Anyone who carries a clipboard and a pen – whether they’re sitting in the boardroom, working onsite or walking door to door – could benefit from swapping sheets of paper for a tablet.
Paperwork might seem like a necessary evil in your business but it’s often the mortal enemy of productivity. Especially if all that paper leads to workflow delays, double handling and the potential for data entry errors – not to mention exorbitant printing costs. To help things run more smoothly it’s worth looking for opportunities to swap those clipboards for tablets.
Embracing iPads in the workplace is not about making a fashion statement, it’s about productivity gains. To reap the benefits it’s important to understand your existing paper workflows and look for ways to improve things while also feeding that data directly into your IT systems rather than dumping it on someone’s desk.
Working with tablets allows your people to submit and process paperwork faster, especially if they have access to mobile broadband away from the office. Speeding up your paperwork can give you a competitive advantage over your rivals, especially if it lets you expedite the process of getting potential customers to sign on the dotted line – something they could do on a touchscreen these days.
Digitising your paper forms might involve embracing a document and workflow management system, making it easy to create custom templates for audits, claims, surveys, stocktakes and other tasks that have traditionally required a clipboard.
Going digital offers the opportunity to introduce drop-down menus to your forms to help things go faster while also reducing the likelihood of errors. You can create workflows to skip over irrelevant questions or steps depending on previous answers. There’s also the ability to attach images, audio and video to your paperwork, along with other important data such as GPS location.
For further productivity gains you might auto-populate data fields, perhaps drawing information from your other IT systems, although this can require tight backend integration.
While a tablet lets staff feed paperwork directly into your IT systems, it can also grant them access to real-time business information, which can be invaluable when working away from their desk – especially if they’re working hard to close a deal. Security features such as Mobile Device Management and secure document storage can keep all that information safer from prying eyes than if your people were carrying around folders full of sensitive business data.
Issuing iPads in the workplace isn’t simply about cutting down your paper bills, it’s about empowering your people to work smarter to improve your bottom line.