Considering the tech advances taking place on a daily basis, it’s somewhat shocking that we still see contractors sending paper versions of reports and updated project specifications back and forth between the job-site and the home office. Often these paper reports have to pass through numerous hands along the way as a part of the organizations unique workflow.
When all is said and done, it can take weeks, literally weeks, for these documents to reach their destination. If paperwork is going back and forth from the office to the field, it can be too late to file a change order or to respond to feedback from an owner. Clinging to this antiquated way of business is like corresponding via the Pony Express in the age of email.
No matter what industry they’re in, our customers are always mentioning the same problem. They need a way to get their paperwork from point A, to point B for approval, and then back to the home office to be filed, all without the long wait times that used to be just an unfortunate part of their business. Now, as more and more companies find techniques for eliminating that wait time, those that don’t are falling behind the curve. Fortunately, documentation workflows have benefitted tremendously from the rise of cloud computing in the recent years, and wasting precious project time on this process is no longer just a sad necessity.
Cloud computing has slashed the wait time for the transfer of important data from weeks to mere seconds. Users at all levels of a workflow can access information stored on the cloud simultaneously. A designated workflow structure, sometimes referred to as permission or role-based action control, eliminates any confusion that may arise from multiple parties making edits to the same document at the same time. Because of the enormous potential for saving time and money, any workflow documentation app that does not incorporate cloud computing is a step in the wrong direction.
Cloud-connected devices have the added benefit of freeing people from traditional workspaces. Whether it’s the desk in your office or the cab of your truck on a job-site, workflows no longer need be tied to traditional workspaces. Given the widespread availability of WiFi and the increasing sturdiness of devices like Apple’s iPad, workflow documentation apps should be about freeing up spaces almost as much as they are about freeing up time.
If your familiar with the frustration that comes from documentation approval proceeding at a snails pace, know there’s a better way. Mobile devices plus cloud-based computing are a dream team when it comes to speeding up workflows. If they’re both not yet mainstays within your organization, you may be stuck in the days of the Pony Express.