Case Study: This key player in the automotive parts industry swapped their paper-based permit system for Pisys PTW software.
It took only 3 months from initial enquiry to going live with the new system throughout their manufacturing plant, which produces components for passenger, commercial and racing vehicles.
The result is a reduction in workload for the Permit Manager, shared responsibilities and better control over the whole permit cycle from creation to close-out.
The company also added a ‘Contractor Work Authority’ form for minimal risk tasks to the system – giving them a complete overview of every planned an ongoing job throughout the manufacturing plant.
When a new Facilities Manager joined the company, he looked at the company’s PTW activities with a fresh pair of eyes: the permit form was solid and the process well-established; he also knew that an electronic PTW system could make a good system even better.
Under the old system, the FM was responsible for raising all permits for the entire manufacturing plant, which was time consuming and detracted from his other responsibilities.
Each Permit was only valid for 12 hours even if the job continued over longer periods. New permits were created for these jobs every day, which led to unnecessary duplication of work.
Permits for jobs which finished after hours were sometimes not cancelled until the following day, if the FM was off site or had gone home for the day. If this was the case, it was often difficult to establish whether any reviews were done while the contractors were still on site.
The FM embarked on a search for an electronic permit to work system which would allow:
- a team of people to share permit management – ensuring that there was always somebody who could action permits, even if the FM was not around.
- a way to record reviews on the permit
- electronic permit archives
An internet search led the FM to Pisys, who reviewed the company’s existing paper PTW forms – and found that it was a great candidate for Pisys PTW software which could be customised to keep all permit questions and replicate the workflow, with the addition of all the improvements the FM proposed already possible.
Following a software demo to a team of key HSE, Engineering and IT personnel, Pisys received a brief and decisive email: “Thank you for today. I was very impressed with the system, as was everyone else”, along with the decision to implement a trial of the system at the manufacturing siite.
The Pisys team agreed to do the customisation, and the trial started with a PTW system that staff were already familiar with, as all the permit questions were still the same.
Personnel quickly saw the potential and flexibility of the system to also manage minimal risk work tasks carried out by contractors.
The Pisys Team helped to create this electronic form, which has a simpler set of controls and workflow than the full PTW form.
After this addition, the electronic Permit Board showed ALL work going on in the factory, not just Permits.
The trial was successful, and a decision to purchase was taken. The Pisys team implemented the site’s plot plan, consisting of 81 areas – which shows permits and Contractor Work Authorisations as coloured dots in their work location.
Pisys worked closely with this customer to understand their current system, which consisted of flow charts, procedures and multiple paper forms
The Pisys team then customized the ‘off-the-shelf’ PTW system, and the fine-tuned the system to do exactly what the customer required.
For some of this, the software development team had to get involved, namely, to create SMS notifications, email re-direction and a form to enter continuous gas testing.
Extra development work was organized as a separate software development project, which ran side-by-side with the customisation and implementati
The solution for this customer was a direct transfer of their existing paper system onto Pisys PTW, including provision for Working at Height, Electrical, Hot Work, Confined Space, Asbestos, Fire Alarm and a simple Isolations checklist with space to attach Isolations Certificates.
As before, the process handles Permit creation, issue & acceptance and closeout/cancellation.
In addition, the system now offers:
- A suspend/re-instate workflow – avoiding the need to create new permits from scratch every day
- Confirmation of completion of job
- A record of all Reviews of Work Conditions carried out on site while the job was ongoing
- Email notifications to key personnel at permit issue and cancellation
- A plot plan of the site, showing permits and work authorisations in their locations
- A Contractor Authorisation form and process for non-PTW-jobs.
To share the workload, initially 12 key personnel (e.g. Maintenance Manager, Project Engineer) were given accounts on the PTW System. All had the rights to create, issue, suspend and cancel permits, and to add worksite reviews.
The system, which runs on the cloud and is accessible from anywhere with internet/WiFi/4G signal, keeps everyone informed on the status and location of each permit, and helps people collaborate on permits – avoiding single-point failures and ensuring hand-backs/cancellations are completed even in the middle of the night.
To avoid having to raise a new permit for ongoing jobs every 12 hours, the suspend/re-instate feature is used heavily, along with the ‘Worksite Review’ feature.
- Reduction in workload for the FM, shared responsibility and avoidance of single-point failure, as:
- other personnel can now create, issue and close permits – even after hours
- fewer permits are created every day, thanks to the suspend/re-instate process
- Handbacks are completed straight away and include a review with the contractor, even if a job finishes after hours or in the middle of the night.
- Physical storage space for permit archives is greatly reduced, as all current and historic permits are stored on the Cloud, with access from anywhere at any time.
- BONUS RESULT: Better control of contractors through the introduction of a ‘General Work Authority’ Form and process, which is managed ‘under the same roof’ as Permits.
The success of this implementation is shown in the fact that the number of users has more than doubled since the system was introduced, and it is now widely accepted throughout this company’s car parts manufacturing plant.
Find out more about Pisys PTW Software here