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Jul 10, 2019 | IN User Stories | BY Wayne Smith
Case Study: Improving Site Audits with Active Oversight 

Active Oversight (AO) is a cloud-based application that drives quality management through guided project completion and automated reporting and notification. AO drives a fundamental shift in how projects are managed and measured. It sets a higher standard in construction performance and pushes quality and efficiency improvements.

Meet the Verizon Team

Verizon's CRAN (centralized radio antenna network) team maintains multiple sites across the Great Plains. Each site acts as a main hub for the network and is crucial to business operations.  Over time, sites are modified as new equipment is added and old equipment is retired. 

Ideally, an audit captures this information by recording what equipment is installed and operational at each site, how the equipment is arranged in the space, and the specifications of the building, including HVAC and battery considerations. 

Without a streamlined process that ensures accuracy and accessibility, valuable data is lost, and site audits must be re-done before equipment decisions are made. Inaccurate and lost records create rework and add both schedule and cost to the project.

The team struggled to find a solution that was both cost-effective and yielded a comprehensive assessment result that could be utilized to make key decisions. The Verizon team turned to Active Oversight to find a better way of completing and storing site audits.

Rework, Inconsistencies, and Lost Data

Active Oversight's first step was to evaluate the current process. By becoming embedded with the team, AO learned that:

  • Verizon emails a site audit Excel Workbook to the selected vendor 
  • The vendor uses the Excel Workbook to complete the audit
  • The workbook does not include a drawing of the site or space for picture uploads
  • The finished site audit is sent via email to the requesting engineer
  • The requesting engineering reviews the audit and returns it to a data-entry team

In practice, AO learned that there were several breakdowns in this process. First, the Excel Workbook that went out to the vendor was often a locally stored copy. This meant that it lacked version control and was not consistent from site to site.

Next, the Workbook did not allow the auditor to review a baseline or even past audits of the site, so every audit had to be treated as brand new; making it more time-consuming and costly to complete. Additionally, since drawings were not included, it was up to the auditor to record floor plan and spacing information.

Finally, without an automated approval and forwarding process, completed audits rarely made it to the data-entry team.  Instead, audits were often lost when the requesting engineer left the company.

Since many departments utilize the results of site audits, these audits were often being performed multiple times on the same site, yet none of the data ever made it to a centralized database.

Creating a Site Assessment Standard with Active Oversight

The Active Oversight team quickly addressed the inconsistencies that were leading to rework and quality losses by creating a universal project template that applies to all CRAN site audits. 

This template supplies the auditor with access to the Workbook on-site so that all information is updated in real time. In addition to providing access to the source-controlled Workbook, AO walks the auditor through each task and prompts him or her to take pictures and immediately upload those images to the audit project. The auditor also has full access to the site's drawing and maintenance and audit history in Active Oversight.

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As soon as the auditor completes the tasks, the requesting engineer receives an automated push notification and can begin to review the data. In many cases, this saves the auditor from making a second trip to the site to address any additional requests because he or she receives immediate feedback while still on-site.

All of the audit data is immediately available in Active Oversight for review by any department. 

Site Audits are Better than Ever

After implementing Active Oversight, Verizon has seen a dramatic improvement in both the value and the efficiency of CRAN site assessments.

Not only has Active Oversight brought transparency and consistency, but it has also eliminated the single-point failures in the site audit process by implementing automation. 

Managers no longer have to keep track of thousands of individual audits. Instead, an automated process notifies each manager when an audit is complete, and the data is quickly routed for entry into the centralized database. 

As a bonus, equipment engineers searching for site data have found that Active Oversight is their one-stop-shop for equipment maintenance, HVAC, and battery replacement records in addition to floor plan and spacing data.

Since implementing Active Oversight as their audit tool just six months ago, Verizon has found that combining site and equipment data into a single source of truth has given the teams the data they need to make informed decisions quickly. Templating the process has led to a dramatic increase in quality by driving consistency. It also allows Verizon to choose local vendors to complete audits since every auditor can now follow an identical process using Active Oversight. 

The team is thrilled with the improvements they have seen in efficiency and quality since partnering with Active Oversight and have even received kudos from other departments on the improved quality and accessibility of site audit data.

Tags: User Stories, Case Studies, Site Audits

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