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Megan Wallin-Kerth

Lean

Promoting Quality at the Administrative Level

How GoFormz’ one-stop approach to documentation supports field-service workers

Published: Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 13:03

Founded in 2012, GoFormz is a uniquely flexible documentation platform for professionals in all industries—and a long-awaited solution for those chasing lean efficiency without sacrificing quality.

What does that mean? Well, unlike using a fillable PDF or Adobe document, GoFormz is an online software platform that allows workers to use current industry-specific—or even company-specific—documents, incorporating automation and other time-saving elements for an easy way to digitally document, file, and share information.

Rather than thumbing through literal papers to find that repair request or inspection report, for instance, a construction site worker can simply pull out their phone, locate the document on GoFormz, and fill it out onsite—all in real time.  


Rob Brewster, GoFormz CEO. Credit: GoFormz

In an exclusive interview with QD, Rob Brewster, GoFormz CEO, discussed not only the benefits of his company’s purpose but also the importance of going digital, and the long-term solutions that come from an efficient yet noninvasive approach to administration.

Brewster was quick to share how his work differed from previous settings. Notably, he came to GoFormz with years of experience managing larger companies. Additionally, none of those prior workplaces had to endure the avalanche of updates seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s all in the paperwork

From a problem-solution standpoint, the issues inherent in administration are met with a one-stop-shop mentality. We’ve all experienced what happens when paperwork floats around aimlessly, ends up in the wrong hands, or is fully inaccurate due to administrative errors.


Invoice example. Credit: GoFormz

For Brewster, this is an issue that belongs squarely in the past. Not only can GoFormz save people time and money by eliminating extra steps, reducing paper waste, and keeping information consolidated, he says, but those forms are also more likely to be accurate.

How does the company help employees record accurate documentation? Well, for field-service workers in particular, capturing in-the-moment data is imperative to quality assurance.

“It starts with calculations,” he explains, referring to the automation processes in inspection reports and other GoFormz features. “Anything you need to calculate is now done by a formula vs. manually. We also can prefill data from other systems, so you know the contact, address, zip code, tax rate, etc. are accurate.”


Sample photo of inspection report forms. Credit: GoFormz

As for those who frequently travel to various jobsites, Brewster says GoFormz not only allows them to document in real time but also keep track of their location effortlessly and accurately.

“We can track GPS coordinates, so we know that the work was done where you say it was done,” he says. “We can also enforce mandatory fields to make sure that the things you must have are captured before completing the form vs. someone forgetting to do so.”

“One of the best things is that employees don’t have to adjust to new forms,” Brewster notes. “So there’s no arm-twisting from management to adjust to anything different—other than the convenience of being able to use something that auto-fills, calculates, and allows workers to remotely enter information at the time and place when it’s needed.”

As for how this helps ensure the accuracy of documentation details, Brewster emphasizes that it’s immediate. “No one has to [recall events] after the fact.” Immediate, onsite documentation provides a way for employees to officially record on the spot, rather than scribbling down details to chart later.

“There are many more features, like workflows, signatures, and integrations, that help with accuracy and quality assurance,” Brewster adds, “but I think these are the main ones.”

As remote work has become more commonplace, many companies have struggled to quickly digitalize various aspects of their organizations, which has affected employee workflow, documentation quality, and hiring retention. Like many others, Brewster had to make crucial decisions when the pandemic hit.

While immensely difficult to wade through at the time, those choices paid off in the long run. GoFormz’ culture enabled the company to empathize with the predicaments of the current workforce—and then predict the needs and direction of industry.

Thriving during the pandemic

Like most other companies, GoFormz was blindsided by the Covid shutdowns and even the day-to-day changes for essential workers. However, Brewster recognized something that many other leaders failed to see: So were customers.

“People were panicking,” he explains. Many began canceling without delay or explanation; he knew action had to be taken, and quickly. However, that action couldn’t be a short-term, business-only solution. At their core, customer relations are human-centric—based on a client’s trust in a product and that product’s company.

Brewster knew the value of GoFormz to its customers, and he knew what a sudden loss would do to those who truly relied upon it.

“We contacted customers and gave them some time to decide whether to keep their GoFormz accounts,” Brewster says. “It hurt us, at first, from a business standpoint, but it was the right thing to do.”

And many customers who might have otherwise canceled actually chose to stay.

Given the huge unknowns when work-from-home was introduced as a necessary norm for many workers, companies were cutting costs left and right. But having a way to digitalize their documents wasn’t something they could afford to lose, especially with shutdowns affecting many admin teams.

Knowing this, Brewster and his team approached the situation from an empathetic yet practical point of view, providing a window of time during which their customers could continue using GoFormz—free of cost—while they decided if it was worth their money to continue.

“It was a management team decision to just do the right thing,” Brewster says. “We did take the churn hit as it was real, but it really didn’t cost us much to allow them to use it. We didn’t want to panic, and felt like if we could accelerate them getting back to normal, then it was the right thing to do.”


GoFormz team photo. Credit: GoFormz

For the customers who kept their accounts, the reasoning was simple, Brewster says. “They needed it. Now more than ever. They found new use cases due to Covid, and the inability to see one another made a digital solution even more critical.”

In fact, Covid actually presented more uses for the technology, allowing for tests to be taken and recorded, and for employees to get back on the job quickly.

Medical use became the next big opportunity for GoFormz to shine. After all, people were frantic to get test results, avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital for updates, and keep from hand-delivering important medical exemption paperwork to their offices.

Because of this, as well as the need for swift information exchange, the initial downturn rooted in pandemic panic gave way to success: The company grew immensely as many organizations discovered they were unable to function efficiently and effectively without a way to quickly and paperlessly catalog necessary documentation.

GoFormz gave them a working solution to Covid-era problems. And, let’s be honest, many of the problems seen during Covid weren’t anything new—they simply weren’t being discussed at higher levels of management and administration.

Taking the guesswork out of paperwork

The thing about accuracy is that it’s a quintessential aspect of quality within every industry, not just manufacturing or tech.

Every industry has a need for condensed, easy-to-find, accurate information. We thrive on having reliable teams, management, and tasks—but none of that is possible if we don’t have a dynamic, systematic method of recording, filing, and finding the core input needed among team members.

That, from the most basic standpoint, is the appeal of a company like GoFormz, as Brewster describes.

“GoFormz is a license of SaaS software,” he says. Furthermore, he reiterates, it’s accessible and affordable. “It’s available online as well as a mobile download on all of the major platforms.”


Purchase order sample photo. Credit: GoFormz

What about companies that are in the midst of major changes or have a strict budget? “We do offer a two-week trial and a basic version that is free forever,” Brewster says.

While the tech industry immediately comes to mind, with nearly half of its workers reportedly still working remotely and almost 90 percent reporting hybrid opportunities, GoFormz has been used by nearly every industry and found an especially loyal customer base in field service with workers who need to access forms while outside of a typical home or work office setting.

The top three, according to Brewster, are construction, energy, and manufacturing.

Of course, he says, the functions of GoFormz are far from limited to these. “We serve every industry, every department, and every geography.” Still, it’s easy to see the appeal for service workers hopping from site to site while needing to deftly maintain industry standards both in their work and their paperwork.

Quality assurance, step by step

According to library resources at UCLA, there are four major points of quality control inherent in digitization. These include: primary QC indicators, secondary QC indicators, and pre-upload and post-upload QC indicators. UCLA provides examples for each stage, starting from the macro-level primary indicators, where workers check to make sure the file name matches and all files are present, to the micro-level details in post-upload stages, such as making sure items are loaded in the repository platform and appropriately displayed.

Platforms like GoFormz make each step in the digitization process—and subsequent quality assurance checks—both simpler and more accurate. As industries continue to weather the threats of looming recessions, layoffs, and training, an intrinsically efficient digital platform may be the key to successfully maintaining seamless, high-quality documentation.

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About The Author

Megan Wallin-Kerth’s picture

Megan Wallin-Kerth

Megan Wallin-Kerth is a Quality Digest editor and writer.