Let’s face it—enterprise users are still filing paper forms. This is despite the fact that digital transformation is in full swing and mobile apps have been deployed extensively. The reason is that not all the data that is collected while performing work can be easily stored in the backend ERP system or within a mobile app. For example, unstructured data that is captured during an Asset inspection is hard to be stored in SAP. One could store the data as long text possibly, but that is very difficult for users to enter and retrieve, especially on mobile devices.
Hence, paper forms are still extremely popular to collect data. For example, while using a mobile app for an Asset Inspection or performing maintenance while executing a Work Order, it is common to fill a paper form for Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or to enter data on a paper-based Work Permit. However, this is beginning to change and enterprises are deploying digital forms to replace paper forms in a movement towards electronic work packages (eWP). Recently, we deployed digital forms that integrate with the Unvired mobile app for Rounds and Work Orders at an SAP customer in the Mining/Resources vertical as detailed below.
Customer Case Study
This mining customer in the US and Europe has been using paper forms while performing Asset Management activities. They replaced these paper forms by developing Digital Forms using the Unvired Turbo Forms app and integrated these with the Unvired mobile Rounds and Work Orders app that they also deployed. These paper forms for example included Work Permits. The highlight is that these digital forms are associated with the specific Work Orders so that the technician can access them in the context of the equipment they are repairing. The Digital form, in this case, being the Safe Work Permit, is automatically populated with the Work Order number from the mobile app. Another associated Digital form is the Risk Assessment form. These forms allow for the easy capture of data in the field and storing it in a database or a document management system like SharePoint or OpenText.
Recently, at an ASUG meeting, there was a presentation from an SAP customer as to how they similarly collected data and integrated it with a mobile app for Work Orders. There is a clear need for this kind of solution—collecting data on digital forms and sending it to SAP or any other ERP/DMS/database. The benefits are Operational Excellence, better data integrity, enhanced analytics, improved compliance/audits, and greater safety. Last, but not least, it helps with Sustainability by reducing/eliminating paper as well as helps combat COVID-19 by enabling contact-less commerce.
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