How Mobile Capture Can Accelerate Back-Office Workflows

In 2018, mobile penetration in the United States reached 85%, with smartphones being the overall preferred mobile device. 

Businesswoman with cell phone

People use their phones all the time. Why not allow them to get their work done more efficiently by using them?

With the average American viewing their smartphone 52 times per day, it’s easy to see how thoroughly mobile connectivity has been integrated with ordinary life. All this mobility makes it easier for businesses to not only have remote employees, but also for businesses to make better use of employee time. Add cloud technologies to the mix, and you open up nearly infinite possibilities for employees to use their time off-site, in-transit, or working remotely with maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

One way that businesses take advantage is through mobile-friendly workflows. Electronic workflows are great – far better than manual, paper-based workflows. But why require employees to be at their desk in front of their computer before completing certain workflows? The technology exists that allows them to do it off-site or even in transit.

Mobile Capture in the Trucking Industry

The trucking industry involves a lot of real and virtual paperwork, and of course, truckers spend significant time on the road or at remote delivery sites. There are now workflows that allow truckers to, for example, take photos with their smartphone of important documents like bills of lading and submit them instantly. When this happens, the images are integrated into back-office practices in real time. 

The key is development of automated workflows that allow capture of documents, routing of the captured image, categorization of the document, and automatic insertion into various back-office processes. When an image is received at the home office, an instant notification can then be sent back to the driver as confirmation.

Mobile Capture for Expense Reimbursement

Employees who incur expenses while on travel or working off-site can capture individual receipts using their smartphone cameras and then submit them immediately into their company’s expense reimbursement workflow. In some countries, such electronic formats are even accepted by tax authorities as proof of transactions, eliminating the need for keeping the paper originals. 

Office man with paper recycling bin

There are many better places for paper receipts than taking up space in file cabinets.

Simple automated workflow rules for things like whether the merchant name is recognizable, and whether contrast and brightness are acceptable can either notify the sender to make and submit another image, or process the image to compensate for poor lighting or other easy-to-fix image problems.

Other Possible Mobile Capture Uses

Small, local businesses that don’t have access to the sophisticated mobile capture infrastructure used by big players like UPS can nonetheless develop automated workflows that cater to workers in the field. Suppose a business offers local delivery. Mobile capture could allow the delivery person to easily note the time when a delivery is made, and the precise location of the delivery.

News and media companies can develop simple workflows for field reporters so that when an image is captured in the field, it is immediately sent back and incorporated into a publishing workflow. A driver sent to pick up supplies can photograph a receipt and send it back to the home office for accounting purposes and to estimate when the driver will be back, or at the next stop on their route.

PerfectForms allows businesses in every industry to create sleek, sophisticated automated workflows, including workflows used by employees with mobile devices. This allows greater flexibility in the completion of back-office processes because it can eliminate the need for workers to be at their desks in order to use automated workflows. 

Moreover, PerfectForms is user-friendly workflow software, with a drag-and-drop interface that requires no programming. Read through some of our many case studies and see how PerfectForms has saved companies, nonprofits, and government organizations significant amounts of money due to increased efficiency and productivity. Your business could be experiencing the same!

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