Native Or Hybrid – The Mobile App Developer’s Dilemma!

Native Or Hybrid – The Mobile App Developer’s Dilemma!

The popularity for the EHS mobile apps have started gaining momentum in the recent years. The driving factors behind the skyrocketing demand is undoubtedly the requisition of features like real-time updates, easy data entry, and better insights on risk and incident management. Being the pioneers of cloud-based integrated EHS Management Software providers, ProcessMAP geared up to join the “mobile first” bandwagon in the EHS industry.

 According to the recently published research from Verdantix, “57% of EHS professionals around the globe intend to leverage mobile apps as a means of improving EHS engagement, performance, and business value”. The report further qualifies, “Now, as EHS software adoption continues to ramp up, mobile apps are establishing a foundational role in proper EHS management and utilization of EHS technologies.” This research clarified the point that organization within the Environment, Health and Safety Management Software domain must consolidate upon their mobile technology planning. As the VP of Product Development for ProcessMAP; I could also foresee the need of a well-etched and impactful mobile strategy to continue with our leadership journey.

Our decision – Go native!

While brainstorming on mobile app development for Safety and Incident Management Software it is important to anticipate its outcomes. What is the desired result expected from the app? It is here, we often dwindle in choosing between the native or the hybrid mobile app for a platform.

The two schools of thought regarding mobile app development – native and hybrid – each have a comprehensive list of weighted pros and cons and practically every company has to encounter this choice at the beginning of their mobile initiative. However, the limitations of a hybrid app over a native app was clearly evident right from the very beginning. Lack of offline support, sub-par user experience and slow application performance were directly related to absence of native UI elements, reliance on the built-in browser and exposure to third-party exploits. Moreover, limited or non-existent support for device’s hardware elements and features like GPS, accelerometer, and convenient biometric authentication systems like Touch- and Face ID made it obvious that going native was the correct choice.

Switching to the native development paradigm empowered ProcessMAP to develop a comprehensive mobile application platform with support for on-device persistence with “offline first” approach, Push Notifications, dynamic data-driven business logic and intuitive UI/UX. Relying on the same architectural principles across mobile platforms (iOS, Android and UWP) helped ensure consistent and superior user experience while being agnostic to the underlying OS.

EHS software adoption

In the Verdantix survey of EHS leaders from across 31 countries and 21 industries, 84% of the 382 participants reported that the quality of a mobile application influences their EHS software selection process. Moreover, buyers see offline functionality, UI design, and breadth of process coverage as important factors in making mobile apps a very versatile tool for trailblazers in the field of Environment, Health and Safety Management Software.

Our mobile app journey is relatively young, but we are excited to have taken the right direction in offering a highly robust but extremely intuitive and easy to use native mobile app to our users. 

Sources:

Market Overview: EHS Mobile Apps”, Verdantix, May 2018

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Next-Generation Tools For Safety Management In Manufacturing

Next-Generation Tools For Safety Management In Manufacturing

Data analytics in manufacturing facilities has provided safety managers with in-depth knowledge on worker performance, efficiency, and even maintenance and operations. As manufacturers aim for operational excellence, data analytics is also helping to improve overall safety within facilities and plants. By gaining insight into safety-related issues, safety managers can proactively manage workplace risk and mitigate on-the-job injuries. 

Manufacturers are often wary of digital transformation within their facilities. However, by utilizing technologies that meets specific needs, manufacturers will benefit from bolstered productivity and decreased injuries. Using new mobile and IIoT solutions, manufacturers can ensure that data is being tracked in real-time for greater accuracy and improved business intelligence. It also allows them to address any concerns immediately and prevent reoccurrences. As manufacturers continue to adopt new solutions to provide more robust reporting and analytics measures, there are several specific tools they should consider.

Mobile

Enterprise mobility allows manufacturers to be more strategic and opportunistic. Mobile-first solutions like tablets and smartphones allow every worker to be connected on a single system to drive business processes and safety. Mobile solutions can also work online and offline, which becomes crucial in manufacturing facilities where Wi-Fi may not always be available. If there is a safety-related issue, it can be reported immediately and a call to action is sent directly to the relevant teams to institute corrective actions. 

Becoming mobile-first also allows employees to track operations remotely. For example, an employee delivering services can accurately report on the location of products and time of delivery. If there was an ergonomic injury, such as a strained back that occurred while moving heavy products, an employee can easily update a corrective action to be taken to wear a back-support belt while moving this product. This alert ensures that the next employee on a delivery is utilizing the right personal protective equipment (PPE).

Wearables

In manufacturing organizations, wearable devices provide a wealth of information on employee safety and well-being. By utilizing these devices, organizations can improve preventive health and ensure employees are taking the right precautions on the plant floor. For example, if a plant has a high-pressure area or one with dangerous chemicals where a hazmat suit may be needed, safety managers can ensure employees are wearing the right PPE based on their body temperatures recorded by wearable devices. 

Wearable devices can also inform safety managers if a worker has an incident on the job. For example, a wearable device can report on whether a worker has been lying horizontally for a long period of time. This may indicate that they are seriously injured and need immediate medical attention. Data from wearable devices can also integrate with back-end systems to streamline compensation benefits. This allows the manufacturer to easily spot employee injury trends and take corrective actions to prevent future incidents.

Sensors

Using sensors in manufacturing facilities can reduce operations and maintenance costs while increasing safety management. When assets such as manufacturing equipment are installed with sensors, upkeep is modernized in the facility. These sensors provide accurate data on the ‘health’ of the machines and whether there are any malfunctions that need to be addressed. By having a holistic view of equipment status, safety managers can mitigate any risks to workers due to equipment blips or failures. Maintenance teams can be alerted of any issues and handle them in a timely manner so there is no time loss during production at the plant as well. 

When manufacturing facilities invest in mobile, wearable and sensor solutions, they make strides toward ensuring continuous worker safety on the job. These solutions easily integrate with Software-as-a-Service platforms that provides stakeholders with key business insight into the performance of the facility. With the right next-generation solutions, manufacturers can build zero-incident workplaces and gain operational excellence.

Credit: As seen on Smart Industry

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