Case Study

No-Code Data Capture Apps for Gas Safety: Case Study

Written by Lee Glynn
June 26, 2024
No-Code Data Capture Apps for Gas Safety: Case Study

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No-Code Data Capture Apps for Gas Safety Company & Digital Forms Case Study: Saving £250,000 per year with No-Code data capture

In our latest no-code app case study, we’re talking about how Jonas Thompson at SafeGas Technical Services* – a gas engineer business saved £250,000, doubled gas safety audits, and improved efficiency by 40% using the forms2’s no-code platform for gas safety data capture apps and digital forms for their gas safety audits and installation.

*Caveat – the client wished to remain anonymous. We can say the company is one of the biggest domestic gas safety companies in the UK.

In our latest digital forms and no-code apps case study, we’re on the subject of gas safety!
SafeGas Technical Services, a leader in gas and electrical safety auditing, and providing gas certificates for gas appliances not only streamlined their processes and data capture in the field, reduced errors by at least 40%, significantly enhanced their customer service, and saved them nearly £250,000 in development costs, but also helped them secure a £600,000 contract.

Have a look at how Jonas Thompson took the reigns on his company’s digital transformation through citizen development.

Modernising Gas Safety Audits with No-Code Data Capture Apps and Digital Forms For Gas Safety: Case Study Summary:

Challenge

SafeGas Technical Services, a subsidiary of the renowned Council For Registered Gas Installers and gas engineer business faced the daunting task of modernising their 50+-year-old legacy systems that were slowing them down, inefficient and prone to errors. With a team of 150 staff, including 40 in-house and 110 subcontractors working globally, the challenge was immense.

“We had our legacy system, which only performed one process, which was gas auditing. It was a generational thing,”

Jonas Thompson.

Their existing system was not only cumbersome, platform-dependent, but seriously costly to maintain as the developer made it custom for the client, so any changes were going to cost a LOT. The need for a reliable, efficient, and user-friendly mobile solution that they could roll out with minimal fuss was urgent, as the legacy system was costing SafeGas Technical Services £250,000 upfront for any changes to the code and quadrupling their annual costs.

The developer had the monopoly. So SafeGas Technical Services turned to a no-code solution.

Solution

Our platform specialists at forms2 suggested the Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering because thai meant that Jonas and his team would be able to build a scalable, device-agnostic mobile app with offline capabilities and we could handle the updates and maintenance – they’d just build want they want!

“forms2 formed a large part of the system for the mobile capture of data. It was flexible, relatively quick to develop mobile apps on, and had REST API capabilities,”.

The transition was smooth, ensuring minimal disruption to such a massive company where time is quite literally the difference between safe, and not safe! Jonas also highlighted the ease of use: “forms2 for the mobile component was surprisingly easy because it’s a drag to drop in place on the GUI.”

Key features of the no-code gas safety installation app included:

  • Offline capabilities: Ensuring data capture even in remote locations.
  • Dropdown menus: Streamlining data entry and reducing errors.
  • REST connectors: Integrating seamlessly with existing systems like Caspio, AWS, and Zapier.

Ability to produce the following digital gas certificate forms:

  • Digital Domestic Gas Safety Record (CP12)
  • Landlord Gas Safety Certificate Digital Form
  • Digital Gas Installation Safety Record
  • Gas Safety Certificates & Records
  • Digital forms that generates and logs warning notices
  • Audit trail
  • Job management

Results

After rolling out the forms2 no-code data capture app and digital forms for gas safety audits, SafeGas Technical Services managed to avoid a £250,000 development bill and increased audit efficiency by 35-40%.

“There has been a large amount of efficiency saving for the field staff themselves in their own time,” Jonas shared. The number of audits also increased from 1,200 to a projected 2,000 per month. “By the end of this year, we’ll probably be putting around about 2,000 audits a month in, with the same amount of auditors.”

Additionally, the accuracy of data collection improved, and admin time was reduced by 10-12%. “Forms2 no-code platform is reliable, it’s easy to use, and we can store a lot of offline data on there,” said Jonas. The success of the platform also enabled SafeGas Technical Services to win a £600,000 contract with a major housing association. Which is of course AWESOME!

Investment vs. ROI on Digital Forms & No-Code Data Capture Apps For Gas Safety certificates & Records

By investing in the forms2 no-code data capture app and digital form platform for their gas safety audits, SafeGas Technical Services achieved a great return on their investment. The development cost savings were significant, avoiding the £250,000 upfront cost and ongoing high expenses of the legacy system. Forms2’s platform, which costs a fraction of traditional development, allowed SafeGas Technical Services to scale their no-code platform and data capture apps in-house, while we handled all the updates and maintenance for them.

“The forms2 no-code platform is about two-thirds of the cost of the old legacy system – and that’s before the developers were going to put their prices up,”

The flexibility, ease of use, and minimal maintenance requirements of the forms2 data capture platform contributed to a serious ROI, proving that citizen development with forms2 was a smart and profitable choice for SafeGas Technical Services – because who doesn’t want to save £250,000 per year?

No-Code Data Capture Apps for Gas Safety: Case Study

No-Code Data Capture Apps and Digital Forms For Gas Safety and Digital Gas Installation Safety Records Case Study Expanded:

Challenge

SafeGas Technical Services, a subsidiary of the renowned Council For Registered Gas Installers, faced the horrible task we see a lot of prominent companies facing – the task of modernising their 50-year-old legacy systems and being essentially held to ransom by development costs. The outdated system was causing significant operational inefficiencies and high costs.

“We had our legacy system, which only performed one process, which was gas auditing. It was a generational thing,” explained Jonas Thompson.

The existing system, developed before mobile devices were being used for data capture, was cumbersome, platform-dependent, and costly to maintain. Plus the original developer no longer worked on the project, so getting new developers to not only understand the legacy system and THEN change it, was a nightmare.

Field gas engineers used different phones and tablets too, which wasn’t ideal for the legacy system.

“Some of the systems that we looked at, when you did something on the Android app, and then you looked at it on the Apple one, it was completely different. And you’re thinking, well, what if they just swapped the phone one year and got an Apple? You’ve got another relearning exercise,” said Jonas. Errors were cropping up with gas engineers having to manually reconcile data, which was time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Plus, no one wants to try and remember what they did two weeks ago!

In addition, users were filling in fields within forms incorrectly, leaving them blank or creating comments about the state of an audit that was hard for the team to analyse as handwritten notes or incomplete data didn’t give the whole gas safety audit picture.

“There were so many free text boxes in the legacy system, which I’ve tried to get rid of now using the forms2 platform. There are only three places in the app gas engineers can put free text, and I monitor those,”

Auditors had to spend extra time reviewing and correcting data based on incorrect fields on their gas safety records and gas installation safety records.

Solution

Forms2 provided the perfect solution with their Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as Digital Domestic Gas Safety Record (CP12), Landlord Gas Safety Certificate Digital Form, Digital Gas Installation Safety Record, Gas Safety Certificates & Records, and digital forms that generate and log warning notices plus many more. This allowed SafeGas to create a scalable, device-agnostic mobile app with offline capabilities, tailored to their specific needs.

“We know used forms2 for our data capture for gas safety audits and installations. It was flexible, relatively quick to develop mobile apps on, and had REST API capabilities,” Jonas noted.

One of the key features was the ability to work offline, crucial for gas engineers working in remote locations with poor connectivity. “No matter the signal, they could create digital gas safety audits and gas inspections via the app – anywhere!”

The forms2 platform works offline so data could be captured accurately and synced later when a connection was available.

Another important aspect was the use of dropdown menus to streamline data entry and reduce errors. “I got rid of LOADS of text boxes for the gas engineers. Now there are only three places in the app gas engineers can put free text, and I monitor those,” Jonas explained.

With required fields and skip logic on their digital forms for Digital Domestic Gas Safety Record (CP12), Landlord Gas Safety Certificate Digital Form, Digital Gas Installation Safety Record, Gas Safety Certificates & Records, and digital forms that generate and log warning notices there was no ambiguity and the company now had consistency in the data collected which kept them compliant and customers safe!

The forms2’s no-code platform also enabled seamless integration with existing systems such as Caspio, AWS, and Zapier.

“It was relatively easy to build the REST connectors. You’ve got built-in AWS connectors for media uploads,” Jonas said.

This integration allowed SafeGas to maintain their existing workflows while ensuring gas engineers could now capture images of proof of work, and even see historical data of installations and audits – the pictures were there and the gas engineers had accountability as they were required to take pictures and fill out the digital forms otherwise they couldn’t move off the screen.

SafeGas used the forms2 no-code data capture app platform to digitise several critical forms, including the likes of Digital Domestic Gas Safety Record (CP12), Landlord Gas Safety Certificate Digital Form, Digital Gas Installation Safety Record, Gas Safety Certificates & Records, and digital forms that generate and log warning notices. Everything regarding gas safety audits and gas inspections were moved from paper to digital forms, which we know saves money! 

Results

The results were massive. After rolling the forms2 platform as a service (PaaS) SafeGas managed to avoid a £250,000 development bill and increased audit efficiency by 35-40%.

“There has been a large amount of efficiency saving for the field staff themselves in their own time,”

gas engineers were now able to complete audits faster by 40% and they no longer had to worry about, manual data reconciliation or Steve in the gas safety team’s terrible handwriting!

The number of audits and gas inspections conducted increased from 1,200 to a projected 2,000 per month with manual processes moved to digital forms/mobile forms on mobile devices.

“By the end of this year, we’ll probably be putting around about 2,000 audits a month in, with the same amount of auditors,”

The accuracy of data collection also improved, reducing admin. “As a percentage, I’ll say my time spent on administration has been cut by 10-12%,” The company also had a complete audit trail using cloud storage and job management was automatically assigned with automated reminders!

The new system allowed for better data consistency and fewer errors, which in turn enhanced the overall efficiency and led to a better, safer gas safety and installation audit process. The team had digital forms for gas safety audits and no-code apps for data capture and gas safety inspection complete with digital gas safety certificates generated after job completion. The platform also generated digital gas safety automated reminders complete with job history so engineers knew everything about the property they were inspecting, and safety audits were automatically scheduled each year. Everything was up to date and gas safety certificates were now processed digitally – manual data entry on paper or Excel was a thing of the past.

One of the most significant outcomes was the ability to win new business because they were now producing the best digital gas safety audits in the industry and compliant all the way.

“On the back of the app building work, we won a contract with one of the largest housing associations in GB, which was about £600,000 over about four years or three years. That’s a single contract,”

This success demonstrated the value of the new system and its impact on SafeGas’s bottom line.

Investment vs. ROI on Digital Forms & No-Code Data Capture Apps

By investing in the no-code forms2 platform for gas safety audits and digital forms for gas safety audits and installations, SafeGas avoided the £250,000 upfront cost and ongoing high expenses of the legacy system.

“forms2 is about two-thirds of the cost of the old legacy system – and that’s before the developers were going to increase their prices!”

They could also scale when they wanted to and make changes to the drag-and-drop no-code platform.

“forms2 is reliable, it’s easy to use, and we can store a lot of offline data on there,”

The ability to quickly develop and deploy solutions like no code apps with gas certificates and automatic service reminders without relying on expensive third-party developers was the best choice for SafeGas – they could scale apps and make new gas safety digital forms whenever they wanted to, rolling them out to the field teams after testing them.

The forms2 platform as a service solution enabled SafeGas to build and maintain their system in-house, while we handled the back end upgrades and maintenance – no development costs, providing them with greater control and agility.

“I know if we spent half a million pounds and developed our own SQL database and put in our own servers and did everything else, that we could probably do, we wouldn’t be paying what we pay per year, which is minuscule in comparison to developing a custom app in the traditional method vs no-code,” Jonas said.

“The overall impact of adopting forms2 was transformative. It’s one of the best decisions we ever made. Congratulations to forms2 for making a very usable platform,”

This case study shows the power of no-code platforms in driving digital transformation in the gas safety audit and gas safety installation industry.

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