You must have heard the popular phrase “There’s an app for that!”- coined and later trademarked by Apple in the early days of iPhone. And while the catchphrase has now been around for almost a decade, it is today more relevant than ever. After all, mobile apps, initially conceived as consumer products have long seeped into the business environment and have become a part of the business structure. You can hardly find any enterprise today that doesn’t use mobility solutions at one point or the other.
But before we get to the benefits of mobile apps, let’s first draw closer to what kind of apps we are talking about. To keep things generic, consider a business that has sends employees to remote locations for various purposes- it can be meeting with clients, surveys, etc, who then report back to the office at end of the day. This kind of field service structure is used by a large number of businesses of varying industries but remains highly inefficient as you would see, has much room for improvement at all levels.
Generally, there are a large number of workers in the field at any given time with little or no coordination. This often leads to overlaps and coordinating manually can waste a lot of time. Mobile apps offer a common platform through which they can access their tasks and bring transparency to avoid any overlaps. Also, when two or more workers need to coordinate, these applications can be instrumental in keeps all the tasks in the loop.
Paperwork is cumbersome, time-consuming and is tough to manage. For instance, what if a worker gets on-site and realizes he/she doesn’t have a particular form? Mobile apps, with their digital forms, offer a seamless work workflow and in the process deliver an added layer of security. Be it collecting data from customers, generating invoices, authenticating through signature, the workers can accomplish a lot more a single device than a bag full of papers.
Not only digitization helps workers on the field but also the back-office operations. Generally, once workers submit documents, it takes a lot of manual work to integrate such data into the system, which is highly inefficient. With mobile applications, such businesses can automate a lot of tasks and cut operational bottlenecks at various levels.
To keep track of on-site employees remains a major challenge for businesses that is closely related to productivity and puts them at risk of fraudulent entries. With mobile apps having location-based services, businesses can track in real-time where each of their employees is and make the most accurate assessment. For employees, it becomes a convenient channel to reach out to their managers. Be it requesting on-field help, applying for leave or simply signing off for the day, all such tasks can be done from within the app while having to manually go to the office.
It's not just the workers who hate paperwork but also the customers. Be it requesting/tracking services, making payments or simply furnishing details, digital services are known to deliver hassle-free services and thus drastically improve customer satisfaction.
That said, many businesses consider enterprise app solutions to be a tool only for the large corporations with deep pockets. And to fair, mobile applications are cheap to build. But when you do a detailed ROI analysis, you would find that such applications deliver higher efficiency and save costs- that ultimately more than compensate for the upfront investment in mobile app development. And if you add to that the benefits of better employee management and customer satisfaction, such applications that are built by top app developers seem like a way for business progress rather than a mere tool for convenience.