This is a conversation between Mark Scott (VP of Marketing, ProntoForms) and Patricia Richards (Manager of Data Analysis, Diversified Maintenance).
Mark Scott:Could you please give us a short background about Diversified Maintenance and what you do over there?
Patricia Richards:I am the Manager of Data Analysis and ProntoForms at Diversified Maintenance. Our company provides cleaning solutions for all types of businesses. Everything from retail stores, grocery stores, banks, industrial facilities, and many more companies from large scale to small scale. We do all kinds of businesses.
Mark:Geography-wise, what coverage do you have across the United States?
Patricia: We operate in every state including Hawaii and Guam, and we are based in Florida.
Mark:Can you talk to us about the frustrations you had, what problems you were trying to solve by championing ProntoForms, and bringing our solution to your company?
Patricia:I started over five years ago, and if you can imagine back then, just picture our field managers carrying stacks of forms in the trunks of their cars. Every location they would go to they would have to pull out several forms and fill them in by hand and either fax them in or mail them in. At the end of your day, that’s the last thing you want to do; stand at a fax machine and sending stuff back to the office. They would try to scan and email the forms, but on the other end, we have people at the office collecting stacks of paper. We had two or three people entering all this data manually, but we were always reporting what had happened several weeks ago, rather than what was happening right now. I said this is ridiculous, we can’t do this anymore. There’s got to be a better way.
That’s when we found ProntoForms. I said, “That’s the job I want to do. It’s going to be so much cleaner”.
We now have the data coming in daily to databases and analytics tools, and we have the capabilities to go to different stakeholders when clients or managers want to see these forms. A good feature is being able to filter if certain data is entered; we can have it send to a specific person – that’s a huge time-saver. It has enabled us to get current reporting and information from QC’s and KPI’s immediately as they are submitted. We can get approvals within minutes. Some clients also like to see the QC’s, and now they’re able to get them as soon as they are submitted.
We turned every form that we had in the field into a ProntoForms form, so field staff no longer have to fax or mail or email anything in. Some of the best features are the geostamps, giving us credibility for being where we say we are; pictures in the forms, pictures speak volumes when say you’ve fixed an area, you can show you fixed it; calculations within the forms; signatures in the forms; being able to dispatch forms. We dispatch supply orders to managers in the field, with their budgets already loaded. There are so many more features I could mention.
Mark: Can you tell me a little about how you started with ProntoForms? How did you gain confidence to roll out this application?
Patricia: We started very simple, with just some basic forms based on some of the example forms that ProntoForms provided and used them as a template for our forms. Since then, we’ve evolved with this company, with the things that have been added and the changes and improvements they’ve made to the product.
As for new forms, we start off with specs from field managers or account directors, based on the scope of work they’ve created for the client. We do a mock-up and give it to the field managers to do a test to see if the workflow makes sense. We need to know if they’re getting everything they need. Once they’ve signed off on it, we deploy it to a forms base for everyone to use.
Mark:What other applications do you use in conjunction with ProntoForms? A back-office, or an app on the actual device itself?
Patricia:We use Birst – your BI tool for reporting. It’s a great platform. We don’t have hoops to jump through, we just push our data over to the platform and I can create very robust reports that can be scheduled to go out to the field on whatever schedule I need. All our data comes in from the previous day so we’re right up to speed, and I can create and schedule these reports once and forget about them unless I need to make changes. I don’t have to worry about it every day. We also use Box as a cloud storage solution with unlimited capacity. It’s perfect for audit purposes. Eventually, I’ll be able to have different people log in from HR and Payroll and give them access to just their areas, and for audit purposes, I don’t have to look for these forms anymore, they will be able to look for them.
Mark:Just to clarify, the Birst solution that Patricia mentioned, is a Business Intelligence tool that has been integrated into the ProntoForms solution and used by many of our customers. Gartner has identified them as the leading cloud BI solution.
How do you quantify the before and after in terms of return on investment with ProntoForms? How do you come to find the value for money?
Patricia:Before we started using Birst, we were doing some low-level reporting using Excel spreadsheets as requests for summaries and reports came in. But these were generic reports based on everybody’s inputs – no customization at all. And field managers could have several different accounts. They had a lot of emails coming to them.
By routing ProntoForms data automatically into Birst, we now have a much faster turnaround for getting the forms in and getting reporting out. Every morning, all employees get a complete list of what they must do that day. There’s no manual tracking at all. Whenever a form is submitted, it is taken off the to-do list in real time. We used to have a compliance goal of 85%, but we were able to raise it to 100% compliance.
Employees are happy to get their reports and reviews instantly rather than calling me and asking for it every week. It used to take me such a long time to get back to them. I can also create management reports that show progress over time, and automatically calculate the number of days area managers have to complete their assignments. This helps the managers do their jobs more effectively. If the data shows that one team has to perform 12 days of work in 8 days, management can adjust workloads across teams up front to balance things out and achieve compliance across sites. There is so much more information available to them immediately.
To learn how ProntoForms can help you leverage data to streamline your business process, sign up for a demo and a free trial here.