The men and women charged with ensuring the safety of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the roads we drive should be treated as superheroes for the protection they provide our communities. But, rather than the cool tools of Batman, the x-ray vision of Superman, or the technology advancements of the Bionic Woman our inspectors frequently hit the street armed only with pen and paper.
Most inspections are performed the same way they were decades ago. That means many processes are still paper-based, or simple excel-like checklists that require mountains of hours spent in-office conducting manual, inefficient and error-prone data entry. The truth is inspectors use more sophisticated technology to hail a ride, order groceries, or post a photo on social media than they do to conduct their job. Given that this technology exists for consumer use, adapting it for inspector’s professional use does not require superhuman powers or even an underground technology lair (though that would be cool).
Modernizing the inspection process is more than putting a form on a tablet. Soley arming inspector with a mobile device and digital checklists do nothing to utilize the true power of all the data that inspection organizations hold. What inspection organizations need is the technology that digitizes the inspection process from the field to the back office so that inspectors can conduct their daily work based on real-time data, making them more proactive and effective.
Empowering inspectors means:
- Access to data — via mobile devices, inspectors should have access to full case files. No more putting a project on hold because they did not pull the right file to bring into the field. With mobile access, inspectors can pull up past reports, view and use diagrams they’ve drawn and annotated previously, and share reports and recommendations with inspected entities to clear up any misunderstandings from past inspections.
- Risk prioritization — vNow that agencies have complete access to inspection data, they can use AI algorithms and Machine learning modules to help them work smarter through risk-based priority scoring. Agencies can prioritize inspections schedules using compliance risk scores which highlight the high-risk facilities — those with the highest probability of issues — for inspectors to focus on. An Environmental Health Safety (EHS) risk score could also be used for prioritization, looking at the potential risk an entity could have on the surrounding community and its residents should an issue arise.
- Flexibility of scheduling — being able to see real-time traffic and adjust schedules to make the best use of time is incredibly powerful. Whether this is done by the inspector on the road or via the main office, on the fly schedule changes (and the immediate approval of those changes) can aid daily productivity.
- Smart tools — every superhero needs a tool belt. With digitally-driven inspections, inspectors have access to photos annotation, video chat, and more. Beyond gadgets, data can also be an important tool. For example, transportation and law enforcement agencies have been seeing great results by combining traffic and crime data to pinpoint where police presence could have the greatest impact on improving the community’s quality of life. A similar combination and examination of inspection data can help identify problems with products or systems before they impact the community.
- Direct line for citizens — a communication portal becomes a single point of communication between the inspector and the people responsible for inspected assets. The burden of managing emails, paper correspondence, and voicemails is removed as owners of regulated entities are directed to use the portal for all communications related to violations and compliance. This provides those being regulated with access to previous inspections and enforcement actions, a new kind of visibility into their history with regulators.
These are powerful results, but they do not require a lot of time or work to get implemented. ARInspect has built a platform that can be introduced into any inspection environment and begin working with existing data and workflows in a matter of weeks. It is beyond the time that we arm our inspection heroes with the modern tools to take their service to our communities to the next level. The return on the investment is immediate in both the efficiency and satisfaction of the inspection teams that are proud to protect and serve.