More Effective Means of Tracking Time
Our relationship with ESI started by helping them reimagine a tool for improving how engineers and consultants log time more accurately. While a legacy system was in place, it wasn’t intuitive and lacked many crucial features — mainly the ability to track time across devices.
Shadowing employees, we were able to define features and functionality that fit more naturally into their daily workflow. Identifying third-party applications employees use on a regular basis, we were able to offer integration that automates time tracking and provided suggestions to users. We also built in support for offline time tracking, so employees could log data locally that is synced to the cloud when an internet connection becomes available. These features not only helped improve the employee’s experience with the application, they also helped us provide a six-figure ROI by capturing time that would have otherwise fallen through the cracks.
This built increased trust with ESI, and they asked for our help in transforming other internal applications. The next was tackling employee communication, knowledge and document management, and providing a central hub for information at ESI. Leveraging the knowledge we gained from helping Jamestown Properties solve a similar challenge, we got to work to identify how to best help ESI with these tasks. While completely separate and custom systems, we found that a lot of the behavioral and human physiology needs were the same. This allowed us to design a system that not only addressed the business requirements of the project but also helped unite a broad workforce and strengthen ESI’s company culture.
Modernizing, connecting, and scaling artifact management
The most recent tool we helped ESI transform was a little more complex. With hundreds of employees, offices spread throughout the US, and dozens of active projects, ESI needed a way of keeping track on every artifact that is in their custody.
Artifacts needed to be tracked from the moment they were placed into ESI’s care, including every employee that accessed it, exactly where it was being stored, and any and all changes that were made to the artifact (as engineering and scientific tests were performed). The system also needed to allow for warehouse and location management, accounting for current warehouses, future storage locations, and pop-up locations that get built at job sites. Obviously the platform needed to be extremely secure, infinitely scalable, and very easy for employees to use without much training or previous chain-of-custody knowledge.
To accomplish this we built a custom web-based and mobile application that interfaces with barcode scanners, NFC chips, receipt printers, and GPS data to automate many steps in the process. The final platform was easily rolled out across the entire organization and because of the extensive user research conducted at the beginning of the project, integrated effortlessly into the way employees are use to working. To date, more than 100,000 artifacts have been managed using this system.
Across all of this, we didn’t just design the way something looked or even how it worked. We designed the thousands of interactions that happen across the company every single day. Making each one less time-consuming, less expensive, and more delightful to use over the course of an employee’s busy workday.