As we approach 2019, businesses of all sizes are beginning to realize the importance of digital transformation. The benefits of adopting a mobile digital workflow are especially clear for small business owners who want to streamline their operations while making better use of their time and resources.
The Problem with Paper-Based Workflows
Imagine having to go to a commercial or industrial site to conduct an installation or inspect equipment. You take photos on your phone or digital camera and make handwritten reports on-site. You then have to drive all the way back to the office to download the photos and enter your notes into a database only accessible from your desktop computer. In 2018, this is still happening – despite the fact that a better solution already exists.
Why Mobile Platforms are the Future of Business Operations
Mobile platforms are the solution to this problem, freeing up small business owners from worrying about the challenges of IT management and allowing them to focus on their core business operations instead. These platforms make it easy to customize an app for the particular needs of your business, whether that means creating safety inspection forms, cost estimators, work orders, property condition reports, time sheets, job tracking, permit applications, or any other form of data capture.
How to Get Started on Your Digital Transformation Journey
Getting started with digital transformation is easier than you might think. Rather than diving in all at once, start by digitizing commonly used paperwork, such as work orders, inspections, or timesheets. Many solutions, such as Jotform’s automated approval process, have a drag and drop builder to customize forms so that they collect the data you need. This data can then be managed via a central cloud platform accessible from any device.
The Importance of Collecting the Right Data
One of the biggest benefits of digital transformation is that it allows you to collect better quality data with fewer errors and mistakes. Rather than relying on paper-based information capture, which can easily get lost or contain incomplete or unreadable fields, mobile data capture makes it easy to collect all the information you need to make informed business decisions. You can also customize your data capture to include time stamps, product lists, before and after photos, and mobile payment options.
Testing Your Mobile Workflow App
It’s essential to test your mobile workflow app before rolling it out to your employees. Getting a team to use the app and confirm that it meets your expectations can help identify any necessary modifications before it goes live. Any changes to the host will refresh the version on each team member’s mobile device. This period can also get your employees excited as they start to see how the app and overall digital transformation makes their lives easier.
Being Open to Feedback
Once your mobile app is up and running, encourage your employees to keep providing feedback. Unlike bespoke solutions or proprietary off-the-shelf software, solutions like GoCanvas are easy to tailor to changing needs. Sometimes the issues might be hardware-based. For example, if a field technician encounters an issue using the smartphone touchscreen with their gloves on but has nowhere to put their gloves, a simple belt clip for their gloves can remedy the situation.
Taking Your Digital Transformation to the Next Level
With the reassurance that it’s possible to easily digitize one piece of the workflow and see concrete results, you can extend these tools to other facets of your business. There are literally thousands of use cases for mobile digital capture solutions, so it’s easy to expand into other workflows or use cases. Mobile apps also make it easy to learn from your data, identifying trends in business performance and cash flow, and reallocating resources accordingly.
The Benefits of Embracing Digital Transformation for Small Business Owners
Digital transformation is no longer something to be scared of. The benefits of a mobile digital workflow are clear, offering small business owners a way to grow their business, engage better with customers, become more productive, and make the workplace safer for employees. By identifying the pain points that need attention, finding and/or tailoring a mobile app and a digital transformation solution, small business owners can eliminate manual workflows and time-wasting, error-prone paper-based processes.
At GoCanvas, we understand the importance of digital transformation for small business owners. To learn more about how our mobile digital capture solutions can help your business grow, visit us at www.GoCanvas.com.