The Checker Blog

What Can You Audit or Inspect With The Checker Software? Almost Anything

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Feb 08, 2019 @ 08:00 AM

There's no limit to what you can inspect or audit using our comprehensive audit/inspection software solution.

Since 2000, The Checker has provided checklist books used for various equipment inspections such as forklifts, cranes, machinery, vehicles, and other such heavy commercial equipment. The company produces the best checklist books available for inspecting these assets.

The Checker now also provides online checklists that can be used on mobile devices. The Checker Software can be used for almost anything that has a list of items that can be audited or inspected. This includes virtually all types of assets, processes, environmental conditions, etc.  

For example, consider municipal public works department deals with many diverse functions, including construction, park maintenance, trash collection, and public safety. Traditionally, such an organization would have to deal with an overwhelming number of procedures and forms. With The Checker's format, however, every function the department is responsible for can be inspected and audited, with each checklist tailored to each specific function. 

Anything that needs to be inspected our audited can be added to a checklist. You can then carry a mobile device through the facility, be it a smartphone or tablet, and The Checker Software will help you determine what you need to check and how to do it. 

You will fill out the checklist on your device, and the data will be automatically compiled and sent to the appropriate people for further examination. The checklist will be customized based on the exact inspection or auditing processes you use.  

The order in which the items are listed is a key to how useful a checklist is. These items shouldn't be based on alphabetical order or something similar. They should be listed based on the logical approach of the audit or inspection itself.

Checklists can be accessed from any device that has an internet connection. You can immediately submit the results for further analysis, allowing you to track your assets and personnel better, as well as identify new trends, hazards, and other indices that matter to your business.

Takeaway

The Checker Software allows you to inspect or audit virtually anything and coordinate an inspection program in the exact way that suits your company best. For more information on The Checker, visit our website or contact us directly. 

Topics: audit/inspection software, audit software, inspection software, mobile inspections

Why It's Time to Begin Using Software to Audit and Inspect Your Assets

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 @ 07:40 AM

Audits and inspections can be done more efficiently and effectively with software designed specifically for that purpose.

Mobile technology has become almost synonymous with the 21st century. Digital and mobile technology have changed the business landscape virtually beyond recognition. Despite these trends, some companies are still operating with paper-based processes.

When it comes to asset audits and inspections, paper still makes sense in certain situations—such as when you are inspecting a remote facility or job site outside of any internet range. But most companies can benefit tremendously from audit/inspection software. 

Some companies are already using software for this purpose, but it’s essentially nothing more than e-forms unconnected to any system. Other organizations use ERP or other software that has an audit/inspection function but isn’t designed specifically for that purpose. These software “solutions” have some advantages over paper-based audit/inspection processes, but they don’t help users make the most of the information that’s being gathered.  

Where Should You Begin Implementing Audit/Inspection Software?

Safety in the workplace is an essential aspect for the well-being and smooth functioning of an organization. It's always advisable to make use of state-of-the-art technologies to help you achieve this task.

Audit/inspection software such as The Checker Software has numerous capabilities that far surpass paper-based audits and inspections. However, somewhat paradoxically, these many capabilities make it difficult to decide where to focus initial software implementation efforts.

The answer, however, is somewhat simple and straightforward. You should begin this implementation in the areas where audits and inspections will have the most significant impact on your costs and risk.

Regardless of what these areas are, audit/inspection software should be able to forward all results gathered to the appropriate personnel and notify them via alerts, emails, notifications, etc. The software should also be able to initiate corrective actions, report on progress, archive all data, and provide configurable dashboards for automatic reporting.

Scoring capabilities, allowing you to rate the severity of a problem or defect, can also be highly valuable.

Takeaway

Audit and inspection processes stand at the foundation of every comprehensive safety program. In addition to ensuring that you comply with regulations, these procedures will help you identify and correct problems before they can lead to accidents and costs. 

The Checker Software provides all of the above and more. It's a versatile tool that can be used remotely or in-office from any device connected to the internet. For more information, feel free to visit our website or contact us directly. 

Topics: audit/inspection software, audit software, facility audits, inspections and profitability, mobile inspections

How to Make a Comprehensive Safety Program Work

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Jan 11, 2019 @ 01:30 PM

A comprehensive safety program with regular inspections can keep personnel safe and provide many ancillary benefits.

When talking about workplace safety, most businesses think they’re at least above average. But if they were to look at the details and how equipment operates in the field on a day-to-day basis, the reality may prove to be somewhat different

Most managers are aware that safety programs help minimize work-related injuries or sudden equipment failures, as well as the inherent costs that come attached to these issues. But some are still unaware of the short-term, bottom-line benefits of safety. 

Workers may be inclined to skip on safety procedures so they can finish their work faster. Some managers may turn a blind eye to this because it's easy to take safety for granted when accidents aren't happening.

If work-related accidents (even small ones) are a fairly common occurrence, or the equipment tends to break unexpectedly, you need a comprehensive safety program. 

Key Components of a Comprehensive Safety Program

Regular safety inspections and audits

The foundation of every safety program lies with regular inspections and audits. These forms of data collection help companies detect any problems before they can result in an accident or malfunction.

Inspection tools

Personnel need to be supplied with the resources to conduct audits and inspections accurately and efficiently. For example, The Checker Software allows safety inspectors to identify trends or problems that may require additional safety measures. 

Training

Regular safety audits and inspections will bring to light any unsafe activity by personnel. You can use this information for training purposes, focusing on areas that may need improvement. 

Additional Benefits of Safety

Maintenance

Analyzing audit and inspection data will reveal long-term patterns about the likelihood of when assets will break down. You can use this information to predict wear and develop preventive maintenance strategies to counteract the issues. 

Business Processes

Audits and inspections will also point to issues causing assets to fail prematurely. For example, if a piece of equipment breaks down every time within the next month after using it for a specific operation, it's safe to conclude that personnel might be using that equipment wrong when performing that function. There could, of course, be other causes of the problem but at least you were made aware of the correlation. 

Takeaway

There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to a comprehensive safety program. Each company needs to develop its program based on its individual needs. But in every case, a tool such as The Checker Software can serve as the foundation for your safety program. For more information, contact us directly.

Topics: audit/inspection software, safety audits, equipment maintenance, inspection software, workplace safety, safety management

What You Didn't Know Inspection Software Could Do

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Dec 27, 2018 @ 03:25 PM

Audit/inspection software can be used to get more out of audits and inspections, for less cost.

Regular workplace audits and inspections are essential for every business looking to prevent all sorts of work-related incidents, illnesses, property damage, injuries, or loss of revenue. Software can be a powerful tool in conducting these audits and inspections.

Some businesses opt to skip out on regular inspections, hoping to save on expenses. But as time has shown repeatedly, companies that do not take their safety seriously always draw the short straw.

Many other businesses that conduct regular audits and inspections do so in the traditional way—namely, on paper. And while there is nothing wrong with paper, it has some shortcomings, especially when compared to software. 

For starters, there's the storage cost of paper. Then there's the question of access to information. With a paper-based inspection system, users will physically have to find information. With modern inspection software, the data can be easily retrieved at any time.   

There's also the issue of standardization across numerous locations, which is much easier to achieve with software and leaves far less room for error than pen and paper. And don’t forget about transparency. Reports are commonly the first thing to be looked at when there is a proposal offering, collaboration opportunity, or contract to evaluate,. And these reports are much easier to generate and are more accurate with software.

Five Things Software Can Do That You May Not Be Aware Of

Let's take a look at some other, less-obvious features that audit/inspection software can provide. 

Auto-Populating

Auto-populating information so that you don't have to rewrite it yourself is a useful feature of software. It saves time and reduces errors in your process.

Reminders

This simple, yet incredibly useful feature is something paper-based systems will never be able to do. The automated reminder system will let your staff know when the next audit or inspection is scheduled, what other tasks remain for each, or other such similar issues, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks. 

Point-Scoring Models

Audit and inspection software like The Checker allows users to assign scores to items, rather than simply passing or failing them.

Notifications

An entire year is a long time, and annual audits and inspections can easily escape your mind. But with software, you can schedule notifications.

Red-Flagging Compliance Items

You can design your audit/inspection software to red-flag compliance items that would block audits and inspections from being completed.

Takeaway

While these features may seem intuitive and straightforward, they are nevertheless crucial elements that will ensure the safety of your workplace and prevent anything from slipping through the cracks. With these features in place, there will be less room for error, more visible improvements, and fewer accidents overall. For more information on what audit and inspection software can achieve, visit our website or contact us directly.

Topics: audit/inspection software, audit software, inspection management

Five Ways to Make Your Workplace Safer

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Dec 27, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

really good resuable with books with titles

Never undervalue workplace safety. A proactive approach to safety has many benefits and many risks and liabilities if you don't. A safety mindset can increase production, reduce costs, lower the risk of accidents, boost morale, and streamline operations. On the other side, however, if you decide to forsake workplace safety in favor of short-term profits, you may end up losing both.   

These five elements of a safe work environment are easily achievable by both big and small business.

Employee Training

Safety policies and procedures aren’t enough to ensure a safe workspace. The employer alone can’t guarantee workplace safety. Everyone in the organization should be trained in the importance of safety and their role in maintaining a safe workplace.

Nobody wants to get hurt or see their colleagues get hurt. But people generally have the impression that work-related accidents only happen in other places, to other people. This thinking leads to complacency, and that's precisely when accidents happen. Good training can  impart the safety attitude necessary to guard against this complacency.

Safety in Stages

Workplace safety almost always happens in stages. Usually employers originate the idea of protection. It’s what's known as the adoption stage. Once ownership and management have adopted a safety mindset, that mindset will spread throughout the company. but too often employees are acting safely simply because they’re instructed to.  what they're instructed to. This stage can’t go on indefinitely.

Next comes the engagement stage, when everyone genuinely buys in. It becomes part of the culture—let’s keep each other safe.

Available Resources

It costs money to implement and uphold safety. That’s the exact reason why some businesses decide to cut corners or renounce on safety altogether. Nevertheless, by doing so, all of these businesses—by not investing in safety—inevitably end up paying more in the long term than what they managed to save in the short term.

Smart organizations provide the resources to be safe.

Effective Response to Reported Hazards

Hazards in the workplace range from seemingly simple hazards (poor housekeeping, working in confined spaces, etc.) up to dangerous chemicals, exposed electrical wiring, and other such extremely dangerous (potentially fatal) issues.

Even if identified, most of these hazards go unfixed over prolonged periods, making them increasingly dangerous. That’s why you need audit/inspection software such as The Checker Software, which instantly emails action items to the people who need to be involved in remedying the hazard.

Leadership by Example

The workplace won’t be safe if the organization’s leaders “talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.”  It’s not wearing a hardhat while touring a site. It’s budgeting and effectively incentivizing. It’s truly valuing safety.

When leaders make it clear that safety matters immensely—and they back it up with action and budget funding—the cost-saving, life-saving benefits of investments in safety are fully realized.

Takeaway

Get on the right track of developing a safety-oriented culture where everyone stands to gain. For more information on how to increase the safety of your business, visit our website or contact us directly. 

Topics: audit/inspection software, safety management, safety awareness, workplace safety, safety audits

Streamlining Facility Management: A Case Study

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 @ 08:00 AM

fire extinguisher

As the vice president of facilities for Journey Health a large mental healthcare organization, John Pockey is responsible for 80 buildings. The Checker is helping keep them safe.

Many of Journey Health’s buildings are residential facilities housing people suffering from a variety of mental health issues. Pockey has a team of five inspectors, and one of these inspectors visits each facility once a month to conduct site audits, looking for any damage and upkeep needed. While there, they also check emergency equipment to make sure it’s working—a job that’s particularly challenging in Journey Health’s homes.

Fire extinguishers need to be checked monthly in any building, and a tag on each extinguisher is supposed to document each inspection. But some residents with behavior problems like to remove these tags, Pockey said, making it difficult to prove the inspections have occurred in order to comply  with regulations that require monthly inspections.

Also, to keep residents from panicking and helping them evacuate if needed after a loss of power, each residence has emergency lights in the hallways and stairways that will stay on with battery power for up to two hours. These lights also need to be checked monthly, and Pockey wanted a consistent process for inspecting them  and documenting those inspections.

That’s where The Checker Software comes in.

Journey Health is now using The Checker Software for its monthly inspections of the residences, as well as for the organization’s administrative facilities and outpatient clinics. The software, which is provided as software-as-a-service (SaaS), is well worth it’s minimal cost, Pockey said.

“It’s cut out a lot of steps in our process,” he said. “It saves a lot of time.”

The software can be used on any device connected to the internet, and Pockey said his inspectors use it on their smartphones. That capability was a selling point, he said.

“Everybody has a smartphone, so there was no extra equipment cost,” he said.

One feature of the software that Pockey greatly appreciates is its barcode reader. Barcodes can be put on each fire extinguisher and emergency light. By taking a picture of each barcode, the software immediately knows which specific piece of equipment is being inspected.

“I’ve looked for years for barcode software, and the price was just too high,” he said. “But The Checker wasn’t.”

Pockey also likes that work orders can be automatically generated and sent to maintenance when a deficiency is found. And he appreciates that all inspections and corrective actions are automatically archived and aggregated.

“Down the road, as we get into this, it’s going to provide us with a lot of data analytics,” he said.

Journey Health signed up for the software early in 2018, and The Checker provided training sessions until all of Journey Health’s users knew how to get the most out of it. Inspection forms also needed to be built.

“The form-building software is really easy to use, but with 80 buildings, we had to make 80 forms,” Pockey said.

During the process of learning the software and building the forms, The Checker always provided  prompt assistance, Pockey said.

“Their technical support staff is great at troubleshooting problems and fixing whatever needs to be fixed,” he said. ‘They are top-notch.”

The Checker Software is well liked within the organization, he said. Inspectors find that it makes their job easier, and the organization’s leaders like it because they can see reports as soon as they’re finished.

“I highly recommend The Checker Software,” Pockey said. “It’s been extremely valuable to our organization.”

Sharing the Cost of Service

Journey Health System is a nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania that acts as an umbrella organization for its member affiliates, all of which are nonprofits focused on mental health. Journey Health provides these organizations with management, administrative, advocacy, and facility support.

Journey Health’s board of directors is made up of representatives from each of its affiliates, which maintain their independence but benefit from the synergies of working together. Journey Health’s mission is to help these affiliates share costs and be able to focus on their core services.

The support Journey Health provides includes fiscal, human resources, compliance, information technology, clinical best-practice consultation, risk management, and bulk purchasing.

Topics: audit/inspection software, audit software, why inspect?, facility audits

Roadside Inspections? No Problem

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 @ 09:56 AM

roadside inspection.jpg 

The results are in, and not surprisingly the top three violations during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2017 Roadcheck Inspection Blitz were for brake systems, cargo securement, and tires/wheels.

The annual blitz was held June 6-8 in the United States and Canada. CVSA certified inspectors conducted more than 62,000 Level I, II, and III commercial vehicle and driver safety inspections during this year’s crackdown, with the majority being the 37-step Level I inspections. Vehicles and drivers were inspected at inspection sites, weigh stations, and roving patrol locations.

Overall, 19.4% of vehicles and 4.7% of drivers were placed out of service following the inspections, according to CVSA. Among the more than 40,000 Level I inspections, 23% of vehicles and 4.2 % of drivers were placed out of service.

This annual blitz could be a cause for fear. But not if you’re using The Checker inspection checklist books.

These detailed checklist books include all the items than need to be in working order if a driver is stopped for an inspection—during a CVSA blitz or any other time of the year during a regular CVOR (Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration) check or any other inspection by a regulatory agency.

“The books are great,” says Tom Hester of Shady Lane Expert Tree Care Inc. in Ontario. “The guys love them. And since we’ve been using them, we’ve had several CVOR and MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transportation) roadside inspections with no issues.”

With a duplicate copy of each checklist form in each book, drivers can inspect their vehicles, turn a copy into the office, and keep one on hand in the vehicle, ready to prove to any roadside inspector that vehicle inspections are done regularly and thoroughly. Most importantly, use of the checklists ensures that vehicles won’t be on the road if they’re not roadworthy because of some defect.

Shady Lane isn’t worried about roadside inspections, and you don’t have to be either with The Checker.

Takeaway

Whether it’s brakes, tires, wheels, cargo securement, or any other common problem, The Checker inspection checklist books will ensure that your drivers know about the problem before enforcement officers do or lives are endangered.

View our extensive library of inspections for vehicles and other commercial assets here.

 

Topics: inspection software, audit/inspection software, inspection best practices, inspection checklists

The Role of Inspections in Recovering from Irma, Harvey and Maria

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

key-west-81665_1280.jpgIt’s been a terrible, tragic hurricane season for the United States and the Caribbean.

With Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria devastating the Caribbean, Texas, Florida, and surrounding areas, those regions are in a rebuilding mode, trying to recover from the wreckage.

In addition to the many, many homes that must be rebuilt or repaired, municipalities are faced with repair and replacement projects to restore vital infrastructure, and businesses are dealing with damage to their facilities and equipment.

With all this construction taking place, a lot of inspections will be going on, as well. That’s why we feel this is a fitting time to point out the importance of inspection checklists in performing inspections that are thorough and accurate.

Particularly with the volume of inspections that will be occurring, effective inspection checklists are needed to ensure inspections identify all defects—whether you’re using them to evaluate damage or to repair it. In the rush to return to normalcy, it may be tempting to take shortcuts, and inspection checklists counter that tendency by providing consistent, specific guidance on how to conduct the many inspections you’ll be doing.

Inspection checklists also make it easier to manage the large volume of inspections, particularly if the checklists are part of software designed for inspection management.

As the producer of The Checker Inspection Checklist Books and The Checker Software, we of course recommend those solutions to meet the sudden need created by the huge storms. We have hundreds of easy-to-use checklist books, each tailored to a specific type of asset or equipment, with all the detail necessary to determine anything that’s wrong. And with The Checker Software, management and coordination of the multitude of inspections is made easy and less costly.

Whatever solution you use, however, the key is to not rush through inspections, despite the urgency to rebuild. Nothing should fall through the cracks, and to prevent that, you need well-designed checklists that are simple enough to use that they do get used. And you also need a coordinated approach to conducting the inspections.

Takeaway

With all the misery and suffering created by the hurricanes, the last thing anyone needs is for insufficient inspecting to lead to more problems—and more cost. As the affected regions are rebuilt, inspections conducted with inspection checklists are essential to make sure the rebuilding is done right.

 

Topics: audit/inspection software, facility audits, inspection checklists

Using Software to Mature Your Inspecting Processes

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 07:00 AM

Software is used in virtually every industry to increase efficiency and reduce costs. But many companies are not fully applying the benefits of software to one of their most vital business functions—inspections and audits.

Image result for maturitySome are still using entirely paper-based processes.  In some situations, such as remote job sites without connectivity, paper is logistically necessary for conducting inspections and audits. However, all companies can benefit from having results entered into audit/inspection software. And most companies can benefit from having their inspectors directly enter results into the software.

Others are using software for some aspects of their inspecting processes, but the software is either nothing more than an e-form unconnected to any other software, or it is just one of many modules in an enterprise software suite. Neither of those types of software are mature solutions because the software isn’t designed to extract all the value from inspections and audits.

What’s needed to maximize efficiencies, reduce costs, and gain the full value from inspections and audits? Software designed specifically to improve inspections and audits.

What Software Can Do for You

If you’re using software—or contemplating software—in an effort to mature your inspecting processes, the software you use should:

  • Be able to immediately communicate all inspection/audit results to the necessary, designated people (including maintenance), via notifications, alerts, emails, and PDF attachments
  • Have the flexibility to meet the needs of your specific industry and business, with the ability to configure dashboards and create your own audits and checklists
  • Provide an extensive selection of detailed, pre-built audits and inspection checklists
  • Automatically generate action steps based on results, according to priorities and responsibilities you set up
  • Provide automatic reports based on criteria you select, allowing you to gain valuable insight into causes, trends, and process inefficiencies
  • Include scoring capabilities to allow inspectors to rate the severity of issues rather than only pass or fail.
  • Have intuitive interfaces uncluttered by information unrelated to inspections and audits.

In general, the software should be easy-to-use; easily configurable to meet your specific processes; and focused solely on audits and inspections (with simple integration with other business systems). This focus will bring the best results.

You will see reductions in a range of costs, including labor, maintenance, and safety. And you’ll gain a valuable management tool expressly designed for those responsible for inspecting and auditing processes.

Takeaway

Inspection and audit processes are critical to any business. Beyond compliance, they offer opportunities to identify and correct problems sooner, leading to better business outcomes. Such a valuable function deserves software designed specifically to improve inspecting processes, with features that help a company in all aspects of inspecting and auditing: execution, follow-up, recording, reporting, and continuous improvement.

We designed The Checker Software specifically to be the easy-to-use, flexible, and focused audit/inspection software that companies need to continue to mature their inspecting and auditing processes. To learn about how The Checker Software can help your organization gain more value from audits and inspections, click here.

Topics: inspection software, audit/inspection software, inspection best practices, inspection checklists