Client

NorthwesTel

Using Offline Mobile Electronic Forms to Empower the Canadian North

NorthwesTel delivers a broad range of telecommunications and television services to over 120,00 people in roughly 100 communities scattered throughout the Northern Canada.  Their service area is spread out over four million square kilometres of rugged terrain, with 46 communities located in such remote areas that they are only accessible by air.

 

Challenge

The field technicians at NorthwesTel are responsible for setting up and servicing Internet, TV, and phone services to clients in various communities. A key part of the job is documenting information. Workers fill out paper-based forms by hand.

Examples of required documentation include:

  • workplace hazards
  • detailed vehicle safety checks
  • work completion signed by the client

NWTel wanted to shift the field techs to using digital forms while out in the field.

Most electronic form solutions require users to use mobile data or Wi-Fi to submit a form data. However NWTel’s field technicians often work in remote Northern communities with limited or no access to reliable, mobile data or Wi-Fi connections.

Another priority for NWTel was working with a team that could design electronic forms that were simple to use, as Field Techs need to be able to get their job done quickly and with minimal training.

Solution

NWTel hired Regroove to access their experience with managing change within an organization. They looked for guidance on how to empower their staff to build new habits and use the electronic forms on their mobile devices when they were comfortable using the paper-based system.

Regroove created an eForms Solution to allow field technicians to fill out forms offline and have the completed forms automatically submit when they return to an area with Internet or data reception.

The eForms solution has a simple, easy to navigate interface for field technicians to quickly find the form they need.

The team designed the blank forms to be short, clutter-free, and easy to complete. The form layout automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of the user’s device – mobile phone, table, or computer. Required fields are clearly labelled. Fields with missing or incorrect data are highlighted before submission.

NWTel can now capture clean, complete data quickly using electronic forms. This allows them to also produce rich reports quickly when required.

Outcome

New functionality is available by adopting the electronic form system.

  • Field technicians can provide visual documentation by attaching a photo to a form.
  • Workflows automatically:
    • calculate numeric data
    • convert form data to PDF format
    • send email notifications when a new form is completed

Ditching paper forms has enhanced privacy and security. NWTel locks all devices out in the field. Field Techs use a password to open the eForm App.

NWTel controls the device and the data stored on it. IT can delete all data stored on a device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

A Field Technician does not have to use their work email to share form information with a client. A Field Tech can send a “Certificate of Work Complete” to a client without sharing their confidential information.

The solution is flexible. NWTel can switch forms providers in the future as the market evolves, without data loss or data integrity issues.

Regroove built the solution using:

  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Nintex Workflows, Nintex Forms, and Nintex Mobile
  • Muhimbi PDF Converter