Steel 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 comes in, they do maintenance on assets, from those of oil and gas companies to bridges and rail infra. They protect the steel from the impact of corrosion. 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 specialised sector.
Van der Ende has been a customer of Capptions since 2016, and we had the pleasure of interviewing Ilja Bangma, the HSEQ manager.
Ilja started with Van der Ende in 2013 and he explains that before the company started using digital tools, any kind of registration was being done on paper. According to him, that might have been working quite well in the past, but the company had outgrown this. Van der Ende works on many different kinds of project locations so the information is spread throughout these projects and locations all over the Netherlands. As you can imagine, it took quite some time and effort to get all of the information together and ready for reporting. That needed to change.
Van der Ende started looking for a software solution mainly to be able to collect all the information in real-time and in one central place. That way managers have an overview and are able to analyse the data. The information then becomes valuable in the form of learning points and the identification of areas to improve on. Another issue the company faced while using paper was making sure everyone was using the most recent version of a form. It takes much more effort to work uniformly when you’re working on paper.
“If you are working digitally, the changes are available to everyone, immediately.”
When staff first started using Capptions, it took a while to adjust, of course. Ilja explains that it requires a different way of thinking.
“You have the tendency to just make a direct translation from your paperwork to a digital version of your paperwork, but if you do that, you’re not getting the full benefit.”
By using a form in a digital way, you also think about what you want to able to do with the data that is being collected through it. That helps in creating the questions, you’re sure that the form is the means to the end, which is analysing the data.
What I really like about working with Capptions is that the software turned out to be a very flexible tool and adaptive tool. You have the possibility to make, adjust and thus develop your own templates. You can do all this without the help of a developer of a member of the Capptions team. And, because it’s such a flexible platform, you’re not bound to prebuilt workflows. This means that the software can not only adapt to the workflows you’ve defined in your own organisation, but also to workflows that have been defined by the clients that you work for.
For example, companies in the oil and gas industry have a very strict way of working, and they expect that their contractors will comply with their work and their process. But when you work for a governmental organisation, they have a very different way of working and they expect the same level of adaptation. Luckily for us, Capptions allows us to create templates and workflows that suit the needs of Van der Ende, but also those of our customers.
“Capptions really helps us to 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 make a new report every month, year or quarter because I’ve already preset the data. Do the work once, and then never again.”
Aside from being more efficient in reporting, the company can also be more effective in responding to information, as it is available in real-time. Our reaction time has shortened immensely, and I think our clients also notice that.
There are 2 major things that have changed since we started using Capptions:
Our department has a better overview of all information, the data is up to date and easier to analyse.
The participation and engagement in our organisation have gone up tremendously.
Traditionally, it was the HSEQ department that was doing all the inspections or the effort to register observations. But since we introduced Capptions in 2016, every year the number of observations has more or less doubled. Aside from the number increasing, the quality of the information and feedback that is coming in has also greatly improved because Capptions helps us to work in a more structured way.
"In short, I’d describe Capptions as flexible and adaptive." - Ilja Bangma