Spotter – Removing Pen and Paper from the Inspection Process

Published Oct 10, 2016
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Envoc - Spotter
Because of its ability to instantly sync data, the Spotter app provides instant confirmations on processes, resources and other relevant parameters (photo: Envoc)

Getting data from an inspection performed in the field into the hands of the people who need it has historically been an exercise in frustration and coordination. Data, physical forms, photos, GPS coordinates, signoffs, and other information has to be integrated into a manageable form, entered into a system of record, and then distributed to all stakeholders. The process is slow and the results are prone to errors.

Information collected for safety, compliance, or operations has to be accurate, complete, and delivered in a timely manner. With all the technical advances in software, the inspection business has attempted to address these requirements by developing mobile apps that are transforming the industry. Simpler, faster, and more accurate, an inspection app for an iPad or Android tablet, such as Spotter by Envoc, is the new solution for moving away from paper forms.

A good mobile inspection app stores all inspection data, photos, sound, GPS, eSignatures, and videos in one file for each completed inspection. For Spotter users, this data is stored in a secure servers and is accessible to users from anywhere through the web. Inspections can be shared and passed amongst personnel in the field in disparate locations and Project managers and supervisors have instant access to each inspection for filtering, analysis, and reports.

With a mobile inspection app, lost forms and missing data are a thing of the past. Because data no longer has to be transferred manually from paper into a digital form, the chance of error in translation is non-existent. Additionally, because of the use of uniquely created consistent forms with required fields and multiple choice lists accuracy is greatly increased. Nicely designed apps like Spotter also offer the option of editing details after the fact to make sure the data is as clear as possible before presenting it to the end client.

The standard process for completing an inspection with pen and paper can take 4-8 hours. However, an inspection app can really speed things up. The users of Spotter have reported a reduction in inspection time by as much as 50-80%.

There are a couple of reasons why apps are so much faster. To begin, by removing the need to carry papers, pens, a camera, clipboard, forms, tripod, and other types of recording devices, there’s a lot time saved from juggling, switching, and managing the physical actions and objects. The time savings really start to rack up when users no longer have to manually key that information into another system, then try to link all of the photos and information together. The outcome is a much faster completed and delivered inspection.

All of this increased processing speed has a direct impact to the bottom line by reducing cost and improving profit margins.

Using a dashboard, important data can be viewed in real time, providing an in-depth look at the of your inspection data the moment the inspector has submitted it. This at-a-glance view into what is happening in the field is part of what makes these apps so powerful. They are an extremely effective data communication channel between the home base and the field. With its ability to flag answers and send text/email notifications, the Spotter app can even immediately notify managers and supervisors of critical situations in the field to help ensure a safer workplace.

Inspection apps give users the ability to save current inspection templates based on organisational and legal requirements, but allow for easy introduction of new guidelines and standards as requirements change. Those changes are automatically pushed to inspectors. Because of its ability to instantly sync data, the Spotter app provides instant confirmations on processes, resources and other relevant parameters. Many inspection apps can also allow for customised reports and forms to meet your company’s individual needs.

As more and more companies are realising the benefits of inspection apps, they’re becoming the new standard across the industry for remote data collection needs. However, it’s important to remember that not all inspection apps have the same high performance capability as others. Finding the right app is just as important as making the switch to a digital format.

Tags: Envoc


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