This was the first SwiftSummit

Over 150 compliance enthusiasts gathered virtually on May 11 for the first-ever SwiftSummit, a SwiftComply event that brought together our community, team and industry leaders to reflect on and discuss industry-relevant topics.

Attending from all over North America — and from countries as far as Ireland, the UK, and Spain — participants learned first-hand some exciting company news, received special training on the SwiftComply products, and contributed to an interesting discussion about the long-lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the compliance sector.

Kicking off the event, SwiftComply CEO Mick O’Dwyer shared some news and fun facts about the company, starting by revealing that the company would be celebrating its fifth birthday on the 20th of May. “It’s a big milestone, and it’s been a really quick five years,” he said, before noting that some of the SwiftSummit attendees were involved in the formative days of SwiftComply.

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Mick also welcomed six new members to the SwiftComply team, which now comprises 32 people in five countries, and celebrated the arrival of 13 new customers, including Dallas, TX; Alamogordo, NM; and Castle Rock, CO.

New compliance solutions

Some major news shared during SwiftSummit was the roadmap for new products, which began earlier this year with the launch of SwiftComply Stormwater in March. This new product is the result of a partnership with NPDESPro which, as highlighted by Mick, is a company that “Shares a lot of the same philosophies as SwiftComply.” You can learn all about SwiftComply Stormwater here.

The next in line is SwiftComply Industrial Pretreatment. “Some people have been screaming for this for quite a while,” Mick joked, adding that it’s a pretty complex process but one that’s had everybody at SwiftComply excited about. “We think the industry needs something fresh and new in that space, and we’re working hard on that.”

The beta version of SwiftComply Industrial Pretreatment is scheduled to be available by the end of the quarter, with the first demo to be shown at the next SwiftSummit in August.

Then, later this year comes the Recycled Water module, which will be added to the SwiftComply Backflow solution. “We started working on that but the heavy coding still has to be done,” Mick said.

“Pretty heavy in the R&D space at the moment. We’re really trying to modernize how technologies support compliance programs, which we think it’s an inevitability and we want to be here to support you.”

Mick O’Dwyer, CEO at SwiftComply

Introducing SwiftWorks

The last product talked about is one that began rolling out in May. Called SwiftWorks, this brand-new solution provides complete compliance management for customers and the supply chain — whether it’s a hauler, a backflow tester, etc.

SwiftWorks brings transparency and collaboration to all compliance stakeholders. It makes the journey especially easier for the city customer, which in turn improves the success rate of the overall compliance program.

SwiftWorks allows customers to set and forget their internal compliance by digitizing the entire process. They can add their recurring services to the platform and then receive notifications for when it’s time to hire a service — something they can do without leaving SwiftWorks.

All this information is automatically updated in the SwiftComply database, so city managers gain even more precise, granular data about their compliance program. Cities can also provide “Trusted” badges to selected supplies, which gives customers the confidence that they’re dealing with certified service providers.

SwiftWorks has been in the works for the past couple of years, having gotten slightly sidetracked by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s an optional add-on and will be available over the next few months for existing customers at no additional cost.

Bringing the ‘water-cooler’ chats back

With company news out of the way, it was time for some casual conversation on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted cities’ compliance programs.

Mick welcomed Kristine Malmqvist, CCC Supervisor in Calgary, AB; Joseph Fielding, Manager III – Pretreatment Operations at Dallas Water Utilities, TX; and Jolene Montoya, Industrial Pretreatment Supervisor in the City of Flagstaff, AZ.

Kristine opened the panel by sharing that her team found the situation particularly challenging at the beginning as they didn’t even think they could work remotely.

Not that it was easier on the city customers. With a pandemic happening outside, people weren’t exactly excited about letting testers come into their homes and businesses. “That doesn’t seem to be as challenging anymore, I think we’re used to it now,” she said.

“Covid has hit us pretty hard,” Joseph said. “For the first three months … we didn’t do anything, we barely had people in the office. [We were] just trying to meet the rules and regulations, protect as many people as we could, and not have to do anything that could inadvertently get anybody sick.”

Since then, things have been slowly getting back to normal in Dallas. Joseph mentioned his office is about 85% open, with staff coming three, four, or five days a week. “It was a big challenge for us to figure out how to do an inspection or sampling while we were away from the office.”

“Fortunately, we brought SwiftComply online recently, for our FOG program, and it’s making my inspectors’ lives a lot easier. We can keep them in the field more and less in the office, where they are in their own vehicle and having limited contact with people because they don’t have to come back to the office and do a lot of report writing. They can do it all in the field with the tablets that we’ve got them to migrate to with the SwiftComply change.”

Joseph Fielding, Manager III – Pretreatment Operations at Dallas Water Utilities, TX

In Flagstaff, Jolene said her two inspectors used some of the pandemic time to put office work in order while businesses were closed. Now, with indoor dining back in the city, they were able to resume the inspections by doing a hybrid scheme in which remote work still plays a role.

Solutions spotlights and what’s to come

After the 1-hour discussion panel, attendees were invited to join separate sessions about the SwiftComply solutions for Backflow, FOG, and Stormwater.

Bobbi Winterowd, Product Manager for SwiftComply Backflow, and Betsy Hansen, Product Manager for SwiftComply FOG, presented new features and roadmaps, gathered feedback, and provided training. Meanwhile, Jeff McInnis, President at NPDESPro, walked us through SwiftComply’s new Stormwater solution.

Because these platform-specific sessions ran concurrently, all presenters came back the following day for a live repeat so attendees could still watch the entire event. You can watch them here.

The next virtual SwiftSummit will be held in August, but we are also preparing for the first-ever in-person edition. “We’ll be running SwiftSummit every three months, and we’re going to have some live events, coast to coast, over the next couple of years,” Mick said, announcing that SwiftSummit Live is coming to Palm Springs, California, on November 2 and 3. “We hope you can join us!”