Applying Intuition – Automating Data Transfer for Environmental Field Operations

Client’s Challenging Situation:

A successful family business provides onsite testing and servicing of equipment, protecting our environment. As the business grew, the amount of data it collected increased. This created a need to automate the collection, reporting, analysis, and accounting of data. The business leaders of this environmental business wanted to systematize and control the data processing for all aspects of their business, including accounting.

Scope of the Problem:

Our client has operations in Canadian provinces, including Quebec. The business performs testing in urban and rural sites. Some sites are remote, without internet service. When travelling to perform site visits, service personnel performed measuring and testing throughout the day and captured all the site data manually, on paper. Their site visit “tours” could take from single days to 2 weeks. At the end of each site visit tour the service personnel would deliver the test data to head office. Head office personnel would process the data, report to government agencies as required, and invoice clients. These processes involved manual data entry and lead/lag between work performance and completion of data processing, reporting, and invoicing.

Our Solution:

We recommended field equipment changes [tablets] and created software for a customized enterprise portal that allowed automatic transfer of data from field sites to head office as soon as internet connections allowed. Data was transferred to head office as it was recorded at the sites or at the hotels when each day’s work was completed. The service people could report data daily rather than at the end of site visit tours. Head office personnel used their new enterprise portal to perform the full range of data processing, administration, and reporting work. Data was ported to their accounting system. The work performed throughout the operating cycle, i.e., collecting data, reporting data results, and invoicing, was fully automated…in both English and French languages.

The Value Delivered:

Our client’s customized enterprise portal has been performing successfully for 10 years.

Our client has benefitted by:

  • improving data quality and options, including downloading pictures to confirm test results,
  • reducing the lead/lag between site visits and data analysis,
  • removing the time required for double entry of data,
  • improving the accuracy of data by defining data fields,
  • increasing the speed of reporting and invoicing, and
  • obtaining data/metrics to assess service performance.

Our client’s business has grown, entered new geographies, and it has prospered.

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