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Electronic work orders and inspections using handheld mobile devices from Techs4Biz Australia

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Techs4Biz Australia  are experts when it comes to using Pervidi handheld mobile devices to simplify and improve business operations. In this article the company outlines how using handheld mobile devices for electronic work order systems or inspection management can significantly improve efficiency and customer service.

Firstly, what does an automated and electronic work order system or inspection management system look like? Take the following scenario as an example.
A customer calls in to report a broken heating system. The office staff can immediately view the customer’s information including pending and previous activities, enter the relevant information into the work order system, and create a work order.

Depending on specific internal approval processes, the work order can be immediately scheduled and assigned to the appropriate technician. If the business deploys a wireless handheld mobile device system, then the work order is dispatched electronically to the mobile device used by the desired service technician. This electronic work order includes all the required information, including:

  • customer information
  • exact address or location for the task
  • description of the problem
  • instructions
  • required actions
  • safety requirements, etc.
For non-wireless handheld mobile device systems, a technician can electronically retrieve their work orders using a cradle, or dynamically add a new work order in the field using their devices.

When on-site with their handheld mobile device, the technician can view the information, make modifications, record results, parts, labour, observations, recommendations, and any other information pertaining to the work performed.

Additional features of erlectronic work order systems using handheld mobile devices may include using barcodes, capturing automatic date/time stamps and electronic signatures, as well as taking pictures and allowing notes to be drawn to highlight problem areas. A voice recorder can also record sounds or a short conversation which will then be attached to the work order.

Once the work order is completed, information is sent back to the database, either wirelessly or via a cradle. The database is updated with all the appropriate information and management can focus on the next steps: review the work, issue an invoice, automatically email a report, etc. Querying data and producing operational and management reports is easy, since the information is homogenous, timely, accurate, and can be easily accessed.

It is important to note that while every business incorporates specific business processes, automation with electronic work order systems using handheld mobile devices in the field can

  • quickly adjust, improve, and address specific processes by: 
  • applying experience gained from other customers using similar business processes, including proposing and incorporating adjustments to manual processes to accommodate automation
  • providing a healthy balance between technology, human intervention, and common sense by combining human decision-making with automation, resulting in improved efficiencies and reduced costs
  • tailoring a solution to accommodate unique business processes instead of promoting a "one size fits all" solution
  • considering scalability and flexibility, i.e, if a single system can automate a variety of activities then users get much more for their investment
'Information is power' is an old adage, but one that rings true in every situation. Information capture and knowledge management is fast becoming the true competitive advantage of any company, especially in the current economic circumstances.

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