Meeting The Challenges Faced By Field Engineers
Providing remote site services raises many day-to-day challenges. UK company Scandata are constantly looking for innovative technical products to help meet these challenges. Scandata provide a number of different professional services for their clients, but most involve service engineers travelling to remote sites to perform surveys or clear blockages in pipework. This requires close management of all the documentation related to a site. Accessing the documents is a key factor but also updating the documents after surveying them is a must for both Scandata and their clients.
Finding new, truly innovative apps is getting more difficult. With Note and Share from MetaMoJi we feel we have discovered something that we can use in typical day to day activities, but that will also help to differentiate Scandata from its competitors.
In late 2013 Scandata asked their content management software provider to recommend new innovative ways to get documents, such as reports and CAD drawings to field engineers in real-time. This would allow problems to be analysed as a team; for information to be updated in real-time; and for additional information to be supplied to clients as a value added service (such as supplying photographs of damaged assets). Careful analysis of different collaboration tools such as WebEx and Skype didn’t provide a good enough solution to the problem. One of the key concepts of the solution was “mobile working”. The Scandata Managing Director suggested mobile applications could be used, in particular the Note Anytime product from MetaMoJi. Further investigation unearthed the new application Share Anytime which ticked all of the requirements from Scandata.
Features For Team Collaboration On Documents & Drawings
Must have features:
- Ability to share PDF and word documents between and among multiple meeting participants
- Must work over 3G/4G mobile data connections
- Allow addition of images direct from a mobile device’s camera
- Support the import of CAD (vector) PDF documents for annotation
- Work on iPad
- Promote team working & collaboration
Nice to have features:
- Support multiple operating systems/devices (ideally Android, iOS universal)
- Allow details of annotations to be ‘zoomed’ without loss of quality
- Export annotated documents as PDF documents for storage in CMS
- Allow ‘ad-hoc’ participants to join the document collaboration (e.g. call in someone that has been to a site before to answer a question or invite resources from another supplier for example if discussing repairs or work with multiple supplier resources working at the same time/co-ordinating)
After selecting Share Anytime, Scandata was faced with developing a strategy for integrating its use within day to day processes. Simply installing the app onto some devices wouldn’t suffice. The implementation was split into a three phase roll-out: Provide basic training to a core set of resources and find the best ways to use the app while on-site Make the application known to clients and other suppliers of that client who access documents via the Scandata CMS system via an instructions page and a link to get the app client Implement the sharing directly into the CMS via any Share Anytime API that is available