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Business Mobile Forms With Workflow: Documenting Business Process Using QR Mobile Data Software

Stich business mobile forms together with a workflow to document business processes in QR Mobile Data software, or use stand alone business mobile forms for the descrete operations. Learn when you should use business mobile forms with the workflow, and when stand alone mobile forms will work better in QR Mobile Data software.

What are workflows and how can we use workflows to track business process?

A workflow is a collection of steps that describe your business process / production process. In QR Mobile Data software you can create custom workflows and define workflow steps via the web dashboard. Shop floor of field employees access workflow steps on the smartphone and track work order through the process by scanning a QR code label.

Each workflow step has one or more mobile forms that employees should fill out. The mobile forms can include production step notes, time tracking, list of used equipment, etc. - everything that you need to record on the specific workflow step. Shop floor or field employees will need to fill out all required mobile forms before moving a work order to the next workflow step.

Authorized QR Mobile Data software users can review live status of all work orders in production, as well as detailed history of the past projects, and all data collected with the mobile forms via the web dashboard / reports.

What are mobile forms and how we can use them to track business process?

Mobile forms are digital forms that you can fill out on the mobile devices (smartphones, tablets), and submit to the central database. Completed forms are stored in the central database as electronic records, and can be accessed by authorized personnel on demand via the web dashboard / reports.

In the QR Mobile Data software you can create custom business mobile forms for all shop floor paperwork. If your processes are not very complex, tracking them using stand alone mobile forms may work better for you than creating workflows with multiple mobile forms stitched together.

If you want to track your processes using stand alone mobile forms, create a form field where a user will be able to select a process step, and enter other information you need to collect.

Are workflows necessary? Do I need to create a workflow?

It is not necessary to create a workflow - you can use stand alone mobile forms that are not linked to a workflow for the data collection. You should create workflow(s) only if your business logic requires it.

If your business operations include processes that can span many days and participation of the multiple employees then creating and using workflows will be very beneficial. Workflow will allow you to structure the process, divide it into steps, specify what should be done and attach mobile forms to the specific workflow steps. All participating employees and administrators will have live access to the current project status, progress, know what was done and what needs to be done next. There won't be any guesswork, delays or incorrect actions.

After project completion you will be able to access the entire workflow history and documentation collected on each step via the mobile forms.

When should I use workflows, and when should I use stand alone mobile forms?

You do not need to over complicate the situation when it is not necessary. Let's take, for example, a daily walkthrough / inspection of the property. This is also a process. An employee needs to walk through the stations in a certain order, check that everything is working and in the correct shape, identify the problems, and complete a checklist while doing so.

This is an example of a simple process that does not need a workflow. For this situation, one mobile form broken into the smaller categories / sub-forms for each station will be sufficient and more appropriate.

On the other hand, if you need to track a complex multi-stage manufacturing project one mobile form won't be enough. You will need to create a workflow to track project stages, and potentially fill out one or several mobile forms on each step to produce an accurate documentation. By creating a workflow you give all participating employees up-to-the-minute access to the project's information and progress, so that everyone knows what had been done, what do do next, if there are any problems that need to be fixed. All collected documentation is preserved, linked to the project steps and is accessible on demand from anywhere.

As a rule of thumb, use stand alone mobile forms for everything that is usually done in one setting by a single employee. Use workflows with the multiple mobile forms linked together for the complex business processes that span multiple days and involve more than one employee.

What is the best way to collect and preserve documentation for all our projects? Do I need a workflow for this?

Yes, it is beneficial to create a workflow to organize and preserve a project-related documentation. Divide project into steps, and link relevant business mobile form(s) to each workflow step. This way you will be able to easily retrieve the entire documentation chain in the proper order for all past projects.

Are workflows and mobile forms connected?

You can connected mobile forms to the workflow steps, but it is not a requirement. You may have a workflow without any mobile forms, and you can have stand alone mobile forms that are not linked to a workflow.

Are workflows connected to the inventory tracking?

If you are using QR Mobile Data software in combination with the QR Inventory, you can link inventory transactions to a workflow as a whole or a specific workflow step. This will allow you to review what parts and materials where used for the project, when and who installed them. Optionally you can record and review batch numbers / serial numbers of the used parts for traceability.

QR Inventory software allows you to define what information employees should collect during the inventory transactions. In order to link inventory transactions to the workflow, simply add project number and workflow step to the required information that needs to be recorded during the inventory transaction.

Do I need to create workflows for traceability?

It depends on what degree of traceability you need, and what your business process is.

If your main goal for the traceability is to be able to find and recall all affected products in case of a problem, you may not need to create or track workflows. You simply track all products by a lot number / batch number, and record where each batch was distributed. If any of your clients reports a problem with the batch, you find all other clients who received the same batch and issue a recall.

If, however, you have strict traceability requirements, you will also need to pinpoint where in the production process the problem could have been introduced. Was it a bad component / ingredient? Contamination during the process? Error on the operator part? Something else?

If you need to do this kind of a problem analysis, you do need to use workflows and produce a detailed process documentation. Also, tracking and documenting workflows can help you avoid the problems in the first place. Fill out quality control form on each workflow step, and it will drastically reduce the possibility of an unnoticed error that can lead to a bigger problem down the road.

For more information on the traceability and the ways to achieve it please read this blog article.


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