Automated Forms: How to Raise the Bar with Nintex Forms

The right decisions, at the right time, at the right level – That’s what Peter Brown from the UK pub and restaurant firm Mitchells & Butlers told us he needed to see happen across his company. Automated forms topped his wish-list.

As Head of Business Change, Peter spends his days figuring out how he can use technology to make his company better. And he knew there had to be a better way – that didn’t involve manual, paper forms – for the company’s regional business managers to complete required safety and health checks.

With 1,700 pubs and restaurants across the UK, and sales of £2 billion annually, Mitchells & Butlers needed to reduce the amount of paper associated with the day-to-day operations of its units. That included reducing paperwork for compliance, due diligence, quality and temperature checks, and many other processes.

“The manual completion and inspection of forms was a completely and utterly counterproductive process,” says Ian Cutler, Safety Assurance Manager for Mitchells & Butlers. “It added nothing to the safety management system and kept the managers from adding real value to the company.”

Forms are one of those things that you give little thought to when they work effectively but waste a lot of energy on when they don’t.

Below are a few advantages of effective, automated forms that can make a huge difference for a business, which Mitchells & Butlers illustrates perfectly.

1.  Automated Forms = Reduced Operational Waste 

No company wants to waste money and resources. Manual, paper forms are a big resource drain. They typically take more time to complete than electronic forms. Errors are more likely. And there’s often repeat work involved, such as a field worker scribbling out a form in the field and then later having to manually enter all the information into their computer once they’re back in the office.

Time is money, and Mitchells & Butlers is saving plenty. The company implemented Nintex Mobile and Nintex Forms for Office 365. Time saved in manual reviews of paperwork? 23,400 hours a year.

The restaurant firm reduced operational waste by transferring paper forms to a digital format, and housing it all in a central repository with easy dashboard access for stakeholders at every level.

2.  More Time for Customers and Projects

There’s only so many hours in a day, so that time that your employees spend manually managing forms and duplicating work is time they could be spending on other things. Like beginning the next project. Connecting with customers. Or innovating new strategies, products or services. It’s the ultimate “What if they had more time in their day?”

Mitchells & Butlers was able to answer that question. Restructuring back office processes enabled managers at Mitchells & Butlers to make “the right decisions, at the right time, at the right level.”

Managers no longer have to escalate decisions because everyone can now see the same data—at any time, from anyplace. Now that managers are unchained from paperwork and delays, they spend more time in the restaurants and pubs themselves, focusing on customers and how to give them the best possible experience.

“What we realized is that managers were not necessarily spending their time with their guests,” Pete told us in our Nintex Customer: Peter Brown of Mitchells & Butlers video. “So the challenge we had was how do we get our back office, the operation more efficient by implementing new technologies, which is thus then empowering the general managers, the pub managers, the restaurant managers to spend more time making sure all the guests are happy.”

3.  Appeal to an Increasingly Mobile Workforce

Successful companies respect the way modern employees want to work, and everyone is on their phone these days. Choosing technology that makes it easy for employees to do their jobs – whether on-site or in the field – via their devices is just good business sense.

Paper forms don’t take advantage of your mobile workforce. In contrast, automated Nintex Forms, which are available on mobile devices via Nintex Mobile, let employees do more.

At Mitchells & Butlers, that meant that managers could complete automated forms on Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets using the Nintex Mobile app. They fill in the necessary form fields when in the kitchens inspecting equipment, testing food and assessing compliance. In conjunction with Nintex Mobile, and their forms are automatically uploaded once they have a signal. No duplicate work required.

“We have a very mobile workforce, and we needed a way for them to capture, assess and use information to increase the success of our business,” Ian says. “Nintex Mobile makes this possible.”

4.  Make Forms That do More

One of the things I most enjoy when talking to people about Nintex Forms is that look in their eyes when they realize all they can do with automated forms that they can’t do with manual forms. A manual form merely collects information – and sometimes, it doesn’t do a good job of that. I hear stories of customers who ended up with mud-smudged, indecipherable paper forms and had to drive back out to the field.

Automated forms do so much more. When integrated with Nintex Workflow, they can even kick off a workflow process. So yes, your forms can drive action and project tasks.

Beyond merely automating or digitizing their paper forms, Mitchells & Butlers took advantage of Nintex Forms’ functionality to create forms that are more visual, more intuitive, faster and easier to use.

“We had a paper form for checking dry stores that had an exhaustive list of check-off questions for the managers to work through. Now, that’s all gone,” Ian said. “We’ve taken a picture of the perfect dry store environment and brought it to life with animated bubbles that point out how the manager’s store should resemble the picture. It removes all ambiguity from what the requirements are.”

Another example? Mitchells & Butler’s automated forms can train managers. If a manager records within a form a temperature for frozen fish that exceeds standards, for example, the form presents a panel that instructs the manager to discard the fish, and delivers safety policy content on proper handling of fish.

“With Nintex Forms, we can deliver on-the-spot training precisely when it can do the most good,” Ian said. “That’s really exciting. And if we find we need to modify a form, I can do that and distribute it to our 1,700 establishments in an hour. That’s phenomenal.”

Listen, Act and Deliver

These are the three words that Peter Brown uses to describe Nintex, and how it serves its clients. Find out more about Peter’s story, and how Nintex helped him reduce paper and speed decision-making, read the Mitchells & Butlers case study.

 

Want to streamline your manual processes too? Get your 30-day free trial of the Nintex Workflow Platfom today! 

 

Dan Stoll

Dan Stoll has nearly two decades of IT experience and currently serves as Senior Technical Marketing Manager at Nintex, the world’s leader in Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). He has spent the last 10 years of his career helping organizations turn manual processes into well-run automated ones. Originally from Australia, Stoll relocated to the United States in 2015 after working as a Nintex technical evangelist for the company’s APAC and EMEA regions. Follow Dan on Twitter: @_danstoll.