Whether you’re filling out forms, conducting surveys or collecting data, abandoning paper in favour of an iPad makes life much easier.
The trusty clipboard has served business well for a long time, but there are plenty of benefits to digitising all your paper-based tasks. For starters, you save on paper and pens – but the real benefit comes from the efficiency boost offered by digital workflows.
Using a tablet to enter information directly into your IT systems speeds up the data collection process while eliminating difficulties with illegible writing, double handling and manual data re-entry, which all increase the likelihood of errors.
If you’re not yet ready to completely abandon paper then you might use a document scanner to process your paperwork, but your long-term productivity goal should be to banish paper from your workflows wherever possible.
Your first thought might be to replicate the traditional paper experience on a touchscreen, but upgrading to an iPad allows you to use apps and smart forms designed to streamline and enhance the data-collection process. For example, your smart survey might auto-populate some fields and create drop-down menus to speed things up and reduce errors, as well as automatically skipping unnecessary sections based on your answers.
Working on an iPad makes it easier to automatically record important information when data is captured, such as the time, date, location and details of the person entering the data. You’re not limited to ticking boxes and entering text; you might also drop in photos, sketches, audio recordings and video clips as required. It’s also possible to scan barcodes, documents and business cards using the iPad’s camera and optical character recognition. The result is a far more comprehensive report than simply trying to describe a complicated situation using just words.
When your people start entering data directly into an iPad, rather than scrawling it on a piece of paper, this information can go straight into your IT systems – whether your people are on the warehouse floor or out on the road – rather than waiting until they get back to their desk.
The fact that all this data is digitised makes it much easier to save, search, back up and archive than reams of paper. You can also configure processing rules to automate and simplify business processes, instantly turning that data into valuable insight that can be imported into other systems such as Customer Relationship Management.
If your data collection efforts are hampered by a mountain of paperwork then it might be time to retire your clipboard in favour of an iPad.
To see the full range of tablets at Hire Intelligence, click here.