Branch Group Digitizes Inspections, Reduces Nationwide Operating Costs
Customer since: January 2015
• Shaved 20 minutes off each inspection, during ~ 4,000 inspections
• Saves ~10,000 sheets of paper annually, by merging 4 paper forms into 1 digital work Stream™
• Greater accountability and 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 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. The four companies operating under the umbrella of The Branch Group annually generate more than $350 million in revenue and employ about 1,000 employees. After partnering with Pulpstream, it substantially reduced annual safety inspection costs, and made work environments safer 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 is motivated to provide employees with a work environment that is safe, so employees stay 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 more than 2,100 safety inspections.
The Challenge: Higher Quality Safety Inspections at Lower Cost
The Branch Group partnered with Pulpstream to address a series of issues it was facing in its safety inspection process. The company used to use four sheets of paper to complete an inspection. When an inspection was done, one copy of the form was left at the project site, and the others were sent to stakeholders across the US.
To ensure everyone was informed, the safety inspector would scan the documents and email them to the corporate office, the safety department, and the CEO. After the forms had been received, another employee would manually enter the data into a database to record the process. There was tremendous opportunity for improvement in the record management department. The process would take weeks. This led to 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 The Branch Group evaluated to digitize its safety inspection and auditing processes, the company found Pulpstream to be the best. The Branch Group needed a solution that easily created a final report that resembled its original four-part form. It also wanted a user interface that was easy to navigate and customize. Minnix said Pulpstream was the only vendor that could make this transition seamless.
The Pulpstream implementation resulted in remarkably quick results. The new, modernized work Stream™ eliminated a minimum of 20 minutes per inspection. This time added up to about six months of work. By digitizing the processes, the safety department now saves thousands of staff hours a year.
New dashboard delivers nationwide data, transparency, and accountability
Minnix said when the team was using paper-based process, it was hard to get intelligence from the hundreds of monthly inspections. Tabulating data and slicing it by project, company, and time period was painful and time consuming. In Pulpstream this intelligence is available within a few clicks of the mouse.
The Data Insights dashboard automatically aggregates and consolidates all inspection report data from all The Branch Group locations, providing valuable intel that can be scrutinized at the macro or micro level.
The company’s entire safety department embraced the digital transformation. They now use cell phones to create reports and process their work Streams™. Pulpstream simplified life for inspectors and eliminated the need for storing all that paper. The Branch Group’s executive team also responded favorably to having deeper insight into the safety levels of their operations. With Pulpstream, the company created greater transparency and more employee satisfaction, within a safer, more modern work environment.