Last month, at our 2022 Benchmark ESG Impact Conference, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with our subscribers from around the world. Some of them described their experiences deploying the latest Benchmark Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Technology solutions—along with the tremendous successes they’ve achieved as a result.
These industry-leading solutions and systems integrations featuring AI-driven automation and insights are designed to revolutionize risk & compliance and sustainability processes, and to help build tech-powered safety, quality, and performance excellence within the culture of each business. It’s great to hear how Risk & Compliance and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) leaders are continuing to drive transformative progress throughout their organizations.
Below are five subscriber success stories shared at the conference, as well as some insights into the solutions featured in each story.
Quality AI Advisor: TK Elevator Sees 97% Issue Closure Rate, Saves $20.2 Million
Benchmark’s growing suite of AI Advisor solutions enable operational teams and program leaders to proactively manage safety, environmental, quality and security risks, alleviate operational burdens, and achieve new highs in efficiency, performance, and results.
Benchmark’s Quality AI Advisor, for example, is used to automate quality concern processes so program managers can save the time it takes to individually review, tag, and escalate each quality concern record.
Michael Melnyk, Head of Quality – North America for TK Elevator, laid out some of the dollars-and-cents savings that can be attributed to such automation, as the further upstream that quality issues can be caught, the cheaper mitigating them becomes.
“When we talk about how we’re leveraging the different capability and modules within Benchmark, it’s where in that process do we catch the issues and, more importantly, what are we doing about them?” Mike explained. “If you address these issues in a timely fashion, there is a real, tangible dollar savings associated with it.”
Mike told us that when he first started at TK Elevator, before they’d begun utilizing Benchmark technology, catching these issues was extremely difficult, often owing to human error and a lack of efficiency.
“People working in the field would find a problem, would have to remember that problem when they got back to their hotels, pray their internet was working, find which of the seven Excel spreadsheets they were given that had 85 line items to fill out, remember who to email it to, who emails it to someone else, who a week later would sit around in a committee with people who weren’t out there with the issue and decide whether or not that was a problem,” Mike said. “We took that capability and put it right in the hands of the people in the field with mobile capability. It’s now 90 seconds for them to capture an incident in the field.”
The results of these changes speak volumes. Two years ago, TK Elevator’s factory had a closure rate in the 40th percentile with an average 120-day cycle time for fixing issues. Last year, after implementing Quality AI Advisor, those numbers rose to a 97% closure rate and 20-day cycle time. This led to $1.1 million reduction in Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) as well as $20.2 million saved as a result of an issue identified in the field that resulted in an engineering design change.
Benchmark PSI AI Advisor and Describe-It AI Advisor: For The Heico Companies, an Easy Implementation and Improved Incident Management
The Benchmark PSI AI Advisor lets businesses easily record Potentially Serious Incident (PSI) details while also uncovering hidden issues and trends across varying data sets including injury and illness cases, concern reports, and behavior-based safety observations. The AI then compares these records to the Benchmark Data Ocean of publicly available and validated serious injuries and fatalities, flagging the most serious risks in real time.
“In the 30-some odd years I’ve been doing this, this was the easiest program I’ve ever implemented,” said Dave Roberts, Vice President of EHS for The Heico Companies LLC. “I think [PSI AI Advisor] makes us EHS folks more relevant, more contemporary. People think about safety sometimes as glasses and PPE, and we want people to think beyond that. It’s exciting for our leaders, who can now spend their time on the things that are most important.”
After the successful application of PSI AI Advisor, The Heico Companies was eager to begin implementation of the new Benchmark Describe-It AI Advisor, a solution that helps employees describe incidents and concerns more fully and accurately. AI assesses users’ descriptions as they are typed, with real-time feedback prompting users to expand descriptions that don’t meet company needs and standards, ensuring more accurate data and a streamlined incident management process.
“Describe-It is super easy,” Dave told us. “You get immediate feedback, and it connects right back to the PSI AI Advisor. Your quality description is better, and your matching to PSIs is better as well.”
Benchmark’s AI & Advanced Systems Integrations: Increasing Visibility to Reduce Risk Factors
Benchmark ESG is also proud to partner with advanced technology and AI providers to intelligently integrate their tech into corresponding Benchmark ESG workflow applications to maximize the user experience and value. Using our APIs and our Data Xchange Portal (DXP), businesses can leverage intuitive workflow, follow-up, and email notifications together with these integrated technologies.
Here’s a look at some of the partners we’re working with and the subscriber successes these integrations are enabling.
Proxxi Band Wearables Empower FieldCore Teams to Identify Electrical Hazards
Another exciting innovation discussed came from Chris McKee, Americas EHS Manager – Renewables – Wind of FieldCore. Chris described how working on the front lines of harnessing renewable energy like wind power is exciting and rewarding, but also carries with it some significant risks.
Installing, maintaining, and upgrading thousands of wind turbines around the world can be immensely physically demanding. Technicians must first climb 300 to 350 feet in the air (the height of a building over 30 stories tall) before beginning their painstaking work.
“Your capability to actually function and process thoughts is very degraded,” Chris explained. “So, we ran into some issues. Aside from the obvious hazard—falls—there’s also electrical hazards. We had some incidents and near misses and decided to take a closer look at what we can do to help our technicians. That’s when we stumbled across Proxxi.”
Wearable Proxxi technology alerts users when they are in the proximity of dangerous electrical currents, automatically logs concern reports based on risk data, and notifies key stakeholders for timely investigation and/or remediation.
“We’ve had tremendous feedback from our technicians, and that’s what really sold us on the tech,” Chris said. “It makes them feel like there’s someone there helping them look out for electrical hazards. The implementation is what’s really key and I want to thank Benchmark and Proxxi for pushing us to do this. We had implemented the band and then Benchmark came along and said we could implement it into our platform and that was tremendous.”
What began as a small pilot program with only five Proxxi bands in the field has grown to 45 bands with plans to expand even further. “What we’re seeing is really eye-opening and is going to ultimately, at the end of the day, keep our employees safe.”
With Praedicat Chemical Risk AI Advisor, GE Appliances Ensures Better, Safer Product Designs
As a leading appliance manufacturer, GE Appliances, a Haier Company, has a significant number of chemicals in their inventory—chemicals used in plastics, adhesives, foams, coatings, paints, lubricants, and much more. These chemicals need to be regularly evaluated for risk. The challenge lies in getting good data to truly understand that chemical risk, especially with strict manufacturing deadlines to meet.
For EHS Management Systems Director Jeremy Rowlette, the question became, “How do we get better, more accurate, and consolidated data to make a good decision—not just for EHS, but for our toxicology teams?”
GE Appliances found their solution in Praedicat’s ChemMeta®, a chemical meta data tool that makes sense of over 35 million peer-reviewed journals of human health impact, and harnesses that data with AI to give predictive analytics and an easily digestible risk score for each chemical.
Praedicat’s tools, which can integrate with solutions in the Benchmark Stewardship® Suite, equip decision makers with AI and natural language processing to quickly comb through evolving scientific literature for chemical risks and regulations. Praedicat also leverages an AI-powered Toxicological Science Report to measure and analyze the potential risk of site-requested products at the point of approval in Benchmark’s SDS System.
According to Jeremy, this partnership between Praedicat and Benchmark allows GE Appliances to design better, safer products, including the appliances that currently dwell in roughly half of all American homes.
For GE Power, Integration Wizards Computer Vision Enhances PPE Monitoring
Integrated with Benchmark solutions like Concern Reporting and Incident Management, Integration Wizards Computer Vision (parent company SparkCognition) uses on-site cameras to identify and capture safety triggers like forklift speeding, automatically logging key details within the Benchmark platform and analyzing video data to gain key safety insights.
Ronald Wissenburg, Senior Director Quality and EHS IT at GE Power, shared his company’s experience utilizing Computer Vision. It began with an in-house development of monitoring employee usage of PPE equipment. When this initiative was successful, the company decided to expand its use of monitoring, but realizing the company’s vision would require more than what GE Power could manage on its own.
“Developing something like this took us over half a year,” Ronald said. “It’s very time consuming. That’s when we began to look around on the market, and funny enough, at a Benchmark event I attended last year, they announced they were partnering up with Integration Wizards.”
The company began by testing the monitoring equipment in locations in Hungary and Saudi Arabia with the aim of expanding as time goes on; Ron says GE Power is already seeing success. “In the first week, when we turned on the system, 50 PPE concerns were raised.”
While those numbers represented an increase in incidents, Ron knew this really just meant earlier concerns weren’t getting noticed. “By communicating and using this in the reporting, and in talking about it in meetings, the cases started to go down,” he said. “That’s when we have a successful proof of concept.”
Learn More About the Power of Benchmark AI Advisor & Advanced Tech to Transform Risk & Compliance and ESG Programs and Performance
These stories represent just a snapshot of the advanced technology solutions available from Benchmark ESG and of the fascinating insights shared throughout the 2022 Impact Conference. Learn more about the transformative impact of AI and advanced tech and hear from our panel speakers directly in the full on-demand session recording.