Doing it yourself works great for hobby projects, not when professional expertise and right resources are required. Issues come up fast and furious and there is no way you can solve them the way our seasoned development team can. No, I don’t want you to take this as a challenge. Just to give you an idea on what comes up when you are managing field work automation: here is what our app team did within just last 4 weeks:
- A client took 1,600 full size photos on his iPhone 11 Pro Max – all offline. Photos won’t sync as the phone memory got full. We responded quickly and built a rescue app that got the photos out. It could have taken them 2 working days to manually download those and tie them with data – done with almost zero efforts on their end.
- A client asked if they can upload over 500 location specific satellite images with annotations and then the field crew would draw on those further. We added that to the app within 5 days.
- A new requirement where a project needed a button to print data at a high security site with no internet connectivity. We added that feature and now anyone can print/export data over Bluetooth – took our team 2 days build and deploy.
- You could email PDF log to the PM from the app. A tier 1 client asked if it was possible to send WORD files instead – Done in a week.
- We are adding a way to set specific sample names in a way that one project can have 4 different types of naming conventions based on the area the samples are taken.
- A client asked if they can switch forms without getting out of the current form – for example if you are sampling and want to make a quick entry into a daily log. Now added to our app – Done in last 4 weeks.
I am not kidding. This list is just for our Mobile App team. Our support team created 20+ new forms and our Web Development team added a bunch of other features to the website.
The best part in all of this is that none of our clients had to pay extra for any of this. Adding features that our clients want is part of our end-to-end service.
Building forms is not difficult. VB-6 had a form builder in 1998. It’s all that goes around the forms is what defines if you have a successful program.
Unless you have the budget and a team that can do all of the above, it would be wise to not get into DIY form builders.
I would be more than happy to share more with you if you are considering automating your field projects. We have been at it for over 6 years and still keep finding so many new things to build.
By: Saurabh Gogate
Date: June 10, 2020