Certainty helped Rocky Brands reduce data collection, management and reporting time by 70%
Rocky Brands Inc. is a global leader in apparel and footwear manufacturing and until recently collected their Quality Assurance (QA), Layered Process (LPA), Verification and Lean Manufacturing audit data by hand. Their audit results were then manually keyed into Excel to produce the Quality Management reports and charts needed.
Rocky Brands began using Certainty in an effort to improve their auditing activities and were able to reduce – by 70% – the hours needed for their quality audit data collection, collating and reporting. They now have real-time access to consistent, comparable and actionable Quality Management metrics across their business.
When management are pressing for a schedule to be maintained and telling people that the ‘deadline must be met’, they would do well to pause for thought.
It’s management that’s responsible for the performance of our people in the field. Recently in the media we’ve seen some notable examples of safety management failure in the shipping industry – but the same principle of accountability extends across all industry sectors. With shipping in mind, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the comments make at the Court of Inquiry for the loss of the British ferry HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE when 193 people died. The Judge ruled:
‘All concerned in management, from the members of the Board of Directors down to the junior superintendents, were guilty of fault in that all must be regarded as sharing responsibility for the failure of management. From the top to the bottom the body corporate was infected with the disease of sloppiness’.
It was as a result of this disaster that the maritime industry introduced the International Safety Management code for ships. This code requires ship owners to define their procedures and, as a result, many operators now make extensive use of checklists to ensure that tasks are completed thoroughly and management have ‘overview’..
Certainty Software software is ideal for recording inspection data and providing management overview of safety procedures in any industry. It’s a web based solution for any audit or inspection based management program.
The following is a list of features that help ensure that field personnel can easily record inspection data and for management to maintain overview.
Checklist data entry from paper, browser, iOS and Android apps
Allows On and Offline data capture
Allows for electronic signatures
Action management tool for managing issues and associated corrective actions
Configurable rules engine for action notifications, checklist answer alerts and reminders
Configurable, user-specific dashboard for reporting trends, issues and safety performance across your business
Instant, powerful and flexible reporting by site, business unit or corporate-wide
Full online access to all data and analytics with standard and custom reporting
Automatic reports for OSHA 300, OSHA 300A, Incident Rates, and more
Analyse and report data online or export to PDF, Excel, CSV, and JPEG formats
Drag & drop checklist builder to easily create your own checklists
Blank paper-based checklists printed directly from the system
No proprietary scanning hardware required
Easily attach photos to observations, inspections, and assessments completed by browser or app
Multi language capability
Integrates with other ERP, HR, EHS solutions if needed
Unless you’re like the retail business manager who once told me that he was ‘making way too much money to worry about cutting costs’, cost management simply aims to achieve the most cost-effective way of delivering your goods or services to a given level of quality.
Cost management isn’t about reducing quality or short-changing customers. The low-cost airlines are arguably the best examples of businesses where cost management is successfully delivered. European airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet have either removed or now charge customers for many non-essential services. Similarly, discount retailers such as Poundland, Lidl and Aldi relentlessly focus on managing their costs.
Theoretically reducing operating costs will result in higher profits and better cash flow. The key however is to identify cost-reductions which don’t adversely affect revenue, quality or customer service.
Like my acquaintance in the retail sector, businesses tend to go through phases of cost management. When a business is enjoying rapid growth in revenues, costs don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve. However, before too long, the business has substantially grown and its cost base has added enormous complexity to the organisation. This situation is often not spotted by management and that can spell disaster.
Sometimes it takes a severe economic downturn to prompt managers to take a hard look at costs to try and see where savings can be made. We’ve listed some examples of areas where managers can start to make cost reductions – in addition to taking the Certainty Software Challenge!
As a note of caution however, don’t try and do everything in one pass – it’s not necessary. Act in one area, then revisit it and keep refining things. Be sure you’re not being too aggressive in one area which can then affect other parts of the business by eroding quality, capacity or morale.
Eliminate waste and avoid duplication
Simplify processes and procedures
Consider investing in better tools or technology
Outsource non-core activities
Negotiate better prices with suppliers
Prune product ranges and customer accounts to eliminate unprofitable business
Introduce flexible working practices that benefit both the employee and employer
Any competent directors will want to comply with the law when managing SHE, but directors will also want to protect the reputation of themselves AND their business from the adverse publicity that a serious accident would bring. Directors and managers will want to avoid undue pressure arising from employees, trade unions and customers because of poor safety and health management and the stigma and other consequences of a prosecution such as criminal convictions, fines or even prison.
An effective safety and health management strategy is a principle component of a modern organisation’s corporate social responsibilities and ensures that the organisation doesn’t lag behind its’ competitors in its sector.
A great way of getting an overview of the management of SHE is to use Certainty Software software – Certainty Software allows for data entry from paper using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, browser or the Certainty Software app for smartphones and tablets. With Certainty Software, your audit and inspection data is instantly available for company-wide reporting and analysis. Certainty Software has an action management tool for tracking and closure of corrective actions identified in the audit process. Certainty Software is ideal for managing data and the corrective actions required from any audit or inspection process.
There is considerable evidence of the financial benefits to be gained from effective safety and health management such as:
Increased productivity when using safe operating procedures
Reduced insurance premiums
Less sickness-related absences and training costs for replacement staff
Better staff retention and morale
Avoiding the costs associated with poor safety and health management ensures that an organisations reputation and assets are protected. Factors which lead to poor corporate safety and health accountability include:
Failure of the board to take control
Rubber stamping of management decisions on safety and health issues
Lack of resources assigned to safety and health by the board
Failure to have competent safety and health advice available, either internally or externally
Failure to have adequate communication on important safety and health issues
Business managers may see there’s a cost involved in implementing good HSE systems and there is. However, there’s an enormous cost of not doing it properly. Here at Certainty Software we’ve developed a powerful auditing and inspection tool that’s guaranteed to reduce the cost of managing HSE. This month we’re offering a FREE trial – so be sure to take a look at the blog post below for full details of our free offer. If you need help developing systems please let us know – we may be able to help you with that too, for FREE. Please don’t see health and safety purely as a regulatory burden. It offers significant opportunities and benefits. The benefits can include:
lower employee absence and turnover rates
lessened threat of legal action
improved standing among suppliers and partners
better reputation for corporate responsibility among investors, customers and communities
increased productivity, because employees are healthier, happier and better motivated.
However, there are costs involved if health and safety at work is managed poorly too. HSE statistics reveal the human and financial cost of failing to address health and safety. Each year:
Millions of working days are lost due to work-related illness and injury.
Thousands of people die from occupational diseases
Around a million workers self-report suffering from a work-related illness
Several hundred thousand workers are injured at work
A worker is fatally injured almost every working day
Organisations can incur further costs – such as uninsured losses and loss of reputation
Not only can we help you reduce those costs, we can help you reduce the cost of managing HSE too. Get in touch with us to see how Certainty Software can help you implement and manage efficient HSE systems AND reduce the cost of doing business.
At Certainty Software Software, we are proud of one very important thing. Our clients save an enormous amount of time and money using Certainty Software – our audit and inspection management software solution.
By automating the audit/inspection process with Certainty Software, our clients on average save over $4,000 and avoid more than 125 person hours of data entry, data management and report writing per site/location per year! In fact, we are so confident that Certainty Software will improve performance and save your company time and money that we would like to invite you to take the Certainty Software Challenge to see for yourself.
That’s right, try Certainty Software for FREE for 2 weeks and we will prove to you that you too can quickly and easily set a course to improve your auditing and inspection activities and save an enormous amount of time and money every year. If after your trial you think Certainty Software can save you time and money, simply convert your free trial to a subscription and all of your data will be preserved and the first 3 months are on us!
If you are not satisfied after your free trial, no problem, no obligation, no risk, no charge.
Maybe?Give it a try and see for yourself how like our Fortune 500 clients you too can improve the efficiency of your auditing and inspection activities while significantly reducing time and cost. Register to start a free trial now!
We look forward to showing you how your company too can save thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
The key purpose of this blog series is to help ‘cross-fertilise’ ideas and opinions from one industry sector to another. This week we’re looking at the mining sector and reflect on some of the challenges presented there. We found this great article in support of checklists and recommend you read it in full here, – my point is you may recognise this point of view in your own business and the full article may well help you. We’ve summarised a key issue affecting the mining sector and raised by Check-6, here:
Knowledge is learned. And since humans are not perfect, failing plays a key role in the learning curve. Trial and error exercises, collaboration, brainstorming, and creative endeavours encourage and embrace failure, which conversely spawns progress.
However, there are industries where failure is not an option and procedural discipline is essential to save lives. Commercial and military aviation, nuclear power, and mining are such industries necessitating performance in high hazard environments. The mining industry should be heralded as such an industry but has, apparently, woefully fallen short.
During the extraction, processing, and manufacturing phases, critical tasks are routinely performed with the mentality of “I think” rather than “I know.” After judiciously learning from a procedures manual, miners have no doubt performed the same tasks a multitude of times with repeatable success. Still, people operate mining sites, processing and manufacturing plants: memories fail and moods swing – human factors can cause even the most experienced operator to have a lapse in judgment or decision making.
Supervisors and crewmembers who rely on experience to perform high-risk tasks, during normal operations and in emergency situations, often find themselves, knowingly or unknowingly, in the danger zone, far removed from the complexity of procedures manuals. It is during these moments that critical tasks become susceptible to errors that cause Lost Time Incidents (LTI), an increase in Total Reportable Incident Rates (TRIR), downtime, longer flat time, and increased Non-Productive Time (NPT)…
An organisation’s absolute best mechanism to prevent human error is to instil a checklist culture. Applied with rigor in various vertical industries such as medical, commercial aviation, and nuclear power, checklists have proven to be essential to the successful implementation of standards. There are many types of checklists based on styles that are in turn based on specific sets of circumstances and needs. However, keep in mind the tangible checklists so often energetically engaged as the end all are merely the beginning, as they are inanimate tools waiting to be implemented. The heartbeat of any mature checklist culture is disciplined human behaviour motivated by management’s ability to verify compliance that instils trust among colleagues.
Furthermore, trust is key as communal discipline allows supervisors and their subordinates to follow a standardised set of company-based procedures, written by boots-on-the-ground with real world experiences, rather than a chain-of-command hierarchy based on experience learned 20 years ago from a manual, or worse, the previous supervisor. Teamwork is a by-product of reliability and consistency. A checklist culture is a reliably consistent team of individuals who communicate with each other across the enterprise in familiar language and operate in near perfect rhythm to complete assigned tasks – precisely, safely, and calmly.
Certainty Software is a proven solution for any audit/inspection based performance improvement program in virtually all sectors of the economy from global Fortune 500 multinationals in food manufacturing to leading national companies in the hospitality sector.