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How To Reduce Costs Within Fieldwork Operations

The ramification of recent events is that more businesses are paddling faster just to stay afloat. Inflation is hitting record highs worldwide, and cutting costs is becoming critical to survival for many.

Hopefully, the sirens aren’t sounding on your end yet. Either way – saving money is a worthwhile endeavour for all.

This post explores how digital adoption can form a substantial part of your cost-reduction strategy while optimising your operations out in the field.

Why You Should Reduce Costs

While businesses are built to thrive, the first goal is often survival. The problem is that getting the numbers to break even can prove tricky. Reducing costs can help you raise yourself above the baseline and free up money to reinvest in your business.

Cost reduction isn’t just about saving a few bucks. It’s about building more efficient processes that create a lean, agile, sustainable business. 

We’ve seen plenty of companies reduce costs by implementing fuel, time, and paper-saving mobile apps. Unbiased to industry, optimization is your cost-killing ally and can easily form the cornerstone of your future saving efforts.

Before tampering with the pricing or quality of your offer, eliminate what isn’t necessary, efficient, or lucrative.

Here’s how.

Stop Printing Paper

Before you shake your head – because there’s no way you can just pull the plug on those printers – hear us out. 

  • Printing costs can snowball and detract from your bottom line way more than you think
  • Paper can hurt operating speed (having to transport or even search for critical documents are unnecessary pains)
  • Paper can cause unnecessary rework (recurring rounds of reprints and handouts slow down your workers) 

Ditching paper isn’t about saving on printing costs – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On your way down, you’ll find fuel cuts, payroll time savings, and better data security to name a few.

Is your paper-based ecology efficient? Necessary? Lucrative, perhaps? Unless you offer printing services – I assume not.

Can You Realistically Stop All Paper Printing? 

The short answer is no – but you can get pretty close. Close enough to cut 80% of your admin or save 40 hours of work per week. Both of these cases are based on real customers who adopted Appenate. 

So while you might not be able to throw all your printers in the trash (what a waste), you can confidently thrift about 80% of them.

Implement Software Instead Of Paper

A person work on his phone, using mobile apps for business instead of paper to reduce fieldwork costs

Consider replacing those paper towers with mobile software. Specifically, software that allows you to create digital doppelgangers of your existing documents. For this, you’ll need a flexible solution that allows total customization.

Appenate is one such example – with an innovative drag-and-drop app builder, asset maps, task management and other handy, customizable features. 

The only benefit to sticking to paper used to be that it doesn’t need an internet connection to run. The good news… neither does Appenate – our apps feature full offline capability. 

What To Look For In A Tool?

Look for something easy enough to use yet not so simplified that it introduces technical limits. 

The trick is to start small and build your digital ecosystem bit by bit. Focus on your biggest paper problem and let your chosen solution take care of it. Don’t be afraid to push the platform you’ve chosen – and don’t compromise. Your solution should adapt to you, not the other way around.

Once that’s out of the way and the benefit is clear, focus on your next biggest issue and gradually widen your focus from there.

Here’s a list of traits that will ensure you get the most out of the tools you’re considering.

  • A User-friendly Experience – To truly save time and money, opt for a tool that makes life easier, not harder (especially for those employees not comfortable with technology). 
  • High Customizability – You deserve a solution that bends to your vision and has little to no technical limitations.
  • Extensive Integration Capability – You definitely don’t need long-winded data migrations. Choose a platform that provides connectors to easily integrate with everything local.
  • Unlimited Storage – Your solution should be able to grow with your business without consuming reserves.
  • Offline capability – Don’t blindly trust your connectivity. You need an app that natively stores every entry (especially for remote regions and ‘blind spots’).
  • Free Support And Training – To get the most out of your app, you can’t be left to stumble in the dark. As a rule, do proper research on the support offered before you subscribe to any software – ever.

Better Data Equals Better Execution

A man who has replaced paper with software to save fieldwork costs works on his laptop.

Optimising business operations to drop costs requires that your decisions are backed by data. You risk peddling pennies to dead ends if you’re not collecting, analysing, and benefiting from your business data fast enough.

The world of business (and in general) is increasing in complexity daily. Relying on a slow, dislocated paper-based ecology will stunt your agility.

 A centralised database on the cloud will allow for an overview of all info that your operations generate. Couple that with native mobile apps, and you’ll further unlock real-time capturing capability – in the office and out in the field.

Save With No-Code App Builders

After reading all that, you might be sold on the sunny side of digital. Perhaps you’ll even consider closing a deal to build a bespoke app for your business instead. 

After all, developing your very own app would allow full customization. You’ll get to update it how you want when you want – but before you get too eager, consider this scenario.

One of our clients, Remote ISP, had a similar vision. They commissioned the development of a mobile app that would meet their unique remote-work needs. The result was disappointing – a custom yet limited solution.

As if emptying their pockets on a digital upgrade wasn’t enough, further development and update requests were met with hefty price tags. So, they cut their losses and adopted Appenate instead. This was their feedback.

“Not having to dig through forms and phone a customer back each time they have a question has dramatically improved and sped up our customer support. The flexibility in unlimited form creation has been a massive cost saver to the company with an outlook to integrate our other business processes as well.” – Michael, Co-founder of Remote ISP

What Are The Costs?

You’re here to save costs, not incur more. Thankfully, most tools in this sphere are affordable – few more so than Appenate (just FYI 😉). 

The range across different providers is roughly $9.90 to up to $80 per user per month. So to calculate returns, first place a value on the problem itself. Ask…

  • How many hours are being wasted? 
  • What are your total monthly printing costs? 
  • What are the fuel costs involved in transporting paper documents? 

 We simplified this step with our mobile forms ROI Calculator.

Keep Track Of Savings

This might seem obvious but beautifully ties into the above section on data-driven decision-making. You need to keep track of the actual return of every investment. 

A simple excel sheet will do, although there are many software solutions out there that can help you with this. 

Pro Tip: For your software investments to make business sense, invest in solutions that first target your business’s main scope. 

Situated in the field-service industry? Before leaping to subscribe to pricy accounting software, consider a tool that will optimise your core operations – job logs, reports, risk assessments, etc.

The End Goal: Shift To Paperless Operations And Save

Ultimately, paper’s still abundant in the workplace because we’re creatures of habit – we do things like they’ve always been done. 

The reality is that it’s wasteful. Resources like fuel, money, storage, time (and trees) are wasted trying to maintain an outdated and inefficient system.

If you’d like to free your business from the costly shackles of paper, why not start a complimentary trial with us today? 

You’ll get training and support for the duration of your subscription (at no additional charge) and benefit from regular updates that keep Appenate on top of its game. 

Sign up now