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Pollution Engineering Magazine: Workflow Automation and TQM with EQuIS

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Total Quality Management (TQM) has provided valuable principles for manufacturing everything from printers to satellites. EarthSoft, the company behind the most widely used environmental data management software, has applied TQM principles which enables clients to “manufacture” high quality environmental data warehouses and subsequently make informed decisions. EarthSoft achieves this by integrating the workflow of environmental samples with manufacturing very large Environmental Quality Information System (EQuIS) data warehouses that are supported in either Oracle or SQL Server.

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Pollution Engineering Magazine: Workflow Automation and TQM with EQuIS

  1. 1. Advertorial Environmental Data Workflow Automation Manufacturing Environmental Data Warehouses and Decisions T otal Quality Management (TQM) has provided valuable prin- ciples for manufacturing everything from printers to satellites. EarthSoft, the company behind the most widely used envi- ronmental data management software, has applied TQM principles which enables clients to “manufacture” high quality environmental data warehouses and subsequently make informed decisions. EarthSoft achieves this by integrating the workflow of environmental samples with manufacturing very large Environmental Quality Information System (EQuIS) data warehouses that are supported in either Oracle or SQL Server. For example, one TQM principle is that the manufacturer of a wid- get must provide the QA/QC for said widget. The problems produced by a step in the assembly line cannot simply be passed along to the next step; QA/QC must be addressed at the point of manufacture. Passing the problems only compounds the errors and increases the costs. Yet for years, the environmental laboratories have delivered unchecked Figure 1: An EDD is received and automatically processed with EQuIS electronic data deliverables (EDDs) or worse, paper reports, as their workflow. The New Notices dashboard provides information about final deliverables. This has meant the associated errors are passed along workflow processes. to others who use this flawed data to make decisions. EDP + Enterprise EDP = EDD Automated Workflow EarthSoft’s EQuIS Data Processor (EDP) and Enterprise EDP offer a paradigm shift with a closed loop automated workflow. This disrup- tive technology allows labs and consultants to check and transfer large batches of EDDs, changing the speed and quality of shared and con- sumed environmental data. When the EDP is used at the lab, it not only finds errors, it identi- fies and highlights the errors and so that they can be easily spotted and interactively corrected. Once the data are checked and fixed, the EDDs can be emailed to the consultant without errors, where they are checked again by the consultant using EDP or Enterprise EDP and loaded into the EQuIS data warehouse. If errors are found, an error log is generated and emailed back to the lab for repair and resubmission. A web dashboard can be used instead of emails. The EDDs are usually spreadsheets, since .pdf files cannot be checked for content and are Figure 2: EQuIS Information Agents select a report and wait for mere “pictures” of the data values. calendar events or watch incoming data for new data arrivals or exceedances. When the condition is met, the report automatically Workflow Automation generates and is sent via email to the distribution list defined in the trigger. New reports are logged in the New Notices dashboard. EZView + EQuIS Environmental Information Agents (EIA) staff, managers or clients with no additional effort or labor. = “No-Keystroke Reporting” Benefits of Workflow Automation and a Sample Data EQuIS Environmental Information Agents (EIAs) take workflow Warehouse automation one step further. Agents are software modules that Benefits of workflow automation include increase of correct data load- monitor data elements, such as the date or a particular data item, ed, more incorrect data rejected, improved productivity of expensive and then perform action(s) when the date or data trigger conditions engineers, increased accountability to labs, more reports and graphics are met. Reports are then available on the Internet/intranet/private on more desktops and better decisions. These benefits are easily mea- network in the EQuIS Enterprise Dashboard, or emails can be cre- sured for metric-based statistically-driven process quality improve- ated and automatically forwarded to a list of designated recipients ment, another principal of a larger TQM program. (“no-keystroke reporting”). The graphics can be emailed out to (978) 369-2201 | info@earthsoft.com | www.earthsoft.com Pollution Engineering OCTOBER2008 36 036 EarthSoft CaseStudy/Advert.indd 36 9/17/08 3:50:29 PM

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