How our technology has increased Productivity by over 500% in just 12 months



For the longest time Governments, Unions and Employer Groups have believed that technology deployment would reduce jobs. We feared the mechanisation of workforce from the Industrial revolution to modern day office and white-collar workers with the same philosophy; deploy technology and I’ll need less workers. Whilst this may sometimes be the result, the reality is that at no point since 1919 in world has there been more workers: 3 billion working 205 Million unemployed - According to the International Labour Organisation (Part of the United Nations). Technology is all about making an inefficient process more efficient and in doing so building a better tuned, responsive and work-ready workforce.

At Locatrix, in 2010 we mapped each step in the business process and discovered no less than 242 different process steps. Since then we have spent time working on efficiency (process, software and people) and now have it down to a more manageable 163 steps. We believe the optimal level is well under 150.

In the case of PlanSafe – Enabling Partners to better serve their Industry

In the case of PlanSafe, Locatrix online fire training and site induction platform, compliance has never been so easy or well addressed. Mark Slade, CEO of Australian Compliance Management and Partner of Locatrix said:

“We enjoy removing the complexities of all the varying regulations and provide one simple concise solution that becomes part of the culture and not just a document that hides in a drawer. Since the adoption of PlanSafe, we have been able to simplify compliance, and in some cases, introduce compliance that never previously existed, to over 250 childcare services across the country”

The application enables each facility to maintain compliance by training their staff anytime, anywhere within 30 minutes. Records (data collected within the PlanStudio application) are kept current and visible through the compliance dashboard ensuring head office can maintain staff fire and emergency training required to save lives in the case of crisis. When you are dealing with the vulnerable and the young there are additional requirements and training that needs to be conducted more frequently – in some services once a month.

“PlanSafe is an outstanding tool for providing site specific training to this market. With the demand of this product I have been able to grow my business significantly and we take pride in the fact that we are contributing to something that makes this community a safer place. “

The Automation of the humble Evacuation Diagram

One major change to the automation has been the introduction of PlanStudio (our internally developed technology solution for drafting) for the automation of production of the humble Evacuation Diagram, increasing productivity up to 500% for its users. Nathan Kirkby started with Locatrix (then Concept Safety Systems) in 2009 as a draftsperson, moving up through the roles of Team Leader and Project Quality Supervisor and last year was promoted to Executive Manager of Client Delivery.

In his current role he manages a team of 11 drafters who have all transitioned over from using CorelDRAW to PlanStudio. As you can imagine, 18 months ago when asked to lead his team over to using this new technology, the future looked uncertain. Transitioning to new technology is a challenge at the best of times, but PlanStudio was created in-house to specifically address well known drafting problems. It speeds up the process and reduces drafting errors dramatically. So much so that we were initially concerned with what might become of the Drafting team – would we need them any longer? Surely with the new technology we wouldn’t need such resource to carry out this task? How could we re-skill them? Do they even want to be retrained? And worse, would we have enough work to keep them?

Fast forward to today and Nathan is pleased to report we are actually increasing the team size because we are struggling to keep up with demand. You see, with PlanStudio, the time and money saved allows teams to be more productive and take on more work while achieving deadlines previously thought as impossible. Job security is not threatened, but rather fortified with the evolution of opportunity and responsibility that PlanStudio encourages – make more money, faster.

“One of the biggest potential disadvantages of training employees previously when depending on CorelDRAW was the cost of the process: not with PlanStudio. The Locatrix learning Academy provides an extensive library of self- paced learning videos and a technical support team who is only one message/phone call away. Locatrix support base is built around a team who are at the forefront of the software’s ongoing creation. Your ideas aren’t just heard but understood and implemented into the program.”

The quick onboarding of new users has been extended to industry partners (once competitors) who we found were in as desperate need as we were for automation in the field. In the past 18 months we have been able to better enable over 50 new partners with PlanStudio including several industry leaders all here in Australia with Global inquiries on the rise since Covid-19 lockdown.

Prior to partnering with Locatrix, Fire Services Queensland (FSQ) struggled to find reliable sub-contractors to create evacuation signs for our customers. PlanStudio allowed FSQ to bring this service in-house, utilising Anthony Grandfield skills to manage this new revenue stream for their business

“Not having done the drafting component before, PlanStudio’s technology was simple, easy and quick to learn, allowing FSQ to produce quality compliant signs. Without PlanStudio, we would not be able to provide this service in house to our ever increasing client demand. With PlanStudio, I am now able to draft up a full set of evacuation signs for a small client and email the draft to them for approval before leaving the site. Sometimes, the only hold up is waiting for client approval. But I can usually turn them around within a week.”

The Power of pulling complexity together in one place

Managing your company property or client property portfolio from one single source of truth opens your team up to an information pipeline of transparency and visibility like no other. No more crowding your workstation with folders and paperwork, no more being limited by your lifestyle or location, no more confusion around misinformation or doubling up on work. The “as-built” environment is now easy to retrieve and update.

Quality assurance and internal standardisation procedures are now centralised and governed at an individual level. The first step of PlanStudio’s process (Geotagging) ensures everything that follows is guided by real life capacities, limiting the amount of rework and lessening the overall turnaround time of a job. A simple concept, but an easily forgotten framework – “All that starts well, Ends well.”

John Hummelstad. “We invented PlanStudio to improve our own processes. We wanted to make site-based mark ups easy, efficient and fast. We wanted to provide value for the client and speed up the delivery, reducing the turnaround from 2 hours to the walk in and walk out process that it is today. Our goal has always been to help customers meet the duty of care, comply with work health safety laws and public safety requirements. In achieving this by creating PlanStudio, we realised we had solved not only our problem, but a world-wide industry problem. By transforming from pen and paper we have become an enabler for our once competitors, now industry partners. With over 70 companies now using PlanStudio to create floor plans, we find that instead of reducing our drafting team, we have increased it as the demand is increasing but best of all, we are able to share current digital building data with those who need it most, the first responders that need to understand our building lay out so that they can respond when an emergency situation arises.”

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