Xora, Inc. was selected by West Coast Arborists, Inc. (WCA) to supply a solution for its 600-person mobile workforce that will save time and money by automating and improving the accuracy of administrative reporting through custom mobile forms. WCA, a $55-million urban forestry-management company that maintains trees for municipalities throughout California, also will be able to locate any one of its field teams in near-real time during the workday, eliminating the need for an expensive fleet-tracking system.
The Xora solution consists of a mobile app that can be downloaded onto mobile phones or tablets and a secure cloud-based management application that can be accessed by any device with a browser connected to the Internet. WCA has installed the Xora mobile app onto tablets carried by each of the company’s 200 group supervisors. The Xora mobile app automatically collects location data for each work group and sends it in near-real time to the Xora management application where WCA’s 12 area managers can access it anytime they wish.
“Until now, managers have had to call crew supervisors to find out how a job was going,” said Chris Crippen, WCA’s Information Technology Manager. “Now, Xora updates location information about each crew every two to five minutes.”
In addition, Crippen is using the Xora mobile-forms customization feature to configure specialized timesheets, work logs, expense reports and other forms that crew members can access from their supervisors’ tablets. According to Crippen, the near-term goal is to eliminate manual paperwork for field employees and manual data entry for back office personnel. Supervisors also will be asked to photograph their work with their tablets so the images can be used to illustrate work reports and invoices. Ultimately, WCA will create an “Arbor Access Portal” that clients can use to “see” where in their cities WCA crews are working – improving customer communication and satisfaction.
Because Xora transmits location data from its mobile app in near-real time, Crippen said that WCA also plans to phase out the use of fleet-tracking devices that currently are hardwired into the company’s work vehicles. Since the in-vehicle solution is “super expensive,” Crippen expects that being able to “follow the workers and the projects instead of the heavy equipment” will save the company even more money.
“We are excited to be working with such an innovative leader like West Coast Arborists to help them transform their employee and customer interactions using our software and the newest generation of tablets.,” said Anne Bonaparte, Xora’s CEO and President. “WCA is an example of how mobile technology can support the 38 million mobile workers in this country who almost never step into an office. These are the people and the businesses we serve.”