It is surprising how many companies still collect data on paper forms! Data collected on paper is no longer a realistic practice as it takes too long to get that data into the hands of decision makers. Digital transformation should be a critical focus in any Process Improvement exercise!
Data collected from the field should be two things: Seamlessly integrated to devices familiar to the end user and designed to enforce the accuracy of the data.
How do we approach mobile application development as a part of process improvement?
Companies performing process improvement should consider mobile applications when that process is dependent on data collection from end users. The is more true if that data is time sensitive and collected while away from a desk. This approach allows for:
- Monitoring and reminders to send required data
- Reporting about issues, progress, costs, times, and capacity
- Logic to ensure the data meets requirements.
Do we need to write our mobile application for each device and support multiple code bases?
The answer is no, at Contollo, we recommend using platforms that allow for one codebase that can be installed on many devices, also called multiple deployment platforms. Most of our clients would never see a benefit from platform specific application development for iOS and Android. The cost and time involved in supporting multiple code bases are simply impractical for growing companies. Process Improvement must consider total time to market and cost of ownership!
What are the options for multiple deployment mobile applications?
There two great and stable options for this!
- Flutter: A light weight, fast development environment that has strong focus on user experience. Flutter has great integration with native device management and is an excellent choice for companies that will use an application internally for connecting with their staff and clients, especially if the company does not have a lot of java script development performed already.
Both platforms allow for seamless collection of data and communication of tasks needed to the end users. Both allow for one code base and several options for distribution to devices such as Android, iOS, Web Applications, and even desktop applications. This is the exact type of flexibility that is critical for an effective process improvement at growing companies.
What else these mobile applications require?
Mobile development requires designs that allow for smaller form factors. As a result, there are some applications that do not make sense for mobile.
Mobile devices do not always have stable access to the internet. Field data collection requires the stable access to data, even if there is no network access. There are database options that work well for these cases, such as Firebase’s Firestore and Azure’s Cosmos Document store.
Security is an important consideration in any application. If your organization already uses membership or domain management such as Active Directory, it is wise to implement what you already have. It is important to consider what in your organization can be built on, instead of replaced, during your process improvement.
If you like to know about data reporting and dashboards, read the next chapter and if you miss something read the previous chapter
We will be glad to help your company, schedule a technology assessment for free!
Contollo will be glad to help your company, schedule a technology assessment for free!