On March 13th in at the Verdantix Summit, Independent research firm Verdantix announced the winners of their International HSE Innovation Awards. The HSE Innovation Awards are presented to organizations that are proactive in driving innovation in their HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental) divisions. The panel of judges that selected this year’s winners is made up of the heads of HSE at BAE Systems, Essentra, Galliford Try and TEVA Pharmaceuticals.
Amongst the winners was one of North America’s largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies, Pacific Gas and Electric. According to Verdantix:
“Pacific Gas and Electric won the power utilities category for its response to a pipeline rupture and implementation of mobile applications for risk management and work audits. PG&E used technology from ProntoForms to monitor performance and compliance across the gas operation teams at the employee level, fine tune corrective action plans and training programs.”
ProntoForms and PG&E have a long history of successful mobility projects. IT Program Manager at PG&E Darby Brennan manages the planning for gas technology IT initiatives, as well as the partnership between IT and operations teams. In January of this year, he spoke to ProntoForms about the implementation of their mobile solution, and how it has affected their technicians and systems. After a small proof of concept team performed well, PG&E expanded their use of ProntoForms to 1,200 users who used the solution to perform a variety of tasks, including the inspection of 1.2M gas meters annually. This inspection data fed directly into SAP, and enabled their technicians to expedite maintenance tasks so corrosion could be fixed before it became an issue. This improved not only PG&E’s HSE compliance rating, but the productivity of its field teams and back-office personnel, as the need for data entry was effectively eliminated.
On the topic of technician enablement in the field, Brennan was passionate about the need to embrace innovation, and ProntoForms’ role in their process: “The PG&E Mobility Centre of Excellence has relied on the learnings from the ProntoForms implementation to improve our mobility strategy, and how we use mobile technology in the field. Because of our need for safety compliance, our strategy for mobility is ‘technology enablement in the field’.”
Indeed, PG&E evolved from paper forms, to bulky laptops, to present-day mobile forms – and the shift into a consumer-grade experience meant that adoption was easy. Shane Granberg, an Investigator with one of PG&E’s Dig-In Reduction teams, noted in a separate interview in 2016, “[…] I’m not an IT expert, I’m more of a field guy, but […] I saw the value in [ProntoForms] and I saw how we could use this tool to improve our efforts.”
In 2015, nearer the beginning of the ProntoForms implementation, Khaled Fustok, Senior Manager of Gas Technology Strategy & Solutions, discussed his introduction to ProntoForms, and the importance of technician enablement during their search for a mobile solution, and how, “mobility became a central corner of [their] strategy”. With more than five million gas meters to inspect, the need for easy-to-deploy, device agnostic tools that could integrate with their pre-existing back-end was obvious.
The shift in enterprise apps and systems being developed with consumer-grade usability bodes well for the expansion of mobility into enterprise businesses. With the other winners of the Verdantix Award including Walmart for consumer products and retail, Johnson Controls for manufacturing, and DHL Supply Chain for transport and logistics, the value of mobility in EHS is becoming clear as the market continues to expand.
To read more about the Verdantix HSE Innovation Award and its 2018 recipients, please visit Verdantix.com.
Want to learn how ProntoForms can help your team innovate your HSE processes? Sign up for a demo and a free trial here.