An accident reporting tool jointly developed by software maker Corpendo and Fletcher Building is being rolled out across the wider Fletcher Building group, following its deployment at Fletcher subsidiary PlaceMakers.
The web-based tool will be fully rolled out in approximately three months' time, Fletcher Building CIO Paul Knight says. The immediate benefit will be that there will be a single accident reporting system across all the company's brands. These include Firth, Winstone Aggregates and more than 20 other business units.
"Fletcher Building is a decentralised company and [all its business units] had different systems in place."
However, there's a broader benefit in terms of a better overall attitude towards health and safety, he says.
When the system was being set up at PlaceMakers, the most important thing about it was its simplicity, PlaceMakers health and safety manager Fraser Perry said.
"We resisted a lot of potential technical enhancements."
Fraser began working with Corpendo in June 2003, after looking at generic, off-the-shelf products for accident reporting.
"We decided the best thing to do was to form a partnership with a software development company."
With the product already in place at PlaceMakers, Corpendo was in a good position when the wider Fletcher Building group put out a tender for a company-wide accident reporting system, Corpendo managing director John Hayson said.
"We responded to the RFP in the middle of last year, which led to the product being adopted on a wider basis."
Hayson says of competing offering: "There appear to be a lot of PC client-based single user products, then there's a void and you're into bolt-on products to large apps."
Also swinging the deal in Corpendo's favour was the idea of partnering with a New Zealand software company.
"A key part of the relationship we're developing with Fletchers is joint ownership."
The intellectual property is co-owned by Corpendo and Fletcher Building.
The tool will initially be rolled out on the wired internet and "will inevitably" be wireless-enabled in the future, Knight says.
Hayson says the product will be marketed to other organisations.
"It's a web-based product that can reach an unlimited audience and it can be deployed and run over a 56Kbit/s connection.
Knight says the key to getting a new product accepted in a big, diverse organisation like Fletcher Building is to "get it in place and grow it, rather than try to make it all things to all people from day one.
"Being web-based makes it ideal - it can be developed over time."
The implementation will be relatively simple, says Fraser.
"There have been some requirements re setting it up and configuring it - there's some integration with payroll etc to be done."
There are two levels of access to the system, one for those who will use it to report accidents and the other for those who manage the reports, and "we're training a systems manager in each business unit to train users," says Fraser.
The system is licenced to Fletcher Building on a flat fee, enterprise basis, Hayson says.