Instant data transfer from field to office improves job processing and cash collection

Nov 05, 2010

Accredo is making it easier and faster for trade services businesses to transfer information from the field to the office, thanks to a new integration point with the simPRO Mobile digital pen application.

The simPRO digital pen system lets on-the-job workers record information on specially printed service forms, and delivers the data back to the office via a mobile phone. In doing so, it improves productivity, reduces errors and saves administration time, says simPRO's New Zealand Country Manager, Rob Francis.

"By allowing field technicians to send job details electronically back to the office, the digital pen system frees up time allowing the technician to continue on to the next job. They don't have to return to the office to do administrative follow-up tasks and as a result can spend more time on billable work."

Francis says many Accredo users are service-type organisations that deploy mobile staff to visit customers in order to sell or service products. "The digital pen system is ideal for those in field situations where a laptop cannot be used due to a lack of internet connection, or for senior workers who are more comfortable using traditional pen and paper," says Francis.

Without undertaking any training field workers can fill out a job sheet or create an invoice using simPRO's special camera pen and paper-form. The information is uploaded to the technician's mobile phone via Bluetooth and then sent via the cellular network back to the office.

"The digital pen job form looks very similar to the forms available in Accredo. It provides all the necessary fields for the technician to insert job numbers and record details about the work performed and materials used."
Francis says Accredo users also have the ability to customise the generic forms to suit their own particular needs.

"Accredo is renowned for its flexibility when it comes to capturing information. With simPRO a customer can literally convert a current paper-based form to a digital pen form, allowing them to include any information that is pertinent to the transaction. This could, for example, include diagrams, customer signatures and timesheet information," says Francis.

Once sent back to the office electronically the forms can be viewed, printed and edited from the simPRO forms portal.

"The application converts the handwriting into on-screen text. The operator can open the form as an editable PDF document to check the text conversion is accurate and if necessary make edits on screen. Meanwhile the application queries the Accredo system in order to match the job number against the client that the form relates to."

Once the form is approved all the information can be exported to the Accredo system.

"This massively reduces the risk of errors caused by data entry and saves time as most of the data entry is already completed," Francis says.

The application continues to operate when a worker is beyond cell phone range as both the camera pen and mobile phone have a memory capacity. "Once cell phone coverage is regained the message and information is sent automatically."

The benefits to small business are obvious says Francis. "Using simPRO to instantly and electronically transfer information back to base saves time and money on travel, and removes technology barriers for workers uncomfortable using tablets and laptops. With job forms and invoices being issued on site and then communicated instantly back to head office, cash collection processes can be streamlined, and the cost of administrative overhead reduced."

For more information about the simPRO digital pen please email

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