Alpha Software Blog

Build Apps for Field Service that Users Love

Want to build the best field service apps?  It's critical to understand how to choose the best software for building apps that can work without a connection.

Build apps for field service.Think beyond traditional paper forms when building mobile apps for field service.

Field-service workers, who work outside of traditional offices and are often on the go, benefit more than almost any kind of employee from great mobile apps.

Field service teams work for utilities, engineering companies, in healthcare, property maintenance, and more. They’re often out of touch with the office and need to track their work, understand customer history, and fill out forms when they’re on the go. And the people they visit expect outstanding customer service. But it’s tough to choose the best software for building mobile field service apps.

A recent report from Gartner, “Successful Field Service Management Buyers Are Putting Application Flexibility and Employee Empowerment First” offers advice on selecting field service management software to do it. The report details just how important it is to equip field service workers with a good mobile app. By 2019, it says, over 70% of field service organizations will equip their staff with mobile apps — and those apps will drive profitability.

The report concludes, by that year “80% of organizations with more than 50 field technicians will miss more than 20% of the planned efficiency gains due to incomplete integration or deployment.”

Gartner offers a good deal of advice on making sure you choose the right tool for developing mobile field service apps. We think the most important is this: “Demand mobile capabilities that inform and empower technicians — don't just mirror a paper work order digitally.”

What Makes a Field Service App Great?

Alpha Software makes it easy to build great mobile apps for field service. If all a mobile form does is replicate what paper can do, you’re losing all the benefits that mobile devices offer out in the field.

Alpha Software CTO Dan Bricklin explains: “Taking an image of a paper form and putting it on a tablet screen is not the answer.” Solutions must be built specifically for a mobile workforce working on iOS and Android devices.

Bricklin believes new types of mobile apps for field workers are needed: “These are applications that run on the tablet that can take advantage of a wide range of input types, that can have input means that are tailored to the needs of the particular data type and data values being entered, that can have layouts that are flexible, and that are customizable to the needs of the particular task.”

These field service management solutions should include real-time location tracking, time tracking, They should integrate with other small business and FSM software, such as QuickBooks integration or Housecall Pro integration. If the field technicians need to pass the tablet to a customer to capture a digital signature or schedule a job, the app should offer an excellent customer experience. Cloud-based field service solutions offer companies even more options.

The Best Field Service App Software

Alpha Software makes it easy to build great mobile field service apps. Alpha Anywhere includes all the critical field service app requirements and more. We’ve even built inspection apps with the critical features required by field inspectors. We’ve even built a free mobile inspection app template with the critical features required by field inspectors:

  • a user experience built for one-handed data entry
  • Works in the field without an internet connection
  • Captures the field technician's location and the time and date automatically
  • Records and looks up bar codes and QR Codes
  • Take pictures in the field and allows field workers to mark them up
  • Captures digital signatures

Learn how Alpha Anywhere can help your field service company build the best app for your field workers.

Read more recommendations on how to build the best field service apps and view examples of field inspection apps.

Get started building your own first field service app.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.