Have any of your field guys ever done something like this?

  • You send Joe to go monitor a jobsite for the day
  • He doesn’t actually go to the jobsite, but writes down on the job form that nothing out of normal occurred while he was there (even though he wasn’t actually there)

The above is more common than employers would like to admit.  Especially on monotonous, long-term, boring jobs that are always the same and never seem to have anything interesting going on.  Case in point: a fire last year at a construction site in downtown Raleigh NC that took out the entire apartment building that was being built by Clancy & Theys.  If someone had been there that evening, the fire probably would not have occurred.  Nowadays, that firm puts 2 people on each of their construction sites in the evenings just to maintain a security presence.  Not just 1, but 2, just in case.  That’s a substantial payroll hit.

It’s easy to fib on paper forms

It’s just too easy to report on something routine as if you were there, even when you are not actually there. And employers don’t usually check closely enough to catch this kind of thing.

But what if you could geofence a project site?

Imagine tagging a jobsite with a specific geolocation (lat/long), and then only allowing data to be applied against that jobsite if the user was within a certain radius of that location?

This is something that can be done with some software tools nowadays, including XForms.  So now when you send Joe to a jobsite that has been tagged to a specific geolocation, you can be sure that any data applied to that jobsite was done while Joe was actually at the jobsite, not at home, not in his hotel room, and not while he was at the office either.

In XForms, this is made possible with metadata capture at the form level

One of the core features of XForms is the ability to capture metadata whenever a form is opened and closed.  So every time someone opens a form, and every time he/she closes a form, the following information is captured and stored:

  • date/time
  • user_id
  • machine_id
  • geolocation (when possible)

To block data from being added to a geofenced jobsite, all we do is compare the geolocation of the user with the geolocation of the jobsite, and if the two are not within a certain distance of each other, an alert is displayed to the user indicating that he/she is not within the required distance to add data to that job.  That’s it!

There are other uses of this metadata, including audit trail capability, ability to plot the locations on a map of where the user was when he/she opened a form or closed a form, ability to calculate the amount of time spent filling out a form and comparing against the other field users, and more.

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