According to a survey of industry professionals, 42.4% of respondents listed budgetary concerns as the major factor preventing their companies from implementing a mobile solution. How much of a financial burden is going mobile really, though?
Manual processing of paper-based forms is a time-consuming process, and from coffee spills and poor handwriting to lost forms and missed data, it is an expensive and imperfect system. An AIIM survey estimated that paper-based forms cost businesses $4.56 per document or form, from start to finish. Pair that with Visioneer Inc.’s estimation that, on average, 7.5% of all paper documents are lost altogether, and the re-creation costs associated are inestimable. Whether processing ten or ten thousand forms, having to pay twice for 7.5% of all forms submitted is paying for too many.
Not only does the cost of paper documents cost more than collecting and transmitting data using a software solution, the time it takes to implement changes is reduced when using a mobile solution. If management has to wait for paper files to be processed, the length of time that it takes to implement a process change is greater. Data collection using a mobile platform allows changes to be made more quickly, which means it reduces the chance of accident or injury if a process or condition is found to be unsafe. For more on the benefits of mobile data collection, check out Benefits of Mobile Data Collection in Condition-Based Asset Management.
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Every company will have different experiences depending on the data management systems they use. However, it’s important to consider the costs saved beyond just paper when migrating to a mobile solution. For example, Summerhill’s Program Manager, Jonathan Hudson, did a cost benefit analysis looking at the effect of adopting a mobile solution on his company. “The old paper form process was costing us approximately $100 per month per field rep. Now,” says Hudson, “according to the numbers, each month, [our mobile solution] pays for itself in the first week.”
Depending on a company’s needs, the cost aspect of mobile adoption can be mitigated in a number of ways. Having employees use their own devices, for example, or working with a specialist to develop a controlled release with a select number of workers both can ease the financial barrier towards engaging a mobile system. For more on how to mitigate some of the cost concerns surrounding adopting EHS software, check out Top 3 EHS Software Objections & Solutions.
ConclusionBudgeting for the present can be difficult. It’s important, however, to consider where investments can be made to support future growth. Adopting mobile forms incurs a cost additional to pre-existing systems, but in the long term allows teams to save time and money.