Since 1984, Dimension Fabricators (“Dimension”) has been a trusted supplier and fabricator of concrete reinforcing steel and related materials. A core component of its business is the ability to fabricate and provide epoxy coated rebar solutions to various organizations throughout New England. Epoxy coating significantly increases the life expectancy of the rebar, making it ideal for use in applications where life expectancy is critical, like highway overpasses and bridges.
Dimension sells a great deal of rebar to state Departments of Transportation as well as counties and municipalities. In order to meet the strict compliance requirements and standards that need to be adhered to, Dimension tests the production process several times per day to ensure that they are producing a quality product.
The Dimension team had created a paper-based form to track and ensure production quality met the compliance requirements. While the paper based form worked for the quality assurance process, it presented several challenges. The paper-based forms were stored locally in the plant in a file drawer. If there was ever a fire, the forms may have been lost. During quality assurance testing, Dimension’s Quality Manager was required to perform calculations on another piece of paper and then transfer the results of the calculation to the form. Data was taken from the forms and entered manually into Excel. Reporting and analyzing data across forms was a challenge.
ADNET Technologies was engaged to help automate the process and create an electronic solution. ADNET recommended that an electronic form be developed utilizing SharePoint within Dimension’s existing Office365 environment. These forms are easily accessible anywhere and at any time, and automatically perform the calculations that were formerly completed manually. The solution greatly reduced the amount of time needed to complete the form, and minimized the risk of human error and data loss.
Unlike utilizing the paper form, which required Dimension’s Quality Manager to complete multiple forms for each new product per day, the electronic form allowed changes to be made to the information specific to the product, saving substantial time and eliminating duplicate form data. Data captured in the electronic form is now indexed and searchable, making it quick and easy to locate and analyze data across forms. For added convenience, the Dimension team is now able to use an Apple iPad for completing the form on the shop floor, with an appropriate protective case.
Dimension saw significant gains in productivity with the introduction of the electronic form. ADNET also assisted the Dimension team with revising and streamlining many of their business processes, improving efficiency even further. Dimension recently completed its annual compliance inspection and was able to leverage the SharePoint solution in preparation for the event. The Dimension team is very pleased that their business needs were addressed with a simple and effective solution.