Recognized as one of the leading electrical technology contractors in the country, Aldridge Electric focuses on complex and challenging projects in the transportation, power, utility, and industrial markets. They're a safety-focused team of over 1,500 with a mission of building America's infrastructure to improve the quality of life for everyone.
The Aldridge Electric team is no stranger to digital forms, they've tried multiple solutions over the years with the goal of migrating away from paper to a digital solution. What they hadn't found was a mobile forms platform that allowed for easy form creation, mobile-friendly data entry for their field workers, and a pricing structure that fit their needs with such a widespread workforce.
The number of forms required by the Aldridge Electric team on a daily basis is nearly astronomical. From safety forms like Line Clearance Permits (LCPs) to customer-facing forms like Drill Logs, the Aldridge team was gathering an incredible amount of data each day. Moving away from paper forms was inevitable, but they needed a solution as flexible as their workforce, and while their current and previous digital forms solved the paper problem, they were unable to make the best use of everyone's time.
Devoting multiple days and hours to getting form templates built wasn't an option, and neither was requiring an in-office resource devoted to making edits if any information was entered incorrectly. “If something went wrong it was an immense amount of effort, and building a new form would require days, possibly even weeks, depending on the complexity of the form,” said Nathan Skandera, Quality Manager at Aldridge Electric. It was time for IT Director, Patrick Laud, to step in and find a new solution.
“IT takes care of everything, and people come to us looking for solutions,” Laud said. It was time to make form building easier for the team, so Laud set out to explore alternative digital form options and finally found GoFormz.
Laud recalled the initial apprehension when assessing Aldridge's forms set up, based on their experience with GoFormz competitors. Skandera had initially predicted about half a year would be necessary to get their team ready to go, “but it ended up only taking about 1/6th of that time” Laud commented. Once their form templates were built, it was time to get the rest of the Aldridge Electric teams using GoFormz.
Skandera even heard from the field workers, “I just figured out the last platform, and now this?” But once users tried GoFormz, they found the whole system to be much easier to use. Thanks to List View, GoFormz's small-screen optimized data entry mode, Aldridge's mobile phone users were the first to be excited about the new platform. “You'd figure people would fill out forms on a tablet,” Skandera commented. “But, a lot of people are using their phones, and the List View wasn't just an extra feature, it ended up being an absolute must.” Before they knew it, each department rolled out training and within a month everyone was happily using GoFormz.
Electrical work, drilling, and working with utilities and infrastructure creates plenty of dangerous situations. With GoFormz Aldridge can keep all of their safety permitting forms and checks in one location, and rapidly access details whenever they are needed.
Two of Aldridge's most frequently used forms within GoFormz are the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) and the Line Clearance Permit (LCP). “The DVIR form is an inspection report for offroad vehicles that are used,” Laud explained. “They have to run it through a general inspection, and then the operator and/or supervisor has to sign off on the report. If they mark a deficiency then it sends an email out to the fleet department to make sure the appropriate repairs are made.” The email automation within GoFormz means that each vehicle gets the attention it needs as soon as it needs it. “This form is filled out every day, it's a constant check to confirm all the vehicles are functional. We're a very safety-focused company so a lot of it has to do with making sure the tools are fit for the job.”
Aldridge Electric also found electronic signatures and automatic form routing to be a perfect fit for their LCPs. These are the forms that keep everyone focused on safety when working near powerlines. “Effectively, the first submission is similar to that of any other paper form, but instead of the job site description, you're putting in the site conditions you're working in,” Skandera noted. These details include: how close the work is to the powerlines, how close can they get before entering the danger zone around them, and how to mark the danger zone to keep everyone safe. “Then the form is transferred to an approver to review, approve it, and send it back to the crew with their approval,” he said. Because this form is so much easier to fill out on a phone, they're seeing much more streamlined usage. It's also easier for people to keep those safety restrictions in mind because anyone can access the completed form and see any notes from the approver.
“Document visibility is one of our top benefits with GoFormz,” Skandera said. “Paperwork isn't being lost, and it isn't difficult to get to.” Aldridge Electric uses some of the native integrations within GoFormz to keep multiple records of all their forms. They utilize the Procore integration to keep client files filled with all associated documents, as well as the Google Drive integration to easily store files by job name. A favorite feature of Laud's is the Google Cloud Storage integration. “We use it to keep a copy of everything as a JSON file to run custom reports,” he noted. Their team has even built a tool to import everything into BigQuery to create a fully automated reporting process.