Electronic forms and checklists are gradually replacing paper in manufacturing operations as the preferred tool for monitoring and inspecting compliance with work standards. These solutions have evolved tremendously over the years to deliver value far beyond the obvious: making it easier and faster to collect accurate data. This is especially true for e-forms and checklists that are designed specifically for manufacturing to empower factory workers to turn every issue into an opportunity to learn and improve.
Here are nine top reasons why you should replace your paper forms with Poka’s electronic forms and checklists.
Electronic forms and checklists can be completed in a fraction of the time compared to pen and paper because of all the capabilities listed below. In fact, companies like Mars, Danone and Kraft Heinz have seen a 20% reduction in the time it takes workers to complete and process forms since they began using Poka. Based on the sheer volume of these documents in most factories, this could translate into millions of dollars saved.
It’s much easier and quicker to understand e-forms and checklists because additional information, including multimedia, can be included in the documents. For example, forms can contain a video or photo to further explain how workers should complete a checklist task. Similarly, workers can attach a photo or video while completing a form to illustrate a problem or deviation they are encountering with their line or equipment. This reduces the need for back-and-forth conversations before corrective action can be taken.
Electronic forms and checklists dramatically reduce data errors and omissions in documents. Pick-lists and multiple choice fields prompt workers to select from standardized responses. Further, form fields can be set to mandatory, ensuring that workers cannot submit the form until all information has been provided.
Data from completed forms and checklists is available in real-time to all stakeholders across the plant and global operations increasing visibility and facilitating inspections. No need to wait until the end of day or week for the data to be re-keyed into a central system. If a deviation is identified, all relevant stakeholders can be notified directly from within the app, reducing the time to take corrective action.
When e-forms and checklists are integrated as part of a more comprehensive, connected worker app like Poka, workers can easily collaborate to find a solution to the problem or correct the deviation. The person who completes the form can post a call for help in the digital news feed, along with a link to the form. Workers can then post their comments and suggestions, and even add a photo or video on how to resolve the issue.
Electronic forms and checklists make it easier for manufacturers to share and apply standards across global operations. Corporate stakeholders in Safety, Quality, and Production can build a library of form templates to quickly and easily share across all sites. This ensures that, for example, a LOTO Registry, a 5S Audit Checklist or a Safety Observation Form is consistent across global operations, making it easier to analyze the data and identify trends.
Unlike paper records that can be easily lost, misplaced or destroyed, electronic forms and checklists are permanent records that document and track each inspection, deviation and corrective action. This ensures manufacturers maintain the audit records they need to demonstrate compliance with industry, government and internal guidelines.
Information captured in digital forms and checklists can be automatically shared with other systems to either trigger downstream processing or facilitate data analysis. For example, key information from a Quality Incident Form can be automatically shared with a Quality System. Further, data captured through e-forms can be used to create customized dashboards and reports in Business Intelligence applications, supporting analysis and helping uncover actionable insight.
And finally, digital forms are an absolute requirement for any paperless factory. Eliminating the need to print, store and manage thousands of paper records in file cabinets and storage facilities has a tremendous impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line and the environment.
Watch a demo of Poka’s electronic forms and checklists to learn more.