If you have any questions or need additional information, let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436

Property Management Apps: Key Benefits and Features to Look for when Deciding

Property management representatives in a variety of industries, such as real estate, facility management, storage management, commercial property management, have traditionally used paper forms to record their field activities, e.g. property evaluation forms, rental applications, contract agreements, and more.

These methods have been prone to errors that only multiply as the use case becomes larger. Errors range from data entry mistakes to plain old “dog ate my forms.” Transcribing hand-scribbled notes while on the road is also challenging. Old-school digital technologies (pdfs, excels) have gone a long way in mitigating some of these issues.

These order entry methods cost an enormous amount of time and money. For property management representatives in the field, handwriting orders on a form can be a tedious and time-consuming task; paper printouts of relevant forms is also very expensive and wasteful. All these limitations reduce the productivity of the sales reps while also impacting customer satisfaction.

To truly capitalize on modern day tools these sales and customer service reps will need to transition to the mobile phones and apps, with always-on connectivity and access to up-to-date customer information at their fingertips.

Property management companies, big and small, are turning to mobile apps to utilize advanced form capabilities that have previously been unavailable. Apps can store forms and other related data in the secure, reliable cloud system. Form data can be available on multiple systems for multiple users and can easily share evolving information in real time. Additionally, automation allows the configuration of alerts based on data inputted in real time, notifying management when further actions are needed.

Never encounter another case of the human error that can take place when using paper forms.
Mobile forms eradicate the hassle and cost of paper forms.The flexibility offered by creating, editing, and sharing forms in real-time establishes mobile forms as an advantageous supplement in any industry with field employees, notably the property management industry.

End the Hassle of Paperwork
Real estate agents and property managers are often seen accompanied with stacks of paper, including: contracts, evaluations, contact information, etc. Transferring these multiple documents onto a digital screen multiplies the efficiency of your daily activities. Powerful mobile forms apps give you the freedom to upload pre-created HTML forms or create your own using the easy-to-use interface.

Save Time with In-App Signatures
Client signatures are often required for property managers. Instead of collecting a signature on paper, transporting it back to the office, and often requiring a follow up. With in-app forms feature- reps can collect and store signatures. Save time and increase productivity by removing the inconvenience of chasing signatures. In addition to signatures, forms can store QR or barcode scans, pictures, and notes.

Handle Unforeseen Circumstances with GPS Location
Tackle any sudden maintenance or repair issue with customized reporting and tagged GPS location. Messaging, signature collection, QR/ bar code scanning, and photo capture capabilities can supplement any situation that requires immediate attention or assistance.

Automated Alerts
Employees would have the ability to collect equipment readings in the field and trigger immediate alerts if maintenance and repairs are required.

Summary
myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

Four Reasons Why Your Business Should Stop Relying on Paper Forms

Increasing access to advancing mobile technologies has given business owners in nearly every industry unprecedented ability to automate tasks that were once difficult and time consuming. As business owners embrace these simpler replacements, one aspect of business affairs that continues to be practiced in an archaic fashion is the use of paper forms. The use of paper forms has persisted despite their decreasing ability to fulfill their purpose. A number of cloud-based mobile apps now offer the ability for business to create their own customizable forms and send, receive, and edit them in real time. In addition, these forms can be location-stamped and be accompanied by real-time data, messages, and signatures.  Digital forms via mobile apps, along with the various other capabilities they offer, come at a price significantly lower than what most business spend annually on paper alone. If you need more convincing, here are a few reasons why your business should stop using paper forms.

Cutting Paper Reaps Significant Savings

Even with mass efforts to reduce paper waste, in 2015, the average office worker still used about 10,000 sheets of paper annually, 45% of which end up in the trash by the end of the day. Based on these approximations, businesses are spending $80 dollars per worker annually on paper alone. Without even factoring in the loss of productivity that paper forms facilitate, mobile apps already prove to be more economical by offering a number of intelligent features for a comparable annual price per employee.

Productivity Increases When Mobile Records are Implemented

On average, an employee spends 30-40% of their time looking for information found in old emails or filing cabinets.  Every 12 filing cabinets requires an additional employee, thus a large sum of payroll costs goes toward maintaining files. Additionally, filing this soon-to-be-misplaced information costs an average employer approximately $20 per month of payroll costs per employee. The ability for mobile apps to store these files allows employees to spend less time doing administrative tasks and more time completing their own work.

Mobile Apps Allow for Easier Access to Accurate Files

More than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if there was a catastrophic event that demolished their paper records.  This is an alarming statistic for any business that relies on paper records. The hassle of paper files can be replaced and improved with the use of cloud-based storage for your business’s forms, files, and data. The real-time ability to share information and files allows for greater accuracy in records by eliminating accounting for an event long after its passing. Forms can be accessed through the simple interfaces of these mobile apps.

Real-Time Information Allows for Readiness in Diverse Situations

The real-time ability to share files and information further ensure greater accuracy in records by foregoing delayed post-action reports. In unexpected field scenarios in which different protocols need to be followed, the capacity for real-time communication proves helpful in providing necessary resources for any situations.

Aside from being environmentally conscious in your business practices, shifting away from paper forms is the economical decision that will take your business further by cutting costs and boosting your productivity.

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

If you have any questions or need additional information, let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436

Geofencing 101: A Primer on Field Service Automation

If you have a team of mobile employees, it’s likely that you’re acquainted with the term “geofencing”.  If not, this post will reveal a secret tool that can help automate your field service operations and improve overall workforce productivity for your business.

What is Geofencing?

Geofence in a virtual perimeter/boundary (a fence) around a particular location on a map. The location can be any area of interest such as your office, home, warehouse, customer place, job sites and more.  By marking the area on a map, you can automatically monitor activity such as entry, exit and the time spent inside the area.

Geofencing: How It Works

Modern workforce management tools such as the myGeoTracking platform use a combination of GPS, Cellular data, and Wi-fi signals to accurately detect events and activities.

Why You Need Geofencing

Geofencing is an adaptive and easy-to-use tool that adds a lot of value to the overall business.  Here are some scenarios and use-cases:

Payroll, Attendance Verification, and Billing

Perhaps the most common application of geofencing in a mobile workforce scenario is for verifying employee attendance at a site.  When an employee clocks in and clocks out, a geofence lets you compare and validate their time with respect to their job site.  Modern tools such as myGeoTracking eliminate the need for employees to manually clock in and clock out by automatically detecting their presence and clocking them in/out.

Visit Verification

Geofencing helps verify visits your employees make.  This is very useful if your employees are supposed to visit clients/customers as a part of their job. Geofencing can help verify visits and provide reports that can be used for proof of service or compliance.

Monitoring Field Activities

Geofencing helps you stay on top of field activities in real time.  A modern workforce tool with geofencing technology can help your operations and back-office dispatch teams with updates from the field as they happen.  This means your operations and dispatch teams automatically have the real-time information to help manage teams without having to spend time making check calls!

Geofencing Adds Context

One of the benefits often overlooked is the context that a geofence adds to the data.  There are many tools to track the location of employees and assets, but not all have the geofencing technology and thus lack context.  Here’s an example: Without geofencing technology, such tools would rely on latitude and longitudinal coordinates or an address to report a location. While an address is good, geofencing makes it highly contextual by letting you name a site: “Sunnyvale Office”.  So with geofencing, you’ll see: Bob departed from “Palo Alto office” and arrived at “Sunnyvale office”.

Workflow Automation

Geofencing can help automate operations workflow using rules and triggers.  Very few modern tools, like myGeoTracking, support custom work rules that leverage geofencing to automate your business operations.

Here’s how it works: custom work rules can be setup based on real-world triggers involving people (employee), place (geofence), and time.

Here’s are some sample use-cases:

  • Remind Bob to take the customer’s signature when he arrives at the customer place

  • If Bob is running late, send an update to the customer with ETA and an alert to back-office dispatch team

  • Send alert to employee(s) when they are outside their job site for more than 45 minutes during work hours

So, geofencing can be a great force multiplier to your day-to-day operations and help you scale to higher levels of efficiency.  If you’re curious about the possibilities, let’s talk!  Let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436