Ensuring all staff follow up-to-date, safe, compliant, and efficient procedures was a mammoth exercise for Certis’ 400-strong quality management and training team. With OutSystems, Certis—Singapore’s leading advanced integrated security provider—transformed their 12-year-old paper-based quality management system into a slick, mobile-first, digital service delivery system, with projected annual recurring savings of nearly 250,000 Singapore dollars.
250,000 Singapore dollar annual efficiency saving
400 quality management and training specialists working faster
16,000 staff use mobile app for digital work instructions
Real-time compliance and performance reporting
"The speed and flexibility of OutSystems is a solution architect's dream. As program manager, instead of constantly dealing with technology constraints, I felt the only limit was our imagination.”
Reimagining Quality Management for the Digital Age
Challenge - Established over sixty years ago as the Guard and Escort unit of the Singapore Police Force, Certis is now the leading integrated security provider in Singapore. Today, Certis employs a global workforce that develops and delivers multi-disciplinary, integrated security services across Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, China, and the Middle East.
But, keeping tens of thousands of employees at the top of their game, is a sizable challenge. Rostering the right staff, with the right competencies onto the right work assignments, requires meticulous attention to training, qualifications, and the procedures needed for specific sites.
Twelve years ago, Certis developed a robust quality management system they call "CSDS," the Certis Service Delivery System. Responsibility for this lies with Lau Ngie Ung, AVP, Group Quality Excellence.
"CSDS was ingrained in the way the whole organization worked," explained Lau. "But, after over ten years, it was overdue for digitization. There were huge efficiency savings we could gain by eliminating paper-based content and manual processes."
Moreover, digitizing CSDS would enable multiple quality improvements:
- Each security officer would have moment-of-need access to relevant, up-to-date work instructions on their mobile device.
- It would be much faster for the quality management and training team to create, approve, and deploy procedures.
- Management would have real-time visibility of performance data to drive continuous improvement.
- Training would be less time-consuming.
- Updating and issuing revised procedures would no longer suffer paper-based logistical delays.
- It would be much faster to set-up new work locations and contracts.
- Training records would no longer need rekeying into the SAP HCM system.
Ideation for this new digital CSDS took place in August 2018. "This was one of the first projects where we used design thinking rather than lengthy requirements analysis," explains Lau.
"We gathered around 25 stakeholders—from all levels in the business—for a series of half-day workshops. Our mission was 'to enable ordinary people to deliver extraordinary results.' People were encouraged to imagine the ideal solution, rather than just improve what we had. Then we discussed and refined those ideas and produced prototypes, including screen mock-ups."
Certis now needed to maintain the momentum and excitement of all stakeholders and turn these ideas into reality.
Turning Quality Ideas into Digital Reality
Solution - Lau knew OutSystems from two previous projects, and he was keen for this to be Certis' third low-code development project. "As the product owner and solution architect for CSDS, I wanted developers to have the freedom to work in a truly agile way," said Lau.
"Some of our systems are overly rigid," continued Lau. "If we fell back on these kinds of systems, all the imagination we had invested in our design thinking workshops would have gone to waste. We'd end up following rigid processes instead of delivering the new ideas we had conceived."
Before diving deep into development, Lau tested crucial integration, between OutSystems and their SAP system, and also their Tableau analytics platform.
Having satisfied himself that integration was not going to be an issue, Lau assembled a 25-person project team, led by Project Manager, Dawn Wang.
Dawn explains, "The project team involved several quality officers, user representatives from different business units focused on UAT, IT specialists focused on integration, and a team of two developers, a UI/UX designer, a project manager, and a solution architect from OutSystems partner Dreamcloud."
Development was in two phases. Core features were delivered in five months, leading to release in March 2019 of the backend with web access for Quality Officers. This put the Quality Excellence team in a position to start populating the repository with sites, job classification matrices, and job breakdown sheets, ready for deployment.
The second phase of development was another five months, leading to the release of the mobile app to be used by security officers, trainers, and assessors. Around fifty quality officers piloted this during March 2020, and the full roll-out to 16,000 staff across Singapore ran from April to September 2020. Roll-out to Australia, Hong Kong, and Qatar will follow.