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Ryan Coleman

By: Ryan Coleman on May 20th, 2019

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Digital Transformation: SAMR Model and ROI

Mobile Data Solutions

Digital transformation. No matter what industry you’re working in, or what your initiatives are for the upcoming year, chances are you’ve either encountered the term, or started actively working toward it.

What is it? What does it have to do with data? What processes can be used to track it?

The term implies many variables, and looks different from one organization to the next. At Zerion, we believe that “standardizing” the overall initiative through a targeted process (even if that process looks different from one customer to another) helps bring focus to digital transformation, allowing for true improvement and a better ROI.

SAMR: Evaluating Digital Transformation in Business Initiatives

We use the SAMR Model used to evaluate the adoption of Digital Transformation in business initiatives. It’s a good scale to reference the Return On Investment and the language used by organizations who are progressively and proactively implementing a digital transformation strategy.

SAMR Stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. The stages of SAMR correspond directly to the phases all projects evolve through. Those looking beyond the paper form are able to see exponential growth and opportunity with the Zerion platform.

It is helpful to see SAMR in action through a tangible example. We’ll share a classic example of how a customer starts by substituting a paper form with iFormBuilder and then transforms the way they do business. First, let’s say a business wants to replace their paper facilities inspection form that is used in their twenty plants across the country.

Substitution: The business uses iFormBuilder to take every element on the paper form and substitute or translate it into the iFormBuilder platform. It’s a very vanilla form that collects the data and provides raw output of data in excel or a PDF document. There is marginal value created for the organization by eliminating the paper form and eliminating double entry or clerical mistakes by capturing the data digitally.

Augmentation: The business uses iFormBuilder to build all the existing elements of the paper form however now the forms have added functionality because the platform permits it. The form builder now add photo widgets so that each element that “Fails” a photo is required to demonstrate and document what was not up to code. Skip logic is built into the form allowing users to answer only those questions that pertain to the facility being inspected, calculations are being performed right on the device and validation messages pop-up when the data collector keys in a wrong value or inconsistent data. All known facility information is pre-populated into the form so when the site location number is entered, the address, plant manager, phone number, date of last inspection and all know details are entered in saving the data collector hours of manual data entry.

The process is now enhanced and good data is being collected. Data is standardized and the form reduces data entry errors and streamlines how data is captured in a consistent manner. Additionally, the business also knows, who, what, when and how that record was captured because of the meta-data capture with each record by the device. More value is created for the organization.

Modification: The business launches a new form with the pictures, the validation, the skip logic and calculations and data collectors go out to perform facility inspections. On one inspection, there were a series of lightbulbs out in the hallway. The location was documented and as soon as the record was submitted an email was triggered to notify the maintenance team that there were issues that needed to be addressed.  By leveraging the iFormBuilder Scoring feature the facility is given a quality score which is recorded on the admin control panel giving management a score to improve upon. At the completion of the inspection, a PDF is created automagically and shared with levels of management based on the score to have immediately address or coach towards the standard.

Now company leadership is able to see the inspections, make business decisions off of the quality scores created, view photos of the entire inspection process and transform the way they do business. It brings their data to life.

Redefinition: Businesses that leverage the Zerion Software Platform and its features to completely redefine their workflow reap the biggest rewards. These groups start asking questions and making hypotheses about what good data can do for their organization. The data becomes a valuable asset and combined with other institutional or organization data can create tremendous value, new business lines and create competitive advantages. The original task is completely redefined through the evolution up the SAMR ladder.

The process is identical to the on device changes in the “modification” phase, however, now the customer leverages and relies on the iFormBuilder API to make their workflow dance. They have a scheduling web service that sends a notification to the inspector and assigns the proper inspection form that is pre-populated from the company ERP system. Once the inspection is completed, the results are integrated with a dashboard where leadership sees real-time quality scores for each of their plants. They are able to leverage the GPS locations and metadata for each record to see exactly where, when and how the inspection was completed, adding to the data integrity. Visualizing the information captured on a map allows leadership to get a deeper understanding on the adoption of certain practices across their US plants. Inspection data combine with asset data and financial data creates a tidal wave of opportunity for the business to be able to influence the future. They don’t just know what happened they are not asking questions about what is possible or what could happen.

The SAMR Model will also allow businesses to think differently about how they realize value. It goes well beyond the cost of the technology or the time or paper saved. Businesses from start-ups to the Fortune 100 are learning from the data, influencing behavior change, redefining how the field teams works and how organizations approach and use data.

About Ryan Coleman

Ryan Coleman is the VP of Sales at Zerion and works directly with enterprise deployments around the world. A former resident of San Diego, California, Ryan enjoys sunsets and photographing the coast. If you have any questions about improving your business processes, he would love to hear from you!

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