Imagine this scenario: It’s Friday. You’re a field technician for a construction materials testing (CMT) firm. Your job for the day involves going to a construction site to test concrete and collect samples at 7:00 am. That afternoon you’ll be taking densities for compacted fill at another location five miles away.
In the meantime you’ll be taking calls and emails, answering questions about all the projects you’re working on, and trying to plan your work for Monday. You have a full day ahead of you, and a lot of data to collect. This is a common scenario in CMT. Field personnel are expected to do a lot, and there are many distractions that take their mind away from the tasks they perform.
MANUAL DATA COLLECTION
You get to the site early, so you can have everything ready when the concrete trucks arrive. When the first truck gets there, you get to work. You check the batch time on the ticket to make sure the concrete isn’t too old, and make a note on your report. There are people standing around watching you do your work, waiting to get started — not very patiently.
“C’mon, we’ve got work to do,” they tell you, as you move on to check the air. You record the results and move on to check and record the w/c ratio. They’re still watching you. It’s hard to concentrate with people rushing you to do your job. You want them to leave you alone, but you can’t hurry too much. You put some concrete into the slump cone and verify the slump. Once everything checks out you can start making cylinders for compressive strength testing, and the concrete crew can get started on their work. You go through this process all morning long, trying to make sure everything’s done right, and all the data recorded.
After a full morning of concrete work, it’s a relief to grab a sandwich before moving on to the afternoon’s dirt work. At the next job site it’s more of the same. You’re working hard to make sure everything’s right, while being rushed to get done and get out of the way. By the end of the day you’re exhausted. You can’t wait to get home and forget about work for awhile. You race to the office to drop off your paperwork, and get your weekend of freedom started.
RESULTS: MISTAKES AND INACCURACIES
Here’s the problem. On Monday morning, the office folks start transferring the data you collected on Friday into their system. Your poor handwriting makes it difficult for them to decipher what you wrote, for the most part–was that w/c ratio 0.51 or 0.57? Who knows? But what about the information you forgot to record? In your haste to get through all your duties you forgot to record the external temperature at the site. This turns into more phone calls and emails for you to deal with, and you have to go back and retrieve the information–if you can. All of this wastes time in the field and the office, and you’re still not certain that everything is accurate.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE CMT FIELD TECH
If you’ve ever found yourself in this or a similar situation, we have good news for you. This doesn’t have to be standard procedure for you and your firm. You can drastically reduce these errors and inefficiencies by enlisting the help of technology. With Metafield, your field technicians can enter data from the job site directly into their smartphone or tablet. No more handwritten notes to sift through. Everything is recorded at the site and sent straight to the office. No more forgotten data. The technician can’t submit the data without completing all the required fields–fields you can customize for you and your clients’ needs. All of this frees up your field and office personnel to do the important work that you hired them to do, which results in less un-billable time.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Download the brochure to learn more about Metafield’s CMT capabilities and how it can help you get results faster and with fewer errors.