Alpha Software Blog

Mobile Apps Can Help Solve the Labor Shortage

solve the labor shortageThe pandemic is finally on the wane. States across the country have eliminated their COVID restrictions thanks to successful vaccination campaigns. It feels like the United States is open again for business.

That may be the case, but many companies find there’s a big roadblock on the way to recovery: They can’t find enough workers to fill their open jobs. They’re not even close.

Too Much Work, Not Enough Workers

The Monster blog post, “When Will The Labor Shortage End?” describes the problem this way: “Bars and restaurants are unable to open to full capacity despite restrictions being lifted. Manufacturers are struggling to find specialized and entry-level workers to keep up with high production demand. Overwhelmed builders are turning away projects in a booming housing market. Trucking companies are unable to keep supply chains moving, while ride-hailing services are leaving people stranded on the sidewalk. The labor shortage is becoming a real issue.”

Monster research found, “Four in 10 employers are feeling a sense of urgency when it comes to hiring right now due to growing business demands, high turnover and the need to stabilize staffing after so much uncertainty.”

"Four in 10 employers are feeling a sense of urgency when it comes to hiring right now"

Numbers bear that out. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reports, “From February 2021 to March 2021, the number of job openings was up 597,000 to 8.1 million, the highest level since we started tracking job openings in December 2000.”

Monster recommends that to solve the problem, companies increase pay, offer opportunities for advancement and cross-train employees. That’s well and good, but given the historically high number of job openings, it won’t solve the problem for most businesses.

How to Solve the Worker Shortage: Intelligent Apps

There is a solution close at hand: use intelligent apps to digitize business processes and eliminate paper forms. These apps can leverage the mobile phones employees already carry and speed data collection to allow companies to do more work with fewer people. Both save companies money.

intelligent apps solve the labor shortageThese apps can help with worker shortages in manufacturing, construction and oil and gas. But they go beyond that as well. They can help with virtually every industry in every corner of the economy.

These mobile apps can increase worker efficiency by:

  • speeding the collection of, and access to, data in the field -- reducing hours spent on each task and squeezing more work time out of each day for every worker
  • capturing the proven practices of more experienced workers to provide best practice workflows for less experienced workers to follow
  • embedding business logic - capturing the proven practices of more experienced workers to provide best practice workflows for less experienced workers to follow
  • integrating with systems of record - incorporating existing data or trigging workflows or alerts based on input data
  • lowering risk by collecting accurate field data quickly -- eliminating data-entry mistakes and delayed access to critical data.

All this makes workers more productive, and processes more accurate and efficient. Collectively, this reduces the need to hire as many new workers, because companies can do more with less.

The Best Way to Build Intelligent Apps for Today's Workforce

Low-code/no-code development platforms allow non-technical staff to write these intelligent apps, reducing the need for highly trained programmers to write every app the business needs and avoiding app development bottlenecks. Many of these platforms, such as Alpha Anywhere, also enable business users and IT staff to collaborate on apps, allowing each to focus on value-add activity.

Enterprises need to choose the right platform to enable the organization to craft the intelligent apps they need quickly, elegantly and securely. Alpha TransForm is ideal for crafting intelligent business apps. Alpha TransForm helps business users craft online or offline mobile business apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture.

If IT staff want to add more advanced features to any business app, they can utilize Alpha Anywhere to add further security or robust offline functionality.

Learn more about Alpha TransForm no-code intelligent apps for data collection.

Learn how Alpha Software manufacturing apps and construction apps are helping combat labor shortages in these industriest.

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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.