When designing business processes, a long-standing rule is to record the activity where and when it is happening. Many service companies using paper to document activities in the field, believe they are accomplishing this task by recording the information on paper. However, the documentation of the item on paper is not recording the activity. The real recording of the activity occurs when someone back in the office enters the transaction into the back-end computer system, generally for billing purposes.
In between the field and the office, a number of things can go wrong causing the activity to be recorded incorrectly (or not at all). The paper could be lost or delayed, it could be damaged, it could have been written illegibly or it could be incorrectly filled out. And then there are issues entering the activity in the office. The information documented on paper could be miskeyed or misinterpreted or the paper could be misplaced in the office.
The activity documented on paper in the field eventually has to be entered into a computing device anyway. So, if it must be entered at some point in the process, why not enter the activity into a mobile computing device in the field, where and when the activities actually occur. The information captured on the mobile computing device can then be interfaced with the back-end computer system for billing and other purposes.
In addition to making the business process operate more smoothly, making a change to entering the activities in the field on a mobile computing device provides a number of other benefits including decreased revenue leakage, shortened service-to-cash cycles, decreased costs and increased visibility of field activities which improves situational awareness.
You have to record it anyway, do it in the field!