Mobile app for field data: 5 things you must consider when choosing

QNOPY provides you with a completely managed software implementation for digitizing your project field data at a fixed price. However, if you are considering building apps or forms in-house then consider this: Digitizing field data successfully requires significantly more time and resources than generally assumed. Relying on your internal I.T. department to implement a digital solution seems easy, straightforward, and self-sufficient, but it is often more trouble than it’s worth. Using a mobile app for field data designed and supported by industry experts is a more effective way to begin the digitization of your field data collection.

Let’s look at the factors that make or break a digital solution, and analyze some of the problems that can arise with an internal platform:

1.Real cost of building forms and digitizing field forms

Let’s assume you have 50 users and subscribe to some form builder type solution that charges you $25 per user. Your company has about 25 standard forms then here is what it will cost per year to implement: 

  • Form development: 8-16 hours per form => 400 hours @ $80/hour = $32,000
  •  Annual cost of licenses: $15,000 
  •  Since the form builder is not really designed for your company, it will take about 10 hours per user per year to support => 500 hours = $25,000
You need dedicated resources to answer phone calls in case there are issues in the field or when things break. This means you need at least 1 full time employee to manage the digital solution.

2. Project managers and field users may reject the application, and it becomes un-billable

Generic form builders often don’t offer the user-friendly experience that field users expect. If your mobile app for field data isn’t straightforward and requires a deeper understanding of the software, field users will reject the application. Project managers may also reject the internal solution if they see large number of hours billed to their projects for customizing and managing forms for their projects. Most if not all form builder type solution take a lot of pre and post processing.

Issues with building your own mobile app for field data
The ins and outs of the data management system are trickier than they appear..

3. The person who built and understands the application leaves the company

Typically, the person who built the field forms and other applications will have a deeper understanding that is not easily transferred. If they were to leave (or even take a day off), you would be left scrambling to put the pieces together. This is the most common problem we come across in the industry.

4. The internal solution can’t handle all the business requirements.

Whether you take on new projects or conditions change at your current jobs, requirements for the software platform change constantly. Form adjustments, report changes, and new formatting are commonplace. Particularly when forms are more complex and require huge lists of equipment, advanced calculations, or conditional formatting- keeping up with constant demands is often unsustainable unless you have a team of developers working on it

5. Training people to use the app is time consuming and an ongoing process

Training and onboarding users take time. Even if most people have a basic grasp of the system, new questions, demands, and bugs will always pop up. You need dedicated resources to train and help users with the application. Work is not done with just creating forms.

The QNOPY difference

Unlike in-house solutions, QNOPY handles taking the weight off your shoulders while heavily reducing costs. We take care of everything- from form building, training, solving issues, constant updates and improvements, report edits, and more. Managing your field data collection is what we’re designed for- leaving you to focus on what you do best.

The best part? We’re still fully customizable and there to function for your team. While other form builders might be unappealing and generic, we work to create the exact forms, settings, reports, and solution that your team needs.

With around the clock support, unlimited customizability, and a drastically reduced financial investment, there’s a clear winner here.

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