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/ WHITE PAPER

Mobile solutions
ensure health and
safety /compliance.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

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Technology empowers compliance, yet outmoded


data collection and reporting undermine it

The availability of mobile solutions has equipped health and safety inspectors to conduct
inspections that ensure compliance. Using these solutions allow information collected
through these inspections to be shared with all those concerned in a timely manner over
reliable communication channels.
Though workflow processes are becoming increasingly automated, many businesses are
still relying on slow, unreliable data collection and sharing methods for health and safety
compliance. Choosing to do so presents a number of challenges.
Vital safety information may not be communicated properly, if at all.
Paper forms can suffer from illegible handwriting or become misplaced in transit. Because
these compliance reports are paper-based and must be transported often long distances,
they are vulnerable to loss or even theft. Delays in delivering reports have an inherent time and opportunity cost.

Exploring the new interconnected

Manually transcribing and processing data recorded on

workplace offers an increased

paper is not only tedious but prone to error.

ability to track and ensure

Compliance reports must be physically transported to


different stakeholders and field reporters who may be
based in different geographic regions. This is not only a

compliance. Developing a strategy


for utilizing connected devices gives
you peace of mind and certainty that

time-consuming endeavour, but a costly one as well.

regulations are being followed.

Though businesses are aware of the potential pitfalls of

/ Thinglogix, 2015

manual reporting, many believe that a greater challenge


would be adapting to new technology. Managers are often
wary of adopting digital platforms, particularly when they view their current processes as
adequate. Still, even titans of industry understand that the most seemingly efficient processes
can be further enhanced.
Yet even those who consider ad-hoc digital file collection as a solution fail to realize the
challenges and errors prone to this method. While digital photos, emails and excel files can
be collected digitally they fail to form a cohesive and auditable data record submission with
GPS and time stamps. In turn integrating ad-hoc digital content into an analytics system is
tedious and prone to error also.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

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Unanswered Challenges Have Consequences

If vital safety information is not communicated effectively, businesses may fail to achieve
health and safety compliance, delaying or even halting their operations and drastically
impacting their ROI.
Accidents can occur on the job site if field workers do not accurately record potentially
crucial information, or if safety managers do not receive reports that flag the need for compliance intervention.

Accidents are costly


If a company is found liable for injuries sustained by civilians or site workers, lawsuit awards or settlements could
reach millions of dollars.
There are a number of other costs that companies can incur as well. Some of these include time lost from work due
to injured employees, replacement costs, reduced efficiency rates due to the breakup of a crew, damage to tools
and equipment and loss of production for the remainder
of the day. Accidents can also deliver a substantial blow
to corporate morale, causing a decline in workplace productivity.
Failing to properly report on health and safety issues due
to transcription or data entry errors can also negatively
impact business operations. In failing to properly document a faulty piece of equipment, for example, business
operations can be set back days or even weeks. This scenario can be avoided if a system is in place to properly

The Montreal, Maine and Atlantic


railway filed for bankruptcy due to the
Lac-Megantic train derailment, which
resulted in the deaths of 47 people. The
railway and several former employees
connected to the disaster were charged
with criminal negligence.
/ American Journal of Transportation,
2015

identify and address faulty equipment.


Accidents can also negatively impact the corporate brand, further impeding business
opportunities. In an increasingly competitive global market, no business can afford to make
these mistakes.
It has never been more crucial for businesses to seek alternative means of compliance
reporting.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

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Use Tech to Tackle Compliance

Collecting, analyzing and sharing information is crucial to maintaining compliance. Aberdeen Group recommends that businesses adopt a mobile solution to make reporting more
effective and less cumbersome. Mobilizing compliance reporting dramatically increases the
efficiency of the reporting process, which in turn reduces and in many cases, eliminates
the risk of unreported issues.
Many organizations are quickly realizing these truths. Still, there are a number of factors to
consider when deciding which mobile technology and solution to adopt.

Smartphones or tablets
Businesses need to decide whether to use a smart phone or tablet. This is often determined
by the abilities and constraints of the selected mobile application, as well as the specific
requirements of each compliance inspection. Some of the features that will need to be
considered are screen size and resolution, as well as the necessity of portability, instant
messaging and image capturing, to name a few.

Secure information storage


Another critical factor to consider when selecting a reporting tool is ensuring that the
mobile device application facilitates secure storage of information. A study conducted by
Dimensional Research shows that with the rise of mobile device use for business functions
comes the increased threat of information theft from those devices. It is essential that any
electronic reporting tool have robust security features to protect users from information
theft.

79%

Of the 790 IT professionals surveyed, 79% report mobile security


incidents in the past year, 45% of businesses with less than 1000
employees reported mobile security incidents costs exceeding
$100,000, and 52% of large companies say cost of mobile security
incidents last year exceeded $500,000.
Dimensional Research, 2013

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

Powerful data collection features


Electronic reporting tools must include powerful data collection features. Field workers
must be able to collect detailed site information to adhere to the compliance requirements
of an increasingly regulated business world.
Common required features include the ability to capture images, photos, signatures, GPS/
timestamps and barcodes. The ability to capture images is often a necessity when only
pictures are able to fully convey issues and concerns found in a compliance inspection. The
ability to capture signatures on a mobile device is necessary for any compliance form that
requires authorization or consent. GPS and timestamps help confirm the location of job
sites, customer visits, time of arrival and work performed. Compliance inspections may also
mandate the scanning of bar codes on equipment.
These features need to be supported by a configurable workflow and platform that can be
tailored to the needs of each company, a powerful analytics engine that can identify trends
in data, and a solid deployment methodology provided by an experienced solution provider.
Field workers need to be able to effectively capture data and send it to various stakeholders.
This mandates a digital workflow that allows users to immediately share information recorded
in the field. If a serious and pressing safety issue is identified, health and safety personnel
need to send and receive contextual notifications in order to address the issue in time.
In recording field data, it is also essential to be able to organize the recipients of compliance
reports into groups. This is particularly important for large organizations where different
recipients work in different geographic areas. If recipients are based in different regions,
categorizing them by time zone ensures that each worker receives health and safety reports
during his or her working hours.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

The necessity of cloud management and storage


The world-wide adoption of cloud services by businesses necessitates having a compliance
reporting system that is cloud-based in order to remain competitive. The International Data
Group (IDG) found that most businesses are using cloud services, and those that arent plan
to do so within three years.
Many businesses are adopting this technology because it offers flexible bandwidth,
document version control, secure storage of information, the ability to recover from system
failures, increased collaboration between employees and the ability to react faster to drastic
operations changes than competitors who do not have cloud services. Still others are choosing to managing their information using a cloud platform such as Google For Work, Box, etc.
Using Google For Work allows them to use tools such as Google Drive and Google Sheets,
which further enhances a businesses ability to share information from a cloud platform.

Given the mass adoption of this service, it is essential that the tool selected to conduct
compliance reporting have cloud access to remain on par with competitors. Having a
compliance reporting tool connected to the cloud allows business to stay connected with
compliance reporters at all times, access all reports the moment they are filled out, and make
decisions regarding crucial data as soon as it is available. Because of that it is also essential
that any mobile solution chosen be able to mesh with cloud platforms such as Google For
Work so that the mobile solutions capabilities can work in sync with those tools used on the
cloud platform (such as Google Sheets) to improve existing compliance reporting practices.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

Analytics: Dont miss anything


Along with mass cloud adoption, many organizations are beginning to make use of analytics
features to leverage data quickly and respond to business processes and opportunities
faster. An Accenture study revealed that businesses are increasingly relying on analytics
to take full advantage of their data when making key decisions. In a globally competitive
environment, it is imperative that analytics be a core component of daily operations.
Analytics allows businesses to identify trends in compliance data and above all else, identify
common issues so that they can be corrected.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

The choice to build or buy


Another key factor that needs to be consider before adopting any data collection solution
is whether to build it internally or buy an existing solution.
If you choose to build your own application, youll need to develop, deploy, support and
maintain an in-house built mobile application. The time required to do so can be lengthy and
unpredictable, leading to a further mobile deployment lag, as compared to more aggressive competing enterprises. From there an endless series of questions need to be answered
to progress from conception to development. Once the application is fully developed and
deployed, a great deal of maintenance is required to keep the application running smoothly.
A subscriber deployed App like ProntoForms has zero-to-little maintenance and support
costs. On the other hand, any in-house developed and deployed App will have perennial
ongoing maintenance and support costs.

Buy vs Build? What should I do?


ProntoForms offers a tried and true service that processes over
7 million forms every year. If reliability, scalability and ease of
maintenance are important to you, let us show you why we think
we have the right answer.

Talk to an expert

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

IN-HOUSE APPS: THREE KEY AREAS FOR ONGOING REQUIREMENTS


THE APPLICATION
The actual application that is deployed into the field
Mobile users will invariably encounter issues and require fixes from time
to time. This also extends to servicing the various OS versions that the
enterprise has chosen to support. In considering possible applications,
one also needs to consider the speed of device changes, mobile iOS
changes, the mix of mobile devices (e.g. Andriod, iPhone, Smartphone,
Tablet, iPad) a company has in the field, and the mix of different operating systems that
may need to be supported, even if in a transition period. In considering how rapidly these
changes happen, it will be important to select a mobile forms application that can function
seamlessly through these hardware and software adaptations.
THE ADMINISTRATOR PORTAL
The online command center of the deployed application
The administrator portal must always be kept up on the latest security
and software innovations, to ensure that it continues to best serve the
enterprise.
Additionally, you will need to create a workflow to connect your data As the application
and administrator portal are used to organize and collect data in the field, its the export and
connect element of the equation that integrates this data within the enterprises systems.
Whether its keeping an API, HTTP or FTP site in working order, or ensuring that data can
be shared and accessed with various cloud services, an enterprises CIO must handle the
immense pressure to keep the data communication lines open and fully-functioning. When
you create your data workflow and you need to share data with different partners, suppliers
or regulatory groups may want that data delivered to different cloud services in different
file formats. If you need to re-engineer your data workflow with an R&D team every time it
can be costly.
ANALYTICS & SCHEDULED REPORTING
Sophisticated cloud based analytics are a relatively new phenomena
The International Institute for Analytics reports that just a few short years
ago a company requiring analytics would need to engage in descriptive
analytics. Most companies would create time-consuming analytical models in batch processes, and decisions were made based on experience and intuition. Analytics advanced
into Big Data in the mid-2000s, when complex data sources and new analytical and computational abilities emerged. Enter todays world, and utilizing big data analytics is a critical
part of running a business effectively.

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

Thus, in describing the four preceding elements, its safe to say that it requires a dedicated
team to continually maintain and support a proprietary mobile business solution. Here are
other key build maintenance and support components that enterprises must consider:
Server activity Costs and configurations associated with server licenses and server
operations are required. If outsourced, cloud services supplier monthly fees, with consideration of service quality, uptime, data security and redundancy.
General Maintenance Bug fixes, continual QA work.
Updates Regular updated Apps for each supported OS must be created. Moreover, every
time a new operating system is introduced, an App must be adapted and re-created.
Variables Various challenges can arise, including structure breaks or other unpredictable emergency situations.
Human Resources consider the difficulties of engaging and retaining developer talent,
particularly developers in high demand in mobile app development
In contrast to the preceding build maintenance elements,
purchasing an App like ProntoForms frees up enterprise
IT and development departments, requiring no further

Applications always incur

major maintenance costs. In addition, integration capabil-

additional enhancements and

ities such as a REST API are still possible.

ongoing support over their life

The sum of all build maintenance and support elements is

span. These costs are usually

often either underestimated or overlooked when project-

higher than the costs of initial

ing the lifespan costs of an App.

development.

ProntoForms usage-based payment options provide the

/ Woodward

consumers with additional benefits, including increased


functionality and fixed-priced maintenance that avoids
additional costs.
Moreover, according to Woodwards analysis from Movers Speciality Service Inc. in Section
three, of the $4.2 million spent on development, deployment, support and maintenance over
a 10-year span, $1.4 million can be directly attributed to maintenance-only costs.

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WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

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The Benefits of Going Mobile

Adopting mobile forms will automatically rectify many of the issues inherent in paper-based
reporting, enabling businesses to remain compliant.
Beyond maintaining a clean compliance record, using mobile forms to streamline reporting
improves business operations and in turn, the bottom line. Some of these financial benefits
include reduced insurance costs, avoided lawsuits, better brand value because of a clean
safety record, and being able to use technology as a differentiator to capture more business.

According to a recent study conducted by


McGraw Hill, construction companies who
maintain health and safety compliance
reported the following benefits:
51% report increases in project ROI
43% report faster project schedules, with
half reporting schedule improvements of
a week or more
39% report a decrease in project budget
82% report an improved reputation
71% report lower injury rates
66% report they have a greater ability
to contract new work
66% report better project quality

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WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

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MOBILE FORMS IMPLEMENTATION CASE STUDIES

Previously, paper forms would


Switching from paper to mobile forms improved business productivity for Crosstown Transit Constructors.
The company has been tasked with completing an
extensive LRT project to expand Torontos subway
system. This multi-year project employs nearly 300
workers and mandates high health and safety requirements.
Crosstown was originally using paper forms for
compliance reports such as safety site checklists, but
quickly realized that they needed a better solution.
Upon switching to ProntoForms, they were able to
collect data more accurately and process it faster.

eventually make their way back to


me. I would then have to review them
for errors and perform time-consuming data entry or scanning. Before,
the process could take up to five
days. Now, forms are dispatched to all
of management via ProntoForms and
the whole process takes an hour.
/ Christina Lindstrom,
Health and Safety Manager
Crosstown Transit Constructors

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

PG&E, one of the largest utilities providers in the United States, began using mobile forms to
address the challenges associated with meeting regulatory compliance requirements.
For meter inspections, the company used a custom-built application, but it lacked key
capabilities. For quality assurance and damage control, the company relied on a paper-based
solution as well as Microsoft Access and Excel for reporting and analytics. The data collection solution had several limitations. There were also delays in the paper-based auditing
and Excel tracking of services and equipment. These setbacks significantly impacted data
quality as well as the speed and reliability of reporting.
PG&E faced high stakes when determining whether or not to switch to mobile forms for
compliance reporting, as the most significant risk of not effectively tracking meter quality
and repair issues was the possibility of customers houses being damaged or destroyed due
to faulty equipment. This would make the company liable for failing to be compliant and
would also result in severe corporate brand repercussions.
By switching to mobile forms, the company avoided the risk of equipment failure, accidents,
liabilities and damage to their corporate brand. They also achieved significant savings, both
on costs associated with internal IT support and costs incurred the previous year in using a
custom application.

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WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

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14

Choose a Trusted Partner for your success


some thoughts to consider

Youre going to make a major change in your organization. Succeed and youll be recognized as a hero, fail
and the losses could be dire. To make sure your venture
is a heroic success, you need to make sure you pick the
leading mobile forms provider to equip your company
with a solution that meets their needs perfectly. But given
that every company claims omnipotence, what are some
ways you can assess who is truly the leading mobile forms
provider?

ProntoForms distributes its solution


through carrier partnerships with AT&T,
Bell, Rogers, Nextel and Entel. They
are also actively working with leading
mobile device manufacturer Apple and

There are some telltale signs you can look for.

MDM provider MobileIron.

The companies associated with a brand are indicative of


their trust and confidence, and a good place to start when
considering possible mobile forms providers. The ideal
mobile forms provider would hold partnerships with high
companies.

A small sample of ProntoForms customers

WHITE PAPER / MOBILE SOLUTIONS ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

Next it will be important to identify which mobile forms providers have received recognition
from independent business analytics for their solutions capabilities and customer service.
It is also critical to find proof that the companys solution capabilities and customer service
are in fact exceptional, which can only be proven through finding outspoken customers of
the company who advocate for their solution companies that you know, trust and respect.
There are other signs you can watch for. The leading mobile forms provider will need to
have full solution capabilities for mobile data collection, a sophisticated administrative
portal, workflow connectivity to the cloud and analytics. For the reasons discuss in previous
sections, using a solution that has only 80% of these features just wont cut it. As size always
matters, it will be important for your mobile forms provider to have experience deploying
and supporting the solution with an organization with your size, and in turn be able to offer
a breadth of deployment and outsourced management services. With that, you will need to
find proof that they have best in class customer support to protect against any pitfalls that
could impede the success of your venture.

ProntoForms receives Competitive Strategy


Innovation and Leadership Award from
independent analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, for

2015
NORTH AMERICAN MOBILE
FORMS COMPETITIVE STRATEGY
INNOVATION AND LEADERSHIP AWARD

their exceptional solution capabilities and


customer service.

Read the report

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/

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Dont Risk Settling for Less

You may be reading this white paper because youve been


planning to deploy a mobile solution for health and safety,
but the scope of the project always seems to grow out
of control. Worse yet, you may have deployed a mobile
solution for health and safety in the past, but it was never
fully deployed for technical or employee adoption reasons.
The ProntoForms solution can help you achieve your com-

ProntoForms was identified by

pliance objectives. No other solution provider has been

The Wall Street Journal as a key

acknowledged by top-tier industry brands as the leader

Apple partner to bolster iPad

in this space. ProntoForms has the domain expertise and

sales to businesses.

innovative spirit needed to successfully deploy a health


and safety compliance platform that protects your bottom

/ click here to read the article

line. Discover how ProntoForms can safeguard you, your


workforce, your corporate brand and your customers.
Act today to mitigate risks, mobilize health and safety
compliance in less than 30 days with a trusted leader.

Want to see if ProntoForms can help mobilize your business?


Request a free consultation with a mobile forms expert