Saving paper is more than just a “green” activity. In many cases, saving paper also means saving one’s sanity.
The Economist recently ran a feature article on the current state of logistics in the shipping industry, namely marine shipping. Particularly, that the current state of logistics is outdated. Bills of lading are still printed in the majority of cases, and the main method of sending them between agencies is via fax. Every piece of cargo traveling on a freighter comes with a “library of documents,” which must often be sent in a different manner than the cargo itself. When connecting shippers can’t find the proper documentation, shipment is delayed.
The result is absurd costs and inefficiency for shipping. The article notes that buying air travel from Shanghai to London for a human being is four-times cheaper than shipping cargo of the same weight (which takes three-times longer to arrive).
The ultimate moral is that the future of logistics and shipping rests in digitizing the process. Many companies are already looking to make waves, but it’s a huge task and it may be awhile before paper documentation is off the table.
Mad Dog Materials isn’t quite as ambitious with our innovations, but we’re applying the same thought process to the drain tile repair process.
Documentation is a huge part of pipeline construction. Every detail about the job needs to be recorded so that if problems arise, there are clear documents to either ensure the job was done right, or figure out what went wrong.
Drain tile repair might seem like a relatively small part of the pipeline construction process, but plenty of information is gathered for every single repair. Things like geographic coordinates, the size and material of the tile involved, the length of the repair, whether there is water flow in the tile, and other information. And how has this been collected up until now?
Pen and paper.
The good news is that the paper isn’t being faxed to administrators at the end of the day. Instead, foremen typically go home and enter it all into a spreadsheet. That’s still leaving a lot up to chance.
Notebooks, made of paper, can fall victim to the elements. Heavy rain can instantly destroy a few days worth of notes before the foreman can enter them. Or they could simply lose the notebook, with the same results. Even if the information is not lost, it is sometimes days before admin can review the information online.
The Mad Dog Mobile and Web Apps eliminate problems inherent to paper. Foremen are prompted by the mobile app to enter all relevant information for every repair as it happens, and it is instantly uploaded to the central database. Admin and office workers can review that data via the Mad Dog Web App.
Take paper out of the equation, and your data is more accident-proof and efficient. And yes, better for the environment too.