Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

November 2012    |    Volume: 44    |    Number: 11

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade

App tools and tools for apps

In the world of now the mobile device was born. Many shapes and sizes were created for your every need. The concept of an application was introduced, and no longer was a cloud exclusive to the skies. Converting personal computers to application formats makes integrating information across multiple devices easier. These applications have transformed not only the way we live, but the way we work.

The numerous inspections and time study, work standard measurements and audits normally hide a significant amount of data entry, which is notorious for human error and paved with time and cost investments. A La Mode Technologies, home to data management software for more than 20 years, offers FormMobi, an app that serves as the clipboard 2.0.

FormMobi allows you to create forms for any need, eliminating the data entry transfer overhead. It offers a library of samples that you can modify, or you can create a new one from scratch. The forms can read the GPS coordinates from your mobile device and enter them into your form, and you can add attachments such as sketches and audio recordings. The latter uniquely includes two different sketch options: freehand and AutoCAD. Ready calculation references are available and could be advanced with light Java knowledge.

Your creation can be a project log using embedded forms that can be encrypted for a secure data collection. One small snag is that FormMobi does not provide decoding – that must come from a third party. Still, FormMobi is easy to load on any mobile device to keep your latest and greatest at your fingertips.

Not only do we use applications frequently, but most businesses now provide applications. It is essential to remain mobile with your customers. Most large businesses have joined the scene early, but a small startup business may be more hesitant.

To help them take their first steps, Applicasa was created for application development and server side support. For new app developers with little or no experience with server side languages, it provides an easy toolkit to database creation and query development. An easy user interface welcomes fresh app developers and leads them to a living, breathing reporting tool in 10 minutes. Applicasa’s content management system allows a drag and drop functionality to simplify creating your business objects. It reduces the overhead of hiring an app developer or time invested in configuring your own backend solution.

Applicasa is free until the application reaches 100,000 users, providing risk-free opportunities for a new business to use feedback reports and grow. Applicasa includes Android and iOS platform support for a mobile device, while Web application development is in the near future.

Applicasa and FormMobi can help keep your reports up-to-date and your business mobile.

Dana Wexler has a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the Rutgers School of Engineering. She is an operations improvement supervisor for a transportation company and the Northeast Region representative for IIE’s Young Professionals Division.