Forms are a part of life but they don’t have to be tedious and ugly. Clean, well-designed online forms help customers provide needed information quickly and painlessly. What if your existing employees could do it all using simple visual tools without coding?
Last week, I came across this nice new infographic from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business. As they say, “the skills gap is the difference between the technology available and the workforce’s ability to use it.”
Highlights of the infographic are:
Almost 40% of companies have a moderate to major skills gap. The resulting digital inefficiency can be deadly – costing you as much as 20% in lost productivity. Simple things like automating routine, everyday processes like Purchase Orders and Leave Approvals can go a long way.
We think citizen developers can make a huge difference, especially when they’re given access to and training on low-code platforms like frevvo. We see it in our customers all the time – citizen developers at many frevvo customers have helped to create incredibly effective, high-quality apps quickly and at reasonable cost.
Among pacesetters, who believe technology is essential to development and blaze the way forward, almost 80% use citizen developers.
You have little choice. You simply cannot afford to take months to create a web portal or mobile app. Mobile developers are extremely expensive if you can find them. There’s huge benefit and tremendous ROI to be gained from using a low-code approach for an increasing array of projects.
With every release of frevvo, there’s a little less code to write – whether through new and upgraded wizards or the Visual Rule Builder or a new connector.
Several K-12 school customers are using frevvo to automate routine processes and improve efficiency and services to students and staff. The fact is, schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent & staff communications, travel reimbursements and many other processes are paper-based and require, emailing, printing and scanning.
These everyday approvals take an exorbitant amount of time if done manually. Students, staff and parents are waiting longer than necessary and spending more time/money than necessary to tackle these routine tasks. There’s also a much higher rate of inaccuracy in the manual process. Our infographics and other blog articles discuss how frevvo’s affordable, cloud-based workflow products for K-12 process automation can improve efficiencies in these areas. We’ve also created a short (2 min) video below to show you the benefits of using frevvo in your school district.
Interested in learning more? Visit our website to and see how Colleges & Universities are already using frevvo’s public and private cloud solutions to digitize their day-to-day approval workflows.
In previous posts, we’ve described how some of our K-12 school customers are using frevvo to automate routine processes and improve efficiency and services to students and staff. EUSD (Escondido Union School District) has been so successful at this – they’ve automated 8 approval workflows including Absence Records, Mileage Reimbursement, and Budget Transfers in the first three months – that they were even able to decommission SharePoint/InfoPath thanks to frevvo.
The fact is, schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent & staff communications, travel reimbursements and many other processes are paper-based and require, emailing, printing and scanning.
Every parent is familiar with consent forms for athletics, directory listing, emergency contact etc. (Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles USD). Typically, these require a parent/guardian to sign the form and they’re sent home on paper or printed out at home.
Internal approval workflows like travel reimbursement, field trip approval etc. (e.g. see New Haven USD, Cabrillo USD) are also commonplace. Typically, these are routed to a supervisor for approval i.e. to sign the form. The paper-based process is simply inefficient.
It’s 2016! There’s simply no excuse for outdated, manual systems that cause delays, result in unhappy students and staff and wasted time and money.
frevvo already has pre-built forms and workflows that can be customized in next to no time and deployed online. They can all be signed online, routed to the proper person electronically, used on mobile devices, delivered in multiple languages, generate PDFs, work with Google Apps for Education and a whole host of advanced capabilities. With affordable, cloud-based workflow products for K-12 process automation, there’s no need to deal with printing PDFs for signatures, correcting Excel-based time sheets, or tracking down approvals in email.
Building it themselves would be out of reach – we’re talking hundreds of thousands of $ and a year of time. With frevvo, it’s up and running in just a few weeks.
It started out as a casual conversation at lunch. But, I was so surprised at the answers I couldn’t believe my ears. Check out the little Q&A below with Courtney Bernard, one of our Customer Success whizzes.
FB (Frevvo Blog): What do you do at frevvo?
CB (Courtney Bernard): I wear a few hats in the Customer Success area. Obviously, some client services but I also do some training & customer support. I also do some of the voice overs for frevvo’s videos.
FB: This recent project, what’s it all about?
CB: It’s a customer in real estate (Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty). They sell real estate. But, before selling any property, it must first be listed – an MLS listing. That means filling out tons of paperwork – anyone who’s sold a house is probably familiar with this. You have to fill out literally dozens of forms, sign in a bunch of places, write in the same info over and over again, correct mistakes etc. It’s painful.
For our customer, obviously, speeding up the listing process is a good thing. They wanted to turn everything into an electronic form/workflow. No more mistakes, duplicate typing or signing, save tons of time.
FB: Ok, so what’d you do?
CB: We did it for them.
FB: Just like that?
CB: Well, no. This is an MLS listing. It’s huge. I’d guess there were 350 maybe 400 fields at least. And, it’s really complex. Many fields depend on others. For example, some fields are part of one type of listing others are not. Choose an option in one field and a bunch of other fields may be affected. We needed to generate a nicely formatted PDF. And, the entire form must work on a mobile device (usually a tablet) since associates are typically out in the field. So, it wasn’t easy to do.
FB: Put that in a bit of context for us. If I wanted to hire someone to build this, how long would it take?
CB: Well, it’s a guess since I haven’t estimated it but I’d say easily 4-6 man-months for development and about the same for QA. Then there’s PDF generation and mobile. Do you really want it to look good on a tablet? That takes work and lots of time. So, somewhere between 9 to 15 months is probably a good bet. Of course, that’s if it works at all. The complexity is high so there’s a definite risk that it’ll fail.
[Spoiler: This is the part where I couldn’t believe my ears.]
FB: How long did it take you?
CB: Well, they did some of the testing work. It took us about 80 hours (2 weeks) in total. Assuming they spent about as long, we’re talking about 4-6 weeks total.
FB: WHAT? 4 weeks vs 1 year? Seriously?
CB: Yes seriously. I mean the 4-6 weeks of work was spread out over 4 months (holidays, other projects, delays etc) so 4-6 weeks is the actual time we spent.
FB: How the heck is that even possible?
CB: I know. It’s crazy. frevvo is incredibly good at making these large, complex business forms usable. If you had a simple 1-page form with 10 fields, the difference wouldn’t be so drastic. But, as complexity rises, the # of fields increase, dynamic behavior, business rules, PDF, mobile etc. come into play, the cost of building rises dramatically. That’s where frevvo really shines. It’s amazing how easy it is.
FB: Jameson’s must have been pleased?
CB: Without question. They’re reasonably big but not huge. Building it themselves would be out of reach – we’re talking 100s of thousands of $ and a year of time. frevvo puts the benefits of this kind of automation in the hands of companies like Jameson Sotheby’s who realistically wouldn’t have access to it otherwise. That’s huge!
FB: And, what else do you do when you’re not helping customers succeed?
CB: Read, listen to podcasts, ride horses, go hiking, play with my son, watch Downton Abbey and root for my beloved New England Patriots.
There you have it folks! A single form that would have likely cost $100s of K completed in a matter of weeks and far far lower cost with frevvo. And that doesn’t even take into account the productivity benefits that will accrue for years to come.
Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty is the exclusive Chicago and North Shore affiliate of the Sotheby’s International Realty global network. Jameson’s has a 30-year-old reputation for integrity, honesty and results in the Greater Chicagoland area.
The company sells real estate. They want to get listings out as soon as possible and provide their associates with a great user experience. Unfortunately, listing a property is a time-consuming process involving many paper forms, lots of data, and multiple signatures.
They chose Live Forms to automate the process and eliminate paper, collect data electronically, sign on any device and expedite listings.
Highly automated organizations get 5X more done and save up to 80% of costs compared to those who are still using paper/email based processes. Why not try frevvo yourself? Contact us now for more information.
Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty (part of Sotheby’s International) is a leading Central and South Texas real estate firm with about 250 associates and listings in 90 Texas counties.
The company sells real estate. Unfortunately, in order to list a property for sale, a lot of information must be collected about the property and the sellers. It’s used in MLS systems, on legal documents that require signatures (e.g. disclosures), and back office processes such as marketing materials that must be reviewed by listing agents. It’s a tedious, time-consuming and unnecessarily costly process.
They chose frevvo Live Forms to automate the process, eliminate paper and improve efficiency because:
It provides agents and customers with a fantastic user experience on all devices. Sellers will no longer need to sign and initial a dozen or more documents.
frevvo’s built-in validation and business rules dramatically reduce errors, corrections and duplicate data entry.
Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty expects to get listings out sooner, free up agents’ time and reduce costs.
Square 9 Softworks’ flagship product, SmartSearch ECM, is a powerful software solution simplifying the management of electronic documents. As market trends turned customers towards mobile ready solutions, the company saw the need to provide an alternative to printing, signing and scanning documents into SmartSearch. They wanted to provide an end-to-end solution for enterprise applications that worked on mobile devices, in order to eliminate paper from the workflow equation.
After a detailed evaluation, they found that frevvo Live Forms offers the best balance of simplicity and flexibility in the market.
Today, over 100 satisfied customers in all verticals have eliminated paper and automated everyday workflows using the two products.
Together, Square 9 and frevvo provide an intuitive, easy-to-use end user experience on all devices with powerful capabilities like PDF generation, business rules, and e-signatures that meet the most demanding enterprise business requirements.
Using frevvo’s drag & drop Form Designer to design beautiful, usable forms is definitely intuitive. Still, it’s a powerful and extraordinarily capable product. We’ve recently put together this 26 minute Tutorial video that teaches you how to design even the most complex forms in frevvo in a step-by-step manner. Sign up for a free 30-day trial account and try the Form Designer today.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about digitizing your own approvals with frevvo.
It’s hard to define. Wikipedia’s article acknowledges that it has multiple issues. We’ll define it as the ability to react in a timely manner to changing business conditions. That could mean any number of things such as responding to customer complaints on social media or quickly creating new offerings to take advantage of the latest hot trend.
In many cases, this means giving your employees the ability to take the right action at the right time. Whether they’re at work in the office or on the road traveling to a meeting. At their desk or on the train.
That means automating and mobile-enabling everyday processes like purchase approvals, sales orders, trouble tickets and so on. These are routine day-to-day activities that employees spend a significant portion of their day on. They’re unique to your organization and it’s difficult to find pre-packaged applications that meet your exact needs. It’s no surprise that process automation (forms, routing) is the #1 app enterprises plan to build in 2015.
Cloud computing is an essential enabler. AWS and its kin allow any business to support millions of users. Incredibly cheap storage solutions from Dropbox, Microsoft and others let you access your data from anywhere on any device.
And that’s exactly where frevvo comes in. With the drag & drop designer, easily create your own custom forms and automated approval workflows. They’ll just work automatically on any device from smart phones to tablets to desktop computers. Public, private or hybrid cloud options make fast, flexible and affordable deployment possible.