Jim Murphy, CEO, STRATA, Inc. and Bob Tuttle, CEO of Agile Frameworks presented at the GBA 2019 Fall Conference. This post is an excerpt from Jim Murphy’s portion of the session titled “Delivering Real-Time Results—The Future of Laboratory Operations.” Managing information is a key challenge for construction materials engineering and testing (CoMET) firms. Murphy outlines the important information management goals that firms need to keep in mind when they consider tackling this challenge.
The important thing about information management for CoMET firms is that the goals—for efficiency, veracity, dissemination and retention—haven’t changed. What has changed is the technology that allows us to achieve these goals more readily.
When we look at information management, technology can help us to be more efficient. We want non-redundant inputs. The days of writing information on a piece of paper and giving it to an administrator to type it and put it into a format that is more acceptably pleasing to our clients is long gone. When you have that kind of manual input it is of course redundant and increases the opportunity for errors. So with technology, we remove the redundancy and we are more efficient.
Veracity is an important element of information management. We want the information that we’re gathering to be accurate. We’re looking for quality. We don’t like to submit work that is missing information. We also want to be able to verify the data we’ve collected. We want to be able to review the information gathered to validate that it is reported properly. All of these things are possible with a technology platform.
Distributing your information quickly can be a differentiator. In our markets with tough competition, we have found this to be true. Our ability to get reports out in almost real time, distinguishes us from our competition—it’s a big differentiator.
When we talk about retention, we have the need—whether it is contractual, jurisdictional or other legal obligations—to be able to hang on to that information. And then we need the security of the information. We need to know that it’s not going to change over time—it’s not going to be altered. And that we can retrieve it so that it is auditable.
In our firm, we have leveraged Agile Frameworks’ MetaField platform to be able to address the information management challenge. It allows us to meet the goals of efficiency, veracity, dissemination and retention and properly manage all of the information that is part of our firm’s operations.
We’re using MetaField for density testing and concrete testing, special inspections, laboratory testing and all of those things that we do as a good field and laboratory geotechnical firm, but this technology can be leveraged in many more ways. Using MetaField has made us a lot fleeter of foot in terms of getting through audits, impressing our clients, and impressing jurisdictions that we can get information out that is reviewed, accurate, complete and delivered very, very quickly.
Not all technology solutions are created equal. MetaField is a fully cloud-based solution that firms can implement in a matter of weeks. Agile Frameworks’ implementation team has worked with firms just like yours and we not only understand the challenges and complexities of CoMET firms, we have solutions to help you overcome and solve for these concerns. We take care of the supporting technology infrastructure, database storage and redundancy, security and software upgrades so you can focus on your core business.
Watch for the next posts in our series that outline how you can use MetaField for safety programs, radioactive materials programs, quality management systems, and lab accreditation.