14 Jul Transitioning From Paper To Digital
Transitioning from paper to an automated handover system? … Here are 8 key points to consider
Are you buried in paper? or are you implementing an automated handover system?
The UAE is aiming to be one of the Worlds’ leaders in developing a smart city. Smart city uses cutting edge technologies to enhance its performance and the quality of its services. We have already witnessed the transition within the Government offices, whereby transactions and services can be carried out through the government portal website.
The world is changing and we have moved into the Technology and data era. In order to remain competitive in the market place, businesses need to ensure that they are working “lean” and as efficiently as possible.
We are utilising amazing innovation and technologies during the actual construction of our buildings and infrastructure, however it common for the office administration and quality departments to be seemingly stuck in an endless mass of paperwork using a paper based system.
What is one of the largest hurdles faced during the transition from paper to an automated handover? automated handover system
More often than not it isn’t the implementation of the new technology or the system itself that is the problem. It is the mind-set that can cause a major challenge in an organisation.
Mind-set can determine the difference between moving forward or keeping us stuck in our old work patterns and thinking. This mindset is often driven by a fear of change of the unknown.
I recently met an elderly gentleman in his 80’s, who requested that I contacted him overseas. This was not through a telephone call but on Skype and WhatsApp. I was very impressed and wondered what is holding many of us back from such progression.
It can only be a positive and open mind set.
Here are our recommendations to ensure a smooth transition from paper to an automated handover system
1. Communication & involvement of people.
We cannot stress enough the importance of good communication. Inform your team what is planned, along with the programme and key milestones. Ask for their feedback and ideas.
Introduce a little at a time and ensure your employee/user can contribute their input into the system and are fully involved. Employees who feel they have been consulted and included in the process and the decision making, will feel more empowered and motivated in their work.
If you do not have user support and commitment, there is a high probability the new system implementation may fail. Users will find other ingenious ways to process information and may avoid using it.
It is customary to process our works in a specific way, It can often be daunting to change our approach and learn something new. The result of this often resorts in employees transferring their previous corporate systems into their new organisation, even if the system does not really work effectively.
As individuals we should be looking to continuously improve ourselves and our approach. Keeping current with the ever changing world and technological advances. As the saying goes “feel the fear and do it anyway!”.
Get to the grass roots and discuss the system with the users. They are the key to successful system development. Ask if there are any current issues in their work practices or procedures. These issues may be contributing to employees operating at less than efficient levels or creating bottlenecks.
Find out which features would be helpful to your users to alleviate these situations. Their feedback will give you a great starting point for development and the users will feel that they have been involved in the process.
3. Soft launch
Trial each stage of the system with the individuals who will be using it: even if the system isn’t fully operational.
For example if it is a snagging application – let the user take a tablet to site and carry out a few practice inspections to gain more of an insight and familiarity. Again request feedback.
Is there anything that is working well or not working so great? This information will allow you to adjust your system as necessary with the developer.
4. Continuous training
This sounds obvious, but it can be often missed. It is imperative that you hold training sessions and workshops throughout the planning and implementation stages continuously.
There is often a delay between initial concept and final system launch. In many cases initial training has been forgotten or superseded at launch.
5. Choose your supplier carefully
There are many systems available in the market. Many sound great on paper. However we have found a number of systems haven’t been designed from a construction background and perspective. Upon sign up, you often find that the terminology and sequence doesn’t quite relate to your industry or common method of working. If there is no flexibility or customization options available, you may have to change your whole corporate process to fit with the system.
This gap in knowledge can cause significant problems and confusion as you start your implementation. If the terms used are not similar to the business terminology this can be an additional pain point for the new user who may shy away from using the system.
The automated handover system should be designed around your business, not the opposite way around!.
6. Provider support
Ensure the supplier provides you with onsite and remote support for your system. You do not want to adopt and purchase a new system and then find that there is little to no support available to help with the set up.
Once the deal is signed the provider can often do a magic disappearing trick. This point is particularly important for large scale projects.
7. IT Platforms
Check the providers IT platform to ensure that they are compatible with IPADS, Samsung, phones and laptops. For example the system may not be using an Android platform and this rules out a variety of tablets. This results in additional purchases of compatible products when you may have wished to utilise your existing tablets and mobiles.
You may also need compatibility with your client or suppliers systems. It can make it more difficult to open reports, implement changes and send work instructions to suppliers if they are not using the same or similar platforms.
Once the automated handover system is set up, don’t allow it to stagnate. The system needs to be continuously reviewed, adapted and updated in line with the business. Make sure this option is available. Ensure someone from your organisation is nominated to attend the training and is able to update and make changes to the system as necessary.
New systems may take a little time at the front end of the process, but once the initial planning and set up is complete, you will fly through and wonder why you hadn’t automated previously.
If you would like to receive more information or our detailed project case study on automating handover of a construction site, please contact us on Qualitaz.com through our contact page.
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