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Webinar: Safety & Technology - 2016 Trends and a Look at the Future

ByJacinta Sarpkaya | Published: December 21, 2016
Presented by ProntoForms

To Download the Presentation Slides and the Survey Results please click here

Jamie: Hello and a warm welcome to everybody! We’d like to wish everyone a good morning, a good afternoon, or a good evening depending on where you are in the world. My name is Jamie and I'm one of the co-founders of Safeopedia.

Before we get started, I'd just like to run through a few housekeeping items. Everyone on the webinar will be on mute for the duration of the presentation, but we really do want to hear from you and get your questions in. So, we'll keep it interactive and ask that you type your questions in to the GoToWebinar console as we go, and we will do our best to answer as many of them as possible at the end of the presentation. Also, a reminder, today's webinar is being recorded and we will be sending out a link to the recording and the slides to all participants a few days after the live show.

Typically, one of the first questions that gets asked is, "How do I get in touch with the presenters after the webinar?" So, what we’ll do is we’ll put up a slide at the end with their contact information. That way, if we don't get to your question or the webinar ends and you have a question after the fact, you can follow up with them directly.

Today, we're proud to present “Safety and Technology: 2016 Trends and a Look at the Future.” The webinar is hosted by Safeopedia and is being presented by ProntoForms. At Safeopedia, our goal is to support the EHS professionals, the operational folks, and really any safety-minded individuals through free educational content and resources. We would really like to thank those dedicated professionals for the great work they do on a daily basis. It is now my pleasure to introduce Monica Hrubcin and Sami Khudair.

Monica is the marketing program manager of ProntoForms. She loves the thrill of working with new technology to improve the customer experience and has worked on multilingual B2B marketing campaigns with some of the world's leading brands, including AT&T and Apple. Monica graduated from Carleton University with a bachelor's in International Business.

In Sami's 12 years of business-to-business experience, he has built a track record of helping transform businesses into profit centers. Sami uses his deep understanding of business processes and workflows to help his customers solve problems and achieve their goals.

Monica and Sami, take it away.

Monica: Great! Thanks so much, Jamie, for the introduction, and welcome to everyone that's on the line for today's webinar.

So, looking at the agenda today, Sami and I are really excited to take a look at some of the trends in 2016 and looking at some of the predictions for where safety is headed into 2017, which is actually just around the corner. And we're going to start off by sharing the results of a recent survey that we conducted and really get a sense for what safety technology looks like right now and then using those results to really look forward. And throughout the presentation, feel free to comment and engage with us using the chat feature just like Jamie said. So, we'll reserve the last 10 to 15 minutes of the hour for any questions that you've got. So let's just get straight into it.

Very quickly, I'm just going to share with you a little bit about who ProntoForms is. So, we are the leader in mobile forms and mobile business workflows, and what we do is help our customers maximize productivity, service quality, and compliance by revolutionizing the way that data is collected, allowing them to collect richer, more meaningful data in a faster and more effective way on their smartphones and tablets, but also allowing those businesses to gain better business insights through our analytics platform. And we're proud to be partners with Apple and Google, and we also have the privilege of working with some amazing companies, a few of which you can see the logos on screen today and it's really a variety of industries. So, I'm going to hand it off to Sami. He's going to paint the picture for why we're here today.

Sami: Thanks, Monica. And thanks, Jamie, for the warm introduction. For everyone else who's on the line today, main things we want to cover today are going to be the key safety aspects that Monica mentioned, some of the results from the report. So, to really talk about some of the common EHS or health and safety professionals' objectives out there, first one is really to track and investigate and manage all types of incidents that occur in the workplace, and again, it's to adhere to ensuring employee safety. The second is to really assess the risk in the workplace, protecting a company against any potential liability. And more importantly, to develop and implement proactive measures that prevent injuries and illnesses from happening in the first place. And that's really also to comply with different federal, provincial, or state governing laws that are getting more and more rigid.

Here, really we're really talking about some of the pain points these folks face. And really, if you look at it, the same objectives are also the pain points. And the reason being is, a lot of the processes that are being completed today when it comes to health and safety inspections, hazard reporting, and incident reports are done manually. And with a manual process, you get a lot of time lapse that occurs between an incident being—occurring and an incident being reported on, and therefore, you get a lot of potential for time to be lost when it comes to corrective actions. So, things like having a solution that could turn things away from the manual process is definitely something that health and safety managers should be thinking about.

Monica: Alright, so let's just dive straight into the report. So, we recently conducted a survey of over 450 safety professionals just like yourselves listening in today. They were EHS professionals from across North America, working in companies ranging from small to medium to large enterprises, some of which had over 5000 employees. And the respondents were also from a cross-section of industries, anywhere from manufacturing to healthcare to energy to government. Really, we covered the gamut. So, we've got a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences reflected in the results that we’re going to share with you today.

So, moving into the first question, we asked, “How do you complete safety forms?”

Sami: So, this is a great one to really dig into here because of the numbers that we’re looking at. 53.9% are using paper today, which again looks at things being done extremely manually. Typical process today is that there's an incident, someone goes out and someone will call it in, someone will go out and fill in an incident report with the individual who has been injured or hurt, and they will take that information then come back into the office—most likely give it to someone else. That person will typically take it and re-enter it into systems to kind of make sure someone can handle it, or they can scan it and email it to the person that can go out and repair the hazard or potential hazard.

So, what does that do? There's a lot of handouts between people that are extremely manual. There's a great amount of people—as you can see, 23.7% are moving towards Excel, which is awesome because you can share Excel through email. But at the same time, there's still a manual process of collecting that data when you're going out there. If you're looking at achieving things like Target Zero, which, if we can define that, you're looking at no injuries and no death of any personnel for an entire year. These are things that can hinder you from achieving that Target Zero that you're looking to get. Slow response, slow handouts mean more potential for problems to occur, and then noncompliance which is a really big one.

Monica: Yes, somebody may be shaking your heads and agreeing with some of the numbers that you're seeing here or disagreeing. But to me and to Sami, I think it's really still surprising that in this day and age, such critical functions like safety are being put in the hands of paper forms.

Sami: Absolutely. I mean, you know, when we look at the following numbers here where the question that was asked was really discussing the most common used forms today and the scary numbers of incident reports. I think if you're in a preventative or proactive type adherence to health and safety, this number should be the lowest number as opposed to the highest that it is today. The numbers that should be higher are the Inspection Report Sheet. Everyone should be doing inspection reports.

Another one that should be even higher is training. 87% is a good number, but it's a number that really, from a health and safety perspective, you have to ask yourself, you know, "Am I doing enough training of the individuals?"—that it's actually because maybe they're not receiving the right training or their environment is not as safe that there are more incidents. So, this number should be really, really disconcerting to you, and you really should question that. You know, what can we do or what is the process that maybe there's something that we can improve within the process that can reduce that number down.

Monica: Yeah, so taking a look at what forms you use on a regular basis is really telling of this kind of story of what's going on behind the scenes.

Sami: Right. Another thing is, too, are these inspections taking place regularly? And how are you measuring if they are taking place regularly? If you simply just take that incident report and then file it somewhere, then how else will we know?

Monica: So, moving off of that, the next question that we asked was, "Do you ever make updates or adjustment to forms?"

Sami: So, this is another interesting one because the answer that the majority says here is "Yes, sporadically." The answer really should be "All the time and anytime," and the reason being is because a lot of these federal or state or provincial laws that are coming in and the growing amount of them are things that are providing more and more details on what information they need to be collected and are continuously changing.

So, when you're sporadically making changes, how do you ensure that the individuals who are actually out there doing the inspections are using the right forms or are they collecting the right data that I need them to collect? So you need to have something in place that provides you a little bit more agility, that you can instantly make changes on if there's a question that you need to remove or add or an entry that you need to grab—the inspector to grab—you need to put that in place and you need to have a system that allows you to ensure that you put that in place right away and make it available for individuals to use automatically.

So, the question we asked on this one here was, "How are you updating the forms that you distribute to the field workers?"

Monica: Yeah, and I think this ties in really nicely to the last question that we looked at. And the likely reason that forms aren't being updated more regularly is with the outdated modes of distribution. So, with the large majority of safety professionals using email and in-person as a method to share updated forms as we're seeing on screen now. The real concern here becomes Version Control and really ensuring that your teams are in fact using the latest version.

So, I mean if you put yourselves in their shoes, how many times a week do you lose an email in your inbox? And do you have time to ensure that the latest government regulated form is being completed? Do you have that time luxury? Or looking at the paper example, do you still have a few copies left of the previous form version left on your clipboard? So it may be easier to just start filling out those instead. So, you know, in this day and age, you really should be looking at ways to streamline your processes and not, in fact, complicate them.

Sami: So, with this one here, we discussed, "What is the source of your safety forms?" This one is actually, you know, it's a good thing that we're seeing there's a "Designed in-house" is about 68.9% because what it means is that, the health and safety managers are actually taking initiative to put forth forms that they’ve built themselves, that they feel would be sufficient enough.

The issue that arises with that, however, is how do you actually know that you're capturing the right data and the right information if you're not using the federal- and state-provided form? How do you know that you also again control the version control because you’ve just designed something in-house? If you're providing that to—you know, a copy of it—to that third party federal or state governing body, you want to make sure that they're getting the information that they need as well on it. So, that's really kind of what do you have to be considering when you're looking at these numbers. You want a system that provides you the ability of agility. And that's really the big thing here is how agile can your system be that's in place to make sure that you're getting the right information and you're covering all your bases.

The question we asked here was, "How do you store and share your completed forms?" So earlier, we discussed that typically the forms would come in from someone and there's another individual who takes it and re-input it. But the majority will actually file things away, and there are many different ways of filing in this to what this slide speaks to.

Monica: Yeah, so we know it's one of the first facts that we showed that the majority of respondents are you still using paper forms, but one of the more worrying, or probably equally worrying results of the report is that they are just putting all these paper forms in a filing cabinet. So, which to me says the majority is not really doing much with their data if they are just simply storing them away—you know, copies just for record. But the more worrisome element to this is that what happens in the case of a natural disaster? What is the backup Disaster Recovery plan that you have in place? What if it's something that's not even a disaster but something like a fire or a leak in the building? In fact, you can run the risk of losing data which could be extremely painful or costly, especially if and when you're audited.

Sami: Absolutely. You have so you have to have in place a redundancy plan where if you do get audited—whether you do have a disaster or not—that you can pull it out of your fingertips, and you can provide them that information if they say "I want the inspection that was done on November 15th of 2016," that you're able to give them that readily available because if you don't, that's going to cost you problems when it comes down to things like lawsuits or any claims that are against the company from a health and safety perspective.

Monica: Which ties in nicely to the following question which is, "What are you doing with the field data that you’ve collected?" And the respondents were able to select all of the responses that were applicable.

Sami: Yeah, so again, the big thing about analyzing the data is that a lot of companies think that if the job is complete—so, in this scenario, if the inspection is complete—then I did my part. Well, yes but, you know, you did that aspect of it, but then there's the aspect of being a little bit on the preventative end of things. And when you can have reports and dashboards that actually provide you an insight of what is really happening within the health and safety inspections that are done. Am I doing them on time? Have I completed the last quarter’s inspections on time? Which sites are showing commonalities of danger that—whether it's machines or equipment or any commonalities that are out there that could be a trend that I should be looking at that maybe we need to go and repair this machine or do a full overhaul to prevent it from breaking down, therefore preventing a potential hazard.

And for this here, what we're talking about was, "What do you primarily use to report on aggregate monthly safety trends?" And that ties into the reporting, obviously.

Monica: Yeah, it ties in perfectly to what we were talking about on the last slide in terms of being more proactive and not reactive. So, if we look at the stats that we have on screen now, one way to look at it is to say, "Well, you know, 3.8% of over 450 companies that responded to this are actually getting accurate, real-time reporting. The remainder either don't do reporting, which accounts for almost 23%, and then the others use computer reports to Excel, which again is great." However, you still need someone behind that computer or behind that Excel chart pulling pivot tables together and assembling how they want to portray the data. So, looking at all this, it really begs the question, "Are these people really ready and do they have an accurate understanding of where they are today and where they're really trending towards in the coming years and beyond?"

Sami: Yeah, and let's face it. On this slide as well is—you may have an Office Excel guru at your end. But 90% of the time, that person is probably going to be in finance and not in health and safety. So, you want to be able to have the type of reporting that gives you what is really happening in my health and safety, what specific department or division or crew that is not doing their health and safety versus another. That's what you really—the availability of reporting provides health and safety managers is insight inside what's happening.

So, when we asked as well in terms of, "How are you notified on safety issues?" And we asked them to check all that applies.

Monica: Yeah, email was the most prevalent. And looking at the example that Sami gave, it’s not surprising that in person and in phone our kind of also at the top of the list there. But the limitation with in person and phone, is that you can really only inform one person at a time. And when an incident happens, you need to be agile, and you need to be able to submit incident reports right away to ensure—for liability, auditing, workplace safety rights, and all of the above—you need to ensure that you capture all of the relevant details at the time of the incident. And as we saw, the majority of forms are still being submitted on paper, but we meanwhile have people being notified by email and in person. So, there's a really big disconnect in terms of the safety workflows and processes, that it seems like a lot of companies are still using very outdated methods of collecting, but then also notifying and triggering important actions that sometimes people’s lives are in the hands of these processes.

Sami: Absolutely, Monica. And folks, feel free in the chat to answer some of these questions as well if you want to rate your overall effectiveness of how you foresee your safety reporting program, please do.

So, the next slide is talking exactly about that. It is alluding to—when we asked folks to rate their overall effectiveness for safety reporting, they basically rated about 78% that they feel that it’s good or satisfactory.

Monica: Yeah, and I hope that many of you who are looking at these questions are kind of answering these to yourself, and it’d be curious to see how many of you—you know how happy you are or unhappy you are with the processes that you currently have in place. But in terms of what we saw, the majority were "Satisfactory" or "Good." And when you're trying to reach for something as important as Target Zero, is "Good" really good enough?

Sami: Absolutely. And I think that looks at it from what is it worth to you—the value of someone being hurt or the reputation of the company. You have to really consider about, is what I'm doing, because it's the process that I’ve been doing for a long time, is it the right process? And those are really just some of the questions you should be asking yourself.

Monica: Yeah, and we're getting a few people responding. So, it's nice to see a lot of folks are saying "Not satisfactory." So, I hope that through this, you're kind of taking notes in terms of what you can do and what areas you’ve identified as red flag scenarios for opportunities to improve in the coming year.

Sami: The question we asked on this slide was, "Do you have a mobile safety application deployed in the field?’" And the results are as you can see.

Monica: Yeah, so with everything we've mentioned and we had some folks asking for a refresher on what the stats were comparing paper to Excel. We have about 54% of people still using paper of 450 that responded, and we have about 24% using Excel.

But as we've mentioned, there's a lot of inefficiencies with paper, having to then store them in filing cabinets. There's a lack of reporting, there's a lack of aggregating any kind of trends really or safety processes that in general are satisfactory or below. It seems that there's a really big opportunity in our line of business for safety folks to have a real-time solution that your team in the field, whether that be someone that’s in the oil rig or someone that's in the manufacturing plant, that they have forms at their disposal at just the touch of a button that they can then trigger actions through workflows, and that all of that data then flows into reports that provide you the trends that you need to make better business decisions.

Sami: Absolutely. And this speaks to the last slide, you know, the liability aspect of what health and safety folks do. It's really one of the main objectives is to ensure that the company does everything it can to protect itself and its employees against liability. The ability to be able to capture media which is the question that was asked here, whether it's things like signatures, things like pictures, things like geolocation. Those are all things that you can place within a form that can really help you show evidence that these actual inspections were done on time at the location, and to even take photos of the hazard to provide to individuals to repair. So not only are you protecting yourself from liability, but you're also ensuring that you're getting extremely rich data to take that preventative measure or to do the repair that they see.

Monica: And the reality is that, you can't actually do much of this—well, you can't do any of this with paper. With Excel, there is a bit more possibility that you're offered, but you can't include photos, you can't sketch on those photos if you need to provide a photo proof of an incident that happened or an inspection that was performed. So, there's a lot more rich data that you're able to collect through a mobile solution.

Sami: Right. And even if you are using Excel—don’t get me wrong, I love Excel myself—but if you're using Excel, you're still lugging at least a laptop into the field. When you're working with a hard hat, the last thing you want to have is a laptop in your hand.

Monica: Moving on to the last slide that we have on the results of the report, and then we’ll dig more into the trends, but a really important one was "Identifying the barriers to deploying a mobile solution." And I saw in the chat a few of you were mentioning that you tried proposing it to management. So, I think some of these barriers may be familiar to you, but I think Sami will talk a bit more about how what you perceive as a barrier maybe really isn't.

Sami: Absolutely. And I think it's really important that sometimes you just have to put things into perspective a little bit even for your management team, right? If you're talking about a potential for—maybe there hasn't been any lawsuits, but there could be a potential for fines. I've worked with a company who was literally getting $1,000 in fines almost every single month for three years before they looked at implementing a solution that cost them a fraction of that. And the funny thing is, when you really do that, that sort of math or when you look at a potential millions of dollars of a lawsuit, then you can think of, well you know what, what is the comfort of my employees worth? What is the reputation of my company worth to me? Not only that, the other big thing is that a lot of companies today or majority of people have BYOD devices, you know that "bring your own device" kind of environment where it's again, it's a great a cost-effective for you to use their own devices but with a solution that allows them to do things a lot better and a lot smoother.

Monica: Alright, so moving into our predictions for health and safety into the coming year. We’ve put together basically some areas that we see huge opportunities for, and we think that it will help businesses to start thinking about more ways to improve their existing processes. So, as many of you identified with having "Satisfactory" or just "Good" EHS processes, how can you be more proactive and take your processes to an entirely new level in 2017.

Sami: Absolutely. So, when we talk about mobilizing, a lot of people think that you know what, I need to have another device to be able to do this. But the truth is, you can do this on any smartphone. You can leverage whether its company-issued smartphones and/or it's a BYOD. 95% of people out there today are carrying some sort of a smartphone, so why not leverage within there and just deploy an app that can do things for you.

Another thing that we're seeing a huge increase in is that, health and safety professionals like yourselves are really looking for ways to reduce the time it takes for them to move that data from one place to another, from one individual to another. They’re asking for richer data to help them describe the situation better for the person that it goes out and actually does the work. And then the last one is that they are really looking for better hand-offs. So, you know, the paper process, you have to scan it. As an example, if it's Dorris who scanned it and she needs to go get it to Joe to go fix it, there's a delay in time. That delay in time, in the meantime someone can actually be getting hurt because of that process. So, you just have to kind of think about that possibility.

Monica: Yeah, and really, this isn't limited to safety either. I know that’s the big focus of what we're talking about today, but it could be your operations colleague down the hall that’s using it for a machine equipment inspection forms or your HR department that's using it for training, or even your accounting department that’s finally replaced those ancient expense forms. So, this shift to devices and BYOD is something that we’re seeing that’s disrupting every industry and stuff that actually impacts our day to day outside of the business world, from everything to how we order a pizza or a cab. Really, everything is changing today.

Sami: Absolutely. And folks, we’d love to hear from you as well, your thoughts on those trends in the chat, are those things that maybe are objectives for you as health and safety professionals or even or objectives for you, for your executive team that maybe this is something that they're looking for. A quick "Yes, applies to us." You know, whatever the trend number is, by all means, go ahead and type it. It's all good to hear that from you as well.

So, with this one, the big shift is about Integrated Solutions. So, one thing we talked about was really about companies are demanding more from their health and safety managers, and they are always demanding more from people, but they are also demanding more from their systems, like ERP systems and CRM systems. So, having a solution that is able to connect to back office systems whether its cloud-based storage applications, whether it's your CRM systems, whatever the system is, it's something that you really should be considering when you're considering a solution to replace your paper. So, the reason being is because there's ways in systems, if you get systems talking to each other, there is ways for you to eliminate the time it takes to transfer the data, to move it from one individual to another, from one system to another, to get it actioned. So really think about that. Think about whatever solution you're looking at. Think about, "How much can this actually integrate with my back office? Can this actually make things simpler for my guys or for my ladies collecting the information?" So just ask those questions—something to really be aware of.

Monica: Yeah, and it goes back to creating mobile workflows and end-to-end processes. So, imagine if an incident occurs, someone is notified straight away via SMS and then the appropriate—whether, you know, it's a medical staff or repair staff that's able to come in and do, you know, create the fixes in real time. So shifting everything back to real-time data and also creating better disaster recovery system to ensure that you are ready for an audit or new government regulations that are released. So really making sure that you're ahead of the curve.

Sami: Or maybe you have a situation where you're doing contracting work at a site and someone, you know, God forbid gets injured, you want to be able to report that the owner of that site, right? So, those are the things that you need to do from a health and safety when things go wrong.

In the last trend here, and again we’d like to hear from you guys what your thoughts are on this. There is a much, much greater emphasis on safety standards, and the reason being is because regulations are getting stricter and stricter, and it absolutely makes sense why they are getting stricter because people safety is becoming a priority. And if it isn't a priority in your company or in your department, it really should be.

And having the reporting and having the insight within what's happening. So it's one thing collecting data, but it's a whole other thing really understanding what's happening with the data. And the data is always telling you a story, whether that story is the inspections aren’t being done on time, whether that story is, you know what, this machine is probably coming to its life end, that maybe it's time to replace it as opposed to keep it and then it could potentially result in a hazard. So, those are real insights that you get from the data, and there are many ways that that the data can be sliced. So you get different aspects or different views from it. So, if you need a view that goes out to the executive, they see different dashboards than the health and safety manager or than the inspector himself. So, it really gives you great comparative advantage, if you like.

Monica: Yeah, and I think data is something that’s really big all over the place now where we’re able to select all of this, and it's really what are we doing with it. But there's a great quote that floats around our office all the time, especially from our analytics team: "You can't measure what you don't track." If you only have a ticker on the wall that’s saying how many days since your last injury, how proactive are you being about mitigating that? How do you know how you were at last year at the same time in terms of number of incidents? Are you improving? Are you declining? Are there processes that have improved that number, or are there processes that have actually distracted and things have become much worse? So, these are questions that having a robust analytics platform allows you to explore, and you're actually able to get insights from all of this amazing data that you're collecting, not only maybe from the safety standpoint but from other departments as well.

Sami: Absolutely, Monica. This one is by far one of—you know, I call it a million-dollar slide. "Why go mobile?" Well, there's about a million reasons why a company should really consider going mobile when it comes to collecting data, whether you're on health and safety side of things, whether you're on operations. The idea here is every process is a business process, and business process really live and die by the data. It's about getting a piece of data to an individual to action it. And once that person actions it, then there's other data that flows to another system or person to action it. So, if you're not moving that data and making it accessible, faster and better in a way that is seamless to your users at whatever end they're at, you're really behind. And you got to ask yourself, "Is my data access working well?" And really, it provides you better up-to-date information from the field to the office, and vice-versa from the office to the field and really helps you connect the data better with your data sources, so the back office system.

The other aspect is data collection. Am I leveraging rich data like photos, sketch, audio, video capabilities? Those things that really give me an idea of what's really happening: timestamps to check that the inspection was actually done or date stamped, or geostamped—that the inspector was actually on site; he wasn't just sitting in his car. I don't mean to put that scenario but I'm sure you guys may have heard of these types of scenarios. There are those possibilities. When you have a geostamp, you eliminate that. You eliminate the process of paper, which is a potential for losing paper or damaging paper. Someone maybe spilled their coffee on it or they got too much dirt because the site was not the best working environment. Another issue you have with paper is that they are filed and simply they can be skipped because you filed it, right? Where if you actually have a mechanism that you collect that data somewhere, where you can later on report on it. It's a much better insight into what's happening within your organization.

And the last bit here is really talk about the data delivery. So, we talked about moving data and it's really about routing the data to the right individuals, the relevant recipients and the systems at the right time.

This just talks a little bit about the architecture of what you should look for in a mobile solution. And it's really—I want you guys to just kind of imagine a better world if you will. The big thing here is imagining not having to carry paper anymore. Imagine being able to walk into any site and simply pull up whatever device is in your pocket or in your iPad or your tablet if you prefer, and simply start filling the information out that you need, collecting all that rich data in real time, and click submit. And when you're collecting that data, you can simply have a back office magical window, if you will, where you can just simply pull the site information, you can pull the crew names, so who's working on the crew instead of doing a tailgate type. Now you can actually pull in information through and you can just simply pull down and it will auto-populate the addresses for you so you don't have to sit there and write the state and the province and the zip code and so on. Then once that’s submitted, it goes right to the back-end systems so you don't have to worry about Doris the admin filing it. You don't have to worry about losing it. You don't have to worry about any backup or disaster recovery because you have the redundancy in some sort of a cloud office, or even just your internal local server that we can have this placed right into.

So, that just makes it so much easier. Imagine being able to notify whoever you need to send it to. So, I go in there and there’s a questions that is in my "Submissions" that I can say, "You know what? Based on this answer if it's a 'yes' because there's a hazard here that I need someone to come and fix, if I click 'yes' on it, that logic and actually apply that piece of information to an individual who is going to go out and repair it right away as opposed to having it come in, someone to look at it, filter through the data manually."

So, imagine that world. Much, much different. Imagine being able to send a copy of that PDF, of that Word document right through that governing body that says, "Yes, here it is. I just finished it. My inspector just did it." And there you go; you have it right away. They have a copy. Any time you have audits, you can just go back and pull up information because you have that back office redundancy.

And then the last piece that is really important is all that data that's coming in, that's filtering through in real time is now being tracked and analyzed into this beautiful system in the background that has different dashboards that can really give the information and filter it down by individuals, by functions—whether they’re executives or whether they are the health and safety managers or whether they are crew manager—to get exactly the information that they need to see how they are tracking against you KPIs, against what you guys are promising from a service-level agreement when it comes to your compliance. So, those are all things that you’re doing. And guess what? A solution like this exists.

So, this slide really just talks about what you can do and what I'd like to say is, "Try this with paper." I don't think you can. You can maybe capture a photo with your device and then attach it to an email later but then there's a potential for that to get lost. Being able to capture a signature, whether it's a signature of the person doing the inspection for accountability, or whether it's handing over to the crew manager to say "Yeah, you know what, the inspector was actually here." Or whether it's a signature, a sign off from your third party governing body saying that I received it. You can actually do all sorts of logics in there. You can also add your logo on it. So again, if you want your colors and look and feel to it, you can really personalize what you need and customize it.

The geolocation is something that has saved a lot of my partners literally thousands, if not millions of dollars in the ability to be able to say, "Yeah, we were on site at that time, at that date and I can prove it and here it is." That's what you want to leverage technology for.

The big one here that I want where—there’s two other big ones that I'd like you to kind of pay attention to is the ability to work offline. That in itself is massive. People are always saying, "Mobility has an error of connectivity. Sometimes I can't connect." Well, you can still complete your forms if you're offline, and that is a massive, massive thing that you should pay attention to—whether you decide that mobile solution forms through us or through anybody else—it's something that you really should consider when you are selecting a mobile solution you'd like to make a move on.

And then the last one, which I think is very, very important, is embedding office data. Again, being able to pull information forward, being able to pull the site information, employee list, assessment of hazards—any pre-known conditions about whatever you're doing is something that's extremely important.

Monica: Yes, so just recapping—and safety for everyone, especially for all of you in the safety space, it's super important regardless of what industry you're in—but not only do you need to make sure certain requirements are being adhered to, you're also making sure that there's a record that that these requirements have been met or are not met, and the data they are collecting is really important whether it's a safety form, a hazard assessment, an incident report, or a training record. Think about how mobilizing your safety processes will allow you to simplify your life and focus on what's important, which is safety. Now with all of this in mind, imagine how you will take these critical safety processes into 2017 and beyond.

Sami: And one last piece here that's really, really important, which Monica had alluded to earlier, was that, a solution like a mobile solution is not really just about mobilizing your safety processes. It's about mobilizing any processes that you have that are currently on paper. Paper consumes so much of our time and effort as a company that it might make you a little bit more productive in terms of getting more safety inspections done. But from an operational perspective, maybe to an operations manager who you may have an acquaintance with through your company that you work for, that can be really the difference in making millions of dollars of revenue because now they can get the next job because they can transfer the information a lot faster. So just think about that as well.

Monica: Yeah, very key. So, we’ll now move into Q&A. We've seen lots of questions coming through but if you for whatever reason withheld them, feel free to type them in right now. We will be sending out a copy of the safety report that we covered in the presentation today. And for anyone that has to hop off but is interested in getting more information, we’ve included this link to website there and to a phone number if you'd like to reach out to us, get a more personalized demo. We’ll move into the questions portion, and allow me a minute or two and then start tackling some of the great questions that we've seen come through.

Okay, so we'll start with the first one. So, we had Maureen say, “We designed our forms in-house. Do you have templates we can compare our forms to or that we can use?”

Sami: So I’ll take that one. Absolutely, yes. We've got a library of close to about 300 different forms on multiple different industries that could apply to you. So by all means, you can take some of those forms and make them yours. Or we can show you a couple of ways to build your own forms and they’re really extremely simple to build and duplicate questions as you go. Another thing, too, that you can do is allow us to have a look at your forms. And if we have a look at your forms, we can simply just provide you kind of a timeframe of what it would take to get these built for you and we can build it for you from scratch.

Monica: Wonderful. Then we have a question here from Tamara asking, “What paper and Excel usage numbers were?” So just to recap, those are numbers that we talked about was 54% were on paper, and 24% were using Excel.

Sami: And just to reassure you again folks, we will be sending a copy of the report. So, we have all the numbers, not just the slides that you saw. So really, a little bit more in-depth explanation of how those numbers, how we got those numbers and kind of what the details of the report were. So, you’ll have that shortly after.

Monica: Perfect. And then we have Colin asking, “Cost is a big barrier for us. Do you have any recommendations on how I can pitch this to management?”

Sami: So, really good question. Part of what we do, Colin, is we actually have specific conversations. It’s kind of a follow-up to our specific demo that you would get where you can—walk you through an implementation process internally. So how do you get things approved? With a return on investment calculation as well. So, we look at the number of forms you’ve got. We’ll look at the time spent and then we can kind of divide that up on to the time it takes versus what it actually costs to have ProntoForms.

Monica: Wonderful. And we have quite a few comments here from James which is great, and he was asking for “a detailed demonstration to present to upper management, possibly a presentation that shows the true advantage of moving into a modern process. We’re a national contractor and we do not have a director of our Safety department which makes getting things approved..."

Sami: Much difficult.

Monica: Yeah.

Sami: I'm assuming.

Monica: There's a few comments there from him as well, you know, feedback on how their forms are not updated on a regular basis, that tracking these forms is difficult. So, that's great.

Sami: So, James, by all means, you can reach out to one of us either through requesting a demo online and just kind of indicate some of those notes that you are on a webinar; that would be awesome. Or you can call us directly and we can set up a demonstration for you, with that in mind, that you need a little bit more help with getting things approved internally. So, we can certainly help. We've done this with over 4,000 customers to date and we are growing rapidly, so we’ll definitely help us much as we can.

Monica: Wonderful. Okay, a few other great questions here. So, from Clifford. He is asking, "Outstanding presentation"—thank you—“Does ProntoForms partner with any mobile information technology? We use the credential verification service and with benefits from integrating that with your form.”

Sami: Can you repeat that question one more time?

Monica: "Does ProntoForms partner with any mobile information technology?" They use a credential verification service and would like to integrate that with the form.

Sami: So, the short answer is typically "Yes." The long answer is typically, "It's not how, it's when." It really just depends on what the system is. We typically work with a rest API that we can provide, where you can get the two software to speak to each other. That's one way. Another is that we—it really depends on if you've got something kind of your own—is we do provide the ability to embed into other applications. It really just depends on what the software is, the version and all that. We do work with also third party company that does some of this integration because we get a lot of these requests, so we can’t take them on. We can probably facilitate. We just need to figure out what it is exactly that you need. So, when you do ask for the demo, indicate that in your comment section in the demo and we'll make sure that the account manager who receives it can certainly address it.

Monica: Yeah, and there are some other questions around integration. So, if you are curious, we have over 25 out-of-the-box connections, so we integrate with things like Box, with SharePoint, with Salesforce. There's a lot of connections that come standard that our platform is already integratable with. But if you have anything outside of that, we do have an open API that allows, you know, facilitates a lot of those integrations. But for those who one-offs or those particular systems that you have, it's always best to speak to someone from our sales team.

Sami: Absolutely yes. And we've done a lot of work with a third party company that we work with here that has done some really great work when it comes to integrations. We just really need to understand your systems and connect depending on the version that they've got, depending on how much you guys want to take on as well from an integration perspective if you have that capability.

Monica: We've got a great question here from Maxine who's asking, “Mobility is a good thing. However, what I'm seeing in the field is that mobile devices can create new hazards, are hard to manage by IT Department. Cloud-based systems, a lot of business' IT departments are not willing to lose control of their data. What do you think is going to happen about that reality in 2017?”

Sami: You know what, it's a really great question. I think that's kind of a little bit more on the adoption type and IT wanting to get a hold of the data. There are a lot of mechanisms out there that allow you to collect the data and allow the company to protect its data as well. We can work with you in making a couple of recommendations on some of the mobile device management that's out there. We do have some relationships there if you need it. But again, that really just depends on your company and locking things down.

So, one of the things too that we could do is plug into active directory. So, if you're worried about an employee taking the company information, if you have that, you can simply wipe their device. If you've got a mobile device management solution in place, just completely do a wipe of that. So, just more access to you. But again, it really just depends on what you guys are using.

Monica: Yeah, and on the MDM front, we do partner with the leaders in that space. So, Mobilier and Airwatch. So, for anyone that is more concerned about those needs, we've got the partnerships already under our belts.

Alright, so there's David, I'm seeing a few questions from you here, so we'll try to get to those. So, the first one is, “Can a company complete safety form program be put into the system, i.e. access to safety manuals, etc.?”

Sami: Absolutely. So, it really just depends on, again, what it is that you have in place. I think one of a call with someone implementation team along with one of our account executives can definitely highlight how we can help. We really just need to understand how much information is there, what are we pulling, how large is the data, what are we moving. So, that's really what we have to look at and we have to look at it case by case.

Monica: Alright. And the second question from David is, “Can field level hazard assessment be completed through the system?” Field-level hazard assessment form be completed through the system?

Sami: Yeah absolutely. So, we've got tons of different names and conventions for them. But absolutely. Basically, what you're looking for is someone who can complete it while they're at field. Yes, that's the whole objective of this is to get you the information in real time and collect it while they are on the field.

Monica: And the last one from David is, “Are your forms based on Canadian OH&S or OSHA?”

Sami: Our forms are based on whatever you'd like them to be based on. The question that you would build in there or that we would duplicate for you depending, would come from the form that you're using. That's what I was talking to earlier when I said agility. So, if the forms change, if you're a Canadian company and you want your information to be the Canadian OSHA, that's the form we will use. If you're an American and that's what you want us to use, that's what we will use as well.

Monica: Yes, and great point because we also have a few different ways to get forms. We do have a forms library—having worked with over 4,000 companies has its perks. So, we've assembled a team here that's really knowledgeable and a bunch of different processes. So, you do have access to that knowledge and can use our forms library templates and build off of those, and alternatively, we’ve got a Professional Services team here who is extremely experienced in building out any kind of form you could ever dream of. So, there's that option for you as well.

Alright. So, another question here from Caitlin. “Switching from paper would be a big change for us. How do you deal with resistance to change?”

Sami: So, that’s a really good question, And I really think it becomes a little bit of a change management issue, right? So, when an employee starts in a company, a company typically says this is the process of how we do things. And I don't think 95% of the time you're going to get an employee who’ll say, "No, I'm not going to do it this way." They’ll do it the way you tell them to do it. So, part of it is you have to control the change by saying, "This is the way we're going to be doing things and you have to adopt it." So, that's one way of doing it.

The other way of doing it, which is something that we recommend, is get it in a couple of people’s hands that you trust, maybe someone who’s a little bit more technologically inclined. And also, get it in someone who's a little bit resistant to it because that way, you get the feedback from both individuals. And then once you get the buy-in, and you can do your pros and cons kind of on your own, you'll see that it makes sense to deploy a mobile solution, but you sometimes have to put them kind of on the spot as well with it.

Monica: Alright. So, we're almost at the top of the hour so we’ll just take a few more questions. So if you have anything really pressing that you'd like us to ask while we're here, please feel free to type it in.

So, one here from Anna. “With the mobile solution for forms, can I make updates to forms but only for certain people?”

Sami: Yes, absolutely. So, that's a really great question, Anna. So, the way you do that is we've got a couple of things to establish on the background. One we call "user groups" and another we call "form spaces."

So, user groups is when you've got a bunch of individuals that typically do the same function of jobs. So let’s say Monica and I are both inspectors, but John and Joe are health and safety managers. So, we may—both of us need an inspection sheet, but maybe the manager needs a different type of sheet, like an approval type sheet, or a form I should say. So, you can have those forms being pushed out to different individuals. So, if you make a change in our form, you can push it right down to us and it does not impact us or impact the other team. So, you can certainly slice it, dice it whichever way you like.

Monica: Alright. So, we've got one here from Eva asking, “Do you need Wi-Fi to get the forms or are they native apps and no connection needed?”

Sami: So, if you recall, we talked about the work offline feature of our platform. The work offline really allows you to work without any connectivity. So, the forms are typically actually living on the devices themselves. So again, if you're ever in in an area where there's no Wi-Fi or there's no wireless reception whatsoever through a network, then they can simply still continue filling up the form. The form will reside in their outbox until they are back into reception, it will get sent out. You just have to click "Refresh."

Monica: Perfect. Yeah. So, I think we’ll take the last one here. So, the last one is from Carlos and he’s asking, “Is there a limit to the number of forms I can submit?”

Sami: So, Carlos, very good question as well. No, there is no limit. Typically, we work on a per-user basis. And it’s unlimited number of form submissions and unlimited number of types of forms that we have. So, it doesn't really matter how many that you use or how many different types of forms that you use.

Monica: We've got two more minutes, so one more question. Eva again is asking, “If the forms change, they need to download the forms, right?”

Sami: No. They don't need to necessarily download the form. All they need to do is, once they open up the application is click the refresh button which is something that we recommend. Once you click the refresh button, they'll get the latest version that the person who adjusted the form has pushed down to them. So, they just need to do a quick refresh. That's it.

Monica: Perfect. So just to recap, we will send out the Safety and Trends report for those that are interested in understanding what is happening in the industry and where the industry is moving in terms of best practices. So, we will send that supplementary information along. And if any of you are more curious about learning how we can help improve your safety processes, please feel free to reach out. It was great having you all today. Thank you!

Jamie: Alright, thank you, Monica. Thank you, Sami, very much.

Sami: Thanks everyone!

Jamie: We’d like to thank everyone on the call as well for attending today's webinar. Just a reminder, we will be sending out a link to the recording and the presentation slides and the report results as well. So, thanks again everybody. Take care and stay safe.

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Written by Jacinta Sarpkaya

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Jacinta joined ProntoForms in 2014 as a Technical Documentation Writer with a keen interest in business processes. After earning her BA Honors from University of Toronto, her time working in service introduced her to health and safety regulations.
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