Paperless Data Collection Helps Eliminate Error
Civil contractors in Alberta are now utilizing paperless data collection software to ensure accuracy.
Heavy civil construction management software provider B2W Software is working with Alberta-based Bluebird Contracting Services and the Trotter & Morton Group of Companies move toward paperless field data collection. The companies are using B2W Inform to create and manage electronic forms and mine form data.
“With Inform, we customize forms for the specific information we need to capture, and we lead employees down a path to providing responses in a structured format,” said Scott Adams, the B2W systems specialist at the Trotter & Morton Group of Companies.
“We take away opportunities for errors and make it easier to fill out the forms by using drop downs, check boxes and data binding to our B2W operations.”
Bluebird Contracting Services provides a range of civil construction services across Alberta, including infrastructure and roads, earthworks and excavation, demolition, rail construction underground utilities, remediation and environmental services. The Trotter & Morton Group of Companies offers site demolition and preparation, all aspects of construction as well as ongoing maintenance.
Bluebird originally introduced B2W Inform for its paperless safety program, converting forms for weekly meetings, inspections and incident reporting. Improvements in efficiency and accuracy, compared to paper-based processes, were immediate, according to Adams.
He added the delay in getting information from the field about operations and safety is the largest liability with paper forms. The lag time hampers responsiveness as well as strategic decision making. The structure, integrity and even the legibility of data on paper forms may also create problems.
Alerts & Notifications that are incident triggered is a key feature of B2W Inform and almost every form template at Bluebird leverages the feature. For example, incident report forms can be built so that checking “yes” for an injury generates an instant, automatic notification to specified recipients, such as the safety officer and the executive team.
Adams beleives having data from forms in an electronic format and accessible instantaneously opens great opportunities for analytics and reporting, and the company has steadily increased the creation of routine and ad-hoc reports.
“You’re not just filing the paper, you can actually pull information together, analyze it and use it to improve safety and performance,” he said.
With B2W Inform firmly established for safety processes, Adams anticipates an expanded range of use within the other divisions of Trotter & Morton including inspection-related formsas well as quality and equipment inspections.
“The value of Inform is supported by the fact that, as more and more people in our organization are exposed to it and use it, we’ve seen a continual increase in requests and ideas for using it in other areas and for new purposes,” Adams said.