Simplicity on the Go

GPS North America unveils new mobile data collection technology at the 2014 Expo.
Simplicity on the Go
Josh Blackmun of GPS North America explains the company’s new Smart Forms paperless form program to an Expo attendee. The program eliminates paper forms from a utility or business’s workflow through the use of smartphones and tablets.

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With more municipalities looking to cut utility costs, the idea of eliminating costly and ineffective paperwork is certainly inviting. That’s just what GPS North America was offering at the 2014 Pumper and Cleaner Environmental Expo International with Smart Forms – the ability to say goodbye to inefficient paper forms through a cost- and time-efficient mobile app.

“Having mobile workers drive back to the office and perform on-site data entry costs you time, money, and opens up the opportunity for error,” says Todd Lewis of GPS North America. “What we’ve done is basically take any form or process in a business’s or utility’s workflow and create an app for it.”

Smart Forms not only eliminates the paper, but adds GPS to pinpoint a location and barcode scanning for better inventory management. It also has the ability to take photos, audio and video and embed it right into the form. It streamlines the process of on-site field data collection and archiving, and integrates with other business applications, such as QuickBooks, Google and Excel. The dispatch feature allows the operator to send forms directly to a mobile worker and simultaneously track his whereabouts.

“The program simplifies the process in the field and the office, including billing, proof of service and time in the field,” Lewis says. “Once the information is in the system, it’s there to stay. You don’t have to worry about losing a piece of paper.”

In addition to verifying data entry, Smart Forms can save a business or utility printing costs, decrease routing and calculation issues, and solve picture/video transfer and barcode scanning limitations. Smart Form users can save hours each month on customer invoice processing and duplicate data entry. Users can email receipts and invoices directly to customers, and the app eliminates the need for technicians to drive back to the office to pick up work orders. The program efficiently stores all business or utility forms on a single mobile device and integrates with most office systems such as QuickBooks. No network connection is required to operate Smart Form.

“This system is going to appeal to any utility or field service business with a mobile workforce that bills customers,” says Lewis. “A utility can read water or sewer meters and automatically email a bill right to the customer. A portable restroom operator can track all his units, create a route for a driver, and bill his customers without any paper forms. When it comes to viable uses for this technology, your imagination is the limit.”

The Smart Forms program is fully compatible with SignalTrack software from GPS North America. The digital forms can be distributed to smartphones or tablets, allowing a technician to capture signatures, images or video, scan barcodes, create a sketch or sketch on an image, make a voice recording, add a GPS location or date/time stamp, enter text or numeric data, and email completed forms as PDF files. Lewis says the response to the program at the 2014 Expo was at times overwhelming.

“We actually captured more than 80 hot leads on the first day of the Expo alone, which was way beyond what we were expecting,” Lewis says. “When you think about it, that makes sense though. A vast majority of the businesses that attend the Expo, whether they are septic pumpers, system installers or public utilities, have a mobile workforce and equipment in the field. This idea appeals to every one of them.”

As for next year’s Expo, Lewis says the company is already planning to roll out new innovations that will further streamline and simplify workflow.

“We are working on a process that will work on one device,” says Lewis. “It will combine GPS tracking, paperless forms and billing in one program, on one device in the truck. It’s all about creating more efficiency.” 215/497-0100;


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