According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.S. mobile workforce is expected to surpass 105 million employees by the year 2020, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total U.S. workforce. What’s driving this rapid growth of remote employees? For starters, smartphones and tablets have become unilaterally affordable as companies have grown comfortable with bring your own device (BYOD) programs. Additionally, wireless networks have made it easy for employees to telecommute from virtually anywhere, and provide increased flexibility to companies with large percentages of employees operating in the field, such as insurance adjusters, home care nurses, remote service associates and many more.
At the same time, exciting new technology is bringing innovation to the mobile efficiency of employees, including biometric readers, wearables, voice apps and even virtual reality. But mobility isn’t just increasing productivity and enhancing communications, it’s also changing business workflows.
The need for mobile capture solutions
While an overwhelming number of companies and employees agree that remote work increases productivity and drives higher efficiency thanks to convenience and fewer distractions, it also creates challenges when it comes to business process requirements. Remote employees may be enjoying the benefits of mobile efficiency, but their counterparts in finance may be struggling to get critical business information in a timely fashion. For example, expense reports, time sheets and performance data are often too slow to be delivered when needed.
The key is to identify those gaps in efficiency and address them with intuitive mobile solutions. Here are some real-world examples of business processes that can become disconnected in the field:
- Remote employees who must submit time sheets and expenses for reimbursement are sometimes forced to mail them in, delaying payment and financial reporting.
- Logistics companies that face time-consuming, error-prone data-entry processes and constant delays in accessing critical information.
- Medical associates operating in the field who need to receive approval signatures or patient records “on the go” in order to provide life saving procedures under pressure.
- Data captured in a remote environment that needs to be shared quickly with the home office in order to process a customer’s request in real time, such as information related to insurance claims.
- Field sales representatives who need to quickly enter purchase orders into office-based systems using their smartphone or other mobile device.
Complete mobile solutions for a completely mobile workforce
Mobile capture solutions are one way many companies are bridging these types of processes in the field and connecting them with existing workflows. Recognizing that mobile devices have become business-critical tools, the right applications can enable workers to capture huge amounts of information on their smartphones and tablets and securely deliver that information back into the company’s business processes. They can also use mobile solutions to improve the way they manage their workforce, which also helps contribute to increased productivity, visibility and efficiency.
Whether it’s photos, eSignatures and eForms or files from mobile or cloud-based applications, any information can be easily – and securely – printed or integrated into any workflow, critical to improving productivity and saving valuable time and costs. For example, Nuance customers, TGI Office Automation and Bettenwelt GmbH & Co., were both able to increase mobile workers’ productivity with the ability to capture critical information on the go.
For these organizations, mobile capture solutions helped drive information accuracy and access while integrating with existing workflows, transforming mobile processes into a new – and sustainable – competitive advantage.