Capmation helps Park Industries develop time reporting app
Low Code/ Rapid Development
Park Industries is a machinery manufacturing company focused on designing, manufacturing, selling, and supporting industrial solutions for the stone industry. Established over 60 years ago, Park Industries brings its experience in customer service to provide products and services to the stone fabrication and custom manufacturing markets. It has currently sold over 15,700 machine solutions in North America.
As a well-established company, Park Industries had been following the traditional shop-floor placement for its punch-in clocks for decades. Using this system, workers would arrive on the site, prepare for work, and then officially begin their paid time when they reached the shop floor. When the decision was made to move away from the current software, the company considered all of its options and objectives.
“My objective was to build a completely different application that speeds up punches on our shop floor,” explained Phil Rogholt, Senior Business Analyst at Park Industries. “As we started that conversation, we explored what other manufacturing companies were doing. We discovered the general rule of thumb is to have the individuals punch in before they get out onto the shop floor. The goal was to provide an application kiosk that would give our employees a more convenient and accurate way to track to their time.” To transform the time punch process, Capmation and Park Industries had two key objectives:
- Create a new application that would facilitate faster punches for workers.
- Develop a new kiosk for that application in a more employee-friendly location for maximum use.
With the goals established, Capmation went to work developing a user-friendly application that would transform Park Industries’ time reporting.
The first step was narrowing down the business needs, features and additional software necessities. Capmation would then take those parameters and develop an initial version of the application. Park Industries wanted the following abilities:
- Employees could punch in and out with their employee number or badge
- Each punch should include name, date and time
- Both employer and employee should receive a notification after a certain amount of time post-work day in the event of a forgotten punch-out
- The entire punching process should be optimized compared to the current software
To the create the application, Capmation uses a low-code platform called OutSystems, which accelerates the development process using drag and drop functionality, easy-to-implement APIs and connectors, and one-click application delivery. Once the initial objectives were met, Park Industries tested the solution with employees. During this time, two issues were uncovered:
- While the software met all of the initial requirements, Park Industries quickly discovered that some employees were unknowingly using incorrect ID numbers when punching in and were not being notified. The decision was made to add a pop-up that required the employee to confirm their name before punching in. This quick fix eliminated the issue.
- Reactive Web applications primarily work based on user credentials to ensure security when logging in. However, user-based systems regularly timeout to maintain that same security. For ease and efficiency, Park Industries needed its time punch app to be available 24/7 and to not log out. Capmation worked around the standard protocols of the app to develop a security system based on location IP address, not user credentials. With this change, employees could use the system at any time on any device—as long as that device was connected to Park Industries’ IP address. At the same time, extra security precautions were taken to ensure the app information only had access to an isolated portion of Park Industries’ network. This would protect and secure the company’s remaining of suite of applications.
As Capmation worked to create a solution, they remained in constant communication with the Park Industries team. “I had a standing 15-minute touch base every day,” said Rogholt. “These allowed us to stay on top of things and build incrementally. The developer asked a lot of insightful questions throughout the process. It wasn’t me dictating the solution. It was a dialogue.”
After three weeks and two additional feature upgrades, Capmation successfully created the new time punch application for Park Industries and its employees. The new application achieved the speed and accessibility goals set by the company and is already set to save a significant amount of worker time. By saving nine minutes per employee over the course of a year, the new application saves Park Industries 1,092 wasted hours (or 65,520 minutes).
Additionally, building and installing new kiosks with the app cost less than $1,000 each, making the solution convenient and cost-effective. The user-friendly interface also carried over to the mobile app for any workers on the go.
“Capmation made this app a success with their Agile framework and their flexibility,” said Rogholt. “They listen and work with us to get it right. They definitely put a lot of time and effort into their applications. Their extra effort shows in how intuitive it is. When an application is easy to use, generally that means a lot of work went into making it easy,” he said.
Carlos Bimos, Capmation’s software engineer driving the project, credits much of the success to OutSystems.
“Using OutSystems to automate internal processes, like we did for Park Industries, demonstrates the impact standardized Reactive Web Apps can have in just a short period of time,” said Bimos.
As Park Industries’ internal processes continue to improve and evolve, the company has a partner who will help them automate and innovate.
“I’ve had touch points with five different Capmation developers and all of them have the same want-to-work-with-you attitude. Through understanding our needs and working with the parameters provided, they always help us meet our objectives,” concluded Rogholt.
- Efficiencies gained result in annual savings of nearly 1,100 hours per year.
- Convenient web app provides employees with more accurate time reporting.
- Intuitive time punch process has a near zero-level learning curve.