Mergon Cut Workplace Accident Rate By 50% – With a Little Help from Microsoft PowerApps
Innovation doesn’t always take the form of big ideas. It’s often easy to overlook the smaller improvements that incrementally can be hugely transformative for a business.
Based in Castlepollard, Westmeath, Mergon is an innovative technical moulding company providing components, assemblies and technical services to leaders in the automotive, industrial and healthcare sectors. It has a proven track record as an innovator in the area of value engineering by collaborating with customers to create new designs of the highest quality that are cost effective.
A company that started with just six employees and two machines in 1981, Mergon has experienced a period of rapid growth in recent years, and now employs 700 people working with 75 machines, across operations in Ireland, USA and Czech Republic.
Finding more efficient ways to operate is something that runs right through the business. To streamline previously paper based and time-consuming processes, Mergon recently adopted Microsoft PowerApps, part of the full Microsoft Business Application Platform stack. By providing these solutions, Mergon empowered one of its employees – with no prior programming experience – to create an in-house app that replaced a previously paper based system.
Since introduced, the app has helped Mergon to simplify its health and safety reporting process, reduce the amount of time spent by employees on administration, and contributed to making it a safer environment to work – three common workplace issues addressed with one simple solution.
Streamlining the Health and Safety Reporting Process
Manufacturing products on a large scale will always bring an element of risk, as humans work in conjunction with robots and other heavy machinery to deliver highly specialised products, such as the complex moulded assemblies that Mergon supplies to major clients such as Tesla, Abbott and Xerox.
Maintaining health and safety standards creates a high volume of strict processes and protocols that must be adhered to. As Mergon’s operations expanded, the volume of paperwork required to track these health and safety processes also increased.
For Brian Murphy, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager at Mergon International, keeping people safe at work is a primary concern. Until recently, handwritten cards were used to log health and safety observations and report any issues or incidents. All of these observations would then be collated and input manually into a computer system – a highly time consuming and repetitive process.
When looking for new ways to streamline the reporting process and make it easier for employees to submit observations, Brian came across Microsoft PowerApps and taught himself to use the solution by reading Microsoft’s online tutorials and resources. He was quick to identify the potential it had to transform Mergon’s approach to workplace health and safety.
Creating a simple app can save time and money
Using the PowerApps Platform, Brian created a simple but highly effective app that could be used by employees to track health and safety observations quickly and efficiently.
The app was an instant hit with employees, as it replaced a paper-based system that was time consuming and open to human error.
Since inception, the app has been used to record over 1,500 safety observations. It has resulted in a 50% reduction in the number of workplace accidents while reducing costs and improving time efficiencies.
The simplification of its approach to health and safety means that Mergon now has a consistent reporting process in place that ensures an accurate audit trail. From the data collected, Mergon can now easily derive learnings and insights that can help inform the introduction of additional protocols that help keep people safe.
This is just the start of Mergon’s PowerApps journey. Following its success in Ireland, Mergon has now rolled the app out to US employees and hopes to introduce it to the Czech Republic in the near future. It also plans to use the PowerApps Platform to create additional apps that will modernise additional processes for employees and continue to make Mergon a better place to work.
This is a prime example of how technology can be used to make our work lives easier. Empowering employees with the right technology can lead to innovations that make a huge difference.
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