Friday, August 01, 2008

Mobile Software, Handheld PDAs & Paper Processes Compared to Mobile Handheld PDA Solutions

I have worked with many companies that have experienced challenges with processing paperwork. Why? Often the work is performed in remote locations by people without years of experience, far from the accounting systems, managers and administrative staff. Here is some of the paperwork involved:
  • Creating a job estimate
  • Getting the job estimate approved and signed by the customer
  • Scheduling and assigning the work to a specific service technician
  • Hiring new employees or contract help and completing the documentation
  • Documenting the work (to the customer's satisfaction)
  • Submitting the completed work to the customer for payment (in the proper format)
  • Paying the employee or contract help

This process may happen hundreds or thousands of times per day across a wide geographic region. How does the central office collect, enter and review all of this paperwork to ensure accuracy? How do managers keep all of the correct business processes happening in the field? How do you ensure quality and professionalism when there is significant staff turn-over? How do you keep your customers happy?

Many of these issues can be avoided, or eliminated by using an automated business process on a rugged handheld, PDA or Smartphone at the point-of-work. The handheld PDA and mobile software application can step each service technician systematically through the correct business processes. The handheld solution can inform the service technician how things need to be completed, provide additional audio and video examples, and alert when something has been done incorrectly. The information entered in the field, at the point-of-work, can be synchronized with headquarters and reviewed by management in near real time. This is how companies can ensure quality, consistency and the ability to scale up their business.

- Kevin Benedict