Go Paperless with Unvired Digital Forms

Over the last few years, there has been a growing trend in the enterprise to embrace digital transformation. Paperwork still drives a large part of business operations and paper based forms are widely prevalent. So a good first step towards digital transformation can be the digitization of this paperwork. Replacing paper forms with digital forms (mobile forms) is becoming more popular but still a large number of companies in manufacturing, oil & gas, chemicals, healthcare, and utilities rely on paperwork to handle daily operations.

There is a myriad of paper forms used every day for inspection rounds, work orders, surveys, visit reports, and compliance regulations for both Asset Management and Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) checks. Relying on paper-based forms to collect data prevents companies from taking informed decisions due to outdated data which in turn leads to asset downtime and safety/compliance risks.

There are a number of disadvantages to paper-based forms management. Paper-based forms require manual data entry, maintenance, storage space, time, and money. Manual data entry is prone to errors which affect the quality of the data. Paper-based forms are difficult to administer and it is very difficult to perform analytics, observe trends, and make informed decisions.

Replace Paper Forms with Digital (Mobile) Forms:

Nowadays, most Field workers have a smartphone or tablet. Mobile apps have become an essential part of our daily life, and Asset intensive industries can leverage a mobile app for Digital Forms that can make processes more streamlined and improve worker productivity and asset uptime/safety. Digital Forms can be integrated with enterprise backend systems like SAP, SharePoint, and databases for real time integration. Users can access these forms on the mobile app and in just a few clicks, they can complete and submit their digital forms for review, approval or storage.

Unvired Digital Forms Application:

Unvired has built an Out of the Box responsive mobile app for Digital Forms that allows for easy data entry from any mobile device- tablets or smartphones. We convert paper forms into electronic forms which can be deployed instantly on mobile devices. Drop down lists, check boxes, and automatic calculations allow your field workers to quickly capture information. With decision logic, your forms can be designed to guide workers through a defined workflow. The main features of Digital Forms include:
Responsive Design: Unvired digital forms are rendered keeping in mind the form factors of tablets and smartphones. We use Bootstrap or other frameworks for this. Forms can also be developed in the original layout if the form factor permits a good user experience.
Capture Signature and Pictures: Workers can capture a digital signature for proof of service. They can also capture images using their mobile device and give their comments.
GPS Location: GPS tracking helps to locate job sites or timestamp of work completed.
Barcode Scanner: Barcode scanners can scan equipment on site and capture the readings.
Real-Time Insights: App dashboard displays the data report, graphs, and charts to give the visual insights about the key performance indicators to make informed decisions.
Works Offline: Works without internet connectivity with auto sync when connectivity is restored.
Integration: Out of the box integration with SAP, SharePoint, databases or any other system.
Admin Portal: Create forms, assign forms to users and track the usage and reports.
Development: The forms are developed using JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS.

Benefits of Unvired Digital Forms over Paper-based Forms:

⦁ Enhanced Safety and Compliance
⦁ Increased Asset and Plant Uptime
⦁ Reduced time spent in filling manual data.
⦁ Real-time access to data and analytics
⦁ Cost savings
⦁ Improved data accuracy
⦁ Increased Operational efficiency and employee productivity

Transform your business now by going paperless with the Unvired digital forms. If you are interested, click here to request a demo of the Unvired Digital Forms mobile app or if you have any queries, you can reach us by emailing to sales@unvired.com.

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Unvired for Health Care Applications

Mobile access to patient data or Protected Health Information (PHI) is of paramount importance.  While the backend is already digitized using EMR (Electronic Medical Record) systems, the last mile is mostly manual using pen and paper or other offline means of data management.  Modern health care requires that the care team has immediate access to the patient information.
 
PHI is part of the HIPAA Privacy rule and protects most “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or medium, whether electronic, on paper, or oral.  This requires that mobile and web applications enabling this access are ultra secure and handle the information accordingly.
 
Unvired recently implemented a Patient Information System on mobile with a backend database to store the PHI data securely.  The key aspects were:
 
 
Mobile Application
 
1.  Data at rest is encrypted on the iOS devices.  Additional data protection is enabled with security mechanisms such as password/PIN to prevent unauthorized access.
2.  Data in transit is transmitted via secure HTTPS/SSL.
3.  Data stored in the backend database is encrypted at rest.  Connections to the database are protected via encrypted SSL connections.
4.  The web application allows online access and all data is invalidated/cleared on session termination.
 
The Landscape
 
The Unvired Mobile Platform (UMP) enabled this offline/online access to the patient information from both Mobile devices and web browser.  While UMP satisfies the security and encryption requirements of HIPAA, Unvired partnered with Aptible (http://aptible.com) to additionally enable a secure environment in the AWS cloud.  Aptible provides a platform on AWS to securely deploy applications and satisfy the regulatory requirements.  UMP was deployed in Docker containers on the Aptible landscape to enable this secure access.  All the docker containers are isolated in an Amazon VPC with restricted access.  Additional logs and audit trails in Aptible ensure that every access to the landscape is recorded.  All data transmitted and received via the platform is logged and audited by the UMP.  Once data is safely delivered to the device, the data is cleared on the UMP and no PHI information is cached.
 
The combination of the secure UMP platform with the Aptible landscape provides a secure and cost-effective platform for customers to deploy mobile and web applications to handle PHI in a secure and compliant manner.  Over the next few weeks there will be a series of follow up blogs delving into more detail on each of the above aspects, do join us for the journey.
 
Contact us to know more about how Unvired can enable a robust health care solution for your institution.
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Chatbots for SAP: Talk to SAP and Disrupt the User Interface

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz around bots.  Bots are the lightweight programs that will make our work easier, and help us escape the multitude of apps that users have to navigate.  Bots have a simple text interface that eliminates the need for a Graphical User Interface (GUI).  Bots talk to systems, applications, and things- hence the term chatbots.   Much has already been written about bots, machine learning, AI, Natural Language Processing, and so this blog discusses a very specific sub-topic: Chatbots for SAP.

Interfaces with SAP come in many forms—the SAP GUI, Personas, and SAP Fiori among others. That is till now-enter the conversational interface.  At Unvired, we have developed chatbots for SAP to enable various Use Cases:

  1. SAP ERP-Workflow: How about SAP messaging you an alert that a Purchase Order needs to be approved?  You look at the details and approve.  Your text “Approve” gets the PO approved in SAP
  2. SAP ERP-Sales: The Sales leader needs to report to the CEO the latest sales figures. A quick text to SAP and the answer comes right back. How about looking at a sales chart—that can be viewed too.

There are so many chatbots for SAP that would be a must-have—for SAP ERP, S/4 HANA, SAP CRM, Cloud for Customer (C4C), SuccessFactors, and others.  Customers in industries including Manufacturing, Chemicals, Financial Services, and Real Estate have indicated interest in exploring Use Cases for chatbots.

Chatbots for SAP enable receiving alerts from SAP, taking actions/decisions on those alerts, and searching/querying all with the intent to streamline workflow and make work easier.

If you are an SAP customer or SAP partner and want to collaborate with Unvired to build chatbots for SAP, please send me an Email or email me or comment on this post.  We would love to jointly define some Use Cases for chatbots.  These are exciting times indeed.  As always, looking forward to others sharing their experience with and thoughts on bots.

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Four Themes from the Best Practices for Chemicals (SAP) Conference

Earlier this week, I attended the Best Practices for Chemicals (SAP) Conference hosted by The Eventful Group in Houston.  It was a great conference attended by several CIOs including from Huntsman, Nova Chemicals, PLZ Aeroscience, and Americas Styrenics among others.  There were many great presentations.  Here are the top themes:

1.Digital: Chemical companies are embracing digital.  Mobile applications, Internet of Things (IoT), Predictive Analytics, and the Cloud is being adopted by this industry.  Agricultural chemical companies are combining sensor data, soil data and weather information to increase crop yield. HANA is beginning to be adopted as a database and SAP S/4 HANA is also making headway as the digital core. Customers, Suppliers, Employees, and Assets are the four pillars of Digitization.

2.Outcome-based: Chemical companies are also innovating and defining new business models. For example, instead of selling compressors, they are selling “Compressed Air” as a service. It is all about Outcome-based models.

3.Cyber-security: Chemical companies are very concerned about being hacked.  Given the nature of the products they make, a cyber attack can be very dangerous.   There are regular meetings held where Chemical companies discuss how best to implement cybersecurity.

4.Global Compliance: Chemical companies have to ensure that their products comply with various regulations. Also, they have to register each product in the country where they plan to sell. Regulations change frequently, and it is critical to stay on top.

 

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Digital Use Cases for Chemicals : 3 Non-Obvious Mobile Applications

The chemicals industry is going through very interesting times. This is an intense period of building new plants in the Gulf Coast, mergers and acquisitions are frequent along with divestitures, and products are becoming commoditized. Supply chains are ever complex, and safety/compliance issues are paramount. At the same time, the workforce is beginning to retire, and with that, a lot of knowledge is walking out the door. Uptime has to be maximized, processes have to be optimized, cycle times reduced, and the workforce has to be engaged by leveraging digital technology. The need for real-time information to manage demand and supply is making chemical companies adopt sensors to collect data and make predictive decisions. Digital, indeed is being embraced by chemical companies. As we talk to various chemicals/refinery customers in Texas and beyond, we have found 3 non-obvious Digital use cases for mobile applications (beyond Operator Rounds, Work Orders, Warehouse Management):

1. Supply Chain/Transportation: Chemical companies ship products that are frequently hazardous. Many times, they outsource the shipping to third-party carriers. These carriers can be shipped via trucks and rail. However, the liability to ensure that the transport vehicle is roadworthy still rests with the chemical company. So, the employee of the chemical company has to do inspection checks and record them. Calculations need to be performed as the quantity of chemical loaded depends on various parameters. These are today performed manually, and results are recorded on paper. All this paper and manual work could be replaced by a mobile app that can record data on a smartphone/tablet, and send that data to SAP or some other system. Results in better safety/compliance, faster shipping, and better customer service.

2. Production: In chemical processes, the yield is different from the theoretical value due to process parameter variations or impurities. Hence, it is difficult to know beforehand the exact quantity of a product produced. So, frequently, the production order has to be adjusted or a new order created. Mobile apps on tablets/smartphones can be used to adjust/create production orders in SAP straight from the shop floor.

3. Product Shipping: It is not uncommon for wrong products to be shipped—the chemicals industry is no exception. However, shipping a wrong chemical is vastly different from shipping a wrong pair of sneakers. There can be serious legal and financial consequences. Mobile apps that scan barcodes to compare material number in various documents like Shipping Order, Certificate of Analysis or Bill of Lading can minimize the probability of wrong product shipments by alerting warehouse workers in case of a mismatch.

Hope that you found the above non-obvious mobile use cases in Chemicals interesting. If you have ideas related to these, pl. share them.

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