10 Ways to Leverage Your Business’ APIs in a Mobile App

06/20/2017 by Jennifer Pike

It’s become expected for a business to have a mobile presence, even if it’s only internal. Building an application from the ground up can be quite an endeavor. Native programming for each platform you want to support as well as API creation can be time intensive and costly. However, if your business has existing APIs, they can be leveraged during the development process to save you both time and money. Here are some mobile app ideas to get you started.

Employee/HR Relations

When you hire a new employee, you likely give them a big stack of paperwork to fill out and read. Non-competes, the employee handbook, asset forms, insurance packets... the list goes on and on. Stop printing out forms just to scan them back in. 45% of the paper printed in offices is thrown away the same day. Distributing and collecting completed forms digitally decreases the chance of user errors and improves organization. When your employees have questions on insurance, company protocols, or just need to access documentation, they can find everything in one place and know it’s current. Think of all the free time your HR department will have!

Timesheets

Are you wasting time chasing people down to get them to submit their timesheets? Put their hours in their hands- literally. People look at their phones multiple times a day, often in the same hour. Take advantage of their attention and reduce the friction associated with timesheets by offering users an app. Add in alerts and friendly reminders via push notifications and cooperation is sure to improve.

PTO

It’s summer. The beach is calling. You need a vacation. Can you afford it? Has your raise been processed? Do you even have enough PTO to go? What’s the on-call schedule look like? For many employees, finding the answers to these questions involves some combination of digging through emails, asking HR, searching bank statements, sifting through piles of paperwork, and checking calendars. Make it easy and house everything in one easily accessible mobile application. Burnout is a real concern and by making it easier for your employees to take a break and manage their work-life balance, you will have more refreshed and happy workers.

Sales

Every company could use more sales. Have a mobile application developed to support your sales team and give them the tools they need to catch those whales. While on the road, your team can access and share sales decks with clients. Using your CRM’s API, they can refresh their memory on client specifics as well as manage client information on the go.

eCommerce

Creating an application for your users to directly access information on your company and the products you offer is another way to promote sales. Putting all of your products and services in one place will expose users to new possibilities they may not have been aware of. Users can see exactly what products are in stock. When they purchase a new item, your inventory will adjust automatically. Prominently displaying the most profitable items will give them more exposure and you more sales.

Scheduling

If your company sells services, scheduling can become particularly time-consuming. Take out the middleman and allow your clients to see your availability and create their own appointments. You won’t need an extra receptionist to handle appointments, cancellations, and reminders. And your customers won’t have to wait for the next available representative or office hours to schedule your services. This means more potential billable hours with less effort on your part.

Billing

When it comes to billing and receiving payments, accuracy and speed are incredibly important. Your customer doesn’t want to pay for something they didn’t receive and you want to get paid on time for completed work. For services whose costs vary according to the time spent on them, incorporating employee timesheets and a CRM into a mobile application makes it easy to attribute time to customers. Because it can be measured at the time of service, the exact time spent and services rendered can be recorded without the inaccuracies that occur when recording from memory.

Payments

It is impossible to keep a business going if you don’t get paid. One of the best ways to get people to take an action is to make it as easy for them as possible. Building a mobile application that accepts multiple forms of payment creates a shortcut to the goal and has become the expectation.

Company News

Keep your business foremost in your customer’s mind and educate your clients with an informational application. Send notifications when you have news or tempting offers. If your product or service has various tiers of users, tailoring user experience to each level will aid in usability and delight.

Communication

They say good communication is the foundation of a good relationship. The number of companies with remote employees or teams is increasing. The New York Times reports of 15,000 employed American adults, 43% said they spent some time working remotely according to a Gallup survey last year. With the internet, mobile phones, and VPNs, people can work almost anywhere. While you could previously just stand up and walk over to someone’s office to see if they were available and chat, now it can feel impossible to keep up with your coworkers’ locations and availability. Go beyond using your phone for just calls and create an application that will allow your employees to send and check messages, emails, and schedules.

Get Creative

None of the above ideas sparking your interest? Think outside of the box. What sorts of things do your customers and employees struggle with? What common task can you make easier? What would delight your team? Now evaluate your current systems and look for ways to combine, streamline, and mobilize them. Then contact a business that offers mobile development services to get it started!

Jennifer Pike
Business Development Manager, Metova

A jill of all trades, Jennifer has done all the things since starting at Metova in 2011. From QA to sales, and a brief detour to dabble in development, she uses her deep knowledge of the business to aid in many aspects of Metova.