Do you know the number one application in manufacturing for maintenance and safety inspection rounds? Do your thoughts go immediately to a technology provider? It’s a common first thought but it’s incorrect.

The number one solution used manufacturing today is…good old fashioned pen & paper, often used in conjunction with the second most used solution, Excel® spreadsheets!

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Maintenance and safety rounds are common best practices used by companies to maintain high value assets and keep their employees safe. And due to time constraints and the need for an easy to adopt solution, the most common tool to ensure the right steps are followed and capture the required information is a simple paper form.

But, even the most well intentioned companies struggle with developing a routine to digitize this paper-based data to make better decisions.

If you’re still using a paper-based process, don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone. We work with hundreds of manufacturing clients each year and a majority complain about their “antiquated” processes and acknowledge that they lack the time and resources to modernize it.

The good news is that developing a routine on paper is a critical first step. And if your team has already taken that step, there are low-cost solutions available that can help you incrementally digitize it. The most common approach is a “paper-on-glass” strategy that is easy for associates to understand and quickly puts important non-instrumented process information in the hands of your entire team to help reduce errors, improve quality and improve efficiency.

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