Mobile defects management has been covered in this blog more than a few times, and the latest product to grab my attention in this sector is Accede.
The product, which combines mobile devices with a Software-as-a-Service back end, was originally developed by Brian McKillop at Brisbane, Australia-based WicketWorks Pty Ltd and started out as Visual Fox Pro software tools before being re-engineered to provide quality management tools for mobile devices (currently the Apple iPad and Windows Tablet PC devices). The product is now being launched in the UK and Brian’s fellow Australian and now London-based colleague Brett Winstone is heading up the initial marketing effort, trying to build awareness of the brand and get some pilot projects under way.
While Brett is a chartered accountant by background, he has extensive experience of Australia’s mining, natural resources and construction markets, and he has identified that around 6% of project management time is typically devoted to quality assurance work. He argues that mobile defects reporting tools have the potential to halve that figure, partly due to increased productivity – “with Accede, a quality manager can report 400 defects in a day” – and partly due to improved visibility and sharing of defects information via the service’s cloud-based reporting platform.
Brett is aware of other defects management and related tools already available in the UK – I wrote in March 2013 about SmartBuilder1 and GoReport, for example (see also: SnagR, post; Snag List, post; iSnag, post), and have discussed the defects capabilities of SaaS collaboration products such as Aconex, Asite and Conject (among others). Brett believes Accede offers a competitive alternative; he says:
“Not all projects run full-blown collaboration systems covering all the supply chain members, and for many involved just in quality control these would be time-consuming to learn and use. Other products also rely on placing pins on plans, while we use a simple hierarchical description of a building and use photos to help users identify where defects have been found. The system therefore requires less information before it can be deployed, and is more user-friendly – we can configure a system and get users trained in a day.”
Of course, such claims need to be tested. And Accede has been looking for UK partners willing to test the product on a free pilot project ‘proof of concept’ basis and share their feedback via a case study. Brett is also promoting a three-minute questionnaire asking “What do snaggers want?” which he hopes will add to the business’s understanding of the UK market and its quality control processes (click here to complete the survey – as an incentive, an iPad Mini is on offer to one lucky person who does so).
[Disclosure: I have provided paid consultancy services to Accede.]