SNAM Uses esFields to improve the data collection process
SNAM S.A is a state owned company activating in the field of research, exploration and exploitation of Romanian natural mineral water resources. The acronym SNAM stands for Societatea Națională a Apelor Minerale (The National Society of Mineral Water).
Founded in 1997, the company managed to cover about 75% of the dedicated market, becoming by 2009 the main supplier of water as a raw material. Currently, it is the largest society in terms of extraction and delivery of mineral water for bottling in Romania. Although the selling price is established by the Ministry of Public Finance, SNAM is an independent, self-sustained institution.
At the moment, SNAM develops its activity in multiple locations across Romania. It operates in five exploration zones and more than 30 exploitation areas and has partnerships with many SPA & tourism societies, local councils and about 30 reputable bottling companies in the country. Each extraction and distribution point requires the management of great amounts of information. Initially, the process of collecting and reporting data was done manually, by on field employees using paper forms, but this was not efficient since the reports were difficult to build and track. With the passing of time, both technology and SNAM evolved, so the company needed a performing automated system its employees could use in order to gather data from the field. The main reasons why EXE was the chosen service provider was the reliability of its software and people, who, unlike others, stood behind their words. In addition to this, the competitive price was also a big plus. As a consequence, the partnership with EXE Software started in December 2015, when SNAM S.A. began to use esFields and esReports (an integrated reporting solution). The system was functional from the day it was first installed and was used not only to collect information, but also to track employees’ activity. Besides implementation, EXE also offers support when needed and after one year of collaboration, both parties have obtained beneficial results.
Before starting the collaboration with EXE Software, SNAM had three main challenges related to their data collection and reporting processes.
Data was collected using paper forms
Their data collection process needed an urgent upgrade as the information was collected with paper forms, which had to be processed at the headquarters. Any change in the form template was time consuming and they needed the changes to be implemented instantly.
Reports were created manually
The reporting process was truly challenging as it took a lot of time. Creating the reports was a manual task performed by industry specialists. By creating them manually they lost time which could have been better used for data interpretation.
Tracking and managing remote employees
Tracking and managing remote employees can be a challenging task for a business that is dependent on collecting sensitive and utterly necessary field information.
Since these challenges were preventing the company from delivering and gathering precise data they decided to start using an automated solution that would suit their needs.
The product brought in by EXE Software was selected despite the ones offered by the competition as it stood out as a reliable solution to SNAM’s particular needs, had shorter implementation time, had an integrated reporting solution and it was cost efficient.
Solution implementation in two steps
In order to make sure the data collection software is implemented properly and it won’t cause infrastructure problems, the EXE Software team came with the proposal to make the implementation in two steps. A first step comprised of an initial installation of the data collection software esFields, preceded by a manual and automated test which highlighted all the potential future issues with the infrastructure. This first step took place in December 2015. The second step took place after upgrading the infrastructure, meaning in January 2016 and ever since esFields has been used without major issues.
Collection process optimization
With the help of esFields, the SNAM team can easily make necessary changes to their forms with instant implementation, collect the needed parameters from the extraction and distribution points, track the measurements and create the needed reports automatically, thus having more time to invest in data interpretation. Moreover, with the help of esFields, the historical data is conserved and can be used for reports.
Solution that also works offline
The esFields product is designed to be independent of the internet connection, meaning it can collect data while being offline. This is a huge asset for the field employees as they can continue their work while being offline because the extraction and distribution points have poor network connection. As soon as the employees have internet connection the collected data gets synchronized.
Easy to generate and user friendly reports
With the help of a map, SNAM can track the extraction and distribution points and can see where the data got synchronized. The map is generated based on some parameters that the user can choose: type of user, the name of a certain user, a certain form, a custom period of time and which extraction and distribution point.
“Using esFields with the esReports integration has meant to us more than removing paper forms, it meant we can take decisions faster and act accordingly.“ This is what Paul Dăscălița, IT Manager SNAM, had to say about the solution brought by EXE Software.