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App Innovator: Dan Hudson with South Texas Solar Systems Inc.

Dan Hudson-- an Operations Manager at South Texas Solar Systems Inc.-- has spent the bulk of his career finding ways to run businesses more efficiently. So when it was time to find a solution for data entry and collaboration in the field, Dan’s past experience was put to work. South Texas Solar Systems Inc. sells and installs solar systems to residential and commercial customers. Dan is in charge of permitting, electrical and panel installation scheduling, ordering materials, hiring personnel, and business development; his field employees handle installation and data management of those jobs. There must be a way that Dan and his personnel can communicate and share data while Dan’s in the office and the others are out in the field. For Texas Solar, affordability and efficiency are key. Dan needed to find a solution that could tailor to their specific needs, in addition to one that was affordable and that would work well in conjunction with their existing processes and software. He found Smartsheet to be the best product for the job. Dan then found AppSheet through the Smartsheet ecosystem and realized he could integrate his Smartsheet data into powerful mobile apps. Field employees could then use the mobile app to enter data that would always be in sync with the spreadsheets, and most importantly-- reach Dan in real time. The app uses great features like the color type to give visual job status indicators. It also takes advantage of the file type to include job information via downloadable PDFs in the app. A convenient map view allows Dan and his technicians to communicate about job locations. Before finding AppSheet, the data collection and sharing process was a bit arbitrary and disorganized. “Before it was a mess. We had to be chasing down the crews to figure out what was being done at times, but the biggest problem was the crews not having access to system customer information out in the field.” Since implementing AppSheet, Texas Solar has seen a huge increase in productivity and performance. “The use of AppSheet has most certainly made my job and that of field personnel a lot easier. It has increased efficiency and decreased downtime.”   Have a great story, too? Tell us for a chance to be our next App Innovator!

Track Assets and Run Inspections with These 5 Mobile Apps for Business Operations

  In any business, customer-facing initiatives are critical for driving profit and maintaining presence in the market. But what happens behind the scenes is equally essential-- from tracking inventory to managing customer information, businesses must have processes in place to make sure internal data is secure and easily accessible. Management of business data shouldn't take away from the customer experience. In fact, careful administration of internal assets and processes can actually serve to augment front-facing actions with the use of the right tools. This week we have put together five mobile apps that will help you manage your business' internal processes and track important data. As in all of our apps, these are connected to a backend spreadsheet where all inputted data will end up-- so whether employees are collecting patient information, counting inventory, or inspecting properties, office-based agents are always kept up-to-date with the most current data. Copy and customize these apps today to help streamline your internal business operations. Home Inspector This app is useful for a home inspector who needs to record information about houses being assessed. The user can add photos and notes about each, with the ability to add comments about the status of the room or home in question. Pre-Surgery Checklist The World Health Organization uses a pre-surgery checklist to address surgical safety and minimize the risks associated with surgical procedures worldwide. Translating the checklist to a mobile environment means physicians and care teams can easily fill out the checklist from any location, whether connected to the web or not, and ensure all data is kept safe and secure. Bus Service Agreement This sample app helps a bus driver do a service agreement for a tourism or entertainment bus, making sure that the customer acknowledges the inspection before the bus service is provided. The app captures signatures, images, and an agreement form. Equipment Inventory The Equipment Inventory app helps employees keep track of inventory items and quickly browse and search through those items. The data in the spreadsheet is in sync with the app and users can submit and edit items as needed with a mobile device. Store Inventory The Store Inventory app is a simple tool for a small business to keep track of inventory items where the list is usually kept in spreadsheets. Employees can manage inventory items straight from a mobile device, ensuring that data is kept up-to-date and always synced with the backend data source.