Working Onsite the Soft Option
PE finds out how contractor NG Bailey is becoming more efficient onsite thanks to paperless certification by Clik.
Paperwork is the bane of all contractors’ lives. But recent developments in test and measurement tools and computer software are allowing businesses an easier way to product certifications – saving time, money and the hassle of all that manual form filling.
By binning its paper system and introducing NICEIC certification software from Clik, NG Bailey is saving around 10 minutes for each certificate issued.
NG Bailey has 15 offices and 3,000 staff across the UK, is involved in major projects from schools and hospitals, to flagship commercial and industrial developments, providing engineering, IT, rail, facilities and off-site manufacture. The savings it has made using certification software could be enjoyed by companies of any size.
Chris Atkinson, electrical quality control manager, is based at NG Bailey’s Manchester office and is directly responsible for overseeing the testing procedures and test engineers, along with electrical safety. He is the qualified supervisor and all NICEIC certification from the 80 Manchester-based electrical employees goes through him.
He first saw Clik’s NICEIC certification software – the official electronic certification for NICEIC registered contractors – in action at trade show in Yorkshire in May 2011. Chris showed the software to his innovations team who gave him the go-ahead to give it a try.
“I can issue and access certificates instantly,” he says “Accessing certificates is now speedy and straightforward, taking us 15 seconds to find the relevant document. By using the software, Chris estimates he saves around 10 minutes every time he produces, verifies, prints out or emails an electronic certificate.
His clients are also benefiting from the electronic system. “When the work is completed, clients receive the certificate quickly via email and this can be filed and accessed easily. When a project s subcontracted out, NG Bailey’s clients can simply forward the relevant certification to their own clients” Chris also found that the software allows users to print certificates even if a signature is missing – a common feature in subcontracting – as it is often the case that signature from designers and other contractors need to be chased.
Tablet UseThe number of contractors using iPads to manage their working days out of the office is on the increase so an iPad application is now available to download in iTunes. The app allows contractors to create new or import existing blank or part-completed certificates to their iPad ready for completion on-site. Users can then save and upload the certificate to the Clik cloud server as soon as they are within range of an internet connection. Although not using it yet, Chris has already taken a look at the app and is drafting a business case to start using the tablet format.
New features for the app including the addition of emergency lighting certificates, will be available as part of the next release. More NICEIC certificates will be introduced in order of popularity and released as freely downloadable updates. Other features are planned such as a Max Zs calculator and a function to email certificates as a PDF to enable clients’ signatures to be captured – something Chris finds particularly useful.