DMD Environmental is an asbestos specialist with offices in the East Midlands and East of England. Offering asbestos surveys, management, and removal, the company works with customers ranging from major government bodies and housing organisations, to individual homeowners.
Like many licensed asbestos removal contractors, DMD Environmental has found that the successful expansion of its business has come with a large administrative burden. Mandatory record keeping, and the need to analyse and act on the data it collects, represents a major undertaking for a business running multiple projects and sites at any one time.
DMD Environmental had previously tried to address this, implementing a digital form-based system to capture site data. Unfortunately the system was only a partial success, with staff finding it complex and hard to use. Moreover, the company was still heavily reliant on paperwork, and committing many hours of manpower to labour-intensive processing and analysis.
As the company continued to prosper, it faced a growing need to streamline its existing processes. Additionally, it recognised that modernising its data collection and analysis had the potential to improve the way it could manage projects and staff. In January 2021 it hired group coordinator Kriston Fox, and tasked him with finding solutions.
Fox quickly understood that the existing system didn’t meet DMD Environmental’s needs and, after fruitlessly contacting the vendor, began looking at alternatives. With an entrepreneurial background in IT and customer-facing roles, Fox sought out a data capture and analysis solution that would support a modernised, paper-free approach to site management. Within a month, the business had implemented an Android tablet-based solution powered by Assure360.
Fox understood the full potential of moving DMD Environmental to cloud-based technology. By adopting Assure360 Paperless and Assure360 Audit, the business was able to free its supervisors from the burden of paperwork. Just as importantly, with data flowing back from sites in near real time, managers gained a more detailed view of their projects, letting them offer more proactive and timely support.
The rollout of Assure360 presented an opportunity to reinvent the way that DMD Environmental managed its sites. Fox equipped the tablets with Zoom and Microsoft Teams, creating a tool that connected managers with their project teams. With easy communication, instant data capture and paper-free site management, the business cut down the need for site visits, and removed common friction points from its asbestos removal workflows.
Importantly, the solution has been embraced by the same staff who had a poor experience with the earlier system. During training, supervisors were astonished that they could fill in job details in Assure360 Paperless, and seconds later see the data arrive in the cloud-based Assure360 dashboard. Instead of having to carry large ring binders of paperwork around, site teams and their information are now linked to the wider business via a single, wipe-clean tablet.
Quick roll out
DMD Environmental’s experience shows that it’s possible to rapidly improve and modernise paper-bound asbestos removal processes – even when they are longstanding.
Assure360’s experience and support also played a key part in getting DMD Environmental up and running quickly. From video-based demonstrations during pre-sales, to extensive support and training materials during rollout, the Assure360 team was on hand to ensure a friction-free experience. It also worked with Fox to ensure that the business could realise the full benefits of the platform, and get the maximum return on its investment.
What the client said
“Our business had a lot of paper – the industry itself is very traditional, and can be quite tech-averse. At the same time, the people who work on site have an exceptional level of knowledge and understanding. Our goal was to try and get the two to merge together – supporting our workers’ expertise with technology that would help them apply it.
I took a look at the previous system and understood the feedback the staff had given me on it: ‘I tried it but it doesn’t work. It’s too complex. It’s not user friendly’. I realised I wouldn’t want to use it. I knew we needed something better, and having spoken to Rick and Chris [Garland], we landed on Assure360.
People in the office can’t go and strip asbestos out of a building – they wouldn’t have a clue. But you need to provide the information from the site in the way that people in the office – and the Health and Safety Executive – want it. That’s what Assure360 does. The more you use it, the more info it collates, the more detailed your reports become – it’s pretty mega.
Having Assure360, the hard work’s already done. As soon as we’re inputting the info on site, our contract manager or auditor can go out and audit again using Assure360. This constantly gives us a live picture of where we stand.
Being able to have instant, live connectivity is a game-changer for this industry. And anyone that’s in this industry that doesn’t realise that will fast become outdated, and they will struggle – look at what’s happened in retail. Now I can instantly see how things are going on our sites. Our MD or contracts manager can come in and ask me ‘What’s going on on that job?’ and I hit a button and there it is – with pictures and everything.
And if we get a problem, we can crack on Teams and sort it out. Rather than the supervisor having to call in, and the contract manager having to go out to site – which could be 100 miles away. That saves them two or more hours of driving, and the manager thinking ‘What are the problems going to be?’, and having to work out ‘If we need a new bit of equipment, where are we going to get it from? If we need a new member of staff, where are we going to get them from?’
If we know straight away, we can deal with that issue straight away.
I think it helps that when I send Assure360 an email I get a response, whereas with our previous vendor I didn’t get a response until I terminated our contract. What I found in Assure360 was a provider who was open to new ideas, wasn’t holier than thou, and was credible. They know what they’re talking about.”
- Kriston Fox
- Group coordinator
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