<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1824058264555430&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
Subscribe to Our Blog Stay up to date with the latest tips and news.
Filter By:
Sort By:

Using Apps to Improve Incident Reporting

It can happen when you least expect it: one minute everything is fine, and then a worker goes down with a sudden injury triggering an immediate response from management.    Managers in high-risk environments like utilities, construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing need to be ready to spring into action whenever emergencies arise. And part of this job involves knowing how to produce clean, professional, and accurate incident reports.  One way to improve incident reporting is to create dedicated reporting apps that include forms and fields employees can use to easily share data.  Read on to learn about the advantages to using digital incident reporting.  Establishing a formal process  Companies run into problems when employees lack clear guidelines for creating and escalating incident reports. For example, when an accident happens, a manager may overlook an important detail and take the wrong course of action. These snafus spur unnecessary complication.   By creating a digital incident reporting app, companies create official reporting protocol that offers managers detailed step-by-step instructions. This way, when injuries happen or incidents occur, there are no guessing games.  With the right app in place, managers will know exactly what to do and when they should do it. Scheduling interviews When an incident occurs, it’s necessary to interview employees who were directly involved and have first-hand knowledge so that management can accurately assess the information on hand. Apps can help here, too.  For example, an incident reporting app could contain an embedded scheduling assistant to coordinate follow-up interviews. Managers can track who they reach out to, as well as when and why. This type of information comes in handy when dealing with union or legal representatives and third-party auditors, among others.  Compiling evidence The more data that management can collect following an incident, the better. This is very important for both administrative and legal purposes.  An app can serve as a central repository for photos, interviews, documents, and more. The app becomes an easy, convenient, and secure way to track information as it flows in during the investigation process.  Submitting reports After an incident occurs, administrators must respond in a timely manner. There’s no room for dismissing, overlooking, or misplacing reports.  Incident reports can be easily shared with all relevant parties via SMS or email. Digital signature requests can also be added to ensure issues are followed up on.  Apps also lead to more accurate reporting. Traditional reports are submitted on paper forms and then entered manually into the computer. However, hand-written reports can be difficult to read and are easily misinterpreted. By eliminating the need for transcription, apps improve accuracy while reducing the time that’s needed to close investigations.  As you can see, digital reporting apps deliver a number of benefits to organizations like yours.  To learn more about how you can create custom apps for your organization using AppSheet, check this out.

A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Facility Management

Efficient facility management is critical in industrial environments where large teams of workers interact daily with complex, dangerous, and sensitive equipment.  Small mistakes can lead to massive industrial accidents, endangering lives and harming both facilities and local environments. For this reason, facility managers need access to modern solutions that provide visibility and control over daily operations. Many facility management teams are using digital solutions to improve the way they execute tasks and communicate.  Three technologies enabling digital facilities management  There are three major technologies that are transforming the way organizations approach facilities management: 1. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Facility managers are increasingly using connected devices like cameras and sensors to record environmental data and respond more efficiently. For instance, a camera can be used to detect activity and adjust temperature and lighting controls. This functionality can save money and improve sustainability.  In addition, sensors can be used to collect data, triggering alerts that could lead to potential safety issues — like chemical leaks, sudden power spikes, and pressure changes in sensitive machinery.  2. Big data As IoT devices become more common in industrial environments, we can expect a huge influx of data. As data is processed and studied over time it can be used to make vital operational decisions related to power, sustainability, and performance. 3. Mobile apps Communication is critical for any facilities management team — which is why a growing number of facility managers are using apps to improve their operations. Apps are useful for assigning tasks and projects, tracking performance, sharing data, and compiling reports, among countless other tasks.  Up until recently, apps were very expensive to design and deploy. However, recent advancements in no-code development have made it possible to build apps quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.  Using apps for facilities management  Here are some of the top benefits that come with digital facilities management:  Task triage  Managing a large industrial facility can be a never-ending job, especially for teams that are short-staffed or spread out across multiple buildings. Projects can change by the hour, requiring rapid attention from workers. Managers need to quickly adjust employee workflows and communicate changes to workers.  Workflow apps make it easy for managers to assign tasks to team members. They also make it easier to close them out once the work is done, providing receipts to ensure they are read and acted on. Inventory management Inventory management is critical for managers, who need a constant supply of spare parts, equipment, and other similar items. Managers are now building apps to view, request, and replenish inventory supplies. Applications make it possible to prevent bottlenecks and delays, increasing productivity and boosting profitability along the way.  Employee scheduling  Managers need to carefully balance employee schedules, considering a range of factors like shift limitations, daily responsibilities, location, and worker availability. These functions are difficult to accomplish through manual data input.  Apps can be used to create flexible schedules, alerting workers when they are needed on a job site ahead of time and letting them know what they will be working on. These capabilities set proper expectations and increase alignment. To learn more about how you can design apps to streamline facilities management using AppSheet’s no-code platform, check this out. 

The Modern Approach to EAM

Utilities, gas, construction, and manufacturing providers are increasingly using custom apps to streamline enterprise asset management (EAM). This makes digital EAM a top technology to watch in 2020 and beyond. Enterprise asset management challenges any large industrial provider. The average company can have hundreds of thousands of assets scattered across multiple locations. These assets include human resources, machines, vehicles, wide area networking components, servers, and more. And each system plays a vital role in the ongoing stability and profitability of the organization. Using software to manage EAM Traditionally, most of these systems and machines operated independently, making it difficult to achieve effective enterprise asset management (EAM) goals. Today, though, more and more industrial providers are moving digital transformation initiatives forward, implementing cutting-edge solutions to oversee the sum of their assets. There are hurdles to the digitization of EAM, however. Off-the-shelf EAM software is very expensive with costs often exceeding $11,000 per user. EAM can be a costly investment for the budget-conscious organization, especially when considering all of the additional technological expenses facing companies today (e.g., data management, the cloud, computers, communications, insurance, and more). It’s possible, however, to build your own EAM apps using a no-code app platform — saving your company thousands of dollars while building a solution that matches your precise needs. The no-code approach to EAM Using a no-code app platform like AppSheet, it’s possible to build individual apps for specific EAM processes. For example, you could build apps to track HR processes, workflows, data management, inventory, and more by merging these functions into a centralized reporting app. Here are some of the benefits that come with using no-code EAM apps. Agile asset tracking One of the problems with out-of-the-box EAM platforms is that they lack the ability to enable you to easily create and track new and custom assets.  By using a no-code EAM platform, however, a company can create specific apps on an as-needed basis. For example, a manufacturing company may decide to start tracking IoT solutions. This could be easily accomplished by taking data from Sheets or Excel and building an app to provide ongoing expense reports.  Fewer errors  Human error remains a major challenge with EAM solutions, which still require physical data entry. It’s very common for data to be entered incorrectly, resulting in inaccurate reporting and untrustworthy results.  No-code EAM eliminates manual data entry by creating a system where information can be entered via digital fields and intuitive drop-down menus. This removes the need to manually transcribe data — increasing data integrity and helping your business make smarter decisions.  If a data value is entered incorrectly on a no-code platform, it’s far easier to detect and correct the mistake. No-code apps offer greater data transparency than traditional paper-based data entry systems. Authorized users can access, review, and update data from any device. Cloud-based management  A study by Software Advice found that 86 percent of EAM buyers prefer a cloud-based EAM solution. This statistic highlights the need for streamlined back-end management and affordable storage. No-code app platforms like AppSheet leverage the cloud to deliver powerful, SaaS-based building functionality. It’s a far more cost-effective approach to running an on-premise EAM solution or hiring developers to build one from scratch for you.  Learn more about AppSheet’s no-code platform.

Digitized Asset Tracking, Dispatch, and More: How Apps Are Changing the Utilities Industry

Digital transformation is now a top priority in the utilities industry, where companies are working to reinvent themselves as digital enterprises.  It’s not hard to see why utility companies are so interested in digital transformation. For example, according to a recent report by McKinsey, new technologies can reduce utility operating expenses by up to 25 percent while leading to performance gains of between 20 to 40 percent. Despite this potential, utilities have been struggling to achieve these returns. Companies are finding it difficult to move beyond pilot projects and spread new technologies across the enterprise. As a result, there remains significant potential for digitization at many utilities companies.  Many utility companies are, however, finding that there’s one technology that’s truly supporting their digital transformation efforts: apps. The emergence of no-code development in recent years has made it possible for companies to rapidly create and deploy apps that are cost-effective, reliable, and capable of streamlining a variety of tasks. Using apps, utility companies can fast-track digitization and produce tools that can generate immediate impact, with measurable returns. Let’s take a look at five areas of the utilities industry that can be significantly improved through on-the-job applications. 1. Asset tracking In the world of utilities, managing assets like bucket trucks, transformers, and other equipment is critical for success. For example, a downed pole or a blown transformer can lead to service outages, hazards, and upset customers. However, many companies still lack visibility into their assets, making it hard to track and maintain large numbers of endpoints.  This is one area where apps can be particularly helpful. In fact, apps are now being used to streamline asset tracking across utilities organizations. Companies are designing mobile solutions that provide field managers with interactive maps that detail the exact real-time locations of their assets and status updates.  With the right app in place, managers can quickly look at a geographical area, locate points that require maintenance, and assign team members to perform service checks, for example. Once a truck reaches a destination and performs service, they can use the app to communicate important status updates, repairs, photos, and other action items.  Apps help with asset tracking by: Providing visibility into field assets Making it easy to assign work orders Performing routine service checks Check our AppSheet's field survey app, which you can copy and customize to track your assets in the field: 2. Inventory management  Inventory management is a constant struggle for utility companies where mismanaged inventory can eat into margins and lead to project delays.  The digital approach to inventory management involves automating the process altogether via mobile apps. By using apps, employees can request parts, accessories, and other supplies in a way that is highly organized. It’s a much better approach than requesting items with paper and spreadsheets, or by word of mouth. Here’s how apps help with inventory management: Managing stock Predicting demand  Placing orders Check out our blog post, “How to Manage Stock: Three Free Inventory Management Excel Templates”. Then copy and customize the AppSheet inventory management app: 3. Dispatch  The utilities industry is becoming increasingly software-defined, as endpoints are  updated with IoT-enabled sensors that can transmit data in real-time. As a result, companies don’t have to dispatch as many trucks as they had in the past. Meters can be checked and recorded automatically, saving money and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.  Apps are increasingly used to interface with smart meters and other field equipment, alerting team members when service is required. Apps support dispatch workflows by:  Reducing vehicle wear and tear Saving fuel  Improving sustainability  Copy and customize our driver dispatch app: 4. Customer experience (CX) CX remains a major issue for companies in all industries, and utilities are no different. In fact, CX is quickly becoming a key competitive differentiator among brands. While other industries have made major strides in improving the customer experience, utility companies still have a long way to go in building customer trust and loyalty.  More and more utility companies are finding that they can use apps to improve CX. Apps are being used to share billing and service updates, provide a mechanism for feedback, and share alerts during storms and outages.  Equally as important, companies are using apps to streamline workflows — boosting productivity and reducing complaints along the way.  Here are some ways that apps are helping with CX: Sharing information with customers Expediting maintenance Streamlining support 5. Ongoing maintenance  Utility companies have to manage multiple concurrent projects, with complex systems, tight regulatory requirements, strict timelines, and demanding customers. Daily maintenance requires an amazing attention to detail and constant communication. A communication breakdown can lead to missed deadlines, hazards, and a host of other issues. Apps can be used to help busy and understaffed field managers triage maintenance and move projects along to completion at a brisker pace. For example, a manager can use an app to see a list of action items in a building — like fire alarm inspections — and assign a worker to oversee these tasks.  Apps can improve maintenance by:  Preventing missed service appointments Providing project status updates Assigning manage daily workflows  For some specific examples of how apps are transforming the utilities industry, check out the following stories: How Kentucky Power Sparked a Digital Transformation with Workflow, Inspection and Incident Management Apps Smart Lighting Contractor Builds Custom Apps for Project Management Want to build a maintenance app on your own? Copy and customize ours to get started: Build your own utilities app suite Clearly, apps are helping everyone involved in the utilities industry to change with the times. Mobile solutions are essential in utilities offices and in the field, and their importance will only increase. There are many options for how to meet utilities industry needs through technology — from buying out-of-the-box software to hiring developers to build custom apps. AppSheet provides an alternative to these options. Instead of building or purchasing individual apps, you can create your own unique apps with our platform. If you haven’t already started using mobile application technology on your utilities jobs, don’t worry. AppSheet lets you build a whole suite of applications all under one roof.

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.

1of1