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Kick-Start Your Construction Business With An App

 

There’s a lot of moving parts within the construction industry. Unless you track down the movement of each of those parts, you’re going to get overwhelmed and lose track easily.

This isn’t a secret though. For years the construction industry has been recording their documents the old fashion way – marching out to the field with a paper and pencil in hand, struggling to find empty spots where they can press their paper against and write. And they write a lot. Documenting safety regulations, procedures and actions that take place, and equipment that’s moving around constantly.

A few of these might already be automatic, but the majority of them requires some degree of user input in order to function correctly. Workers meticulously fill in endless paperwork to hand it off to the secretary who must then go through another endless pile as they input the data into the computer. The worker also loses time by taking the paperwork to the secretary, something that seems primitive with all the communication systems we have in place – and it is.

By using the mobile app, one can eliminate almost all the paperwork that has to be taken back and forth between members of the firm. Snappii, a mobile app developer, has developed a platform where one can rapidly create a mobile app with little to no computer knowledge. This allows the user to test the app an unlimited amount of times to see if it’s something their business really needs. Click here to see more information about Snappii.

Aside from eliminating the time and paper, a mobile app can help your business in a few other ways:

Snappii has HTML5

That might not mean much for you, but it’s actually a huge benefit that only Snappii offers. It’s basically the ability to have an app run on your computer. Sounds simple, but it’s actually tremendously useful. Document managing software can become very expensive for a business, espeically if they’re a general contractor and their work covers a wide spectrum of fields. This also ensures that no matter what device your employees have, if it can connect to the internet then they can probably use it.

HTML5 means that you can develop an app for your devices, and that same app can be used on a computer. Every piece of software in the company will look the same too, making it easier for your employees to not only learn the intricasies, but master them. It’s a much cheaper alternative to buying software, and it allows you to customize it how you see fit. There’s an unlimited amount of prototypes, so if you’re not sure if something will work, try it out! You’ve got nothing to lose.

Your work is archived

I don’t want to jinx it and say that the situation will come up, but you never know when you’re going to have to go through paperwork to find documents for a particular regulatory compliance. It’s a pain.

Digitizing your paperwork also comes with some innate benefits that may not seem obvious at first glance. The biggest plus I can think of, though, is the fact that your work becomes indexed. That means if you need to search for something that happened on a specific date in a specific area, you don’t have to go fishing through massive file cabinets and irrelevant files for days. You can just type in a few parameters and filter the results quickly and efficiently.

Mobile apps can get expensive quickly, and hiring a team of coders to put one together for you can tear a hole into your companies wallet. Snappii, a powerful DIY app editor, enables anyone to create their own app with zero coding expierience. One can replace all their paper forms and increase their communication within the company ten-fold by adopting a mobile app, and Snappii is there to help you every step of the way.

Try out Snappii today with a free trial, and see how we’re making the construction world evermore efficient.

Drones in the Construction Industry

 

The Construction industry is, without a doubt, the biggest industry in the United States by a long-shot. However, although the industry is valued at $8.5 trillion, many might be thrown off by lack of efficiency expressed by the sector. It is estimated that around 15 to 25% of all materials used in Construction gets thrown away in landfills, equated to about 40% of the solid-waste stream in America. An unprecedented amount considering buildings are among  the most expensive things to build, next to spacecrafts and giant boats. With that in mind, any bump to efficiency can provide a huge benefit to companies, especially smaller ones that may not have all the necessary hardware to properly predict the amount of resources that are going to be used.

From a far perspective, it’s difficult to see the viability of drones in the Construction industry. They’ve been around for quite a while, first being used as UAV’s during the first World War. But since their inception into the commercial world back in 05′, they’ve widely been seen as toys rather than actual tools to be used for work. You may get the occasional photographer using it to get pictures of a building, but for the most part drones were more of a replacement for taking the kite out at the park than anything else.

Introducing new technology

But then engineers started to get creative with what they could attach to drones. It’s not uncommon to find drones with other gadgets attached to them – we’ve even seen someone walk their dog with a drone. Many drones come pre-equipped with a camera that can be accessed from your phone, making it that much easier for the commercial world to take advantage of this controlled UFO.

In the Construction world, sensors are the drones sidekick. Using sensors, construction workers can gather data much quicker than a human-manned flying apparatus, or even satellite imaging. Engineers can quickly survey an area, and analyze the information – a process that may have taken days without the help of the machine. Just like the commercial drones, information gets fed back into their mobile devices and saved, creating a sort of accuracy that, even with all the technology we have now, has never been realized in the industry.

With the right computers, engineers can take this information one step further and create 3D models of buildings down to the brick. They can create topographical maps and estimate costs far better than they would be able to with human surveyors. This allows construction companies to not only provide more accurate quotes, but utilize the technology minimize potential issues pertaining to safety and limit delays even further.

Coupled with a personal construction app, this technology can cut the time used to create daily reports and safety inspections even further. While Snappii does not yet provide connectivity to a drone, the two side-by-side can be utilized to provide information in a time-frame that the construction industry has never had the luxury of. In a few years, it could very well redefine how businesses all around the world define construction.

Make Work-Life Easy with an App

When considering a mobile app for your business, the best place to start is usually at the beginning of the work-flow for your particular industry. For most businesses dealing with field-work, this usually entails recording data on a sheet of paper. Once the data is recorded, it gets sent back to the managers, or superintendents, that archive the data in a main computer. This allows them to see the data at a glance, and gives them the chance to see trends and pick up on problem areas using their analytic software.

Mobile forms make all the difference, and with Snappii’s online app builder, you can recreate any paper form into a mobile app that will function on any tablet, smartphone and even desktop. Try out Snappii’s app builder today to see how easy it is.

Mobile forms are useful for many different businesses, and many would consider it the first step in constructing your own mobile app. Let’s take a look at why mobile forms are creating such a splash in so many industries.

Upload your form first

Creating your first mobile form is relatively easy depending on what form editor you use. For most form editors, they have a drag-and-drop system where you can arrange and rearrange fields on the fly. This makes it a breeze to recreate a form that you may already use, but more importantly it allows you to address areas that could be choke points. Further refinement of your form means improved efficiency – all at the cost of a few minutes of tinkering in the DIY editor.

Snappii also has a feature where you can load your PDF into the mobile app editor and it will automatically generate fields for you. This can be useful to create a bare-bones mobile version of your form that can be further refined to match, or even be better, than the original form. Because the form will look the same, it’s extremely easy to teach other employees how to use it. If they own a smartphone, there’s a good chance that the employee will instinctively know how to operate it. There’s no extra equipment needed either – just download the mobile app on the employee’s phone, create credentials for that employee and they’re good to go.

Paper vs Digital

Recording information on paper can be tricky. If the paper gets ruined, the information recorded on it is no longer valid. If it gets lost, there’s no way of recovering it. With paper forms often switching hands many times throughout the day, scenarios like this are bound to happen. But what if we take out the messenger and leave that part up to technology?

By using a mobile form the user can input the information directly into their phone and send it off to their manager without ever having to pick up a pen or paper. The manager receives the report, and can instantly archive it for further review. With built-in analytic tools, mobile forms can be a one-stop shop for all software needs.

Digital forms also have the benefit of utilizing the phones capabilities to further enhance the quality of the form you’re filling out. If you’re an inspector and you’re checking machinery on the jobsite, you can take pictures to show parts that look faulty, or record your voice if your hands are ever too tied up to tap the screen. Mobile forms even give access to geo-location services, which will tell a superintendent where the form was submitted from without the worker knowing they’re being tracked.

And of course, let’s not forget about the money you’ll save from not buying ream after ream of paper every month.

Having a mobile form grants obvious benefits to the user, but the best feature is its ability to expand to other realms of the app world. Using Snappii’s online mobile app editor, you can take your one-trick-pony mobile form into a full-fledged toolbox of applications and features you would like to use on your jobsite. Transforming your mobile form into an app is as easy as loading your app and clicking on which features you’d like to see – Snappii will handle the rest.

Think it’s too easy? That’s the way we planned it. Try it out for yourself and see how a mobile form can level up your business today.

3 Mobile App Design Mistakes Everyone Makes

For a lot of businesses, apps have become fundamental when it comes to some aspects. We’re willing to bet a company wouldn’t want to go back to doing things with paper and pen after they’ve experienced the flexibility and functionality of Snappii’s apps. We’ve helped businesses all over the world accomplish all sorts of tasks, even when we’ve had to jump through hoops to do it.

Creating and testing that many apps comes with a sort of responsibility. Not only does Snappii have to make sure it’s apps are all working 100% of the time, we also have to keep an eye on competitors and what they’re doing. We see a lot of apps.

A lot of app builders, even the ones that build for huge corporations, fall into similar mistakes when creating apps. While sometimes disguised as being “intuitive” or “functional”, it’s easy to give software too much. The three reasons here will give you an idea of what I mean by that.

Keep it Simple

People like to make things useful. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just in our nature to make tools. Specifically tools that we can use to better our day-to-day operations. A carpenter wouldn’t be able to get much done without his hammer.

But, there is a point of excess when it comes to functionality. The app creator should remember the original purpose of the app. Once you’ve started to deviate from that too far, you’re better off making another app.

We once had a customer that wanted to combine a taxi delivery service with a pizza delivery service. He figured since cars were driving around anyways, they would be able to pick up pizza and deliver it in between houses. While it would be great, think about the amount of confusion that could take place in the app? You’re begging for your users to hate you if you make things too complicated, and that goes for any app, business or not.

People enjoy using intuitive products. When the shoe fits, you wear it. When an app works the way you intended, you use it.

On-board properly

If you can’t seem to make the app as intuitive as you want, there’s always the idea of offering a good tutorial at the start of the app.

There’s a couple different styles for this. One style is a series of popups right when you sign into the app for the first time. They give a brief overview and provide pictures of possible things a user might see in the app.

Another idea is to slowly introduce new concepts and ways to use the app as the user explores it for the first time. This can be done in the form of notification bubbles, messages, and more.

Be tasteful with your advertisements

You don’t have to accept and publish every single advertisement that offers your channel some money. Picking advertisements that resonate with your business could go a long way in receiving funds for ads.

 

Using Snappii’s platform, one can build and customize an app from scratch to suit their personal business’s needs. If you would like to submit a custom request, please email support@snappii.com. You can also try out the Snappii Labs by clicking here.

 

Fire Inspections Apps for Beginners

There’s apps for everything nowadays. To even think that computers once needed CD’s to get software seems like a foreign concept. We’ve gotten used to having a problem, going into the app store, and within seconds having a solution. So maybe you own a Fire Inspection business, and you’re looking for ways to maximize every hour of everyday. You want solution that’ll allow you to pull up any invoice, even ones from years ago, right in your pocket. The ability to pull up literally any form in your repertoire, right in the palm of your hand. You probably found this article by typing in “Fire Inspection apps”, but a lot of apps are very similar when it comes to any sort of inspections. They usually work the same. A user logs into the app, then clicks into a form. The form is a direct reflection of the normal form used in inspections, so most employees will already know how to navigate through it. You can also save time by using small shortcuts like drop-downs and radio buttons. You complete the form, send it off to the boss (or whoever) and you’re done.

We do the same thing now with pen and paper. It just takes way longer, requires the individual to carry around multiple documents (sometimes folders full) and runs the risk of being damaged. 15 years it ago, it was understandable why it was out of arm’s reach to make software for your business. But Snappii has been working since 2012 to change that notion.

Fire Inspection Apps

One of the features that Snappii offers is the ability to test-drive apps without spending so much as a penny on our platform. By going to the app store (both iTunes and Google Play), and looking up the Snappii catalog, you can download demo apps for virtually all the functions that Snappii can do.

For Fire Inspections, the app features a generic form. This form can be modified to fit your needs, and we can even make it resemble the form your business already uses. Just email support@snappii.com a copy of the form, and we can get you a quote in as little as 48 hours.

Getting your app customized also gives you a few other benefits, such as the opportunity to add your own logo and branding. You can also make user types to restrict access to certain parts of the app. There’s even ways to capture where the form was filled out, without informing the person that’s filling it out. No uncertainty about employees missing their shifts, and peace of mind that every employee accurately filled out all the information for each and every log.

 

Fire Inspections just scratch the surface on what Snappii is capable of. We have apps for all sorts of business’s. If you want more information about what sort of apps we cover, see for yourself in our catalog. Remember all apps are available in both Android and iOS.

 

Print Daily Logs from Your Own App

You’d be surprised to find out how often we get the same requests here at Snappii HQ. No matter if the business is building a tower or if they’re just delivering pizza, a lot of them are asking for the same basic functionality when it comes to apps. While nuances like colors, logos and font is widely different, the basic functions of apps remains the same – people are just trying to make things more efficient, and paperless.

Picture your own personal assistant in your pocket. An app usually works by connecting a user interface to your back-end systems. They allow you to perform basically any function that a normal computer program would do, but with the flexibility of living in your own pocket. This offers a variety of benefits, and often times they are ones that no other technology can really replicate. Apps are unique in that they’re much cheaper to build than a full-fledged computer program, yet are powerful enough to perform many of the same functions.

With apps now entering the same realm as DIY websites, it’s more accessible than ever to develop and produce an app that meets your standards. Initially, the creation of an app would have to be done by an expert in the field – a computer techie that knows what they’re doing, and can communicate what is possible versus what you want very well. However, with programs like Snappii, anyone can create an app from scratch to meet their business needs.

Don’t think it’s that easy? Check out the Snappii Labs website for more information here.

Scared to jump into apps? You don’t have to be.

The biggest fear most businesses have when looking into the world of app is the possibility of having to change certain processes to accommodate the app. While this is true, change can sometimes lead to more efficiency. In the case of apps, it also leads to a lot less footprint in terms of paper consumption.

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up certain perks of doing things on paper. Printing reports and logs is completely possible on an app, and in many cases you might end up with a cleaner result than you would have if everything was just jotted on paper.

Almost any job can use this technology.

Take a home inspector, for example. Traditionally, a home inspector would have to go to a house with a bundle of forms under their arm, shuffling to find the right one for every specific part of the home. It could take them as much as a few hours to go through all the motions of checking everything, with as much as an hour spent just writing things down.

Because apps are digital, it gives you access to things like drop-down menu’s and radio buttons. While it may seem like a small addition, each of these fields can save a massive amount of time for the inspector since they no longer have to manually fill this things out. It doesn’t matter if they’re a slow typist – most fields can be filled in with a few taps of the finger rather than writing long elaborate descriptions.

The most useful part of it all, though, is the ability to print the finished log before the inspector even leaves the parking lot. Using technology like wireless printers, one can easily mount a printer to their work-van, ensuring that no matter what, they have an easy way to distribute papers when needed. Also, filled out reports get filed away into the phone (or dropbox’s) memory for later, making looking up reports that have been completed long ago a snap.

While the prospect of creating an app may still be scary to some, there has never been a better time to take advantage of the technology that is already made. By using platform’s like Snappii, even a layman can create a fully developed app in a few days – not months.

With a 14 Day Trial from Snappii, what do you have to lose?

 

 

How to Code an App Without Knowing How to Code

The world is turning into a place where the layman is king. I can’t tell you how many start-ups have approached us with an app idea, and the CEO knows next to the nothing about actually building an app or a website – even in some cases, a business. Outsourcing has become a thing of the past with such programs like Wix and Squarespace making it easy for people who have little to no knowledge accomplish their goals. Not to long ago, these things took specialist to create – someone who went to school and studied a skill in order to be competitive in the workplace. But just as the old adage says, “the machine will replace the hand”, and in this case, machines are replacing machines.

Similar to the popular website creators Wix and Squarespace, Snappii is a mobile app platform that allows anyone to create an app entirely from scratch. We accomplish this in a similar way, by making the platform intuitive enough that someone can pick it up and use it right away, but powerful enough to meet the demands of our users. To do this, we’ve divided the platform into two separate components – Express and Guru.

Express Mode

Express Mode is a simplified version of our platform, allowing the user to put together widgets that they select from a large catalog of features that we have available on the platform. These widgets can be customized to meet the users needs, so if there’s something that’s close but not quite what the user was looking for, the widgets give a good starting point.

This also makes it extremely easy to test out features, and figure out whether or not it will be useful for your personal business. Since widgets can quickly be added or taken away from your finished product, there’s no harm in adding a certain features and testing it in a real-world situation.

With many other app-shops out there, this can be problematic. If you want a new feature to be added to your app, coders will have to backtrack and go into the application, developing the prototype from scratch in hope that it’s actually what you were looking for. Even with careful planning, the amount of time and money a business can lose by testing things out can be debilitating. What’s more, it’s not something the original user can do themselves – they have to get someone else to create it. Snappii eliminates this need by providing you with the widgets ready-to-go. And with a 14-free-trial, you have more than enough time to determine if it’s something you would like to pursue within your app.

Guru Mode

Guru Mode is a bit trickier, but still accessible by the average user. To put it simple, Guru mode is Express mode, but it allows you to access the back-end of the app to make changes to things like databases, connectors and much more. It functions in a similar way to Express Mode, encompassing a drag-and-drop style of operation. Keeping this in mind, there is still a slight learning curve to be able to work Guru, but the Snappii team has worked tirelessly to bring the absolute best product to the market in this regard.

Guru will also allow you to do some more detailed things, such as changing the shapes of certain buttons, connecting to databases that you may already have and even going so far as to change the font of the text in your app. Because everything is built individually, just like Express, it is easy to test out certain functions, and omit them later if you decide it’s not something you need.

Guru also has access to features like user types, which allow the creator to specify the different users that can use the app, whether they be an admin, or completely anonymous. It can force a user to create a login, capturing vital information for your own business, or allow the user to access the app completely anonymously if you don’t want the hassle of going through the extra step. In a sense, we’ve created the most compatible version of an app builder possible, and all of it is done without an even a line of coding on your end.

Custom Development

And if all of that doesn’t sound appealing to you, Snappii also offers our own developers to create an app for you. Even if the bulk of the app is done through the platform, special cases may employ the developers to create custom software for a particular app. This means that even if we don’t have the exact functionality you’re looking for, we can make it for you.

The first thing that probably popped into your head when I mentioned that is the cost. Hiring developers, especially app developers, can be a costly endeavor if approached incorrectly. What’s more is that you may not have access to those developers all the time. Other projects that are on that particular developers plate may cause their feedback to you to be slow and unresponsive. Snappii remedies this issue by working with an entire team of developers. On top of that, we have an entire team of Quality Assurance personell to make sure the app stays in tip top shape. And even further than that, Snappii offers an entire team of Support that is available (almost) around the clock to help you with.

In other words, Snappii’s got your back 110%.

If you want to try out our platform for yourself, click this link to go to Snappii Labs. If you were more interested in checking out what our developers can do for you, email us at support@snappii.com, and we’ll point you in the right direction. For more information on how an app can literally change your business overnight, check out our various other blogs here.

The New Construction Daily Log

Snappii has gone through many changes in 2017. Now that we’re at the mid-way mark, we finally feel like it’s time to start summarizing all the extensive upgrades we’ve given to our products – some of which you won’t find from any other app company, big or small.

Apps built on the Snappii platform have the unique quality of being able to be customized on Snappii’s platform. The system, which is open to the public via Snappii Labs, allows our developers to manipulate the app to do virtually any job. Snappii has a myriad of apps available on both the app stores, which can be plugged into this system and modified down to the font.

The Construction Daily Log was one of our original apps, and the first one to get popular by a long-shot. Over the years, it’s gone through many transformations, some of which were better than others. But, we’ve been receiving feedback, putting it into action, and analyzing the results, and we firmly believe that this is the best version of our product yet.

I’ll take you through a little tour about the different features we introduced:

For starters, the history feature is a great new addition to the kit. This means if you need to assign multiple, similar work orders to the same employees, you can cut the amount of time it takes in half.

If we scroll a bit further down, you can see we also added a new weather feature that uses your phone’s GPS capabilities to pre-fill all of the information.

You also have the option to list off if there’s been some sort of delay for the day. The final report will have this information relatively close together, which is why we separated every section per-screen. In the next screen, you’ll be able to specify the details of the incident.

There’s two options for capturing details. One can be done by simply clicking on the box and typing, as you would a normal window. However, if the user has their hands tied and can’t really type (we hear gloves are a pain to type with), they can just press the mic button and speak. The program will automatically change the words to text, which will still show up on the final report. Yes, your phone can do that.

The final screen is to add expenses from your project:

Pressing ‘add new’ will take you to a screen where you can edit the amount of hours a particular thing or person was utilized, and the app will automatically make the calculation for how much it costed. The final screen summarizes all of this data in a neat, easy to see format:

Another upgrade to the old CDL is that you can choose who you send the report to, and the app will also keep a history of those names for you. We’ve tried to minimize the amount of typing all throughout the program.

Probably the most useful addition, though, is the new “Project Manager” view.

This allows you to see all the moving parts within the app at a distance. You can check on your superintendent list, which allows you to specify your superintendents by name, company and email of your contractors. Have too many and don’t want to write them all into your phone?

Download the sample Excel document and plug your employees into the labled boxes. Then up-load it back into the app and your whole list will be there waiting.

 

My projects allows you to go back and see completed projects, meaning all your invoices are in your pocket, and not crowding up the main office. If you ever need to print one of the invoices, you can wirelessly print with a Wi-Fi enabled printer in your vicinity (most printers these days have Wi-Fi if you didn’t know).

Project Reports will give you live-updates on projects as they come. If someone changes so much as a decimal, you’ll be informed right away.


The last one, Dashboard, has been a highly requested feature as well, allowing the user to quickly tap in and out of their projects to see, at a glance, where all the moneys going. There’s also the option for pie-charts and fancier graphs if that’s what you’re into.

 

Remember, all Snappii apps can be fully customized to fit your needs. If you like what you see in the Construction Daily Log app, but would still change a few features, feel free to reach out to our Support team and we’ll point you in the right direction to realizing your app. You can contact us anytime at support@snappii.com.

 

Create an Entire App on Your Lunchbreak.

Companies are getting savvy to the idea of creating an app editing platform that will allow users to easily customize any app built on their platform. It does not matter if it’s a small change, or one that’s going to evolve the entire dynamic of an app, these platforms give normal users without any coding experience similar accessibility to those who have been programming for years.

This gives you the ability to chose exactly how you want your app to appear, function, and eventually, optimize your business. Apps can accomplish this in a multitude of ways, from cutting the communication time between employees, to using voice notes to capture information rather than having an employee input something manually. And that’s just scratching the surface.

Snappii is an app company that has streamlined the process of creating an app. Using the Snappii Labs platform, any user can enter the editor and put together a mobile app that meets their exact specifications without ever having to communicate with a developer or programmer. The program works by giving you the building blocks to put together an app, all you have to do is figure out how you want things to look. It’s like drawing your app rather than coding it. For a free trial, check out our Snappii Labs page.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing more and more people favor the form editor within the platform. While we receive a lot of praise for the simplicity of our form editor, many of our users began to get stuck in the actual app editor. Though they are similar, users found that the bulk of their work was done inside the form editor. This prompted us to make some changes to our system.

For the next few weeks, Snappii’s app editor will be down. We’re going to give it a complete face-lift that will hopefully shine a better light on all the amazing functionality you can create within our platform. In the meantime, we’ve left the form editor open so users can still go in and edit the forms they have already created.

While the editor won’t be available for a little while, there’s still two major perks to us taking it down for a while:

Even faster apps:

Because our users won’t have to go through the process of developing the entire app, it will be much easier to start and complete a form. After entering the Lab, it will automatically take you into our form editor page. From there, you can create, modify and publish the app without ever having to see the original app editor.

This will cut the amount of time needed to complete an app, and make the process less confusing in the long-run. Since there’s only one screen you need to focus on, making a form is just like snapping pieces of a puzzle together. If you don’t want to make a custom form, you always have the option of uploading a PDF and moving fields to their corresponding areas. This alone can save you a massive amount of time, plus you can keep the same form factor you’re used to, the only difference being the digital interface rather then a pen.

Visual Overhaul:

We have big plans in store for our Express and Guru editor, the biggest of which is a visual overhaul of the system. As of now, even our Express Editor, whose intention was to be an easier version of Guru, has shown itself to be a bit too complicated in terms of the average user. It feels clunky, and the actual aesthetics of it could use some work.

When we do re-release our editor, we promise to hold it to the same standard that you’re used to with Snappii – we want you to be able to make apps in a snap. We plan to keep that promise.

If you want to try out our form editor, click this link to head over to the Snappii Lab page for an introduction on how the system works, and how to get started. Remember, Snappii offers a free 14-day-trial, so you lose nothing for trying us out!

The Best Work Order Assigner App

 

Assigning work-orders has been a widely sought out system for a lot of businesses that operate on field work. Inspectors, construction workers, truckers – there’s tons of applications for a system that can push tasks for their users through a cell phone. In a sense, mobile apps have become invaluable to a lot of companies because of it. What used to be confined as an application for a desktop can now be accomplished anywhere where there’s a cell phone signal, as well as the traditional computer. The problem that most companies run into with work order assigners is the cost associated with hiring programmers to make an appropriate app.

Snappii, a leader in rapid mobile app development, has produced a platform that is capable of creating mobile apps with zero coding experience. Snappii uses templates, which are bare-bone apps that can be customized, created for nearly any industry to expedite the process even further. A user can implement the features that they would like to see in their app. By dragging and dropping widgets, a user with literally ZERO coding experience can save money and drastically improve their workflow. Try the online editor out and see for yourself!

One of the best parts about building apps with Snappii is the speed at which you can deploy a fully functional piece of software. Traditionally, creating an app takes an enormous amount of resources, including time and pay from developers and programmers. This can easily mount up to tens of thousands of dollars in an investment. What’s worse is that if the app fails to deliver on its promises, you’re left with a half-baked mechanism that isn’t going to help your business at all. Because Snappii allows for unlimited prototypes after utilizing the system, you can rest assured that you’re going to end up with something that you never knew how much you needed.

How can a work-order assigner help your business? There’s a ton of ways!

 

Assign various tasks to employees

The main idea behind apps is to try and automate as many things as possible. If it can’t automate it, then the app wants to get as close to automation as possible. For example, a lot of the apps that Snappii features are apps that convert a traditional paper form into a mobile form. This allows for a few neat tricks, like having fields pre-filled or pulling up only the necessary form for the job.

But another huge benefit that can be enabled with the use of mobile apps is the ability to assign a task for an employee from anywhere. This is especially helpful for businesses that receive work-orders throughout the day and need to notify their team. Simply punch the information into your phone, and a push notification will notify the team member of the assignment. Eliminate the need to go back and forward with phone calls instantly, as well as constantly keep your team in check with details about the job.

 

Report task statuses to management

When the job is done and the work order is complete, the employee also has the option to verify it’s completion right from the phone. For certain tasks, this may entail sending a picture or a geo-stamp of the coordinates to ensure that the worker was in the right place. Again, this would traditionally take months of coding expertise to get down, but with Snappii’s platform it can be done in a matter of days – and even quicker if you’re familiar with the system.

If the worker is offline when the message is sent, the platform will know to automatically send it when the internet becomes available again. This can be a life-saver for some jobs that require you to be outside of the cellphone signal by ensuring that the employee was doing the right job at the right place.

 

The possibilities for Snappii’s apps are endless, with innovations coming down the pipe every-day to continue to strengthen and diversify the platform. There’s a good chance that if you’ve seen it in an app before, our platform can mimic it. This leaves the canvas open to the imagination, which is why we invite our users to share their ideas with us. You never know when a passing thought could be the next big app innovation that changes the face of the business.

Try out Snappii today RISK-FREE with a 14 day trial, or send over a custom app request to our sales team to see what we can do for you and your business.

How to build a mobile form

Building your first mobile form may seem like a hard task to swallow. Even building an app, for a lot of people, seems next to impossible with the amount of time and money that must be invested to produce a worthwhile product. At the end of the day, you may not even end up with something that you can use. The app building world is a gamble, and even a simple mobile form is intimidating enough to send a business into a growth-paralysis.

The good news is that if you already have a paper form, the jump to converting that paper into a mobile form is more of a skip. With online mobile form editors like Snappii, all you have to do is drag and drop the fields that appear on your form, and within minutes you can have your own fully functional prototype. If you decide to take on the challenge with Snappii in your back pocket, we’ll give you a 14-day FREE trial to test us out (we promise you won’t be disappointed).

While saying it’s easy is one thing, visualizing the process is another. I, for example, am a visual learner. As much as I can get from books, actually seeing things in action is much more insightful then just talking about it.

So today, I’m going to run through the steps of putting your first mobile form together.

 

Create an account, then create a form

First things first – you have to make an account with Snappii. If you’re concerned about the cost, don’t be. Snappii knows that building a mobile app for your business is going to change a lot of the moving parts around. It’s common that people will have to improve their workflow in order to integrate the app.  But, just like watering the seed to a tree, eventually you’ll be able to reap the benefits of a mobile form without having to think about it to much, and it can save you HOURS everyday (and some paper to boot).

Click Create an App at the top of the screen to get started.

 

Form, Express or Guru


After clicking on “create an app”, the following screen will ask how you to build your app. I’ll go over the differences in a little more detail:

  • Express Form Builder – Used for users who only want to build a form and are not interested in building an app (yet!). This editor looks slightly different in that it doesn’t give you the opportunity to add widgets (which we’ll discuss later). Perfect for someone that is trying to make an app based off a paper form, which is exactly what we’re doing today.
  • Express App Builder – Express mode is our easy app builder. Express allows you to simply drag and drop elements you would like to see in your app, and Snappii will take care of the back end stuff. Express mode gives you access to templates, which are pre-made apps made for each industry. There’s a good chance that you’ll find exactly what you need in the templates, and then you can continue building from there.
  • Guru App Builder – Guru is for the experts. Guru has everything that the previous two avenues had, but gives you the freedom to customize literally ANYTHING within the app. If you have a line of JS or HTML that you want to add, Guru will help you do it. From placement to users, Guru has it all, but we don’t recommend it to someone building their app for the first time.

For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to stick to Express form mode. We can always go back and expand our simple form into a full-fledged app, but we’re taking baby steps for today. Feel free to experiment though!

Straight to the form editor

The neat thing about Express Form editor is that the platform assumes that you only want to make a form. This allows you to skip the extras of picking a template, a color and widgets so you can get straight to work digitizing your paper form. After-all, you want to see if it works for your business before you jump in, right? No use in going headfirst without scoping the land.

On the left you’ll see something that should be familiar if you’ve ever used a form before. Fields are the ingredients to your form. By utilizing the ones we have here you can recreate any paper form into a digital one.

Basic fields are just that – basic fields. They’ll hold information for you that either reveals information to the user, or in some cases allow the user to input information via a dropdown or a checkbox. Here’s a breakdown of each function:

Text/Numbers – This field adds a single line that the user can enter information into. You can label the field as you see fit, which means this field can be used for a variety of functions. If you need more than one line, check out the Paragraph field below.

Dropdown – You’ve seen these before in countless websites. Dropdowns allow you to categorize things a bit easier. They also make it easy to make a selection if there are only a few options that are possible for that field. The end-user cannot add to the dropdown menu, so it’s important to make sure you include all options if you use this.

Paragraph – Much like Text/Numbers, paragraph provides a static line of text that the end user cannot mess with. Again, it’s useful for providing instructions. The main difference is that “Paragraph” allows more than one line of text, whereas “Text/Numbers” only gives you one.

Checkbox – Another one you’ve definitely seen before. Checkboxes are useful if the user has more than one option they made need to select. You’ve most likely seen something like this on the side-navigation of websites you like to shop on (see Amazon for a great example of this). The more viable options you have for a particular field, the more likely you’ll need “Checkbox” instead of “Dropdown”

Radio – Very similar to checkbox in that the user just has to click once to pick an answer, but different then checkbox in that the user can only select one thing. This is very similar to drop-down, but is usually used when users only have a few options, and a dropdown menu would be cumbersome. Again, play around with it and see what works for you and your employees.

Multiline Entry – This field is a bit harder to explain. Basically, it allows you to put a form inside your form. There are very niche cases that use this, and its functionality spreads wide across multiple industries. For more information on Multiline Entry, check out this link.

 

 

Pre-built fields are where all the magic happens. These fields allow the users to input their own answers for the questions provided. Most of them are self-explanatory, but we’re going to go over them just to clear up any questions.

Image/Logo – Places a static image on your form. Since the user can print out forms, logo’s are often extremely important to companies. This field makes it easy to upload your company logo and place it throughout the form as you see fit.

Name – Creates a field where the end-user can input a name. If you’re a contractor and you’re making an invoice for a client, or if you work in the medical field and you’re trying to receive a clients information, this is a great place to start.

Gender – Creates a field that asks for gender. Male and female are preset, but if you can think of other ones you can always add them.

Address – Creates a field that allows the user to input their address. This field is standardized for American addresses, but you can always change it to what works for you.

Email – Create a field that allow the user to input their email address. In the field settings, you can also setup if you would like to send a copy of the mobile form to this email.

Phone – Creates a field that allows the user to input a phone number. Again, preset to American style, but it can be changed.

Website – Creates a field that allows the user to input their website.

Price – Creates a field that allows the user to input a price. This one can be used a variety of ways. For examples, contractors can add this field for estimations.

SSN – Creates a field that allows the user to input their social security number.

Date/Time – Creates a field that automatically captures the date/time of the interaction with the mobile form. This is great for making sure your employees were where they needed to be at a certain time.

Sign/Draw – The signature field is one of our most widely used tools. It’s exactly as it sounds – the user taps the field on their device and a signature panel that can be signed with a finger opens up.

Map/GPS – This is another tool to find out if your employees are where they need to be. The Map/GPS field can be hidden while it captures the users location, which means employees won’t really be able to tell if you’re tracking them or not. Worried about whether or not John went to the worksite today? Not anymore you’re not.

Take Photo – Creates a field where the end-user can input a photo. If you’re in inspection, this tool is invaluable as it provides a means for showing what the problem is rather than just writing it down.

Scan Barcode – Adds a barcode scanner to your mobile form. This is usually used in very specific industries, but the people who need it will know exactly how to use it.

QR Code – Similar to the barcode, but a bit more dated. We know some companies still like to use QR codes – no problem with that!

Audio – Creates a field where the end-user can input audio. Some examples could be to record voice when their hands may be tied up, or to record a particular sound a piece of equipment is making.

Video – Creates a field where the end-user can input a video. Same deal as audio, but allows you take a video instead. Keep in mind that videos are going to dramatically increase the file size, so try to keep them short!

File Upload – And finally, there’s file upload. This is useful for when you want to attach a PDF or document to your mobile form. To the receiver, it appears as an attachment to the completed form.

Then there’s the few extra’s we have. We’re still expanding this section, but it contains one of the most useful organization tools our editor can use.

Text Label – Provides a static line of text that the end-user cannot adjust. This is a useful tool if you want to describe instructions for a particular part of the form, or if you want to remind someone to include something. It’s a flexible field that can help first-time users, especially ones that may not be as familiar with smartphones.

Section Break – Places a divider between fields. If you’re trying to section off different parts of your form, this is the best way to do it. You can also add new tabs, essentially creating a separate page for your forms. Mess around with both and see which works better for you.

And that’s basically it! All you have to do is copy the order that your fields appear in your paper form. You can divide up different sections of the form by clicking the New Page button towards the top.

 

Tomorrow, I’m going to go over how to publish and share your mobile form with your colleagues. This will help you develop some opinions on what could be improved about your form now that it’s digitized. The great part about that is that the form editor allows you to rearrange any piece by simply dragging and dropping it. This is a great way to optimize a form that may have been dated, and it’ll further expand your knowledge on what the platform can do.

If you want to go ahead and try it out yourself, click here to start a free trial with Snappii. If you follow the steps listed in this guide, anyone should be able to improve their workflow, and reduce the amount of paper their company uses.

Snappii will also make the first page of your form for free to show you how it’s done! Contact sales@snappii.com for more information on that.

Snappii Offers 5 Brand New Mobile Apps for Real Estate and Property Management at No Cost

Snappii Offers 5 Brand New Mobile Apps for Real Estate and Property Management at No CostNow every real estate agency can afford to use Mobile Apps for quick and efficient operations.

Most real estate agents and inspectors require work in the field using paper forms. Creating real estate reports requires adding different sorts of data and pictures Continue reading “Snappii Offers 5 Brand New Mobile Apps for Real Estate and Property Management at No Cost” »


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