In 2001, I switched from the Hazardous Abatement field to the Hazardous Consulting side of the business. At the time, I watched as field technicians struggled with penmanship, accuracy and efficiency. I've always been one to want to make things more efficient, so I decided to create an Excel spreadsheet that mimicked the lab supplied chain of custody. I felt that if I provided a typed version of the chain of custody to the laboratory, that would speed up their side of the data entry equation. I also felt that "scribble" handwriting didn't look attractive as part of a formal report of results. The client wants their results when we present them with this report that they just paid x amount of money for. They don't need to be trying to read hieroglyphics and learning the lingo of our industry. I also believe that a company should be able to brand these documents with their company name, logo and color scheme. So, as time went along, I kept tinkering with the look, the feel, the organization of the chain of custody that when others in my industry saw what I was doing, wanted a copy of it. I politely declined to give my peers and competitors an advantage that I had become so accustomed to.
At the time, I had worked at different consulting companies as a Project Manager, a Branch Manager, a Vice President, and a President. All the while, I still had this spreadsheet that kept collecting features to make my job and my field personnel's job easier. It was field tested over and over with all the combinations that our Hazardous Waste industry threw at us. Also, during this time, Apple came out with this revolutionary product called the iPhone that allowed a user to do so many of the things we were already doing with our desktop computers.
Why couldn't we bypass the pen to paper to laboratory to data entry to lab analysis? It was Christmas break 2010. I was taking my son to basketball practice. I sat in the school parking lot and dreamt up this working model or storyboard of how the flow would work for a field person using their iPhone. Of course, it was designed using Excel, but it was made to look like an iPhone screen. I spent three years going over every detail, cutting, pasting, deleting unnecessary parts and got it to a point where I believed it was done. In 2013 I wrote up a scope of work for programmers to bid on at one of those open forums. I received prices all over the board and chose one that I could afford – big mistake. We entered into a contract and began the process of programming. Allow me to get to the point, this particular programmer was way over his head and quit! He just gave up, kept my money and actually had the temerity to ask for the final payment as he believed it was at a point where the next programmer could take it and run. The thing didn’t even have any functionality.
Over the next few years, I approached other programmers, but their costs were high as App development was still in its infancy. In 2016, I started CMS Environmental Services and basically perfected the spreadsheet version. Finally, in 2018 I had the where with all to speak to a local programmer face to face and explain in detail the nuances of this App idea. Looking at their eyes and the notes they took, I was convinced that this firm was who I would contract with to re-start the build.
It took a year and a half of going through each and every entry point to finally come up with a product that I am proud to announce is ready for use today. I can now share my Inter@ctive COC design with you.
Allow me to ask for your assistance. There will be something that I did not think of or the programmer’s mis-programmed. That’s ok, please let me know. I am humble enough to know that after starting this way back in the early 2000’s that there are still some aspects that we haven’t flushed out.
Meet Cory Suppes
I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and also lived in Calgary, Alberta for a time. When I was 19, I transferred from the University of Alberta to the University of Denver to play hockey but ended up playing volleyball. After college, I returned to Canada to live in Toronto for one year, but yearned to be back in the USA. Drove over the Freedom Bridge in Detroit, Michigan in 1986, headed to Denver, Colorado and never went back to Canada except to visit. Met my beautiful American girl in Denver and we've been together since 1987. In 1992, I became a US citizen which made me a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. Still cheer for the Edmonton Oilers & the Canadian National Hockey Team, but everything else is U.S.A. We've raised 3 great boys in California and absolutely cherish our Golden Retrievers and Doberman Pinchers - they are All the loves of my life.
In college, I took programming classes and absolutely loved them. I would stay up during the wee hours of the night trying to figure out the programming. The TA's said I should pursue this career path but I rejected the idea because I thought my eyes would be fried from the amount of time staring at a computer screen. Guess what we all do now - stare at a computer / phone screen. I missed my calling in the computer programming world, but my path led me to right here and right now.
I have a passion to solve complex business problems. I am constantly thinking of ways to make processes better, faster, less complex, more efficient and ultimately more profitable. I like working in an innovative environment where I constantly develop new products and services and try to efficiently deploy them. Over the years in the environmental industry I always tried to use technology to make our jobs easier. Excel was my go to program for most of my methods, however, I learned HTML when I wanted to create a living book called Ballparks by Munsey and Suppes. Here it was where I learned how to accumulate an enormous amount of information, organize it and present it in an easy to use format. I have since let Ballparks go dormant as life takes up too much time, but it allowed me to understand the limitless possibilities of the internet.
Being in the environmental industry over 33 years created a confluence of organization, laboratory, environmental and programming to create Inter@ctive COC. I hope you enjoy it.