Branch Group Digitizes Inspections, Reduces Nationwide Operating Costs
Industry: Construction | Work Stream: Safety Audits
Customer Since: January 2015
Time: Saved 20 minutes per inspection during 3,851 inspections
Paper: Condensed 4 paper forms into 1 digital report, eliminating 9,950 sheets of paper
Dollars: 425% ROI
Culture: Greater accountability & transparency
“We used to have to fill out four forms per inspection, so each stakeholder received a copy. If you stacked all the pieces of paper we used each year on top of each other, you had an enormous stack that was almost as tall as me. And I’m 5’8.” – Danny Minnix, referring to the amount of paper his team used to process before implementing Pulpstream.
Roanoke, Virginia — When it comes to construction, The Branch Group, Inc. is ubiquitous throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southern states. Together with its subsidiaries, the company provides a wide range of preconstruction and construction services to public and private sector clients in healthcare, industrial products, R&D, and manufacturing sectors. The four companies operating under the umbrella of The Branch Group employ more than 900 experts and annually generate more than $350 million in revenue. With the help of Pulpstream, it reduced safety inspection costs substantially, and made its operating fields a safer environment for employees and customers.
The Branch Group’s management team understands the value of a strong risk management program, from a financial and moral standpoint. The Branch Group believes it is their responsibility to provider employees with a work environment that safe and healthy. As an employee-owned company, everyone on the team knows that a dollar spent to manage a loss is a dollar that does not go into their retirement plans or pensions. As a result, the company’s safety department takes the processes associated with managing safety seriously. In 2014 alone, it conducted over 2,100 inspections.
The Challenge: Higher Quality Safety Inspections at Lower Cost
The Branch Group brought Pulpstream onboard to address a series of issues it was facing in its safety inspection process. Traditionally, the company used four sheets of paper to conduct each inspection. When an inspection was completed, a copy of the form was left on the project, and the other copies were distributed to other departments.
Stakeholders were typically in different locations across the US. To ensure everyone was informed, the safety inspector had to scan the documents and email them to the corporate office, the safety department, and the CEO. After the forms had been received, another employee had to manually enter the data into a database to record the process. There was clearly tremendous room for improvement when it came to documentation and record management. The process took weeks and concluded long after the inspections had taken place. This led to some incidents going unresolved, because so much time had elapsed since the original inspection had been done.
Branch Group Seeks Greater Efficiency
Out of the three vendors evaluated by The Branch Group to digitize the safety inspection and audit process, the company found Pulpstream to be the best in terms of pricing as customizability. The Branch Group was looking for a solution that could easily create a final inspection report that resembled its original four-part form. It also wanted a user interface that was easy to navigate and customize. Pulpstream was the only vendor to make this transition easily happen.
The early results from Pulpstream implementation showed incredibly quick wins. The new, modernized workflow eliminated a minimum of 30 minutes per inspection. All this time added up. It translated into the equivalent of six months of work, according to Minnix. By digitizing the process, the safety department now saves thousands of man hours a year.
New dashboard delivers nationwide data, transparency, and accountability
According to Danny, when the team was using paper-driven process, it was not an easy task to derive intelligence from the hundreds of monthly inspections. The task of tabulating data and then slicing it by project, company, and time period was painful and time consuming. With Pulpstream, this intelligence is available within a few clicks of the mouse.
The dashboard feature in Pulpstream aggregates and consolidates all the inspection report data from The Branch Group’s four operating companies to provide valuable intelligence that can be scrutinized by company, projects, inspectors, and time periods.
The company’s entire safety department embraced the digital transformation. They now use their cell phones to create reports and process their work streams. Pulpstream’s modern solution simplified life for inspectors and eliminated the need for superfluous processes. The Branch Group’s executive team also responded favorably to having deeper insight into the safety levels of their operations. With Pulpstream, the company has created greater transparency and more employee satisfaction, within a safer, more modern work environment.