Van der Ende Steel Protectors Group
Language is one of the strongest and most durable building materials. However, steel has one threat: corrosion. That's where Van der Ende Steel Protectors Group plays an important role, servicing assets from oil and gas companies to bridges and rail infrastructure. They protect the steel against corrosion. It is also important to them that their people work safely and that they have sufficient HSEQ data to act accordingly.
Van der Ende is one of the largest Dutch specialists in protecting steel against corrosion. The family business started in 1929 and is one of the last of its kind in this specialized sector.
Van der Ende has been a customer of Capptions since 2016 and we had the pleasure of interviewing Ilja Bangma, the HSEQ manager, about this. HSEQ stands for health, safety, environment and quality.
Een digitale oplossing voor HSEQ
Ilja started at Van der Ende in 2013 and he explains that before the company started using digital tools, any kind of registration was done on paper. He said that may have worked quite well in the past, but the company had outgrown it. Van der Ende works at many types of project locations, so the information is spread across these projects and locations throughout the Netherlands. As you can imagine, it took quite a bit of time and effort to get all the information together and ready for reporting. That had to change.
Van der Ende went looking for an HSEQ software solution, especially to be able to collect all information in real time and in one central place. In this way, managers have an overview and can analyze the data. The information then becomes valuable in the form of learning points and points for improvement. Another issue the company faced while using paper was making sure everyone was using the most current version of a form. It takes a lot more effort to work in a uniform way when using paper.
"If you work digitally, the changes are immediately available to everyone."
When the staff organization first started using Capptions, it took some time to switch completely. Ilja explains that it requires a different way of thinking.
"You tend to just make a direct translation of your paper forms into a digital version of them, but if you do, you won't get the greatest benefits."
By using a form in a digital way, you also think about what you want to be able to do with the data that is collected with it. This will help you create the questions, so you can be sure that the form is fulfilling its purpose. You collect data to make it transparent through analysis.
Working with Captions
What I really like about working with Capptions is that the software turns out to be a very flexible and adaptive tool. You have the option to create your own templates, adjust them and develop them further. You can do all this without the help of a software developer or someone from Capptions. And because it is such a flexible platform, you are not tied to predetermined workflows. This means that the software can not only be optimally tuned to the workflows that you have defined in your own organization, but also to workflows that are defined by the customers you work for.
For example, companies in the oil and gas industry work with very strict protocols and expect their contractors to comply with them. But when you work for a government organization, they have a completely different way of working and expect a suitable interpretation just as well. Fortunately, with Capptions we can set up templates and workflows that fit the needs of Van der Ende, but also those of our customers.
“Capptions really helps us save time and work more efficiently because it's all digital. I don't have to wait for reports to come in, they come in automatically. So I can easily create a new report every month, year or quarter because I have already set up the data. Do the job once and then never again."
What has changed, within the HSEQ but also beyond
In addition to reporting more efficiently, the company can also respond more effectively to information because it is available in real time. Our response time has been greatly reduced and I think our customers will notice that too.
There are 2 important things that have changed since we started using Captions:
- Our department has a better overview of all information, the data is current and easier to analyze.
- Participation and involvement within our organization has increased enormously.
Traditionally, the HSEQ department did all inspections or took the trouble to record sightings. But since they introduced Capptions in 2016, the number of observations has roughly doubled every year. Apart from the increasing number, the quality of the information and feedback coming in has also improved tremendously as Capptions helps to work in a more structured way.
In short, I would describe Capptions as flexible and adaptive.