Your calibration management software should be the backbone of a sound, flexible quality program. Done right, it should add value on many levels and support a company-wide “culture of quality,” and it should contribute to the development of sustainable business practices.
But many gage management platforms fall short when it comes to adding real broad-based value beyond their basic utility. In fact, many almost seem designed to punish companies for trying to implement flexible calibration programs across their organizations.
Here are five things most calibration platforms can’t do, which represent significant lost opportunity cost over time:
5. Make life easy.
Software that is sold by the seat license, by its nature, impedes your ability to implement meaningful collaborative processes. When managers have to weigh the cost of adding expensive licenses, they tend to put off expanding the footprint of their calibration software.
Why does that matter? In a study conducted by Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives surveyed cited ineffective collaboration as a reason for workplace failures.
In a lab or manufacturing floor, what does that look like? We were made aware of a customer who had purchased a popular single-license product and paid the vendor to fly to their facility and train their one user. Two weeks later, that user quit, and the position was left open for several months. During that time, calibration certificates piled up because no one knew how to enter them (the software in question was difficult to operate and did not have a scanning feature; certificate content had to be entered by hand). They told us it was not a matter of IF, but WHEN a major failure was going to occur, one that would “end up on the evening news.”
GageList solves issues like that easily. It’s extremely easy to use, so no training is required. Our model allows unlimited users on all accounts at no extra cost – no seat licenses. And those unlimited users can simultaneously manage gage data from anywhere, anytime, on any device, including their own.
Collaboration tears down silos and unclogs bottlenecks. That means cleaner, more up-to-date calibration records, reduced compliance costs, increased profits and ultimately safer, more dependable products.
2. Manage multiple sites.
The seat license issue affects location management as well. Organizations expand to multiple locations in a number of ways. Sometimes they grow organically, opening facilities as they penetrate new geographic markets. They also grow through acquisition. In either case, but especially in the latter, sites can end up with disparate calibration systems that don’t talk to each other.
Disparate platforms require different procedure sets in every location. Data management, compliance, training and process portability are all made more difficult. Isolated, disparate systems make it hard to control costs on a corporate level. They make moving technicians and managers from one location to another more difficult.
GageList unifies all your location-based accounts with a single, easy-to-use control panel, at no extra cost. That means one program to train employees on calibration management procedures, one simple software platform anyone in your organization can understand, one set of records your corporate quality directors can easily access, and one low, centralized cost structure that can be managed in the aggregate or allotted among locations.
3. Manage gages from anywhere, any time, on any device
It’s always been difficult to dispatch calibration techs to remote gages and then separately enter calibration data after the tech returns to home base. We talked to an offshore servicing company that flies techs out to some forty rigs once a month to service and calibrate meters and gages. They wrote their findings and their service records on clipboards and handed them to an administrative clerk to enter into an Excel spreadsheet after they returned. The process was slow, unwieldy, labor-intensive, and often inaccurate. Using GageList on their mobile devices, the techs are able to access their instrument records by scanning QR codes, view the complete history of each gage, and enter their maintenance and calibration data on the spot. The data on their devices automatically syncs with their master account the moment they pass back into cell tower range, saving countless hours and preventing mistakes and overlooked performance trends. It also makes their internal audits much quicker and easier to pass.
If there’s one thing COVID taught us, it’s that we’re all going to have to be more flexible in how we work. Situations like this have always existed, but till now, they’ve been accepted as a necessary evil for companies that rely on remote sensing devices. Now managements are more committed than ever to finding solutions to remote service requirements. With GageList, remote calibrations are no longer a pain point.
But it’s not just remote instruments that benefit from GageList’s approach. Quality managers, tool owners, service technicians and auditors can now do much of their work from home, from hotel rooms or from offices hundreds of miles away, because they don’t have to be sitting in front of the one computer that has the calibration software installed on it. The ability to manage gages from anywhere, any time, on any device is a game-changer that will pay huge dividends for companies of all sizes.
4. Play well with others.
Gage management is a critical part of most quality programs. The data that can be generated by proper calibration management procedures supports a number of other functions, including tool maintenance schedules, purchasing, cost accounting, and regulatory compliance. So the ability to talk directly with other software platforms is a must. But a lot of calibration applications can’t be integrated with any other platforms.
GageList Connect is a public API that lets GageList feed data to any software that your organization requires, including applications like SAP, NetSuite, ETQ, Oracle, Microsoft and more. It’s also the key to bridging the gap for calibration providers who want the best gage management software, integrated directly with their customer management applications.
GageList is printer-agnostic. We don’t sell printers; instead, our job is to integrate with the label printers you already use. In addition, GageList leverages the features common to every device type, such as your phone’s camera. Since it’s browser-based, you’ll never see the phrase “system requirements.” A key feature of every modern software application these days is ubiquitous access and simple connectedness. Playing well with others is basic to good business software.
5. Make life easy.
Calibrating complex instruments and maintaining compliance with critical standards is hard enough. When your software is so hard to learn and use that you have to pay the provider to train your people how to use it, something’s wrong.
These days, your nine-year-old can use most common software programs and mobile apps. People tend to think that’s because “kids these days” are all computer whizzes, but that’s not true. It’s because the best software is so easy, anyone can launch it and start using it. That’s how GageList works. You just sign up and start entering gage data.
We have great support documentation free on our website, as well as free help desk support. We also provide free product demos. But in all of our years of onboarding thousands of new users, not one has ever required training. We feel like if they did, our software would not be best-in-class.
Here’s a bonus sixth thing your current platform probably doesn’t do well: Save you money.
The economics of modern software has changed. Software was once a novel solution, and software publishers could get away with predatory pricing policies. Now it’s a commodity, so it’s relatively simple to compare the value metrics of the digital products you use. When you consider the lifetime cost of ownership, the elimination of seat licenses required to achieve real usefulness in a large-scale environment, and the ancillary costs such as hardware, training and maintenance, our browser-based offer clearly delivers more bang for the buck than anything else in the market.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, click that Sign-Up button. You’ll be glad you did.