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Apps drive business productivity, respect for IT

Adam Bender | Aug. 28, 2013
Mobility success increased IT's prominence in business, says Swisse official

Eastern Tree Services workers use mobile apps as they clear trees around powerlines, according to the company's CFO, Paul Tymensen. The company has about 700 staff and has contracts with power companies across Australia.

ETS has automated our field paperwork for the crew, Tymensen said. "Instead of using sheets of paper with all their jobs on them, we put it into a custom iPad app for these guys to use out in the field."

The company has also developed an app for customers that allows for tracking and auditing of ongoing work.

Before the iPad, the tree-clearing companies workers had used HP IPAQ devices to collect data in the field, Tymensen said. However, "a lot of them were still actually writing on a piece of paper, taking it home [and] giving it to their wife or children to key into this device".

The iPad app has improved data entry and provided live information that has increased the business's productivity, he said. Before, it could take two weeks to find out the same information about work performed in the field, he said.

Tymensen said the enhanced technical capability has increased ETS's success in tenders. "We won the whole state of Tasmania about two years ago," and a key reason was that "we had this IT solution that was going to give them the data they needed", he said.

ETS plans to automate more processes in the future, Tymensen said. "We've still got a lot of manual forms that we use."

All three officials stressed that an intuitive user interface is key to a successful app.

At Swisse, "a lot of testing really concentrates on the design and the user interface [to] make sure it's as simple as possible", said Troughear.

"It has to be simple. It has to be visual," said Stockland's Miller. "Simple is the answer."


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