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Eddie Wang

Eddie Wang
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Guide to Construction Apps -- Top Tools for IT Managers and Construction Leaders

As time goes on, the needs of your business change. The problems that may have plagued your field workers in the past might not only still exist, but be hanging around with new troublemakers. Mobile applications are a great way to find powerful and flexible solutions to your workers needs. Over the course of this guide, we’ll walk through a couple key steps every construction manager in charge of IT responsibilities should take. We will also explore sample apps like this Inspection Site app below to give you ideas of what you can do: We will also share about how innovators like KLB Construction's Richard Glass are spearheading digital transformation. 7 Steps to Digital Transformation at Your Construction Company Step 1 - Identify your construction app stakeholders and determine each party’s needs. Step 2 - Identify any constraints. Step 3 - Choose an app platform. Step 4 - Build your construction apps. Step 5 - Test your apps. Step 6 - Deploy your apps. Step 7 - Manage, maintain, and update your apps. Step 1 - Identify your construction app stakeholders and determine each party’s needs. Look how productive they look! As they say, "Behind every great construction field team, is a... proactive construction IT team?" The construction industry is being transformed by digital innovation in the mobile space. Let’s start with figuring out who’s going to be actually using the construction app(s). Each type of user will have unique needs that a robust app platform should be able to accommodate. Four common stakeholders include: End User - The person who's actually using the app. We have to think about how we design our app with the End User's needs in mind to make sure we are helping, not hindering, them from accomplishing their tasks. Contractors - Contractors may need to access parts of the construction project management system. These users may have separate needs including specific security filters to limit access to sensitive data. Management - Management may not be performing the field services, but they will need consistent, high-level reports on project status, expense reports, and more. IT Team - The IT Team may be a standalone corporate division or simply an entrepreneurial front-line worker. In either case, any apps or app platforms must be easy to design and implement in the hands of an IT Team charged with ensuring security, stability, and performance. Two other stakeholders that may be relevant depending on the nature of the engagement include: Client - A client may or may not have interest in the everyday activities surrounding a construction project. Typically, a client might only be interested in some form of consistent reporting on project status or budget control. Government/Municipal Authorities - For projects in heavily regulated environments, active government oversight and intervention may necessitate tools that can be adapted for external participation. While it’s tempting to jump ahead and begin looking for solutions, taking time to identify key stakeholders and their unique needs is a time-saving, utility-maximizing process that should never be skipped. Be sure to speak with at least one person in each category of stakeholders before making any assumptions. Through this process, you can also learn what the current processes are for the given task you’re trying to digitize. Learning about what existing processes are already utilized can allow you to design apps that provide a more seamless transition for your workers. If the solution you ultimately create can’t significantly beat the status quo, it probably isn’t worth doing. A well designed suite of tools can help you increase onsite productivity and efficiency.   Step 2 - Identify any constraints. Constraints of all kinds, while sometimes limiting, also serve as useful guideposts that can help inform product development decisions. A few constraints to consider include: Scope What is the overall end-goal of your construction app(s)? Is the feature set you're exploring best suited for a mobile app form factor? Cost What is your team’s IT budget? Does your team have enough budget to hire developers or external consultants to build apps? What are you currently spending on app-related needs? What are you currently spending on the work function you're seeking to fix? Time When do the app(s) need to be ready? Are there any bottlenecks that may affect the app development process? Safety What safety precautions are worth considering? How are accidents typically handled through the present system? Safety first! Even when we’re talking about building out mobile-first workplace productivity apps. Legal What processes must be documented? And in what form? Will signatures, photos, or any other forms of documentation be needed? People/Technology Is your team utilizing standardized hardware or primarily personal devices? Are you looking for iOS, Android, iPhone, iPad specific solutions? Do you have someone who can build apps quickly and on time? How many app requests do you have?  Data What kind of data is your team collecting? Does the data need to be captured in real time? How will the data need to be processed and displayed? Connectivity Will your construction teams likely be working in any cellular dead-zones? How important is offline work capacity? If only balancing time, cost, and quality were as easy as drawing nice triangles... Step 3 - Choose an app platform. With hundreds if not thousands of construction app solutions out there, navigating a technology procurement decision can be tedious if not downright exhausting! The first decision you and your team may need to make is the classic buy vs. build decision. “Apps that are built for a smartphone and tablet, that have a complex user interface, or that require a significant back-end can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $1,500,000.” Even the simplest of apps can cost at least $25,000. This is what paying for proprietary mobile app development feels like... For all but the largest constructions firms in the world, coding your own apps from scratch is not a realistic possibility. Even if you could, in most cases, 3rd party solutions provide better bang-for-the-buck and greater functionality with proven solutions. Presuming you’ve decided to buy a license to an existing solution, your next decision would be choosing between an out-of-the-box construction solution and using a low-code or no-code platform to build a suite of custom, feature rich apps. Out-of-the-box solutions  on the surface appear to be quicker to set-up, but often that isn't the case in the long run. Not only do these solutions force you to work within preset constraints, but they also cost more to maintain. You know what your business's needs are, so why not design around that?  Platform app solutions are customizable by nature, and these apps may lend themselves to more functional product use-cases in the long-run. With even a limited IT team, no-code platform apps are often quicker, cheaper, easier to customize and iterate. A well-integrated platform solution can also help IT managers avoid the classic challenge of utilizing too many disparate systems that can’t “communicate” effectively with each other. A view of your phone after installing multiple apps to do what the one app you create can do... As an example, consider Richard’s experience from KLB Construction: “Mobile apps are lagging in the construction industry, and it’s under-served by technology. Off-the-shelf software typically does not represent how we do things. Being able to customize the app for our purposes makes it more user-friendly and more likely to be adopted by the field.” Whatever route you ultimately end up choosing, be sure to explore software reviews and find out what real users have to say about the product: Best Mobile Application Development Software Best Construction App Software Step 4 - Build your construction apps. Depending on the app product or platform you choose and your team's initial competency, building and integrating a full suite of construction management apps can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months to get started. In this time, it’s best to focus on establishing the core functionality of what you need. We all must walk before we can run, you know? You may even consider building out a product road-map that includes what you’ll include at the start of your initial construction app launch and what features and functionalities you’ll build in over time. This product road-map should synthesize insights you’ve already gathered in your stakeholder, constraint, and app platform research. Bucketing Similar Functions into Apps No single tool can fulfill every function you need. Because of this, you might consider bucketing similar functions into a suite of connected apps. A few ideas include: Estimator - For contractors on the go, utilizing a mobile estimator tool can increase productivity and help save time. Punch List - Wrapping up any construction project involves closing the loop on work items. If your organization currently uses a paper or email-based system for punch lists, you might consider switching to an app-based version that works seamlessly with your teams.  Blueprint Management - Having cloud-based shared and current blueprints is an important function for most construction projects. Utilizing a single tool with a clean user interface can help engineers, architects, and contractors work collaboratively, quickly, and accurately. If you’re building apps through the AppSheet platform, you can get started quickly by integrating your data from Google Docs, Box, DropBox, SQL, and more.     Or, you can copy these generic versions of construction apps to get you started: Construction Daily Reports Daily reporting is essential for foreman and project managers who are tasked with staying on top of resources and personnel. A functional app can replace the stream of paperwork and emails that can clutter daily reporting. Site Inspections Safety inspections are an essential piece of any well-run construction project. This app allows users to capture key information for inspection reports while leveraging cloud-synced photos and GPS/map technology. Package Delivery Management Getting the right packages or deliveries delivered to the right building or job site can be a challenging undertaking. An effective internal logistics app can simplify this process for suppliers, drivers, and site managers. Field Survey Project management was never meant to be contained in the four walls of a cubicle. Putting the tools for real-time, on-site project management into those on the front-lines can help any organization retain data integrity and manage resources effectively. Learn more about this sample app. For AppSheet users, here are a few more things to keep in mind: Consider leveraging any sample app materials that may be relevant for your use case. Great apps and app platforms will always come with rich resource libraries and support to help you make the most of their product. As an individual charged with IT management responsibility, be sure to do your research and build a strong foundation of product-specific knowledge. Perfect is the enemy of good enough. Remember, you’re building a functional business application. It may not look as slick as the latest social media app, but it also does not need to. Whew! Step 5 - Test your apps. In theory, practice makes perfect, but with software, testing makes… “better.” No amount of tests can replicate all the realities of a live app, but it can certainly help! Consider identifying a subset of the construction team to engage in field tests. A simple way to go about doing this would be to provide them with basic training and ask them to complete a battery of standard field tests (i.e. processes they would normally use the app for). Have participants report back to you with data on functionality and usability. You can modify this simple Google Form to suit your needs if your solution doesn't have built in feedback functionality. For AppSheet users, users can always provide feedback to app creators through the "Feedback View" on the menu (see below).  Once your testing consistently returns satisfied end users, you’re ready to deploy your app to the team. Step 6 - Deploy your apps. You made it! You’ve successfully procured and created an app solution for your team. Before you celebrate too soon, expect the unexpected as you deploy your apps to live users. Even stock photo models need time to celebrate! In the process of releasing your app, consider hosting a universal team training event either in-person or through a webinar. Be sure to cast a compelling vision of why your team is making the change and how this change will ultimately benefit them. Change isn’t always appreciated and habits can be difficult to break. Even after the app is fully deployed, bugs, user error, and unexpected challenges are par for the course when it your apps makes it to the field. What’s important is keeping a level head and having a platform with strong help documentation and support options. "If we make it easier than paper, we increase adoption.” -Richard Glass, IT Manager at KLB Construction. Step 7 - Manage, maintain, and update your apps. In today’s ever-changing world, no product is every truly “done,” but that's a good thing! Users change. Needs change. And great software should have the ability to change too. As an IT manager or someone functioning in an IT leadership capacity, it’s your job to stay ahead of the game and ensure that the apps you build meet the needs of your team. Here’s a checklist of questions to keep your apps ready-to-go: Are there any known bugs? If so, what actions are currently being taken to address them? Is there a strong on-boarding process/documentation in place to help new users learn the system? Are there any new upcoming projects that may require distinct needs? Do you need more or fewer software licenses? Are there any new technologies (e.g. augmented reality) that have the potential to shift our future business processes? For AppSheet users, are there any new data sources that should be integrated? And now, it's your turn! So there you have it! 7 steps to transform your construction firm from technology laggard to industry trend-setter. What have been your experiences implementing mobile apps across your construction firm? What lessons have you learned? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below or join our community forum and talk to others in your field and beyond! This post was updated on November 14th, 2019.

What is HACCP? 7 Key Principles and Process Management Explained

What is HACCP? 7 Key Principles and Process Management Explained Get the HACCP Inspections template What is HACCP? | Principles and Process Management HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a globally recognized food safety management standard that requires businesses to apply guidelines, procedures, and principles to ensure food safety from raw material manufacturing right up to consumption. The U.S Food and Drug Administration organization (FDA) has outlined the HACCP protocol to be applied on all vital food process checkpoints to analyze and eliminate threats of any biological, chemical, or physical hazards at all times.   What makes a HACCP plan successful? Before delving into HACCP’s seven principles, it is crucial to understand the foundations of a successful HACCP implementation. The first step is to have the support and commitment from upper management which then translates into a greater focus and priority on food safety down-the-line to employees. Furthermore, employees may be required to undergo a series of prerequisite programs such as current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) and several others. Other program line-ups can include areas such as: Individual cleanliness Establishment of facilities Verification of qualified suppliers Material labeling guidelines Management of manufacturing equipment Cleaning standards and schedules Employee roles in the HACCP program Managing chemicals to prevent contamination Proper storage, transportation and handling of materials Tracing and recovery of products Prevention of pests After accomplishing this, the company needs to settle five preparatory assignments before applying the seven principles to a HACCP plan. Preparatory assignment one — Build the HACCP core team The HACCP core team should be comprised of stakeholders with specialized experience related to the manufacturing system and the final edible product. Employees from fields such as operations, engineering, manufacturing, hygiene, science, quality assurance, and safety can be part of this team. At times, this team may require external experts to step in for domain-specific knowledge. Even when this happens, the core members are require to work closely and take ownership of the HACCP plan. Preparatory assignment two — Create a clear description on the food product and delivery The food product is to be clearly detailed by the HACCP core team. Details can contain manufacturing procedures, ingredients, and types of food involved. The food delivery technique should inform whether the needs to be distributed at room temperature, chilled, or frozen. Preparatory assignment three — Elaborate on the food product usage and its consumers The HACCP team will need to make known the type of consumers involved: children, adults, patients, and so on. Also, they will need to mention how the product is to be consumed.  Preparatory assignment four — Construct a flow diagram that explains the procedures The intention of this flow diagram is to offer a brief idea on the stages to manage the HACCP plan process. The team is to include the areas where checkpoints are to be observed and handled. The simple graphical map can include the pre, during, and after production areas.    Preparatory assignment five — Validate the flow diagram. It is essential for the HACCP team to validate what is assembled in the flow diagram. This ensures the correctness of what is written. When amendments are required, the team can better jot down and manage changes that arise. The Seven Principles of HACCP Once the obligatory prerequisite programs and five preparatory assignments are completed, a firm is ready to administer a HACCP plan. As articulated by FDA, HACCP’s orderly approach is grounded by seven principles. These standards govern the identification, assessment, and management of food safety dangers. Principle one: Put into action a hazard and risk analysis plan Here is where the HACCP team assesses the manufacturing processes and circles out the risks as well as hazards. These threats can include chemical, metal, toxins and even biological contamination. It is very important that the team leverage top-notch expertise to identify these risks. This hazard and risk assessment is finalized in two stages. First, the team must identify what can cause such hazards. Next, the team must determine the level of threat of the hazard. Once these two stages are completed, they can proceed to circle out the critical control points to be managed. Principle two: Ascertain the critical control points (CCPs) CCPs involve identification of areas in the production process in order to deter hazards from occurring. Hence, these are known as critical control points. The HACCP team must list ways to place deterrents to prevent risks from occurring.  Principle three: Identify critical limits After the CCPs are identified, the team must identify critical limits for maintaining healthy environments (e.g. chlorine, salt, acidity levels). If anything goes beyond what is the set normal levels, corrective actions will need to be implemented immediately. Principle four: Put monitoring processes in place This step contributes to the effectiveness of the HACCP program set. Monitoring processes can consist of automated or human observations in set time frames. Proper monitoring enables the team to act quickly when hazardous limits are reached.  Principle five: Begin remedial arrangements. For every CCP identified, the team needs to plan remedial steps. Corrective steps involve determining and solving the root cause of the issue. Strong preparation allows for rapid crisis management when hazardous contamination occurs. Principle six: Establish verification procedures After remedial arrangements are set up, the HACCP team can verify whatever has been set. This helps to ensure that the plan is in adherence to the HACCP system. With this principle, impartial independent authorities can step in to determine if the HACCP plan meets standards.  Principle seven: Begin tracking and documenting steps Finally, all processes and CCPs need to be tracked, stored, and easily traced in order to meet regulatory criteria. The team will need to determine what details are to be recorded.  To find out what is required to be included in this step, visit here. How to Digitize HACCP Processes If you've been tasked with implementing HACCP programs at your company, you want to explore digitizing your management processes. Once you have clarity on the processes you are running, you can incorporate different applications to run those processes more efficiently.  Food manufacturers and distributors around the world are using AppSheet to build their own web and mobile apps without code to to keep their operations safe, efficient, and productive.  We created a sample application for HACCP tracking. You can copy this HACCP app and get the underlying data and modify it to fit your process. If you're interested in building your own HACCP management app, get started creating your app by starting directly from your own data using a standard spreadsheet (e.g. Google Sheet, Excel on O365/Dropbox/Box, or Smartsheet). You can build your own functional app within just a few hours. Watch the video below for additional ideas on how to make an app!      

The Top 2020 Conferences for the Manufacturing Industry

Interested in attending the top manufacturing industry conference & events in 2020? We created an app with a curated shortlist of the top events this year. If you are starting to plan which events to participate in next year, this list will come in handy. Click on the Details tab to copy the app and you'll also have access to the data that's powering the app. You can create your own web or mobile app for your manufacturing needs with AppSheet.  If you're interested in building your own custom mobile and web apps for processes like equipment inspections, inventory management, and field service, explore how to create your own app and discover how other manufacturing leaders are leveraging AppSheet to empower their field teams.   MODEX 2020 Mon, Mar 09, 2020 - Thu, Mar 12, 2020 World Congress Center, Atlanta Georgia Learn from the industry’s best minds how key industry trends and innovations can transform your manufacturing and supply chain operations through 100+ free education sessions and four powerful keynotes. IMTS 2020 Mon, Sep 14, 2020 - Sat, Sep 19, 2020 McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, USA IMTS 2020 will be the 33rd edition of the Premier Manufacturing Technology show in North America. Industry professionals from all over the world visit IMTS to see and experience more than 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, components, systems and processes designed to help solve their manufacturing challenges and improve their efficiency. Hannover Messe USA 2020 Mon, Sep 14, 2020 - Sat, Sep 19, 2020 McCormick Place 2301 S. King Drive Chicago, Illinois 60616 HANNOVER MESSE USA (HMUSA) is where manufacturers come to discover the world-leading technologies they need to win amid industry disruption and transformation. It is the most comprehensive industrial technology tradeshow in North America showcasing the latest in IIoT, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence and more. International Conference on Manufacturing Technologies (ICMT) 2020 Fri, Jan 17, 2020 - Mon, Jan 20, 2020 University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA The aim of ICMT 2020 is to present the latest research and results of scientists related to Manufacturing Technologies topics. This conference provides opportunities for delegates from different areas to exchange new ideas and application experiences face to face, establish business or research relations, and find global partners for future collaboration. North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit 2020 Tue, Apr 07, 2020 - Wed, Apr 08, 2020 The Westin Chicago North Shore, Buffalo Grove, USA The North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit will cover many topic like building competitive advantage, lean, opex and CI programs, leadership as the engine of change, technology as the deference maker, supply chain strategies, and workforce development. Power Analytics: Data in Smart Manufacturing Conference (MAPI) Wed, Feb 12, 2020 - Th, Feb 13, 2020 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, Orlando, FL As the volume, velocity and variety of data in smart factories continues to surge, learn how savvy plant managers are applying advanced analytics – in predictive maintenance and other use cases – to unlock value from the IT/OT data explosion by enabling business decisions that reduce cost and grow revenue. In addition to hearing from expert speakers, the Data in Smart Manufacturing Conference will focus on interactive discussions with peer attendees to share challenges, best practices, and ideas for future initiatives." Manufacturing Matters Wed, Feb 26, 2020 - Thu, Feb 27, 2020 Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, Milwaukee, USA Manufacturing Matters aims to optimize stakeholder value for Wisconsin Manufacturers by expanding their capabilities to grow, be innovative, and achieve operational success. AmCon Cincinnati Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo Wed, Mar 18, 2020 - Thu, Mar 19, 2020 Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, USA AmCon Cincinnati Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo will feature products like 3D Printing, robotics, assemblies, electronics, machining, packaging, prototypes, metal, finishing, coatings, tube bending fabricating, and much more. AmCon regional expos are a cost-effective way to find suppliers of contract manufacturing and job shop services. Find suppliers of hundreds of services under one roof. Experience free admission, free attendee parking, and free seminars. Meet face-to-face with some of the finest job shops and contract manufacturers from throughout the United States. American Manufacturing Summit Tue, Mar 24, 2020 - Wed, Mar 25, 2020 The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Chicago, USA The American Manufacturing Summit is a leadership-focused meeting designed around improving plant floor operations and manufacturing strategy across the globe. The Manufacturing Summit serves as an annual platform to exchange ideas around the impact of market dynamics and new technologies for current and future manufacturing, operations and supply chain leaders. This year’s Summit creates an opportunity to examine key case studies around how workforce management, lean manufacturing, process improvement and automation are being rolled out in the world’s best facilities. Join the in-depth discussions to build your roadmap to achieve innovation, maximize manufacturing profitability, optimize plant floor operations, and establish standardization across multiple manufacturing facilities. Additive Manufacturing Users Group Conference Sun, Mar 22, 2020 - Thu, Mar 26, 2020 Hilton Chicago, Chicago, USA Additive Manufacturing Users Group Conference is an all-encompassing technology users group dedicated to the advancement of additive manufacturing technology. It brings together engineers, designers, managers, and educators from around the world to share expertise, best practices, challenges, and application developments in additive manufacturing. Design & Manufacturing New England Wed, Apr 22, 2020 - Thu, Apr 23, 2020 Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, USA "International Exhibition for Design & Manufacturing Industry." Design & Manufacturing New England showcase will cover up-to-the-minute innovations in design software, motion control components, rapid prototyping, 3D printing, wearables, sensors, and more. Explore the full spectrum of cutting-edge solutions you need to make faster, cheaper, and smarter products at the most comprehensive industry event in the region. Atlantic Design & Manufacturing Tue, Jun 09, 2020 - Thu, Jun 11, 2020 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, USA Atlantic Design & Manufacturing — part of the region's largest industry event — connects professionals from companies such as FedEx, GE Appliances, and Procter & Gamble with the latest design engineering technologies in 3D printing, automation/motion control, CAD/CAM software, and more. Join 8,000 industry professionals at Atlantic Design & Manufacturing this June. Medical Design and Manufacturing Tue, Jun 09, 2020 - Thu, Jun 11, 2020 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, USA Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East is the east coast's largest medtech event offering professionals from companies including Abbott, Boston Scientific, and Johnson & Johnson a chance to see the latest technologies and solutions in biocompatible materials, components, assembly, contract manufacturing, and more. Join 8,000 advanced manufacturing professionals at MD&M East this June. CIO Manufacturing Summit Wed, Jul 15, 2020 - Wed, Jul 15, 2020 Convene, New York, USA The CIO Manufacturing Summit brings together C-level executives, innovative solution providers and analyst thought leaders to discuss the critical technology issues affecting today's manufacturing organizations. The summit is an opportunity for participants to share successes, failures and new ideas in a comfortable, yet focused business setting. International Conference and Exhibition on Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Thu, Aug 13, 2020 - Fri, Aug 14, 2020 Atlanta, USA The International Conference and Exhibition on Industrial and Manufacturing ENgineering brings together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering American Boiler Manufacturers Association Meeting Fri, Jan 17, 2020 - Mon, Jan 20, 2020 Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa, Carlsbad, USA The American Boiler Manufacturers Association Meeting aims to lead and unite the boiler industry through advocacy, education, awareness, and the commitment to provide solutions to the members. It intends to advocate for the safe production and operation of boilers, facilitated advances in energy efficiency, and provide solutions for the member companies. IISF Trade Show Wed, Feb 05, 2020 - Sat, Feb 08, 2020 International Independent Showmens Foundation, Riverview, USA IISF Trade Show includes Ride Manufacturers, Concession Trailer Manufacturers, Game Manufacturers & Suppliers, Living Quarter Manufacturers, Plush, Novelty, & Food Suppliers, Lighting, Electrical, & Part Suppliers, Industry Organizations, Vinyl & Sign, Companies, Tourist Attractions and much more. Additive Manufacturing Strategies Tue, Feb 11, 2020 - Wed, Feb 12, 2020 Boston, USA The Additive Manufacturing Strategies aims to guide managers, entrepreneurs and investors to the most profitable opportunities in 3D printed medical and dental applications. It covers 3D printed prosthetics, implants, medical models and personalized medicine, as well as dental devices sectors. The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers Convention and Tradeshow Tue, Feb 11, 2020 - Thu, Feb 13, 2020 South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, Las Vegas, USA The NATM Convention and Tradeshow aim to promote trailer safety and the success of the trailer manufacturing industry through education and advocacy. It represents manufacturers that produce light and medium-duty trailers and suppliers of products and services to the industry. Manufacturer and Distributor Innovation Conference Tue, Mar 03, 2020 - Fri, Mar 06, 2020 Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, USA Manufacturer and Distributor Innovation Conference helps commercial truck manufacturers, upfitters, distributors and body builders learn how to improve manufacturing efficiency and business results using the latest techniques and technology. Attendees will discover the most innovative tools, processes and resources available and how all of these solutions are scalable and customizable to operations of all sizes AmCon Seattle Advanced Design & Manufacturers Expo Tue, Apr 28, 2020 - Wed, Apr 29, 2020 Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, Tacoma, USA AmCon Seattle Advanced Design & Manufacturers Expo provide to learn about the latest in cutting edge manufacturing technologies & innovations. See, touch, interact with new products & processes. Meet face-to-face with the experts of suppliers of hundreds of custom parts and components all in one day. SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference Mon, May 04, 2020 - Thu, May 07, 2020 Saratoga Springs, New York, New York, USA SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference is the leading international technical conference for discussing solutions that improve the collective manufacturing expertise of the semiconductor industry. Solving the challenges presented by semiconductor manufacturing has been a combined effort by device makers, equipment and materials suppliers, and academics. It provides an unparalleled platform for semiconductor professionals to network and learn the latest in the practical application of advanced manufacturing strategies and methodologies. Impact Smart Manufacturing Summit Sun, May 17, 2020 - Tue, May 19, 2020 Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, USA The Impact Smart Manufacturing Summit focuses on the themes such as leadership and manufacturing innovation strategies, effective continuous improvement, implementing digital manufacturing, and workforce and talent management.  

What is 5S? [Lean Manufacturing Guide]

What is 5S? Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, Sustain [Lean Manufacturing Guide] Get and test templates for 5S Audits There’s a good chance you’ve come across the term 5S at some point or another. We've created this short guide to help you better understand the basic aspects of 5S principles. Learn how to implement these practices by using mobile and web apps that work directly with your spreadsheet and databases.  The 5S Methodology The 5S methodology originated from the manufacturing technique developed through the Toyota Production System. The heads of the Toyota Motor Company created a clear and distinct set of actions that would improve the quality of products and services offered to the public.  5S is closely related to the Toyota Production System. Both models work to create positive outcomes from untidiness, chaos, and disorganization in the workplace. By training employees to follow a more productive routine and utilizing the right equipment for the job, factories can substantially reduce unnecessary waste. The primary aim of 5S is to generate these minor positive changes throughout the company’s everyday procedures. 5S Elements Explained 5S is a methodology more commonly known in western cultures as “Lean Manufacturing” or just “Lean." Technically, however, 5S is slightly different from Lean Manufacturing. 5S is a way of coordinating the workspace so that employees not only produce better results, but also practice and maintain safer working conditions. Businesses large and small from every industry can adopt the 5S method to optimize their operations, do away with clutter, and promote better cleanliness and organization. Let’s look at each element of the 5S approach in more detail. 1: Sort (Seiri) The purpose of Sort is to help categorize resources by priority. Think of it as a super-detailed stock audit where front-line workers find, identify, and sort machinery, supplies, and even basic office stationery. After organizing each set of items, employees must answer key questions for each item in question including: access/security for an item, importance of a particular business operation, and whether or not the item could be upgraded to something more fitting. Once the usefulness of each item has been calculated, there are several options regarding which action should be taken. The item could either be transferred to a more appropriate division, stripped down for parts, placed in storage for later use, or put up for sale. In a situation where certain articles of company resources can’t be clearly defined as useful or useless, the item can be “red-tagged." Place an informative note on the item with details such as when it was categorized, who evaluated it, where it was situated, and any other relevant information. After a designated amount of time has passed, items from the “red tag area” can be re-evaluated to determine whether or not they should be kept. 2: Set in Order (Seiton) Now, it will be a lot simpler to begin the process of organizing everything that employees have at their disposal. Each person’s requirements should clearly delineate which items they’ll need in order to do their job. A logical pattern of where and how to store resources should begin to surface. Better organization will help create less waste. Prime examples of avoidable waste include product imperfections, excessive time expenditure, surplus resource management, unnecessary movement, unsuitable employee skill allocation, and excess inventory. Much like an athlete stays lean and only carries the body fat they require to function adequately, this part of lean manufacturing can be thought of as the process of optimally storing and utilizing a company’s resources. 3: Shine (Seiso) This is one of simplest, yet often most underestimated aspects of a high-functioning operation. A fundamental component of a well-oiled machine is making sure that everything is neat and tidy. Keeping a clean working environment is crucial for running a smooth workflow, as well as strengthening employee morale. Repairing and looking after machinery, tools, and other equipment is also a part of this stage. In addition to having good cleaning staff, each and every employee should also pay attention to how they manage their work station. If every person helps make their surroundings a little bit cleaner and safer, there will be less waste and a lower potential for injuries and hazardous accidents. 4: Standardize (Seiketsu) In the standardize phase, employees must turn these new practices into a consistent mindset and repeated actions. Without consistent reinforcement of these principles, it is easy for factory conditions to devolve. These patterns of maintenance and cleanup need to be ingrained into the everyday behavior of every employee. It can be helpful to set up schedules, diagrams, notes, charts, reminders, and checklists to assert the importance of a functional and well-structured system. Setting high standards and holding yourself and employees to them is the mark of any significantly successful endeavor. 5: Sustain (Shitzuke) A quality business model has to be based on a long-term vision. Reaching the company objectives means looking ahead and doing whatever it takes to achieve those goals. The standard of how the business is run doesn’t just need to be managed, it needs to be updated regularly as well. Every employee has to be driven to conscientiously put their best foot forward on a daily basis. As the rate of change in the business world continues to accelerate, executives and employees alike must stay vigilant of changes and adopt a healthy growth mindset. How 5S Fits Within The Kaizen Philosophy 5S is an approach that falls within a bigger philosophy called Kaizen, which is a Japanese term that translates to “continuous improvement”. It’s a principle adopted in the business world that is designed to maximize the efficiency of the workplace, as well as the overall morale of the employees.  Kaizen a concept that encourages white-collar and blue-collar employees alike to adopt ownership mindsets toward the company’s mission. It involves establishing a team-oriented way of thinking, evolving methods of daily operations, improving employee fulfillment, and ensuring a safe working environment.  5S is a very important component within this philosophy because it helps achieve the primary objectives of Kaizen such as: Teamwork: Every employee should be dedicated to helping each other successfully complete their tasks. Each individual should think of themselves as part of a larger unit that requires cooperation and dedication to put forth the best results possible. Discipline: Instill a sense of responsibility in each employee so that they are committed to doing their job in a timely and accurately manner. Everyone must accept accountability for their role in the company so that order can be established and weak links can be fortified wherever necessary. Morale: Management should construct positive reinforcement techniques to inspire employees to work harder and smarter. This could include forming a more comfortable work environment, more frequent opportunities for promotions, medical aid, end-of-year bonuses, or even gym memberships. Quality circles: Setting up meetings where employees can collaborate with one another and discuss pertinent concepts, methods, or skill sets will help each person better assess each individual’s abilities, strengths, and shortcomings. 5S and Six Sigma 5S and Six Sigma are often linked to each other, even though there a few differences between them. However, both can be used to achieve improved productivity in the workplace. Six Sigma is a controlled, methodical tactic designed to form an ongoing improvement strategy to minimize waste and imperfection, and maximize efficiency and productivity. These methods aim to advance the standard operating procedure to limit faults in the manufacturing system, and increase the caliber of the end product as well as the tasks that are performed in the process. While Lean Manufacturing focuses more on enhancing the organization of a company, Six Sigma is more oriented towards getting rid of product defects by following a thorough business plan.  In comparison to the 5S system, Six Sigma supports another very similar approach: Recognize, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control, Standardize, and Integrate. Digitize 5S processes.  If you've been tasked with implementing 5S or 5S audits at your company, consider digitizing your management processes. Manufacturers around the world are use AppSheet to build their own web and mobile apps without code to to keep their operations safe, efficient, and productive.  Check out the manufacturing audits app below to learn more:  Our sample Job Site Safety app is another app that can help you achieve your 5S methodology. The app was originally designed for construction companies, but can be customized to help track accidents and near-misses at manufacturing sites as well.

The Top 2020 Conferences for the Utilities Industry

Interested in attending the top utilities industry conference & events in 2020? We created an app with a curated shortlist of the top events this year. If you are starting to plan which events to participate in next year, this list will come in handy. Click on the Details tab to copy the app and you'll also have access to the data that's powering the app. You can create your own web or mobile app for your utilities needs with AppSheet.  If you're interested in building your own custom mobile and web apps for processes like equipment inspections, inventory management, and field service, explore how to create your own app and discover how other manufacturing leaders are leveraging AppSheet to empower their field teams.   Renewable Energy Summit Thu, Jan 16, 2020 - Thu, Jan 16, 2020 Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison, USA Renewable Energy Summit will feature renewable energy industry experts, utility leaders, government officials, students, and advocates. It brings together attendees spanning the renewable energy industry, utilities, businesses, policymakers, students, educators, and renewable energy advocates. This annual event features an exposition hall, breakoutsessions, and industry professionals discussing the current and future opportunities for advancing renewable energy in Wisconsin. Presentation to CFA Society New York Wed, Jan 22, 2020 - Wed, Jan 22, 2020 New York Society of Security Analysts, New York, USA The Presentation to CFA Society New York will focus on the outlook for natural gas demand and supply, as well as regulatory and legislative changes. It will address various issues regarding investment in the natural gas utility sector of the energy industry. Buying & Selling Electric Power Thu, Jan 23, 2020 - Fri, Jan 24, 2020 Seattle, USA The Buying & Selling Electric Power will feature Political dynamics and regulatory responses in the Southwestern states with the earliest and most extensive experience with rooftop solar. Energy Generation Conference Tue, Jan 28, 2020 - Thu, Jan 30, 2020 BISMARCK EVENT CENTER, Bismarck, USA The Energy Generation Conference is the perfect combination of exclusive meeting with the cutting-edge exhibition that shall give vent to the energy industry and at the same time exhibit, most recent energy products and services for better result oriented outcomes. Winter Energy Outlook Conference Tue, Feb 04, 2020 - Fri, Feb 07, 2020 Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown, Washington DC, USA The Winter Energy Outlook Conference will cover areas like range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts. Energy Storage Policy Forum & Exhibition Wed, Feb 12, 2020 - Wed, Feb 12, 2020 Washington DC, USA Energy Storage Policy Forum & Exhibition convenes a select audience of stakeholders from across the energy ecosystem - including state and federal regulators, policymakers, storage industry members, utility decision makers, and power sector stakeholders to build on exciting developments to help guide one of the most interesting and important conversations in the electric sector today. CampusEnergy Mon, Feb 10, 2020 - Fri, Feb 14, 2020 Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, USA CampusEnergy is the platform where IDEA members and professionals in the district energy, CHP and microgrid industries will come together to share experiences, explore new solutions, and learn from each other. Ohio Energy Management Conference Tue, Feb 18, 2020 - Wed, Feb 19, 2020 Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, Columbus, USA Ohio Energy Management Conference is a unique platform which will feature insights on energy savings opportunities, energy efficiency, emerging technologies to help reduce energy consumption, and how best to take advantage of savings through renewable energy sources. Solar Power Northeast Conference & Expo Wed, Feb 19, 2020 - Thu, Feb 20, 2020 The Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston, USA Solar Power Northeast is a forum in the Northeast for the solar and energy storage industries to come together and learn about the sustainable energy trends and legislation impacting solar and storage demand, grid resilience, and electric reliability in the region. Northwest Hydroelectric Association Conference Wed, Feb 19, 2020 - Fri, Feb 21, 2020 Hyatt Regency Seattle, Seattle, USA The Northwest Hydroelectric Association Conference is dedicated to the promotion of the region's waterpower as a clean, efficient energy while protecting the fisheries and environmental quality which characterize our Northwest region. Energy Design Conference & Expo Sun, Feb 23, 2020 - Mon, Feb 24, 2020 Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Duluth, USA Event delivers a diverse selection of quality seminars and workshops to a variety of building, housing, and environmental professionals along with educators, students, homeowners, and others." Energy Design Conference & Expo focuses on energy-efficient building and technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design. Rural Energy Conference Tue, Feb 25, 2020 - Tue, Feb 25, 2020 Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, USA Rural Energy Conference will explore how energy efficiency and clean energy are increasing rural prosperity. Our interactive sessions, plenary panels, and networking breaks will connect you with leaders from utilities, government, industry, nonprofits, financial institutions, and academia. This conference will give you the perfect opportunity to delve into clean energy solutions tailored for rural communities that will spur economic growth and energy affordability. Many rural residents spend a higher share of their income on energy costs than their non-rural counterparts. Join us to explore the power and potential of energy efficiency and clean energy to lower energy bills and improve the everyday lives of rural residents. PowerTest Conference Mon, Feb 24, 2020 - Fri, Feb 28, 2020 Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, USA The PowerTest Conference is the premier event for learning, energizing and renewing a commitment to improving safety and reliability in the electrical power systems industry. This event will offer the attendees opportunities to build relationships and establish valuable contacts with leading industry professionals, access to knowledge, examples, and case studies that have a direct impact on their profession, and technical tools and resources that can be immediately applied within their field. Microgrid Global Innovation Forum & Virtual Power Plants Derms Summit North America Tue, Mar 10, 2020 - Wed, Mar 11, 2020 Soulsight®, Chicago, USA The Microgrid Global Innovation Forum - North America, brings together thought leaders, utilities, energy providers, project managers and other stakeholders for focused networking and in-depth information sharing concerning the latest technological developments, design, implementation and operation of hybrid renewable energy microgrids. The emphasis is on maximizing the business case for microgrids, integration into the larger grid, and sharing real-world case studies of both grid-tied and off-grid/remote environments. National Conference on Microgrids Wed, Mar 18, 2020 - Thu, Mar 19, 2020 Boston - Massachusetts - USA Microgrids are rapidly becoming more popular across the USA. Not only have they provided a source of reliable backup power in emergency situations, they are helping reduce costs as well as damage to the environment through renewable energy. The discussions this year will address these new revelations happening in the industry and provide answers to help microgrid owners and utility companies grow even further and even into new avenues such as electric vehicles and power trading. Kansas Power and Energy Conference Mon, Apr 13, 2020 - Tue, Apr 14, 2020 Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA The Kansas Power and Energy Conference is a symposium of the research behind technologies for power and energy systems of the future and it will gather experts from academia and industry to present their latest ideas and to engage in professional discourse. It will also explore all the aspects of power and energy systems such as Power Electronics, Power Systems, Energy Management, and Cyber-Security. Annual Symposium on Energy Fri, Apr 17, 2020 - Fri, Apr 17, 2020 Syracuse, USA Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century provides a gathering venue for a diverse community to join together in a non-partisan, multidisciplinary learning experience and conversation on sustainability and renewable energy. The attendees range from prominent industry professionals to students and interested citizens. Commissioners, mayors, developers, architects, lawyers, engineers, farmers, many college students, all who are interested in the future of renewable energy with the most cutting edge policy being discussed. MLPA & Energy Infrastructure Conference Mon, May 11, 2020 - Thu, May 14, 2020 ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas, Las Vegas, USA MLPA & Energy Infrastructure Conference will feature an integral way our nation’s private sector finances the infrastructure needed to fully utilize newly discovered domestic energy resources – leading to greater energy independence for the United States – and to ensure that a wide variety of energy products make their way efficiently and safely from the production fields to American homes, businesses, and communities. National Hydropower Association Conference Tue, May 19, 2020 - Thu, May 21, 2020 Marriott Marquis Washington DC, Washington DC, USA The National Hydropower Association Conference will provide you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry. Grid Evolution Summit Mon, Jul 27, 2020 - Wed, Jul 29, 2020 Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington DC, USA The Grid Evolution Summit brings all of the top stakeholders across the entire industry together in one room to determine how to modernize the electric sector. The packed agenda featured some of the hottest topics including 3 sessions dedicated to the impact of electric vehicles and it provides the industry professionals with the opportunity to create solutions that will leave a lasting impact on the energy future. Peak Load Management Alliance Conference Mon, Nov 09, 2020 - Wed, Nov 11, 2020 Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, USA Peak Load Management Alliance Conference will bring together load management practitioners are expected to attend from energy utilities and government agencies as well as industry allies, including consultants and solution providers. Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference Sun, May 31, 2020 - Wed, Jun 03, 2020 Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, USA The Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference is an educational conference for fleet representatives from investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and electrical contractors. Here you will also meet with manufacturers and service providers.

The Top 2020 Conferences for the Oil & Gas Industry

Interested in attending the top oil & gas industry conference & events in 2020? We created an app with a curated shortlist of the top events this year. If you are starting to plan which events to participate in next year, this list will come in handy. Click on the Details tab to copy the app and you'll also have access to the data that's powering the app. You can create your own web or mobile app for your oil and gas needs with AppSheet.  If you're interested in building your own custom mobile and web apps for processes like oil rig inspections, inventory management, and field service, explore how to create your own app and discover how other manufacturing leaders are leveraging AppSheet to empower their field teams.   Society of Petroleum Engineers North America Student Symposium Sun, Feb 09, 2020 - Tue, Feb 11, 2020 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA Society of Petroleum Engineers North America Student Symposium is a massive conference put together by SPE International Students across North America. The Symposium presents an opportunity for students to enhance their knowledge of the oil and gas industry through the insights and experiences of industry leaders and advocates. It also provides attendants with a myriad of networking opportunities, as students, faculty, and industry experts from around North America will be participating. WpmaExpo Tue, Feb 18, 2020 - Thu, Feb 20, 2020 The Mirage, Las Vegas, USA WpmaExpo features illustrations of oil, petroleum, technology, pumps & equipment, security products, tank & environmental, power service and much more. Petroleum and Convenience Expo Thu, Feb 27, 2020 - Fri, Feb 28, 2020 Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City, USA Petroleum and Convenience Expo is an event that illustrates products like business services, ice and cold storage, sunglasses, fuel and chemicals, petroleum types of equipment and services, transport and much more etc. This event draws more than 2,500 attendees and features 300+ leading industry suppliers - offering c-store owners and related industry suppliers. Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association Convention & Trade Show Mon, Mar 30, 2020 - Wed, Apr 01, 2020 Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul, USA Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association Convention and Trade Show aims to make the leading experts related to petroleum industry aware of the latest trends and techniques which will help in the advancement of this industry. Developmental changes which are taking place in the petroleum industry will also be discussed in this event. It will facilitate the petroleum marketers and key decision makers by giving them an opportunity to interact and communicate with each other. The interaction and communication between the petroleum marketers and key decision makers will give rise to new ideas. Michigan Show Convention & Trade Show Tue, Mar 31, 2020 - Thu, Apr 02, 2020 DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, USA Michigan Show Spring Convention & Trade Show features the latest tanker trailers, gasoline pumps and fast food products with companies on display. OGIS New York Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - Wed, Apr 22, 2020 Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York, USA OGIS New York provides the attendees with the opportunity to hear presentations from oil and gas leaders and how they are creating value in their companies, network with oil and gas industry insiders and institutional and private investors. Eastern Gas Compression Roundtable Conference & Expo Tue, May 05, 2020 - Thu, May 07, 2020 David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, USA Eastern Gas Compression Roundtable Conference & Expo is to provide the Natural Gas Industry with cost-effective training programs focusing on engine and compressor maintenance. One of the most popular tracks is the Entry Level Compressor Station Operator Training which focuses on the basics for those new to the industry including yard piping, auxiliary systems, prime movers, compressor components and operating characteristics of reciprocating and centrifugal compressors. Inverse Gas Chromatography Symposium Mon, May 11, 2020 - Tue, May 12, 2020 Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District, Philadelphia, USA Inverse Gas Chromatography Symposium aim is to facilitate interdisciplinary interactions within the research community, discussing the different challenges faced by researchers and scientists in characterising materials such as powders, films, nanomaterials, composites, fibers and bulk solids, and how an instrument based on iGC principle can solve these challenges. BioBased Re-Invention of Plastics Tue, May 12, 2020 - Thu, May 14, 2020 Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott, Newark, USA BioBased Re-Invention of Plastics cover the areas like use of Renewable/Bio-Sourced raw-materials (vs petroleum) addresses Sustainability/Global Warming; invention of “New Plastics from Newer Building Blocks” being an added benefit while maintaining the production of traditional polymers & plastics, Use of Polymer & Plastic Waste (vs petroleum) addresses “Sustainability/Global Warming”, Conversion of GreenHouse Gases (CO2/CH4) into building blocks for polymers has a Compounded Impact on “Sustainability/Global Warming”. Williston Basin Petroleum Confrence Tue, May 19, 2020 - Thu, May 21, 2020 BISMARCK EVENT CENTER, Bismarck, USA The Williston Basin Petroleum Confrence, organized by the North Dakota Petroleum Council will take place from 22th May to the 24th May 2018 at the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck, United States Of America. The conference will cover areas like energy supply and demand, to highly technical Bakken talks, to managing community impacts. Washington Oil & Gas Forum Wed, Jun 03, 2020 - Thu, Jun 04, 2020 Cosmos Club, Washington DC, USA The Washington Oil & Gas Forum is a unique commercial platform for US government and energy leaders to gain market insight and promote commercial agreements. This year's focus is on the energy policy of the Trump Administration and the international impact of US LNG exports. Northwest Gas Association Energy Conference Wed, Jun 03, 2020 - Thu, Jun 04, 2020 Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, USA Northwest Gas Association Energy Conference brings both the regional natural gas and electric industry together to discuss the future of energy. Industry participants, along with energy leaders, policymakers and regulators come together to hear relevant, timely and useful information presented by speakers actively involved in shaping the future. Kentucky Oil & Gas Association Meeting Mon, Jun 08, 2020 - Tue, Jun 09, 2020 Embassy Suites Lexington, Lexington, USA Kentucky Oil & Gas Association Meeting provide quality service and affordable energy while pursuing the nation's goal for energy independence. Our goals include promoting, protecting and advancing the interest of the oil and gas industry, opposing any unfair and unjust legislation which may adversely affect the oil and gas industry, and, disseminating reliable publicity to further and protect the oil and gas industry. LDC Gas Forums NorthEast Mon, Jun 08, 2020 - Wed, Jun 10, 2020 The Westin Copley Place, Boston, Boston, USA Annual Northeast Forum is the premier event where more than 600 of the Natural Gas Industry's leaders gather in Boston for 3 days of networking, insights, & deal making. Northeast Petrochemical Conference & Exhibition Mon, Jun 29, 2020 - Tue, Jun 30, 2020 David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, USA The NEP Exhibition attracts all of the major Petrochemical, Chemical & Gas Power Plant asset owner / operators in one unique exhibition. From senior level business executives to lower level engineers and project managers this is your chance to meet with the decision makers and technical professionals working at the heart of the region's leading projects and plants. American Public Gas Association Conference Fri, Jun 19, 2020 - Mon, Jun 22, 2020 Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, Chicago, USA American Public Gas Association Conference is the largest gathering of municipal natural gas professionals across the nation. There are plenty of reasons why our members attend the APGA Annual Conference year after year. From the educational sessions with key industry figures generating new ideas to networking opportunities with hundreds of colleagues from across the nation, the APGA Annual Conference is the event of the year for city- and community-owned natural gas utility professionals and industry experts. American Coalition for Ethanol Conference Wed, Aug 12, 2020 - Fri, Aug 14, 2020 Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, Minneapolis, USA The American Coalition for Ethanol Conference features sessions and panels on the most timely topics for the ethanol industry, including an overview of future demand for liquid fuels and electricity in the U.S. with emphasis on ethanol's high octane qualities. The LDC Gas Forum, Mid Continent Mon, Sep 14, 2020 - Wed, Sep 16, 2020 Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, USA The LDC Gas Forum, Mid Continent brings together 400+ of the natural gas industry’s leaders for 3 days of networking, insights, & deal making. This event provides the attendees with the opportunity to meet the peers, meet current and potential new suppliers, meet producers and pipelines, and much more. American Petroleum Institute Storage Tank Conference & Expo Mon, Oct 12, 2020 - Thu, Oct 15, 2020 Holston House Nashville, Nashville, USA American Petroleum Institute Storage Tank Conference & Expo provides attendees with new information on tank-related research, latest technologies, and API petroleum standards. This informative conference features multiple panels that will help you understand the requirements to maintain tank integrity while complying with environmental rules.  

How to Create a Custom Checklist From Excel With Four Free Templates Included

Creating Custom Checklists has Never Been Easier Checklists are essential tools for helping busy professionals stay on top of key details and tasks. If you've been using handwritten checklists as your go-to process, consider using an Excel checklist and an associated AppSheet app. Apps can be built using a cloud-based spreadsheet such as Excel and Google Sheets, relational database, Salesforce, or SmartSheet as the underlying data source.  In this post, we show you four examples of checklist apps across the following industries: healthcare, freight and shipping, construction, and real estate. Healthcare Industry Checklist App Fill out key details with open text, Y/N boxes, images, signature capture, and more. Easily configure workflow emails and reports from your checklist entries. Navigate to explore previously submitted checklists.   Freight Industry Trucking Checklist App Track vehicle issues over time. Utilize the dashboard view to prioritize repair needs. Perform a routine check anytime, anywhere with the app Construction Checklist App Quickly add new site locations. Create quick tasks on-the-go for future reference. Collaborate with project managers, foremen, and others.  Real Estate Tenant Checklist App Input new tenant information. Track available inventory of housing units. Collaborate with project managers, foremen, and others.    So there you have it. Easily create your own custom checklist apps using your existing data sources. If you're interested the step-by-step process to creating an AppSheet app, check out this guide on how to create an app.   

The Top 2020 Conferences and Events for the Construction Industry

Interested in attending the top construction industry conference & events in 2020? We created an app with a curated shortlist of the top events this year. If you are starting to plan which events to participate in next year, this list will come in handy. Click on the Details tab to copy the app and you'll also have access to the data that's powering the app. You can create your own web or mobile app for your construction needs with AppSheet.  If you're interested in building your own custom mobile and web apps for processes like inspections, punch lists, near misses, or virtually any scenario you imagine, explore how to create your own app and discover how other construction leaders are leveraging AppSheet to empower their field teams.   Construction CPM Conference Sun, Jan 19, 2020 - Wed, Jan 22, 2020 B Resort & Spa Orlando, Orlando, USA Construction CPM Conference will cover topics like Study and Training in CPM, the Critical Path Method of Planning & Scheduling Analysis, Explore and train on a variety of CPM software products and more. Construction World Expo Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - Wed, Jan 22, 2020 Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, USA Construction World Expo features drone data collection, surveys, inspections and photography for the construction and facility management world, much all-inclusive construction industry face to face networking events, latest in technology, software, tools & equipment, and much more. NAHB International Builders' Show Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - Thu, Jan 23, 2020 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA The NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) is the largest annual light construction show in the world and the home building industry’s premier event. Only at IBS can you connect with thousands of your home building peers, industry experts and manufacturers to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and access real business solutions. Design & Construction Week Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - Thu, Jan 23, 2020 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA The largest annual gathering of the residential construction and design industry bringing together more than 95,000 professionals and featuring more than 2,000 exhibits, industry experts, and numerous networking opportunities. Procurecon Facilities Wed, Jan 22, 2020 - Thu, Jan 23, 2020 Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, Atlanta, USA The ProcureCon Facilities will be dedicated to the unique challenges involved with sourcing real estate, construction, utilities, and facilities management services. It is a series of events that will arm you with tools to become expert strategic sourcing and procurement executives. Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit Mon, Jan 27, 2020 - Tue, Jan 28, 2020 Riverhouse on the Deschutes Conference Center, Bend, Oregon The Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit's goal is to offer affordable training that provides the Central Oregon construction industry the tools to work in a safer, more efficient manner. Oregon OSHA education and training classes and materials provide information on occupational safety and health requirements in Oregon. The International Surface Event Mon, Jan 27, 2020 - Thu, Jan 30, 2020 Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA Comprised of three world-class trade shows: SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomac, and TileExpo events, The International Surface Event (TISE) is the largest North American floor covering, stone, and tile industry event and is the premier global reaching industry marketplace for buyers, specifiers, and influencers to purchase products, gain design and trend inspiration, and develop their business strategies. World of Concrete Mon, Feb 03, 2020 - Fri, Feb 07, 2020 3150 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 World of Concrete is a major annual event that draws over 60,000 attendees in the concrete industry. According to their website, "This is the commercial construction industry’s first, largest, and most important annual international event for concrete and masonry professionals across the globe!" Construction Executive Summit Thu, Feb 06, 2020 - Thu, Feb 06, 2020 Hilton Vancouver Washington, Vancouver, USA The SWCA Construction Executive Summit is designed to meet the needs of all businesses working within the construction industry throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Summit will offer individuals and organizations the opportunity to network with other leaders in the industry, learn and sharpen business skills, and influence the future of the construction industry in the Pacific Northwest. Construction Technology and Innovation Conference Wed, Feb 12, 2020 - Wed, Feb 12, 2020 DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, USA Learn about the emerging technology shaping the construction industry today and how you can leverage them in your business. Experience live tech demonstrations to see these solutions in action and discover how other companies have benefited. Construction Institute Summit Thu, Feb 20, 2020 - Sat, Feb 22, 2020 The Westin Los Angeles Airport, Los Angeles, USA The summit brings contractors, owners, designers, and other construction industry stakeholders from all over the country to meet and share new developments and innovative practices in the construction industry. Network with peers, earn PDHs, and expand your knowledge-base to enhance the success of your projects. Build Expo Los Angeles Wed, Feb 26, 2020 - Thu, Feb 27, 2020 Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, USA Build Expo Los Angeles provides the building and construction industry an unrivaled environment to meet buyers all in one place. Attendees have the chance to meet with exhibitors, check out new developments and keep a close eye on the competition. Build Expo offers over 20 expert seminars and workshops covering many topics. This event showcases products and services on display that include architectural equipment and devices, construction materials, building materials and devices, software for building designs, and more. New York Build Expo Tue, Mar 03, 2020 - Wed, Mar 04, 2020 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, USA New York Build is the largest construction show for New York and the tri-state area. New York Build covers all sectors of the construction industry from residential to commercial to infrastructure. The two-day event showcases all the latest opportunities in infrastructure and construction across New York, as well as connecting all the key players in the construction industry. AGC Convention Mon, Mar 09, 2020 - Thu, Mar 12, 2020 Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, USA The AGC Annual Convention provides business-critical insights into the issues that commercial contractors are facing and helpful, actionable strategies. The convention provides a showcase into all of the ways that AGC can support your business and expand opportunities in the industry. CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 Tue, Mar 10, 2020 - Sat, Mar 14, 2020 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas,  NV,  USA CONEXPO-CON/AGG is North America’s largest construction trade show representing asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and more. Featuring 2,800 exhibitors, 2,500,000 square feet and 150 education sessions. Construction Executive Program Tue, Mar 10, 2020 - Fri, Mar 13, 2020 Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park, Denver, USA The Construction Executive Program is designed to develop knowledge using the intense, experience-based Construction Profit Ability TM simulation. Coaching from FMI's industry experts and interactive workshops challenge participants to apply lessons learned in the program straight to their bottom lines. Ohio Construction Conference Wed, Mar 11, 2020 - Wed, Mar 11, 2020 The Ohio Union, Columbus, USA The Ohio Construction Conference provides a forum for the commercial construction industry as the premiere collaborative educational conference in Ohio. The conference brings together national experts to discuss topics that are timely and relevant for industry leaders from the diverse disciplines that make up the commercial construction community. Land and Poverty Conference 2020: Institutions for Equity and Resilience Mon, Mar 16, 2020 - Fri, Mar 20, 2020 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 The Land and Poverty conference will present the latest research and practice on the diversity of reforms, interventions, and innovations in the land sector around the world. The conference will cover areas like growth in capacity to automate processes and manage information, consumer feedback, and electronic payments. Experience with managing systematic registration at-scale and fit-for purpose approaches, participatory mapping, and other forms of crowd sourcing are expanding. West Virginia Construction & Design Exposition Wed, Mar 25, 2020 - Thu, Mar 26, 2020 Charleston Civic Center, Charleston,  USA The largest trade show in West Virginia for Construction and Design industries. The WV Construction and Design Expo is all about helping you find better, faster, smarter, cleaner, and more efficient ways to get things done. Get a snapshot of the latest and greatest products and companies in the design and construction industries. American Concrete Institute Convention Sun, Mar 29, 2020 - Thu, Apr 02, 2020 Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Rosemont/Chicago, IL, USA The American Concrete Institute Convention combines the brightest minds in concrete with an unparalleled social environment, bringing a premiere event to concrete professionals to collaborate and advance the industry and their knowledge. It provides the attendees with the opportunity to be a part of the technical sessions/presentations on a wide variety of concrete topics, new research, committee meetings on diverse topics, networking with peers, industry experts, global leaders, and much more. Building Innovation 2020 Conference & Expo Fri, Apr 03, 2020 - Thu, Apr 09, 2020 Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., Washington, D.C., United States Building Innovation Conference will provide a platform to participate in examining processes, communities, workforces, structures, resources, practices, communications, and collaboration. Science meets design in a compelling program intended to engage the entire team of building professionals in creating innovative solutions for the built environment. International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction & Operations in Challenging Environments Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - Thu, Apr 23, 2020 Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, USA This event will explore the cutting edge in engineering, science, construction, and operations for extreme environments on earth and in space. Plan to attend and connect with experts and leaders in civil engineering, construction, architecture, aerospace engineering, in-site resource utilization, planetary science, and more. The Annual Conference & Exhibition of Construction Financial Management Association Sat, May 30, 2020 - Wed, Jun 03, 2020 2632-2644 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA CFMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition is an amazing opportunity to discover and implement ideas that deliver results. The conference trains attendees to search for innovative solutions, and provides opportunities to make valuable connections with other construction financial professionals and suppliers. Better Buildings Summit Mon, Jun 08, 2020 - Wed, Jun 10, 2020 Arlington, USA The Better Buildings Summit is for Better Buildings, Better Plants Partners, and other key stakeholders. The summit provides the opportunity for professionals to explore emerging technologies and share innovative strategies in energy and water efficiency. Attendees can expect two days of interactive sessions with industry experts and market leaders, as well as many opportunities to network with peers. International Conference on Concrete Pavements Sun, Aug 30, 2020 - Thu, Sep 03, 2020 Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, Minneapolis, USA This conference will carry on the tradition of a series of international conferences begun in 1977 by Purdue University—now organized by the International Society for Concrete Pavements. As with the previous international conferences, the focus of the twelfth conference will be to present information on new technologies related to the design, construction, and rehabilitation of various types of concrete pavements.

Top 8 Digital Signature Apps

Capturing signatures for forms, documents, and deliveries is a process that has been revolutionized by technology over the past 15 years. Just as email made the fax machine obsolete, smartphones and cloud-based software tools are quickly replacing or supplementing email as go-to tools for digital signature capture. For any business that requires signatures on a regular basis, developing efficient and secure processes for signature capture can not only save money, but increase productivity and revenue. Below, we've outlined eight of the top digital signature applications that can transform the way you work. AppSheet HelloSign Adobe fill and sign SignNow DocuSign SignEasy OneSpan Sign PandaDoc 1. AppSheet AppSheet allows users to record signatures in custom-built apps that can easily be configured without code. While other providers may focus solely on digital signature capture, AppSheet functions primarily as a no-code application development platform that enables users to create mobile and web apps directly from their cloud-based spreadsheets and databases. These apps can leverage the natural features of smartphones (such as touchscreens) for hand-drawn signatures. Using the phone's camera, these apps can also be used to scan and capture barcode, take and upload images. AppSheet allows app creators to bypass the traditional challenges incurred by vendor lock-in to build custom applications and adopt a flexible platform which can meet the changing needs of an organization. To date, organizations like Solvay, Costco, and Husqvarna have chosen AppSheet to handle many of their most critical internal operations and approval processes. Pricing: Free for simple, individual use apps with plans increasing to $5-$10/mo per user for access to build, deploy, and share apps on the full application development platform. Lots of AppSheet sample apps have the signature capture feature. The following Audits App is just an example. 2. HelloSign HelloSign brings a different angle to the world of digital signatures as a leading player, particularly in the web integration space. HelloSign counts companies like Instacart, Climb Credit, Tech for Campaigns, and Lyft as customers who rely on HelloSign to accelerate contractor applications, speed loan approval time, and automate NDA signatures. With a variety of plans for every type of user, HelloSign works hard to satisfy a diverse user base. And for companies with a sizable budget and a willingness to invest resources in configuring APIs or integrating with systems like Oracle or Salesforce, the HelloSign platform can serve as a functional signature capture platform for the enterprise.  Pricing: Ranges from $13-$40/mo per user for basic plans. 3. Adobe Fill and Sign Adobe is a popular and trusted player in the digital/mobile signature space. Adobe's Fill-and-Sign application is optimized to work well with PDFs and documents that can be captured as a PDF. Users only have to take a snap of the document using their phone cameras, crop and sharpen the image, and sign it instantly. Another great thing about Adobe Fill and Sign is its ease of integration with 3rd-party tools as well as its compliance with global e-signature rules. Adobe Fill and Sign is a bit pricier than some other options, mainly serving business users. Still, rest assured knowing there’s a 14-day trial period waiting for any interested users. While Fill and Sign works great for users who are accustomed to PDF-centered workflows, users seeking to bypass or work in parallel to PDF-driven documents may be better served looking for more holistic options. Pricing: Ranges from $12-$30/mo with significant variability depending on monthly or annual pricing and other Adobe-package related bundles. 4. SignNow Formerly known as CudaSign, SignNow is another solid choice for electronic signature capturing. SignNow is an award-winning app, known for its simple, clutter-free and user-friendly UI. SignNow boasts a number of unique features. Users can pre-fill a document with text, copy existing fields to a new documents, and generate templates that can be used multiple times.  For individuals and small businesses, SignNow rarely disappoints. And starting at $8/month, SignNow undercuts many of its competitors based on value alone. Pricing: Ranges from $8-$15/mo per user.  5. DocuSign With over 200,000 downloads and a 2018 IPO, DocuSign is an industry heavyweight known for its intuitive, easy-to-use user interface and a wide array of features that make it easy to integrate with a host of third party tools. Another unique feature of DocuSign is its digital transaction management system where documents can be easily signed, sent, and managed. Perhaps DocuSign's greatest drawback is that its premium reputation comes with premium pricing. Even the cheapest plans which can only handle 5 signatures per month start off at $10/mo per user. For organizations that need every bell and whistle associated with digital signatures, DocuSign may be worth consideration, but for many, if not most organizations, other cost-effective alternatives may be worth primary consideration. Pricing: $10-$40/user per month. 6. SignEasy SignEasy offers another minimalist take on the digital signature space. With a suite of iOS, Android, and web-based tools, SignEasy makes document signage possible in a range of on-the-go and fixed environments.  This e-signature app employs drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for users to sign documents and customize documents on their phones. SignEasy also offers options like adding checkboxes and images to a document. As with other vendors, the price points can be challenging for a small business or businesses expecting substantial user volume.  Pricing: Ranges from $10-$60/user per month. 7. OneSpan (formerly eSignLive) OneSpan Sign is a digital signature solutions provider that focuses primarily on the enterprise space. Their website presents the platform's industry solutions specifically for credit unions, financial services, government, healthcare, and insurance companies. They count larger companies such as IBM, US Bank, and Wells Fargo as customers and position themselves as leaders in the platform security space. Their integrations also favor enterprise tools such as Salesforce, Box, Dynamics CRM, and Sharepoint.  Pricing: Starts at $20/user per month.  8. PandaDoc   PandaDoc is another leading digital signature app for both iOS and Android devices. This app’s streamlined interface and overall ease-of-use make it a strong pick for many people. Beyond digital signature capture, PandaDoc's document management toolbox includes tools for automated workflows, drag-and-drop signing, and audit histories. By integrating with your existing CRM, payment, and file storage apps (e.g. HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce, and Basecamp), PandaDoc seeks to create a unified platform to handle your document needs. As with other software providers, PandaDoc's higher-than-average pricing may be a consideration for people seeking a cost-effective solution. Pricing: Starts at $49/user/mo A Final Note As workflows continue to move from paper and pen to the cloud, businesses in every sphere will need to adapt to a world where digital signatures are not simply a luxury but an expectation for B2B and B2C companies.  To account for this, it's important for operations and IT leaders to consider not only the present requirements for digital signature capture, but also the changing needs that may arise when choosing which applications or application platforms to adopt. Rather than seeking to find a specialized digital signature for every challenge, it may be worth considering building a suite of customized, easily modifiable applications using a secure and no-code platform. 

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