Flexible mobile solutions enable business agility

Eamon Murphy

Eamon Murphy

In the essential industries the adoption of big data and analytics are enabling intelligent decision making and a shift in operational and maintenance strategies to fact based interventions rather than cyclical, or break/fix processes. In this environment, a flexible mobile solution that can adapt and change following new learning or as business priorities change, is as important as ever.

Most maintenance operations still involve asset inspections, and the ability to capture richer, more varied information about asset condition remains crucial. As this data is enriched and in some cases surpassed through IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) devices Field Worker based data capture is constantly reviewed and optimised to ensure costly field based activities are minimised.

Detailed data capture plays an important role in specific initiatives such as data quality improvement projects, or specific health and safety requirements such as DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) surveys. Mobile solutions need to be able to adapt to the requirements of these initiatives to help engineers capture vital data digitally whilst minimising time on site. Captured data is fundamental to the implementation of successful operational, maintenance and asset strategies.

Finally, changes in corporate policies or regulations can have an impact on the data that needs to be collected, so when the goal-posts are always moving, it’s vital to be able to respond quickly and ensure that mobile solutions can keep pace as requirements evolve.

However, in most cases, adapting a mobile solution to capture different types of data can be a slow, cumbersome and an expensive process. The logic that supports data capture is usually hard-coded in some programming language, so the business must depend on the IT team or software provider whenever changes are required. What’s needed is a more flexible approach.

This is why we built Affinity Fieldreach. Business users can easily create or edit the structured lists of questions that guide engineers through each step of the mobile processes, prompting them to collect the correct validated data at each stage.

By abstracting the data capture functions from the underlying technology platform, and allowing business users to make changes for themselves, you can put the business back in control.

Business validation rules can be specified to ensure that data is entered in the correct format, range, and business context. Getting the data right first time at the source avoids data quality issues later on in the process.

Users can also easily add business logic, allowing the mobile process to change dynamically based on the data that is entered. For example, an engineer may be assessing the condition of an asset. If the assessment is positive, the engineer will move on to the next step; but if it is negative, the engineer will be prompted to enter additional information to contribute more meaningful data to the overall business process.

The overall mobile process, the validation and the logic are all managed via an intuitive interface that business users can operate without any technical knowledge or programming skills. As a result, when the process needs to change to meet new regulatory requirements or a new process is needed to support a specific initiative the business can own and deploy this change according to their own timescales and priorities.

Affinity Fieldreach puts power in the hands of the business, giving essential industries the business agility to adapt to changing priorities as new strategies are implemented and learnings from new technologies are embedded.

Learn more about Affinity Fieldreach here.