Do you ever feel as if you or the rest of the workforce at your business keep on reinventing the wheel?

This can be especially apparent if the organisation is one that experiences high churn rates or movement of staff between roles or locations. Processes and systems are put in place, evolve and become fit for purpose, and then suddenly everything seems to be starting from scratch?

Regular, everyday processes that should be straightforward and streamlined become disjointed and inefficient. Then there is the issue of individual workers going off on tangents, creating their own workflows that don’t align with those of their colleagues or managers.

It’s a challenge that plagues many industries but can be particularly disruptive for those that require work to be completed in the field. With staff out of the office and out of sight, efficient and effective processes and protocols may not be followed correctly or, worse, ignored altogether, leading to confusion, discrepancies and potentially the necessity for follow-up work or double handling.

A reliable way to avoid the mismanagement, potential damage to an organisation’s professional reputation and possible extra costs is to utilise a system that facilitates the simple automation of all current paper-based processes. Retriever’s Formbuilder is able to tailor all and any forms completed in the field to individual businesses, ensuring that each stage of an allocated task is completed in the correct order – with a customer service report automatically generated on completion of the task and then emailed to the customer, service supervisor and/or the field worker.

Form Builder

A web-based application, Formbuilder builds and maintains device agnostic electronic forms. It’s targeted at office-based users who can view and update questions before the forms are published and automatically distributed to any connected device.

Developed to be seamlessly and readily integrated into most business systems, Formbuilder comprises a series of five intuitive steps:

  • Definition of the business forms – all the necessary forms for the job’s workflow that will be published on the mobile application are set up in Formbuilder.
  • Creation of the job – each individual identified job is created in the back-end of the system and automatically sent to Retriever Field Service.
  • Assignment of the job in Scheduler – cross-checking with worker availability and location, the job is scheduled to an appropriate field worker, who has the capacity and availability to complete it.
  • Completion of the job on-site – using their mobile device (either via a smartphone or a tablet) the worker completes the job on-site.
  • Generation of the service report and email – the final step is the creation of a customised service report, which can be sent to the end customer, while the necessary parts of this can be delivered back to the back-end system.

Tailored user-defined forms

The various user-defined forms that will be implemented and used at different points in the mobile application are maintained in the Formbuilder system. The forms can be customised and defined so that only specific questions and/or mandatory requirements become visible to the worker. This aids the streamlining of the workflow by ensuring the field worker is only seeing and answering questions that are relevant to them and the task in hand.

Plus, existing lists of questions from other applications, such as word processing or spreadsheet documents can be quickly and seamlessly imported via copy and paste, removing the need to create new forms from scratch. There are five template forms:

  • Pre-job form – these forms are used to record background information, such as the customer’s details and confirmation, and necessary details such as safety checks.
  • Job type form – these are used to detail all the relevant and specific data for any particular job type, such as whether it is reactive work or scheduled maintenance.
  • Job form – these are used to capture any other data for a job that isn’t specific to the job type, such as quotes or particular details about the job that it’s important for the worker to be aware of and take into consideration.
  • Asset type form – these forms provide the ability to capture and record data that is relevant for a specific asset based on what type of asset it is.
  • Asset form – these allow more general data capture for a particular asset, such as work order requests.

With industry-leading field service application technology, organisations can kiss goodbye to inefficiencies, inconsistencies and costly errors. Using the technology to perfect a streamlined workflow translates to reassurance that nothing is being overlooked, technicians are more productive, the team feels more empowered, the working environment is safer and more compliant, time is being maximised and resources and budgets aren’t wasted.