Dyna­mic repor­ting on the Web

Dyna­mic repor­ting on the Web

Execution of a test on the Smartphone including image creation

A solid and com­pact repor­ting sys­tem is indis­pensable for every com­pa­ny. Even in the SME sec­tor, in the cour­se of an average company’s life, a vast num­ber of docu­ments in a wide varie­ty of for­mats accu­mu­la­te, which in prin­ted form could easi­ly wind their way around the glo­be a few times.

In the past, reports were unders­tood to be eva­lua­tions in prin­ted form on paper, but nowa­days, of cour­se, reports are no lon­ger bound to this medi­um and can also be crea­ted and used in elec­tro­nic form. It is all the more asto­nis­hing that even in the age of digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on, com­pa­nies with modern IT-sup­por­ted pro­ces­ses still have huge archi­ves with bul­ging file folders.

Repor­ting gene­ral­ly covers all the faci­li­ties, means and mea­su­res used by a com­pa­ny to pro­cess and store infor­ma­ti­on on a site, each of which is grou­ped tog­e­ther for a given objec­ti­ve. Reports sup­port the stra­te­gic and ope­ra­tio­nal manage­ment of a com­pa­ny as well as the coope­ra­ti­on with cus­to­mers and busi­ness part­ners by making the eco­no­mic basis of the coope­ra­ti­on transparent.

In the ser­vice sec­tor of machi­ne and plant engi­nee­ring, too, reports play a par­ti­cu­lar­ly expo­sed role. They inclu­de a wide varie­ty of ser­vice reports, check­lists and pro­to­cols, for examp­le main­ten­an­ce check­lists, UVV (acci­dent pre­ven­ti­on) inspec­tions or work inst­ruc­tions. The fol­lowing requi­re­ments have to be taken into account in par­ti­cu­lar: the reports must be edi­ted on site by the tech­ni­ci­an, the docu­ments must be signed, the data must be avail­ab­le in an eva­lu­able form and filed in order to com­ply with the duty of documentation.

Repor­ting sys­tem from Inno­soft fle­xi­ble solu­ti­on for machi­ne con­struc­tion service

In the con­text of the clas­sic ser­vice manage­ment sys­tem, the Dort­mund soft­ware house Inno­soft GmbH has been offe­ring a sophisti­ca­ted repor­ting sys­tem inclu­ding digi­tal forms and a report gene­ra­tor for many years, also used in con­junc­tion with Inno­soft docu­ment management.

In addi­ti­on to the form design for quo­ta­ti­ons, invoices or order con­fir­ma­ti­ons, the struc­tu­red and eva­lu­able reports are also used exten­si­ve­ly in field ser­vice, whe­re tech­ni­ci­ans car­ry out various actions on machi­nes at the customer’s site, such as instal­la­ti­on and main­ten­an­ce, repairs or necessa­ry tests. Even with the clas­sic repor­ting sys­tem it was alrea­dy pos­si­ble to pro­cess the ser­vice reports off­line and have them digi­tal­ly signed by the cus­to­mer and the technician.

On site at the machi­ne or plant, whe­re the tech­ni­ci­an has the most direct con­ta­ct with the cus­to­mer, valu­able know­ledge is gai­ned, becau­se suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies deri­ve their inno­va­tions essen­ti­al­ly from the pro­blems and needs of their cus­to­mers. The­re­fo­re, ser­vice reports also offer use­ful sug­ges­ti­ons regar­ding pro­duct inno­va­ti­on for the sales and con­struc­tion departments.

Howe­ver, the­se reports have litt­le effect as stan­dard reports that are prin­ted, copied and then filed. Only in a data­ba­se as dyna­mic reports, who­se input mask is not hard-coded but can be desi­gned by the cus­to­mer with clear­ly struc­tu­red spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons for the tech­ni­ci­an, can they be mea­ning­ful­ly eva­lua­ted at any time.

Example of a measurement report

Inte­gra­ti­on into brow­ser-based Field Ser­vice Management

Innosoft’s Repor­ting modu­le is now avail­ab­le in an exten­ded form as a dyna­mic repor­ting sys­tem also in the new, brow­ser-based Field Ser­vice Manage­ment, and many cus­to­mers are plea­sed to be able to use the fea­ture via web and cloud. In addi­ti­on, the Mobi­le app (Android and iOS) opens up com­ple­te­ly new pos­si­bi­li­ties with the smart­pho­ne or tablet.

Peter Ebbrecht, one of the mana­ging direc­tors and respon­si­ble for the coor­di­na­ti­on of deve­lo­p­ment, also sees a gre­at strength of the new solu­ti­on in the fact that the test pro­to­cols and check­lists can now also be pro­ces­sed by the field ser­vice tech­ni­ci­ans via tablet or smart­pho­ne. Tog­e­ther with pro­ject mana­ger Gui­do Horst, he has cur­r­ent­ly desi­gned the intro­duc­tion of the new repor­ting sys­tem at a pack­a­ging spe­cia­list in Hamburg.

“You can crea­te a pho­to of the part to be inspec­ted direct­ly from the app and store it in the appro­pria­te place, which of cour­se makes it much easier to docu­ment visi­ble dama­ge”. It is also pos­si­ble to record the docu­men­ta­ti­on of an inspec­tion direct­ly via mobi­le pho­ne or tablet. He sees fur­ther advan­ta­ges in the “signi­fi­cant­ly more fle­xi­ble struc­tu­re, for examp­le, pic­tures can be inte­gra­ted into the tem­pla­tes. In addi­ti­on, the pro­gramma­bi­li­ty is con­si­der­ab­ly more extensive.“

The situa­ti­on at the pack­a­ging machi­ne manu­fac­tu­rer in ques­ti­on is still as fol­lows: In the cour­se of pre-assem­bly and assem­bly, check­lists are used at the com­pa­ny in Ham­burg to docu­ment various sub-steps and to car­ry out QA accep­t­an­ces. In the cour­se of pro­ject pre­pa­ra­ti­on, dif­fe­rent types of check­lists were iden­ti­fied, wher­eby repe­ti­ti­ve types could be reco­gni­zed, which were main­ly divi­ded into the cate­go­ries check­lists, mea­su­re­ment reports and mea­su­re­ment seri­es. The­se lists are crea­ted and prin­ted out as Word tem­pla­tes, then fil­led in by hand and sub­se­quent­ly con­ver­ted into Excel lists.

Digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on of pro­ces­ses and sto­rage in database

Today’s paper-based pro­cess, in which the docu­ments are avail­ab­le in digi­tal ver­si­ons but are prin­ted out and fil­led in by hand, is neit­her up-to-date nor necessa­ry — and is also pro­ne to errors. In order to come clo­ser to the goal of paper­less filing and thus the digi­tal machi­ne file, the pro­cess is to be digi­ta­li­sed in the future, so that the data is immedia­te­ly cap­tu­red on a tablet and stored in a data­ba­se without media breaks.

Once the pilot pro­ject in Ham­burg has been com­ple­ted suc­cess­ful­ly, it will be rol­led out to the company’s other sites. Thanks to the mul­ti­lin­gua­lism offe­red, the pro­to­cols and check­lists can also be com­pa­red and eva­lua­ted across natio­nal bor­ders. Ulti­mate­ly, the ent­i­re assem­bly pro­cess is to be docu­men­ted in order to have a com­ple­te and eva­lu­able QA cer­ti­fi­ca­te available.

Defi­ning depen­den­ci­es offers new possibilities

Ano­t­her inno­va­ti­on is also a major advan­ta­ge of dyna­mic repor­ting: the defi­ni­ti­on of depen­den­ci­es. Plau­si­bi­li­ty checks can be used to deli­mit valid ran­ges of values and depen­den­ci­es bet­ween spe­ci­fic ques­ti­ons can be used to con­trol the visi­bi­li­ty of indi­vi­du­al sec­tions. The pro­gra­ma­bi­li­ty via Java­Script pro­vi­des the IT depart­ment with opti­ons to easi­ly expand the ran­ge of questions.

In addi­ti­on, it is also pos­si­ble to defi­ne as to which values are to be inter­pre­ted as warnings or errors. The result of the report is dis­play­ed at the level of the ques­ti­ons as well as at hea­der level with the help of a traf­fic light func­tion. Tem­pla­tes can be stored at various objects such as a machi­ne type, which in turn can be pas­sed on in the pro­cess and thus, for examp­le, auto­ma­ti­cal­ly assi­gned to an assign­ment at this machi­ne type.

Example of a checklist

Devia­ti­ons from the stan­dard alrea­dy visi­ble during processing

Even during the tests, infor­ma­ti­ve insights can be gai­ned. For examp­le, the soft­ware indi­ca­tes devia­ti­ons from the tar­get spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons, for examp­le when che­cking the value ran­ges, alrea­dy during pro­ces­sing. The dis­play is mul­ti-sta­ge, from a simp­le warning to a cri­ti­cal error. Fai­led tests can alrea­dy be seen in the over­view via the status.

The new repor­ting sys­tem not only allows to docu­ment a machi­ne order in detail, i.e. to accom­pa­ny a machi­ne through the ent­i­re assem­bly pro­cess, as is plan­ned at the Ham­burg com­pa­ny, but also to record all other ser­vice pro­ce­du­res in a com­ple­te machi­ne file. Due to the eva­lua­bi­li­ty pro­vi­ded by the stan­dar­di­sa­ti­on of ques­ti­ons and input opti­ons, it is then also easy to crea­te mea­ning­ful eva­lua­tions of cer­tain machi­ne types with the help of the Busi­ness Infor­ma­ti­on modu­le, which is also avail­ab­le as part of the Field Ser­vice Manage­ment, and the stan­dard sta­tis­tics sup­plied the­re, and ulti­mate­ly to use the­se for con­struc­tion improvements.

In com­bi­na­ti­on with the new Inno­soft Main­ten­an­ce Manage­ment, the dyna­mic reports can also be spe­ci­fi­cal­ly assi­gned to a main­ten­an­ce sec­tion and auto­ma­ti­cal­ly made avail­ab­le to the tech­ni­ci­an. In this way, the tech­ni­ci­an always has the cor­rect check­list at hand for plan­ned maintenances.