You have very likely taken several processes in your business from paper to database, or some type of technology. You’re not still keeping the books on a ledger and your inventory process probably doesn’t involve tally marks on a sheet of paper. You’ve evolved the processes that drive your business and dictate your bottom line. So why is the field visit process still in the age of the fax machine?
There seems to be a disconnect with this one extremely vital function of many organizations. Field visits still live on paper and endless email threads that together, create a lag time that renders the field visit virtually useless. The point of a field visit isn’t to document, the point is to take action, measure and improve. This is how taking your process from paper to smart device gets you there.
Eliminate the “Pre-Work”
With a paper-based system, the field visit manager has to prepare with a few steps:
Step 1: Add location to spreadsheet and print.
Step 2: Struggle with the wireless printer for about 10 minutes, or just long enough for the situation to escalate to an Office Space-like scene.
Step 3: Gather information from the last field visit to check on action items listed (mind you, this is likely 3 months later).
With the Action Card app, there is virtually no field visit preparation:
Every form, piece of information and relevant contact is in the app, already accessible to all parties necessary. Setup takes minutes and doesn’t require the process to be repeated every time there is a field visit. Everything is stored within the app, with an easy to navigate dashboard.
No More Endless Email Threads
With a paper-based system, email is used as a project management platform:
Once the information from the field visit is gathered on paper, those paper notes are then shared with the appropriate people via email. One email for maintenance, one email to the area director, don’t forget to cc the location manager and your direct superior, ooh and then there’s….you get it.
With the Action Card app, multiple, endless email threads are eliminated:
The Action Card app operates on cloud based technology. That means everyone with access can view the field visit results, receive their action items, and send and receive comments all in real-time. This also means that all parties are not receiving notes taken from notes, which can become condensed and diluted.
Follow Through is Built-In
The paper-based system allows for extended lag times, and doesn’t incorporate transparency:
Very often, field visit notes won’t get passed along via email for an extended period, after several locations within a territory have been visited. Think about that, after a few more location reviews, how accurate do you think their notes are? Beyond that, what if they note an action item that needs immediate attention but they won’t be transcribing their notes for another few days. The lag time, and intrinsically flawed paper-process doesn’t allow for transparent, timely communication.
The Action Card app builds transparency into the entire field visit process:
Nothing falls through the cracks, or gets lost in an email black hole because the Action Card app offers a level of real-time transparency that can’t be achieved with any other process, much less a paper-based one. Everyone can see what stage a review and/or action item is in. Automated notifications also work to keep the whole team in line.