Magazine Article | December 27, 2011

Data-Entry Time Drops 87% With Digital Pen Use

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Field Technologies magazine

Tetra Tech is a provider of consulting, engineering, and technical services. Its teams work with various agencies across the United States on environmental projects, disaster management, and emergency response. Tetra Tech's Region 7 Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) supports the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a range of projects across the Midwest.

The Tetra Tech team was put to the test in the aftermath of the Joplin tornado on May 22, 2011, which destroyed 4,000 buildings and killed more than 160 people. The tornado destroyed a range of buildings and facilities which resulted in environmental hazards such as asbestos releases and chemical spills. START performed the rapid needs assessment, which identifies immediate safety issues and longer term remediation.

Analysts at the emergency operations center enter hazards into the EPA's SCRIBE online database, update maps, and triage issues for immediate attention. The longer the data processing takes, the longer hazardous issues would go unaddressed. While paper was ideal for quick data capture in the field, processing the data created a bottleneck.

Tetra Tech's START team had already deployed a Capturx Forms solution with digital pens to speed up field data collection so the team applied Capturx to the rapid needs assessment project. Four teams of inspectors were deployed with digital pens in Joplin to inspect approximately 80 facilities. They filled out more than 100 forms, noting conditions and location with the digital pen. When the digital pen was connected to a PC at the command center, all the data was automatically integrated into Excel — accessible in the original handwriting and as converted data using advanced character recognition.

Capturx instantly digitizes and integrates handwritten data so Tetra Tech was able to cut the time-consuming data entry time by more than 87%. Now, analysis, triage, and planning begins as soon as the teams dock the digital pens. Responders can react faster; and other stakeholders can be kept better informed about fast-changing conditions by simply logging into the SCRIBE database.

Real-Time Inventory Visibility Eases Customer Woes
Based in Eau Claire, WI, Corporate Courier provides quality delivery and routing services to electrical contracting and plumbing supply companies, convenience stores, banking institutions, and pharmaceutical companies. The company's reputation and high touch service have driven its success and long-term customer relationships. So, when one of the company's largest pharmaceutical customers decided to discontinue its service agreement due to Corporate Courier's inability to provide tracking and proof of delivery data, Corporate Courier was forced to take a closer look at its technology investments.

To retain business and keep up with customer demands, Corporate Courier sought a mobile solution. After a thorough search, Corporate Courier selected Airclic's software.

Airclic software provides drivers with visibility into every item at each stage of its delivery — as it enters the truck, when it arrives at its destination, and when it is delivered to the customer. Drivers are able to record delivery confirmation on mobile devices using the signature capture feature.

With the new ability to scan individual items and electronically capture signatures upon delivery, Corporate Courier outperforms competition by achieving more than 99% accuracy of each package handled — nearly 20% more than the average courier. This increase in accuracy resulted in a significant decrease in lost packages and more reliable, efficient delivery operations overall.

Airclic worked with Corporate Courier so that it could quickly respond to the needs of its customers and be able to offer services that the market is now demanding. After just one year of using the software, Corporate Courier expanded its relationship with its pharmaceutical customer, who recently recognized the company as its top delivery services provider among the 127 companies it works with.

Now a leader in the competitive transportation industry, Corporate Courier has seen significant growth across all areas of its business. In the first year of implementing Airclic's software, Corporate Courier's business grew by 10%, and by nearly 75% the following year.