Custom Forms

If you are reading this, then you probably appreciate the power of ServiceM8 Custom Forms. It’s exciting to consider the serious amounts of manual labour being eliminated from within your business. Or comforting to know that your compliance obligations are being kept.

The idea of the custom form sounds deceptively easy:

  1. You take an existing, paper-based form, e.g. Heath & Safety Task List, Job Safety Analysis, SWMS, Gas Certificate of Compliance.
  2. You create a ‘digital’ version of the form which is then accessible from yours, your staff, or your contractors phones. 
  3. You use this digital form to replace the original paper-based form when completing the job.

And hey presto! You have a digital artefact of the form, complete with signatures, dates, yes/no check-marks, and comments etc. Nothing gets missed. No more double-handling. Whenever you use this digital version of the form, you can save, email, or print out a version that perfectly mimics the old paper-based form.

As powerful as ServiceM8 Custom Forms are, this level of digitisation within your business requires careful planning, workflow analysis and design BEFORE you start thinking about the steps above.

Creating a Custom Form is like baking a cake

cake, chocolate cake, cafe

Imagine asking a baker to bake a cake, but only giving them a picture of it. Nothing else. No recipe. No indication of flavour it needs to be, who or how many people might be eating it, or even the occasion it is for. It’s just the picture. Without understanding any of these requirements, the baker is going to make some pretty wild guesses and get it wrong. 

Building a Custom Form is a bit like baking a cake. Providing someone a copy of an existing form without explaining the purpose of the form, the workflow, sequence, and how the questions must be answered and by whom,  the person building the form is going to have to make some pretty wild guesses. 

A typical form usually consists of about 30 fields per page. Each field might require one or more conditions or need multiple answers to consider. Multiply 30 fields by multiple conditions and answers , and all of a sudden you are looking at possibly 90 to 120 variables per form page. 

Our Custom Form Builder

To reduce the guesswork and time to build a new Custom Form, we developed the “Custom Form Builder”. Similar to how ServiceM8’s own internal form builder works, it will help you define up to 50 question and answer fields.

You will need to pay a small deposit in order to start using the Custom Form builder, however that amount is deducted from the final invoice. 

Once you have finished the Custom Form Builder, it will email us and trigger the next step of making your new ServiceM8 Custom Form a reality.  And don’t worry if you don’t get it all finished in one go, you can save your progress and come back to it later if you have to.

Using the Custom Form Builder is the first of a three stage process. The second stage requires us to workflow/sequence your questions in an order that makes sense for the person who will be using the form. And the final stage is where we create your digital ServiceM8 Custom Form (which will be created in a SM8F format) and embed the field codes into a separate Word-based DOCX template used by ServiceM8 when you need to print a hardcopy.

FAQ

Depending on the complexity of the conditional answers and number of form fields, our magic will take between 1 - 3 days. 

Once we've finished, you can either have us install the form for you onto your ServiceM8 instance, or you can do it yourself. 

Either way, you will be provided two artefacts: the electronic ServiceM8 form in a special SM8F format; and a corresponding Microsoft Word DOCX document embedded with special field codes, which is a physical representation of your paper-based form.

The minimum price for a simple form is set at $125.

The final price will depend on a several factors, such as the number of form fields, and the complexity of the questions and conditional logic. While the Custom Form Builder reduces a lot of that effort, there are workflow questions we will still need to ask you before we can start getting an idea of how much effort is involved.

In our experience,

  • Very simple forms take an average of 1-2 hours ($125 to $250).
  • Average forms will take 4-6 hours ($500 to $750).
  • Highly complex forms can take a whole day or more ($1000+).

To reduce this cost, we built this Custom Form Builder, which will reduce up to 50% of the time we would typically need to understand the workflow and condition logic you need your new form to follow. 

And if you first sign up to our Support Partner Agreement, you could save up to another 25% on the final price of the form.

Using the Custom Form Builder is the first step to receive a formal quote based on your actual requirements. We request a small deposit before proceeding. 

99% of Custom Form enquiries are requests to price (see the "How much will it cost?" question above). 

People generally underestimate how much information and planning is required to build a Custom Form. By now, you might appreciate that it involves far more than just creating a Word template embedded with form field codes.

The Custom Form Builder helps ensure we respond to your request as a priority. It may also help reduce its cost, as the information provided by you means we spend less time asking unnecessary questions and more time on creating the form that you actually need.

If you need to quit the Custom Form Builder before finishing up, that's ok.

You have the option to save your partially completed form, and the form will also be automatically saved as you progress. When you are ready to come back to it, you should be able to pick it up from where you left off.

We take care to ensure that won't happen. While Custom Forms are great, they do have their limitations. Once we understand how you intend to use the form, we identify and tell you if ServiceM8 can handle it.

For example, a typical request from customers  is the desire to 'edit' the form after it has been created. You need to be aware that once the form is finished, it is output as a PDF file. PDF files can be edited, but it requires special software in order to do so.

There are other limitations with ServiceM8 Custom Forms, and we can let you know what they are once we understand how you need your form to work.