The idea of going mobile with your business is something every company considers. While some may believe that only organizations comfortable with technology can truly take advantage of these solutions. Nothing can be further from the the truth. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a business that creates and hangs signs, operations can be improved with the use of mobile technology.
A recent article from Small Biz Technology features an interview with Dean Stallone, the CEO of PMD Promotions. The purpose of the conversation was how the company was able to use FileMaker Pro and Go to create a new database solution that helped the company save $40,000 by digitizing several previously manual processes.
The company has been creating and hanging promotional material for 125 contractors in 22 cities. Their work has been placed in more than 50,000 independent storefronts nationwide. A large chunk of this business happens on the road as technicians move between clients and businesses to display new content.
"Although our business is highly mobile, our business processes weren't – until fairly recently," Stallone said. "By replacing paper-bound and manual processes with a simple, custom-developed application that runs on the iPod touch or iPhone, and our back-end operations system, we cut $40,000 a year in administrative overhead and created more productive, motivated field personnel."
He went on to discuss exactly how this was able to happen. The company has display contractors that work as the organization's representative on the ground. These individuals must work within several standards to ensure posters are removed when a campaign is over and coordinate all activity within venue partners where they are displayed. Traditionally, they carried clipboards, paper documentation and a digital camera to snap pictures and create reports.
That means that individuals need to carry a substantial amount of physical items when making their rounds. On top of that, transferring the photos needed to happen through emails and fax. This requires office staff on the other end to retype all of this information into the existing reports. All of this is labor intensive, requires multiple steps and is open to potential errors.
However, with the new system that is powered by FileMaker, a custom database was created which can be accessed from a desktop or Apple mobile devices.
How it works
Now, the entire workday is handled through the new mobile application. Contractors download the day's schedule over the Wi-Fi in the office before leaving for the day. This includes instructions for each job, maps and tips. During each visit, they are able to take notes about the job directly into the app and can also take photos that can also be uploaded directly through the app.
This information is also updated in real-time, meaning that immediately after completing a job where all the information has been entered into the database through the mobile device, a worker in the office can pull up the same data. In all, it cut report generation time by 80 percent and nearly eliminated errors.
This is just one example of how FileMaker can help businesses dramatically improve operations and cut costs. With the help of a FileMaker support service, any organization can start down this path.