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

Five Amazing Reasons to Automate Your Inspection and Audit Process

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 @ 09:30 AM

5_reasons.png

It doesn't take a lot of time with manual workplace audits and inspections to experience common bottlenecks that prevent and slow the process. Using software to automate some of these processes can make amazing differences in the effectiveness and efficiency of your audit program.

Here are five proven reasons to use inspection and audit software to automate your processes:

  1. To improve communication

Emails, handwritten notes, and "oh yeah don't forgets" are not a recipe for excellent inspection program communications. Inspection software means you can automate communications and use a simple, streamlined process for all of your approval requests. Users can simply forward each inspection as a PDF via email directly to their supervisor, who can approve or manage as needed.

  1. Stay compliant (and prove it)

When you use audit and inspection software to automate your workflow, you generate an owner for each step. From initiating an audit to conducting it right through to approval and archive, each input is bound to a specific individual who performed and tracked the action. By enabling and tracking this level of information transparency in your process, you are alerted you to any that may put you at risk.

  1. Minimize costs due to manual errors and inefficiency

With inspection and audit software, you minimize human error as pencil whipped, overdue, and missed inspections all can be very expensive. Inspection software can take the onus off your busy staff to remember when to conduct inspections or to keep track of all the steps in longer, more complex audits.

  1. Develop insights into the evolution and impact of your audit and inspection program:

Imagine you have developed your audit processes, trained your employees and been using inspection and audit software smoothly for the last 6 months. Consider the amount of data you have accumulated and the things it can tell you.

You now know how many audits and inspections were conducted, how many were approved, and how many work orders were generated as a result. You can tell how long each audit took and which steps take the longest. You have month over month data to see where things are improving and you have user level detail to identify your most diligent inspectors.

The data captured in your audit and inspection program has far reaching impacts and can be used in as many creative ways as you can come up with. At this point your inspection and audit program can truly deliver on creating value for your business.

  1. Improve morale

No one likes to do things the hard way. In the inspection and audit world, the hard way is clipboards and pencils and ad hoc processes. While it is sometimes hard for field staff to change to the more established workflow that software helps create, in the long run they like it.

Not only do they know exactly what they need to do and how often, the data collected helps to prove how good they are and the level of effort required. This kind of recognition is always good for morale.

The bottom line:

Inspection and audit software automates a lot of the workflow associated with inspections and audit and will make amazing differences in the effectiveness and efficiency of your audit program

Try a sample of The Checker Software to see for yourself what we’re talking about.

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

What Exactly Is Audit/Inspection Software … And How Can It Help You?

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

Audit/inspection software varies in its effectivenes based on its scope.Categorizing software is a tricky business. 

That’s a problem we’ve run into with The Checker Software, which we refer to as “audit/inspection software.” We think that best describes it, but when we call it that, we usually have to explain further because that’s not a universally recognized software category, and people aren’t sure exactly what we mean.

To help clarify, let’s take a look at the types of software solutions that are available for audits and inspections.

E-forms

This solution is a digital one, but it’s simple. Personnel use digital forms to conduct audits or inspections, but the forms might be nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF with checkboxes.

This solution is relatively inexpensive, works on virtually any device, and saves the use of a lot of paper. It also eliminates the labor cost of transferring audit/inspection results from paper to a computer in order to preserve them digitally.

But that’s where this solution ends. There’s no process for using the results to prompt quick remedial actions by field personnel, maintenance, supervisors, or upper management. This solution doesn’t help close the loop between finding out a problem and correcting it, and it really doesn’t make it that much easier to retrieve results for proof of internal or regulatory compliance.

The process of following through on results is still very manual, with all the inefficiencies of fully paper-based audits and inspections. The data gathered remains “trapped” in the forms. That’s why this solution is still essentially a paper-based one.

This is a good solution for companies that have simple inspections with few variables. It’s also appropriate for organizations that are just beginning to develop consistent, company-wide policies and procedures for audits and inspections. There’s no point in investing in more-advanced software solutions until the company has worked on refining its basic audit/inspection processes.

Field Software

This type of audit/inspection software reduces paper use and data entry expense, but it does much more than that. It is expressly designed to help auditors and inspectors be more efficient and effective, as well as to close the loop between findings and corrective actions.

With this type of solution, when results are entered into mobile devices in the field, a number of features help companies increase productivity and gain more value from audits and inspections.

  • Instant notifications are instantly sent to anyone who needs to act on (or know about) results.
  • The software makes it easy to provide a high level of detail, comments, and even photos to supplement the basic results.
  • Action steps for field, safety, and maintenance personnel are automatically generated and communicated via messaging and dashboards.
  • Progress on action steps can easily be tracked via each user’s dashboard, which can be customized for their specific needs.
  • Results and the successful resolution of problems are automatically archived, creating an “audit trail” for internal and regulatory compliance assurance.
  • Alerts and reporting tools reveal inefficiencies that can be corrected.

This software solution is ideal for companies that are ready to move beyond their basic paper-based processes, with the goal of creating an audit/inspection workflow that more closely matches what actually goes on in the field.

This solution will drive consistency and frequency by impacting the actual way audits and inspections are conducted. It can be customized to provide forms, workflows, and reporting that are specific to a facility, industry, process, type of asset, etc. It can even be customized within an organization to meet the needs of individual divisions or departments, while maintaining a consistent format throughout the company.

This is a “process management” tool, but the specific processes it’s intended to be used for are audit/inspection processes, whatever they might be called (hazard assessments, Joint Health and Safety reviews, EHS audits, etc.)

Enterprise Suites

The type of software is “big,” impacting many parts of the business, not just audits and inspections. This solution is designed for multiple uses and user types—safety, compliance, risk management, asset management, human resources, accounting, quality control, and so on. Audit/inspection tools are only a module, not the sole purpose of the software.

Software that’s designed to help in all these areas will naturally include features and tools that aren’t necessary to improve audits and inspections, making it more difficult to learn and use than software tailored specifically to meet the needs of auditors and inspectors.

And the audit/inspection tools included in the module will be limited compared to software designed exclusively with audit/inspection efficiency in mind. The tools simply aren’t robust enough for such an important business process.

There are advantages to this type of software, however.

  • It can help with many issues within the organization, albeit in a limited way.
  • It creates alignment and consistency between multiple business processes.
  • It is usually easily scalable, providing flexibility as a business grows.
  • It can provide real-time (or close to real-time) visibility into audits and inspections across the entire organization.

These advantages come with a price, though. This type of software usually is a large capital expense. It also typically requires IT support for integration and customization requirements.

So What Do We Mean by “Audit/Inspection Software”

Put simply, The Checker Software is field software with some of the capabilities of enterprise solutions, but for audit/inspection processes only. It can be integrated with other software as necessary, but it’s a standalone solution—designed solely for the purpose of maximizing the benefits of audits and inspections while lowering their cost.

That’s what we want people to think of when they hear the term “audit/inspection software.”

This type of software is the most effective solution in many organizations for audits and inspections because it provides the process support necessary for optimal performance but isn’t cluttered by unnecessary features. It only includes features that directly help with using audits and inspections.

Organizations for which we believe this solution to be ideal are those that:

  • Have already mastered paper-based auditing and inspecting and are looking to further improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Realize from experience that paper-based processes don’t adequately close the loop between discovering deficiencies and correcting them.
  • Understand the complexities of modern compliance and safety inspections and want to make them easier to conduct and gain value from.
  • Intend for the software to be used in the field by actual auditors and inspectors.
  • Want the capability of integration into larger-scale enterprise suites but prefer a standalone solution for audits and inspections.

Takeaway

Audit/inspection processes are so important that they deserve to have “audit/inspection software” designed specifically to support them.

Try a sample of The Checker Software to see for yourself what we’re talking about.

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

Making a Business Case for Audit/Inspection Software

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, May 19, 2016 @ 03:52 PM

Compliance and asset maintenance are both critical success factors for businesses.

Whether it be safety regulations, environmental regulations, performance standards, or any other business requirement, organizations cannot afford the costs and risks of non-compliance.

Reducing the expense of maintenance programs is also an ongoing challenge for most businesses.

In both areas, audit/inspection checklists are invaluable tools. A good checklist ensures that all necessary items are checked for whatever is being audited or inspected, with the purpose of assuring compliance and prompting necessary maintenance.

The checklist then serves as documentation of the audit or inspection for regulators, management, the maintenance department, and other stakeholders.

But using paper checklists is no longer the ideal solution. As with so many other areas of business, software is now needed to gain the maximum possible efficiency and effectiveness in auditing and inspection processes.

Most professionals involved with compliance and maintenance understand this, and they want to implement software to help with audits and inspections. The problem is paying for it.

Budget-makers often don’t appreciate the potential value of a robust audit/inspection software solution. That’s why you have to show them.Inspection software can reduce the costs of audit and inspection compliance processes.

Consider the Labor

You can demonstrate the value of software for audits and inspection processes in many ways, but one of the most simple and convincing is to do a labor cost calculation comparing the use of paper checklists with software checklists.

The specific dollar amounts will of course vary from company to company, and so you’ll need to do research to determine your actual costs. But everyone can use the same reasoning to arrive at their own estimate of the cost savings of software vs. paper checklists.

The focus in this calculation is the process of completing, distributing, and archiving audit/inspection results, as well as creating and communicating action steps for maintenance based on the results.

This process involves seven basic steps:

  1. The actual audit or inspection, with completion of the checklist
  2. Submission of the results to a supervisor
  3. Submission of the results to maintenance
  4. Creation of a maintenance work order
  5. Submission of the work order to a service technician
  6. Submission of the completed work order to maintenance by the technician
  7. Filing of the checklist and completed work order for compliance documentation.

For each step, figure out how long it will take for each process using paper vs. software. Once you have the time difference between the two, use your labor rates to calculate what that means in actual labor costs.

Then multiply that amount by the number of audits or inspections you do in any given time period you’re considering. It will soon become apparent that there is a lot of labor cost involved in shuffling paper checklists and work orders around.

Paperwork has to be manually carried to wherever it needs to go. That might be down the hall, or it could be to another building at your facility. It might even have to be mailed or delivered to another location.

With software, you of course still have to do the audit or inspection and complete the checklist. And obviously the maintenance still has to be done. But the sharing and archiving of checklist results—as well as the sharing of maintenance work orders and job-completion status—can all be done simply by hitting the send button!

An Example Calculation

Let’s look at the time for each step in a hypothetical but typical operation.

Paper Checklists

  1. The actual audit or inspection, with completion of the checklist (10 minutes)
  2. Submission of the results to a supervisor (5 minutes)
  3. Submission of the results to maintenance (5minutes)
  4. Creation of a maintenance work order (5 minutes)
  5. Submission of the work order to a service technician (5 minutes)
  6. Submission of the completed work order to maintenance by the technician (5 minutes)
  7. Filing of the checklist and completed work order for compliance documentation. (5 minutes)

Software Checklists

  1. The actual audit or inspection, with completion of the checklist (10 minutes)
  2. Submission of the results to a supervisor (0 minutes)
  3. Submission of the results to maintenance ( 0 minutes)
  4. Creation of a maintenance work order (5 minutes)
  5. Submission of the work order to a service technician (5 minutes)
  6. Submission of the completed work order to maintenance by the technician (0 minutes)
  7. Filing of the checklist and completed work order for compliance documentation. (0 minutes)

With paper, the process takes 40 minutes. With software, it takes only 20. You’re cutting the labor time involved in half!

Once you do the calculations for your organization, you’ll be able to catch the attention of the budget-makers with the amount of money that can be saved. The cost of implementing an effective software solution will pale in comparison.

Takeaway

This calculation is only one of many ways to demonstrate the value of software for inspections and audits. And it doesn’t capture the full value of software solutions such as The Checker Software, which can be used in numerous ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of various compliance and maintenance processes.

But this basic labor cost-saving calculation speaks loudly and alone can justify an investment. Once you plug in your numbers, you’ll realize the tremendous amount of money that’s at stake!

Topics: inspection software, mobile inspections, inspections and profitability, audit software

Inspection Software That Gets Along With Everyone

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

When we talk with people about using inspection software rather than paper forms to perform their organization’s audits and inspections, they often tell us they’re worried about operating system incompatibility.

With so many operating systems common in business use—Windows, Android, OS X, iOS, Linux, Blackberry, even Chrome OS—this concern is quite understandable.

The Checker Software is an inspection and audit solution that works on any type of device or operating system.Different divisions, departments, etc. within the same organization often assign their personnel different types of devices for use at work, resulting in a mish-mash of the various operating systems. Some enterprises even have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy that naturally leads to a diversity of devices and operating systems.

That’s why we get questions such as:

  • Will  inspection software apps designed for use on mobile operating systems be able to easily communicate with PCs running Windows in the office?
  • Can someone using an iPad and someone using an Android device both make use of the inspection software?
  • What if the personnel doing the inspecting use Blackberry phones: Does that mean we have to use an inspection software app designed for Blackberry?

When responding to questions like this, we always have an answer: The Checker Software.

The Checker Software appeases any concerns about incompatibility because it works on any operating system. Our software can do that—without any IT help—because it  isn’t an application you must install on the device(s) of anyone who uses the software. Instead, you access the software on the internet and run it through your browser of choice.

The advantage of this universal compatibility is obvious. You gain the benefits of inspection software but don’t have to worry about the cost and hassle of outfitting everyone with the same type of device or tasking IT with a major integration project.

Takeaway

The Checker Software is a highly effective inspection and audit solution that will work for everyone in your organization who needs to use it, regardless of the operating system they might have on their work device.

 

Image courtesy of Carlos Varela, Creative Commons.

Topics: inspection software, mobile inspections, audit software

Our Extensive Checklist Library Now Available Online

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 @ 01:30 PM

Inspections and audit checklists simply aren’t effective when they are too generic.

It’s almost laughable to consider inspecting a dump truck the same as you do a cargo van—almost laughable, that is, until you consider the risks.

Yet it’s our experience that a great number of inspection and audit checklists, even when performed with software, are very generic. It’s a complaint we’ve heard often from people in a wide range of industries. They’re dissatisfied with the specificity of items on the checklists they’re using.

Different types of vehciles and equipment  shouldn't be inspected with the same inspection checklist.This complaint is nothing new. When we were working as safety trainers and consultants during the 1990s, we heard it so often about paper checklists that we created The Checker inspection checklist books. We distinguished our checklists from the others on the market by making them specific to a wide range of equipment and vehicles, with all the precise crucial elements for each exact type included.

The Solution: The Checker Online Checklist Library

Now we’ve taken that specificity online with The Checker Software’s Online Checklist Library. Just as our paper checklist books offered more specificity than those produced by book publishers (instead of by a safety and inspection company like us), our online checklists stand out from the generic templates produced by businesses that are primarily software publishers.

The Checker Online Checklist Library includes pre-built checklists that have all the precise detail needed for hundreds of exact types of equipment and vehicles. Using our decades of experience improving inspection processes, we provide this level of detail without making the checklists difficult to use. On the contrary, they are designed to increase the ease of inspecting.

An example of this is the standardized format of each checklist. While the detail is different, the format is the same, so it’s easy for personnel to switch from inspecting one asset to another without any confusion. Management also benefits from the standardized format, which allows for quick review of results.

Best of all, each pre-built checklist is tied into The Checker Software’s many other features and functions, all of which increase the efficiency of inspection processes.

The Bottom Line

The unique specificity of The Checker inspection checklist books is now available on mobile devices. Our Online Checklist Library contains hundreds of pre-built checklists that contain all the vital detail necessary to properly inspect specific types of equipment and vehicles.

Learn how to begin taking advantage of The Checker Software and its Online Checklist Library.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia, Creative Commons.

Topics: checklist design, inspection software, mobile inspections

A Barcode Reader That Does More

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Nov 04, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

When identifying, tracking, and inventorying your company’s assets, barcodes can be your best friend. One scan can reveal a wealth of information about a particular asset.

However, using barcodes has traditionally required a specialized bar code reader—a tool with no other function.

Wouldn’t you prefer to be able to scan barcodes with a tool you can use for many other things? And wouldn’t it be great if the barcodes could also be used for other purposes than keeping up with inventory?

Barcodes can be used with mobile inspection software to increase the efficiency of business inspections and audits.Fortunately, technology has made it possible to ditch the cumbersome, single-function barcode readers and to use barcodes for a variety of purposes, including inspections and audits.

Taking advantage of this technology, we have created our own integrated Barcode Reader. It is not a stand-alone device, but software working on your existing devices. You can use your existing barcodes or allow The Checker Software to generate barcodes for you automatically.

With this module, you can use your tablet or smartphone to scan barcodes affixed to your assets, and you’ll immediately be able to identify and inventory that asset and see its history in terms of location, maintenance, and notes made about it. No more carrying around barcode readers that are otherwise useless. Now you can do your scanning on the same devices that you use for many other business functions.

Of course, any “smart” mobile device can be used as a barcode reader. What makes our Barcode Reader module special is that it can also be used for inspections and audits. Just scan the barcode, and the right inspection form pops up in The Checker Software. All the information about how to inspect the asset is immediately available in an easy-to-follow format, as well as guidance on how to “grade” items (whether it be pass/fail or a scoring system).

Adding even more efficiency, results (inventory or inspection/audit) are instantly reported to designated recipients and archived, and necessary remedial actions are immediately prompted.

This integration into the full package of The Checker Software turns the simple act of scanning barcodes into a powerful tool for not only keeping track of assets, but also for ensuring that they’re functioning safely and properly.

 Takeaway

The Barcode Reader add-on module for The Checker Software increases the efficiency of tracking assets and of inspecting or auditing them. With a quick scan of a barcode, mobile devices loaded with the module can identify an asset and provide all the needed information about it, including the proper inspection procedure. The same device used to scan the barcode can then be used to conduct the inspection/audit, to share and archive results, and to create necessary action steps.

Topics: inspection software, mobile inspections, audit software

How to Instantly Turn Observations of Problems Into Corrective Actions

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Have you ever been walking through your company’s facilities—intent on a task—when you noticed something in need of maintenance attention?

Did you do what many people in that situation do—make a “mental note” of it? And, if so, did you remember it?

Good for you if you did. But we all know that human memory is unreliable.

And even if you made a note on paper or your mobile device, how long did it take for that note to prompt you to contact maintenance? Probably at least until you finished that task you were intent on.

What’s needed in this situation is the ability to instantly communicate the problem to maintenance (or health & safety, HR, or whichever department is responsible for fixing the problem). Ideally, your note should be the communication that prompts action—with no lag time or potential for forgetting about it.

Using mobile inspection software, a photo of a problem can be instantly sent to all appropriate people.But that’s still not all you need. For example, you could instantly communicate with a text or an email, but you have to take the time to explain the problem in detail since the recipients can’t see what you’re seeing. The old adage—a picture is worth a thousand words—springs to mind. Wouldn’t you love to be able to snap a picture that you can attach to the note?

Again, you could use mobile technology to do this, but when you send the message, with photo attached, whom do you send it to? The person who will actually fix it? That person’s supervisor? Your supervisor? Who else?

And what would be the right format for the message (email, text, IM, etc.)? Would that format suit everyone?

Critically, you also would have no set system to let you know when the problem is resolved. Of course, this depends on internal communication protocols, but in many companies, the message might not even be acknowledged and the resolution never communicated.

The Observation Reporter

Mobile technology is the answer, but it needs to be used in a systematic way, with everyone using the same program to report observations (with photos), track progress, and notify of completion.

You can have such a system with The Checker Software’s Observation Reporter module. It is designed specifically for the scenario we’ve been discussing.

Here’s how it works. When you observe an issue, you take a photo of it. The module’s interface includes a comment box, so that you can explain why you took the picture and add any instructions or concerns. You can sign with a stylus or finger, the observation is date- and time-stamped, and it’s ready to be sent to the appropriate people, whom you’ll easily be able to determine using the software and your account.

Everyone you send to receives an immediate notification, and the observation is automatically entered into an archive. You’re communicating and documenting at the same time—with the ability to easily see the actions being taken regarding your observation.

And because this module is part of The Checker Software, the Observation Reporter won’t be a rarely-used program you have to hunt for on your mobile device—it will be easily accessible with the software people should already be using every day. (If you implement The Checker Software, it will get used because it has so many beneficial, time-saving features.)

The ease and efficiency that the module brings to the reporting of issues will increase the likelihood that people will actually make these important observations. You’ll have a bunch of eyes wide open.

Takeaway

The Checker Software’s Observation Reporter allows problems to be systematically reported and resolved, even if the observations aren’t made as part of a formal inspection, audit, or walk-through. When someone sees a problem—whatever or wherever it is—all they have to do is use the Observation Reporter to prompt corrective action.

View a sample of the Observation Reporter.

Topics: inspection software, mobile inspections, audit software

Using Mobile Inspection Software to Facilitate Corrective Actions

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

If you have responsibility for inspection processes in your organization, we probably don’t need to tell you about the many advantages of using mobile inspection software instead of paper forms for inspections, audits, assessments, Joint Health & Safety Committee reviews, etc.

Mobile inspection software should close the loop between inspection findings and corrective actions.A prime example is how mobile technology can “close the loop” between the identification of problems and the correction of those issues.

The Problem With Paper

With a paper-based system, when inspectors or auditors see a problem that needs correcting, they typically have to fill out a work order, which must be delivered to the maintenance department. A member of the maintenance support team then has to deliver the work order to the appropriate supervisor, who then has to assign the work. When the work is completed, that information must then be communicated back to the inspector or auditor.

You can see that’s a lot of necessary labor time and expense involved making copies for everyone and physically getting the information to the right people. And at each stage of the communication, there’s the potential for delay due to human oversight or error.Using paper inspection forms results in unnecessary labor and cost compared to an effective mobile inspection software solution.

The loop doesn’t always get closed as fast as it should, and sometimes it doesn’t get closed at all.

The Problem With Mobile

Mobile technology has the potential to end the pitfalls of paper, allowing you to instantly communicate inspection results and assign work orders based on those findings. Mobile inspection software can be used to track progress on correcting the problem, as well as to instantly document the resolution—with less cost and labor than using paper.

However, two common barriers are hindering the adoption of mobile technology:

  • You may appreciate the benefits of mobile for inspection processes, but that appreciation often isn’t shared throughout an organization, and most importantly, by the people authorizing the budget.
  •  Many of the mobile inspection software solutions that are available don’t provide enough value to justify spending on them.

The lack of meaningful value is often at least partly due to poor software communication tools. A mobile “solution” can actually impede communication compared to paper if the communication functions are cumbersome or confusing to a “non-tech” person.

Many inspection software programs are multi-use software programs that weren’t specifically designed for inspection processes, and inspecting functions are just an afterthought. These “do-it-all” programs (which might be used by accounting, human resources, and who knows what other departments) are unnecessarily difficult to use because of all the “bells and whistles” that don’t have anything to do with inspecting more efficiently. And they can’t be modified to your particular needs without a techie’s help.

This lack of an effective automated system for immediately creating action steps based on inspection results is a glaring omission in many of the software options you’ll find.

Software That Instantly Prompts Action

An exception is The Checker Software. Our software is designed solely to improve inspecting processes, and our Actions Module is an example of that focus. The Action Module’s purpose isn’t complicated—it allows you to attach work orders, corrective actions, requisitions, and/or discrepancies to any mobile inspection form that’s being electronically submitted. But inspection software tools don’t need to be complicated to be effective.

The Action Module is so easy to use that it is used, but it has all the functionality necessary to substantially improve the efficiency and reliability of your communications. It’s the type of practical tool that is needed to convince other decision-makers of the value of mobile technology for inspecting—and that can then deliver that value.

Request a Demo Now!

Takeaway

All mobile inspection software needs a simple but effective tool for instantly creating and sending action steps based on inspection results. If a solution you’re considering doesn’t have that capability, then that solution is almost certainly not the best option.

 

 

Upper image courtesy of Trevithj, Creative Commons. Lower image courtesy of Alan Cleaver, Creative Commons.

Topics: inspection software, mobile inspections, audit software