Why Mobile Forms Are So Important

“By 2020, more than 75% of field service organizations with over 50 users will deploy mobile apps that go beyond simplified data collection and add capabilities that help technicians succeed.”
- Gartner,
Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management,”

By 2020, 70% of all access to enterprise systems will be done via mobile devices.
As smartphones and tablets begin to replace PCs and laptops, companies are recognizing that some of the biggest payoffs come when mobile apps are used by field service workers. Mobile forms - forms for mobile devices - represent the majority of mobile apps that field workers will use. These forms help dispatch field teams track their work, forms that collect data during site visits and inspections, and forms that initiate and record work orders or service repairs. And the need for more mobile forms will only increase as more and more companies replace paper processes with smartphones.

How Mobile Forms Increase Field Service Productivity

Mobile apps for field service have an incredible impact on field team productivity. One furniture warranty company realized an 80% increase in its field team's productivity with the addition of a mobile form. Other research indicates that mobile forms for field service have a 50 percent ROI in only two years. Here are some of the ways mobile forms increase field team productivity:

  • Less confusion between dispatchers and techs
  • Better tracking and dispatching of field service staff
  • Increased field team efficiency
  • Instant access to new data collected in the field
  • Improved customer experience
  • Access to a full range of smartphone capabilities to power better tracking, scheduling, information gathering and more

Read "7 Important Ways Mobile Forms Transform Field Service Work"

Mobile Forms for Field Service Productivity | Alpha Software

Who Builds Mobile Forms?

Mobile Forms for Business Process Mobilization | Alpha Software

Despite all the talk about mobile processes, significant roadblocks still exist for companies looking to mobilize their business processes. Amid bullish technology reports, Gartner, Forrester and IDC have all released survey data that shows how companies are facing a massive bottleneck: they have hundreds of processes to mobilize, yet have only gotten a few out the door. 

To solve the problem, companies are embracing the practice of encouraging business users to help digitize and mobilize business processes. Mobile forms are increasingly being built by employees closest to the business processes they power and track.

Mobile forms software that builds forms within minutes have emerged to allow business users who cannot code to mobilize paper forms and digitize business processes without needing help from IT. The best technology solutions allow business users and IT to work independently on mobilization, while also enabling them to collaborate whenever necessary, so each side of the business can contribute the most value to the mobilization effort.

Read "Getting Business Users Building Mobile Forms: How to Meet IT Demand for More Mobile Apps"

What Do Modern Mobile Forms Need to Do?

Modern fieldwork calls for capabilities that go beyond basic data capture. Mobile forms software includes advanced capabilities, which turn a field data capture app into a powerful business tool that streamlines field work and drives business in real time. Some examples of these advanced capabilities are::

  • Work offline and run flawlessly on any mobile device, regardless of platform or screen size.
  • Be location and time aware.
  • Have features optimized for one-handed smartphone data entry.
  • Take full advantage of mobile hardware (to store large rich media files, etc.).
  • Scan bar or QR codes and perform relative look-ups against remote data sources or on-device databases.
  • Utilize digital ink (for things like annotating images and digital signatures).
  • Pre-fill data on a mobile app from a corporate system of records and take advantage of web services.
  • Initiate SMSes or emails based on calculations or transformations performed on the collected data.
  • Create dynamic and filtered pick-lists for much faster and more accurate data input.

Read "What is the Difference Between Mobile Forms And 'Enterprise-Grade' Mobile Forms?"

By capturing new types of mobile data and providing instant access to data collected in the field, mobile forms are having incredible ROI and productivity impact.

Mobile Forms for Today's Business Needs

Mobile Forms for Today's Business Needs | Alpha Software

It's important to recognize that mobile forms are very different from desktop applications or traditional paper forms. Mobile forms will only disappoint end-users and see low adoption and usage rates if they fail to address the types of real-world mobile experiences that field workers encounter today. Choose mobile forms software that help in the creation of field service mobile forms with advanced capabilities that can address in real-time the complex challenges encountered by businesses today. Some real examples of the problems faced by field workers include:

  • A construction worker building a bridge may see that 2 beams are further apart than the specification, or a maintenance worker may see that the pressure in boiler is approaching a dangerous level. In this case, the app needs to immediately initiate a workflow or send an SMS/email to remediate the problem.
  • A field service worker without a cell or Wi-Fi signal needs to service various generators. S/he needs to scan the bar code on the generator and pull up the service manual and/or service videos for that piece of equipment, requiring this large data file to be stored on the mobile device for use when offline.
  • While collecting inspection data on a mobile device, an inspector needs the app to perform complex calculations, data validations or transformations on the fly to determine what items are passing or failing the inspection and what additional information must be gathered.
  • A solar power technician determines that a power inverter needs to be replaced. While filling out a work order on his or her mobile device, the technician can check to see if a suitable inverter is available and instantly view the number of units in stock. In this case, the app must look up data using an API callback (assuming there is connectivity) or against an on-device database (when offline).
  • While collecting inspection data on a mobile device, an inspector needs the app to perform complex calculations, data validations or transformations on the fly to determine what items are passing or failing the inspection and what additional information is needed. See this example of a sophisticated inspection and repair mobile app built in a few hours using Alpha TransForm.

What Do Mobile Forms Cost?

Depending on the specific features your company needs, most mobile forms software and offline form builder software are usually sold as SaaS solutions with a cost between $12 and $50 per month for a single license.

But mobile forms are rarely a one-and-done effort. Forms need to be maintained and updated. It’s critical to consider how any mobile forms solution you select will scale over time. Ask how price and performance will be affected when you:

  • Add new forms?
  • Add more business users?
  • Add more end-users?
  • Adapt to new operating system updates?
  • Integrate new mobile device/IoT features?
How Much Do Mobile Forms Cost? | Alpha Software
Most mobile form builders are sold as SaaS solutions at a cost between $12 - $50 per month for a license.

Alpha TransForm is a sophisticated form builder that includes such capabilities as data and workflow integration, offline operation, full programmability, and more for $35 per user per month. Additionally the technology also lets you craft as many forms as you need at that price and also offers predictable pricing as you add new end-users.

Learn More

How to Create a Mobile Form

Demo: Turn a Visiting Nurse Paper Form into a Mobile Form in Minutes 

With the technologies available today, building mobile forms can be fast and easy. For instance, Alpha Software’s mobile forms software, Alpha TransForm, includes ready templates for building various types of mobile forms for varied sectors. Some examples of the ready form templates our mobile forms software includes are car mileage, home inspection, travel expense report, solar installation, medical intake form, and others.

It is easy to turn a paper form into a mobile form within minutes, using the right type of template, with such capabilities as:

  • The ability to work without a Wi-Fi or cell connection
  • Data-capture capabilities for standing workers entering information with one hand
  • GPS and time stamping
  • A built-in stopwatch
  • Audio recording
  • Image capture and annotation
  • Speech-to-text capability
  • Barcode scanning
  • Digital signature capture

The video on the left shows a mobile form created from the “Visiting Nurse Chart” template, which is based on the Standard Form SF 510 from the US General Services Administration. It shows the versatility and broader scope that mobile forms have, in comparison to paper forms, in terms of capturing rich and diverse types of media as inputs.

For example, the mobile form in the demo can secure the exact geographical location of the nurse’s visit. Plus it has additional technology driven features like the ability to create and send audio recordings of say, the patient’s coughing pattern, for example. In addition it has a built-in stopwatch feature that can capture the patient’s pulse – crucial for the healthcare sector.

Likewise depending on your industry or specific business, build mobile forms with the relevant tech functionality and many other advanced capabilities, with Alpha TransForm, our mobile forms software … it can make a world of difference!

Build Mobile Forms

Click the link below and build your first mobile form in minutes.

Free 30-day access to the mobile app builder, pre-built app templates, additional training material, and more.

Mobile Form Examples...

Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software
Mobile Form Example | Alpha Software

Still have Questions?

Email sales@alphasoftware.com or Call 781-229-4500