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Leading Elevator and Escalator Consulting Firm goes Digital

37,000

Projects

40

Years in Business

130

Consultants

3000

Years of Combined Industry Knowledge

Customer Outcomes

  • 30-50% reduction in 1st survey data capture time
  • 70-80% reduction in 2nd survey data capture time - surveyors focus on safety aspects of the survey rather than capturing context data
  • 50% reduction in survey to report issue turnaround time - digital survey data is driving automated report generation
  • Survey Form completion expedited with real time data validation, completeness checking - increasing data quality  
  • Survey form completion can be online or offline using powerful sync capability -  eliminating risk of data loss
  • Digital survey data enabling analytics, and driving continuous, APP function improvements, survey process improvements and data and reporting quality and time efficiencies

Company Overview

VDA, the leading Elevator and Escalator Consulting Firm has provided consulting services in the USA and globally with more than 37,000 projects. With more than 180 professionals, VDA helps meet clients’ needs for Elevator Consulting services. Their diverse experience and knowledge provide the most suitable and effective solutions for vehicle transportation.

VDA has been a long-term M-Files customer since 2016. Like many businesses, they gradually adapt antiquated business processes into the digital age to improve accuracy and efficiency. M-Files customizability was a perfect fit to facilitate this transition.

 

Transitioning from paper surveys to a Mobile Application

VDA had a paper problem. Every Field Service Consultant that went to a client’s site to perform inspection surveys on elevators and escalators would start with a blank form. The technician also used a new blank form on return trips to the same client. Once the survey was filled, they would return to their office, potentially at home, and type the collected data into a word document and send that to their main office. After review, another employee would send the compiled report based off the survey to the respective client. Massive amounts of paper were generated each month, either sitting with the consultant or printed and filed away at the main office.

It was easy to see the inefficiencies in this process, from redundant work on-site for return visits, copying survey data into a word document and emailing it, and then having more hands on the survey before it gets returned to the client. VDA knew it was time for a change.

VDA wanted to convert their lengthy paper surveys and process into a form-based data capture mobile app, allowing for offline & online activity, as well as a web-based interface. VDA had already invested in M-Files as their information management platform and Salesforce CRM for customer management and were looking to capitalize on these technology investments already made.

Beyond data capture, VDA also had a process and efficiency problem. Capturing the data digitally wasn’t enough. They wanted to automate both filling the survey and delivering that data to the respective parties as much as possible and utilize the customer information systems they already have.

VDA engaged TEAM IM for help as they are the leading premium partner on M-Files solutions and mobile app deployments. Through TEAM IM’s extensive experience, they knew that the standard M-Files capabilities and proprietary mobile app wouldn’t be able to accomplish the outcome that VDA was searching for. That is why they recommended their all-in-one cloud-based rapid development framework M-Connect: Field Services. This framework allows them to build precisely what VDA and their Field Service Technicians need to accomplish their surveys—for example, creating efficiencies in data capture by prepopulating customer information and processing the data after submission.

From a high level, the Project included three objectives:

  1. Convert the Modernization and Equipment Evaluation surveys from paper to a Mobile App
  2. Bidirectionally sync data between the Mobile App and the back office to ensure both systems have the most up to date information
  3. Automatically generate a report in MS Word from each completed survey, which can be shared with the client via the M-Connect: Digital Workplace

After understanding VDA’s more advanced business logic with tens of thousands of projects, companies, and data sync requirements, it was clear they exceeded the regular scope of a traditional eForm solution. As a result, TEAM IM utilized their M-Connect: Field Services platform to create a fully integrated solution with Salesforce and M-Files. M-Connect: Field Services is a proven enterprise solution, as the underlying technology framework is regularly deployed with larger enterprise-level customers, including GE and Halliburton.

With M-Connect: Field Services, form data captured via the application is automatically saved to a local database in the device storage (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.). This database automatically syncs with M-Connect: Field Services cloud servers or, if offline, whenever the user regains connectivity, drastically reducing the risk of data loss. All data is saved exclusively in device memory until synced to the cloud. Features also include the ability to use native device technology such as GPS location, time and date, stopwatch, altitude, accelerometer, and data acquisition capabilities within the surveys. Technicians can also take pictures with their devices and include them in survey submissions.

This solution took a lengthy paper-based survey with redundancy and potential data loss and turned it into a digitally optimized and automated workflow, potentially saving more than 60% in survey completion time. In addition, this platform gave the VDA team confidence, and they are pleased with their new, enterprise-grade solution.

Project Highlights

  • Upgraded and migrated M-Files Cloud to M-Files On-Premise
  • Reviewed and updated vault configurations using industry best practices
  • Upgraded and refreshed Development Test Environments
  • Providing ongoing Enhanced Support

Software Involved

  • M-Files Online (Cloud)
  • M-Files On-Premise

Value to the Customer

  • Better management of valuable content and improved collaboration
  • Improved control of the M-Files platform
  • Support service leaves Regency resources to focus on core business
The ability to digitize our manual process with the TEAM IM M-Connect Field Services Mobile Application which allows for on-demand reporting and analytics has saved VDA an extensive amount of time and resources. It has also allowed us to get higher quality data while eliminating data loss. TEAM IM has helped to make this transition easy and smooth from the very beginning.”

Troy Adams
Director of Business Technology at VDA

Project Highlights

  • Meeting the business outcomes of the initiative and realizing the benefits of digitizing the previous paper based manual process
  • Rapid App development, leveraging the Field Services platform, which lends itself to continuous delivery and continuous improvement.  In the mobile App world, the ability to prototype has given us the freedom to innovate as we go
  • The ability to work offline and automatically sync data when connectivity is restored has eliminated the risk of data loss which would kill the initiative
  • Business time saved with data collection automation that M-Connect: Field Services provides
  • Digital data and data quality and completeness benefits
  • The ability to run the App on multiple platforms like iOS, Android, Web, Windows, macOS enables easy back office and field functions
  • Ability to leverage device data collection capabilities like location, time and date, stopwatch, altitude, accelerometer, as well as data from IoT devices

Software and (Cloud) Services Involved

  • M-Files Content Platform as the backend data and document management system
  • M-Connect: Digital Workplace as the client portal used to deliver reports and information to clients
  • M-Connect: Field Services which is the mobile App platform driving the digital surveys
  • Salesforce which is used for CRM and survey scheduling. Shares data with the M-Files backend
  • PowerBI which is delivering dashboards and reports that drive continuous improvement and process control data

About TEAM IM

TEAM IM is a global enterprise solutions and technology company. Utilizing best-in-class technologies to put unstructured data to work, TEAM has successfully implemented thousands of business solutions across a diverse spectrum of organizations of varying sizes and industry focus. TEAM’s offerings include expert professional services, managed support services, custom development, and solutions in many areas, including Content Management, Records Management, Workflow, Analytics, and Collaboration. TEAM has offices across the globe, with resources in every discipline and service offering available to support you, wherever you’re located. For more information, visit our website

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“TEAM IM was able to deploy a company-branded Portal, providing the required functionality and containing account data for some 7000 accounts, integrated with HelloSign and customer systems within just 6 weeks.”

Volker Schaberg
Chief Operating Officer