ML 100 Awards
simplex.png“This project allows our organization a lower cost of ownership as we deploy additional mobile apps.” —Sanjay Lall, CIO, SimplexGrinnell




Mobile app allows companies to perform field inspections 25% faster with 90% fewer errors

Mindless applications have swept through the world of consumer smartphones like a flock of angry birds, but businesses far and wide are proving that the same technology can be put to work for a more productive cause.

SimplexGrinnell, a division of Tyco International, earned a PM100 Award in the Customer Mastery category for just such a project. The maker of safety products such as fire alarms, fire sprinklers, and emergency communications systems remains involved with its products long after they arrive at customer sites.

SimplexGrinnell’s technicians must conduct periodic on-site tests to ensure that the equipment is in working order, and provide facilities managers and fire marshals with certification reports to that effect. Until recently, however, the company’s technicians were working with paper forms that were unwieldy and error-prone.

The company’s CIO, Sanjay Lall, worked with his team and experts at numerous technology providers to effect a solution. The goal, he says, was to “quickly enable a mobile line-of-business application that was device- and carrier-agnostic, based on standards, enterprise-grade for scalability, and integrated with pretty much any back-end ERP system.”

To do that, he enlisted AT&T’s Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform. Using the platform, he and his team built a customized inspection application, based on the company’s Oracle E-Business Suite ERP system, that technicians could access on their Windows-based Motorola handheld computers.

Now, instead of handing customers paper-based reports featuring hand-written notes, SimplexGrinnell’s field inspectors deliver professional-grade reports in PDF format, sent in real time from the technician’s mobile device to the customer and the fire marshal at the completion of the review. Lall’s team created workflow shortcuts in the mobile inspection application that help field personnel perform inspections 25% faster and with a benchmark goal of 90% fewer errors.

“This allows our organization a lower cost of ownership as we deploy additional mobile apps,” Lall says, and affords customers greater peace of mind.