Collaboration and Connectivity
When designed correctly, business applications allow people to go from A to B more quickly than through traditional processes. Hosted in the cloud, these apps should streamline the harnessing of customer data in real-time. For example, through a mobile app connected to a CRM system, a sales representative can pull a customer’s details from any location, including activity records showing that the client called customer service only minutes before. They can use this information to follow-up with the customer. Similarly, the sales agent can also quickly generate a new quote and fire it off to the customer in minutes. All of these tasks and information can be easily shared, editable, and accessible.
Business applications further streamline tasks by offering drop-down menus and check boxes, instead of requiring users to type into a form. The design of the applications is crucial as is the user experience. It must be a faster/more accurate/ simpler way to conduct a task in order to foster high adoption rates – or the employees will simply choose the easier way. Before moving forward with a new application, be sure it connects employees to each other and customers in a logical and streamlined fashion.
Reduction in Human Error
Using mobile applications to conduct business can greatly reduce errors, especially when transactions or meetings are carried out in the field. Consider a project manager that is overseeing the construction of a parking garage. They need to order more rebar, which typically can be a long process because it has to go through a PO process and the purchasing manager. With a linked application, the order can be inserted, then reviewed, and approved, all through an app in minutes. The order isn’t relayed over the phone, or written on a notepad, but directly provided to all of the right parties. The benefit isn’t just improved accuracy, but the time involved. It removes the printing of request forms, scanning, emailing – all of the tasks that can now be done with an app. There are countless examples where applications can reduce common business tasks, giving employees more time to think creatively and develop revenue-producing work.
Apps are also efficient because they themselves are easily updated. Perhaps a company needs to tweak a few app processes. They can submit an update and alert all of the users with a quick tutorial on the policy/process change.
Enables Remote Work
A fundamental appeal of mobile applications is of course that they allow people to work remotely. This is not just a convenience, but a cost savings when paper and ink can be drastically reduced, and remote workers no longer need to drive to an office for approvals. Companies that relocate can use business applications to keep valued employees that aren’t willing or able to move with the firm. The company can instead offer remote work arrangements where they don’t lose the acquired knowledge of the staff member or incur new hire costs.
It also makes the usage of freelance and contract employees much more efficient, by allowing them to gain managed access to company information. Applications should be designed to offer various levels of accessibility to users based on their job function.
Building a business application properly takes a certain set of skills.