Automating and digitizing safety card processes
As a long-term IBM client, Conqord Oil turned to IBM to find a solution to its challenges. Giulio Carlomagno, Electronic Data Processing Manager at Conqord Oil, states: “We have a 40-year relationship with IBM, so approaching them came almost as second nature to us. IBM recommended its Business Partner, IDM Consulting S.r.l., who demonstrated great skills and had previous experience in our sector. Another plus was their close vicinity to our headquarters, which meant that their team was always at hand throughout the implementation.”
Working with IBM and IDM Consulting, Conqord Oil introduced a new digital platform for managing safety card information, built on IBM Enterprise Content Management solutions.
As a first step, Conqord Oil used IBM® Datacap to automatically extract and index key data from each safety card, making the information readily available to be accessed and modified by staff. This has made a striking improvement to the way that Conqord Oil works with these documents, as Giulio Carlomagno observes: “Before, we used to keep safety cards as a series of PDF files or scanned documents. We also manually added metadata to each document and uploaded it to a very basic type of database, but employees still had to consult the scanned documents to get the information they needed.
“Now, the safety cards and relevant metadata are entirely digitized, and access to the cards is so much easier and faster, as well as being secure.”
Additionally, Conqord Oil takes advantage of IBM Case Manager to develop automatic alerts – for example when a safety card is about to expire – and to put in place new processes, such as specific lab procedures that are required whenever sensitive information within a safety card has changed.
In parallel, Conqord Oil uses IBM Case Manager Mobile in its order management process, enabling staff to request and authorize approvals via mobile devices. Because the company’s technical and commercial staff often work from the field, providing mobile capabilities to accelerate the authorization workflow was crucial.
Giulio Carlomagno confirms: “With IBM Case Manager, employees can submit authorization requests and immediately receive either a positive or a negative answer, which will then trigger the following stages of the approval process. The mobile capabilities allow us to process new orders in a timelier manner, enabling a faster response to our clients.
“We started testing the mobile solution with a very small number of users, but given the excellent feedback received we are now planning to extend it to over 250 members of our staff as well as our partners."
Ensuring safe chemical handling
With its new content management platform in place, expertly deployed with assistance from IDM Consulting, Conqord Oil is now well on its way to offer even-better protection to those employees who handle chemicals daily.
Giulio Carlomagno remarks: “Being able to manage the crucial updates that are applied to hundreds of chemical safety cards every day in such a precise, rapid and efficient manner is invaluable to us. With the IBM solutions, we have gained time savings of up to 70 percent when accessing and checking the cards.
"Even more importantly, as we can now update safety card information in a highly automated and controlled way, we have reduced the risk of errors or oversights occurring during this process. As a result, we have more confidence that staff are properly informed of the latest precautions that they need to take when handling chemicals. This helps employees understand the risks when they are in contact with chemical materials, and contributes to workplace safety.”
Impressed by the success of the implementation, Conqord Oil has further plans with the solution—for example, the company is looking forward to harnessing the power of its new enterprise content management tools to digitize contracts and invoices.
Giulio Carlomagno states: “This project has transformed our ways of working, and our staff have truly embraced the new approach. We are confident that this positive sentiment will only continue to grow as we continue to expand our enterprise content management platform.”
He concludes: “With IBM solutions backing up our business processes, we believe that we will continue to grow in the metals manufacturing market, while maintaining our excellent health and safety record and helping to protect our employees from risks in the workplace.”