This story was written for WRAL TechWire Innovator partner Device Magic.

We live in a digital world where video games allow users to explore virtual realities, and anything from books to food can be delivered to your doorstep at the touch of a button.

With smartphone users spending more than two hours on their mobile phones per day, people and businesses are embracing the impact of technology.

“Businesses are moving towards a more digital nature of working. I would say if you aren’t already, the sooner that you do it, the better,” said Jon Coley, senior vice president of sales at Device Magic.

Device Magic is a mobile forms and data collection software company. The company’s software helps businesses become more digitally streamlined, but it can be hard to know if it’s “worth it.” According to Device Magic, studies on digital forms have revealed benefits such as 10 or more saved weekly administrative hours and a 50 percent error reduction when compared to the paper alternative.

“Efficiency and productivity — it’s the overarching value for Device Magic, no matter what a business’ use case is,” Coley explained.

Below are five ways that digitizing processes can benefit a business.

Increased Productivity

Productivity encapsulates a variety of things — increased efficiency, faster results and better quality, for example. Chemtek’s implementation of Device Magic mobile forms resulted in all three.

Chemtek, an asphalt and aviation maintenance solutions company, was able to cut delays for its customers. Initially lacking a consistent process for data collection, Chemtek was able to efficiently procure daily job reports, track inventory and simplify purchase order requests with mobile forms.

Chandler Alm, a senior accountant at Chemtek, said that before Device Magic, they were taking the “old school route.”

“Some guys were sending in a job report from the field just in an email body, and some were not doing it correctly,” Alm explained. “Now, they have a formalized system. We’re able to build in a pay request. The requests come to me as the purchasing manager first, and then if they need a higher level of approval, I can actually dispatch that request to my manager, depending on the parameters of the request.”

Alm said the process has simplified work for employees and made their jobs easier, faster and more efficient.

Streamlined Billing & Invoicing

Electronic forms not only expedite the billing process, but they also mitigate a paper trail that can result in lost funds.

According to a 2015 study, it’s estimated that North American employees and managers miss out on more than $10.7 billion in unclaimed expense reimbursement every year due to lost receipts or unsubmitted claims.

“We’re able to close our books at the end of the month faster because our accounting department has this easier way to get the backup documentation,” Alm said. “Even though we’re small, we have teams that work all across the country, so they’re not in the office every day. We’re not able to walk up to their desk and turn in a receipt or get a daily report. So, we’re able to turn around our financial information a lot faster just because we have a simpler method to receive the information.”

Security Capabilities

With a digital forms solution like Device Magic, data is kept private and secure.

Device Magic offers three different security deployment options depending on a business’ security sensitivity. When information is secure and remotely accessible, it provides peace of mind that sensitive data related to business operations is safe and protected.

“The nature of digitizing these forms means that there’s no paper floating around everywhere, in people’s offices, cars and things like that,” Coley added. “If you are compiling secured private data and you’re writing it on paper — inherently, that is not secure. You are taking a vast leap in terms of security just by doing this through a digital manner.”

Lower Operations Costs

Electronic forms also provide cost savings for enterprise organizations — companies that switch to digital forms usually see a total return on investment within the first year.

Savings on paper and physical products involved in daily operations, data entry personnel and time consumption all contribute to the savings achieved with mobile forms.

“It honestly frees up a field tech by at least four hours a day, based on using paper or some other source of manual data entry versus using this mobile application,” Coley said. “What could that person be doing? Completing more jobs, and obviously, you’re saving money by doing that as well. It’s two-fold — saving dollars and making more dollars, which is a rare thing for software.”

Improved Data Accuracy

Device Magic allows businesses to access information offline, take advantage of customizable form builders and dispatch information in the field.

Device Magic also has advanced features that prevent reworks and errors. For example, validation rules are built into certain forms so that if an answer falls outside a range of acceptable responses, the form cannot be submitted. Essentially, parameters are set up to reject inaccurate data entry.

Additionally, Alm said another benefit is the ease of communication through the platform across various departments.

“As long as they have a mobile device and a computer for someone to create the forms, then this is a really ideal solution,” Alm said. “It’s not limited to a software that’s designed to do one thing. It has a lot of functionality because you can define what you need it to do.”

This story was written for WRAL TechWire Innovator partner Device Magic.