While a lot of people think that inspections only involve a simple checklist of items that need to be verified, those who are actually involved in inspection management know that that isn’t necessarily the case. Different things need different inspections, different people to do those inspections, and different standards that need to be upheld. All of this can easily get really convoluted and confusing if you don’t organize it correctly. Inspection management is a great way to keep up with all of this to make everyone’s lives easier.
What is inspection management?
Inspection management software is able to make corrective actions and streamline all tasks related to checking, assessing, recording, scheduling and tracking documents, checklists, supply chains and web forms. Not only this, but good inspection management systems allow you to integrate all of your communications into one place as well as constantly stay up to date with live updates and snapshots on the progress that is being made. Inspection management tools allow you to take this process into the 21st century and is definitely a great improvement that you can make for your business in 2020.
Features of inspection management software
The best inspection management tools include three main divisions: quality, tasks, and insights. Each of them are important in their own right and let me tell you why. The quality feature allows you to begin the quality control process with the right inspection for every situation or product.
Instead of manually adding all of the checklist items separately every time you need to make a new list, you can re-use existing checklists and other items so that you can efficiently and exhaustively make new inspections. Moving on to the tasks feature, this can allow your employees to record the completion and any issues or notes about each task on your inspection list.
Many inspection management tools include a convenient communication feature, or an inspection report, that allows for instant communication between management and inspectors so that any problems can be quickly resolved and managers can be provided with live updates on the inspection process. Finally, the insights feature really saves you time and effort when organizing and understanding data management.
Through a dashboard feature, you are able to easily view the progress of different items. This also allows you to identify problems early on and immediately work towards a complete and cost-effective solution to these problems. Finally, it allows you to maintain the accountability of stakeholders in this process by recording all the inspection data that you need to really keep track of all the ins and outs of the inspection process.
Benefits of inspection management software
Every business owner is always looking for ways to do two things: save time and save money. Inspection management allows you to do both of these and more.
Since money is almost always a concern, let’s start with the financial benefits of utilizing inspection management tools. There’s nothing worse than finding an expensive problem with a product late in the game and having to shell out a ton of money in order to fix it. Most of the time, this issue could have been caught earlier if the correct processes were in place.
Inspection management is a great way to make sure that there is a clear documented process that should be followed when conducting inspections. When issues are caught earlier on, they are less expensive to fix and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Inspection management software allows you to save time by efficiently searching inspection by different parameters like location or type of inspection so that you can find what you are looking for instantly.
As mentioned earlier, inspection management software often includes communication features so that you can streamline and integrate all of your communication into the tool. This way, you won’t have to keep switching between your phone, email, and chat programs and everyone can stay on the same page by receiving the same information.
There will be no gray areas with your staff and everyone will know exactly what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to do it, and when it needs to be done by. Furthermore, they can also provide you with live updates on the status of these tasks and communicate any issues that they may have run into.
There’s nothing worse than trying to manually sort through tons of data to find the information that you are looking for – and inspection management tools can help you eliminate this arduous process. Good inspection management tools provide features like dashboards that include easy-to-read visuals like charts, graphs, and tables that can help you quickly get the rundown of the status of all your different tasks.
Finally, inspection management tools allow you the potential to access all of this information on the go. The best inspection management tools offer mobile applications that you can download onto your phone so that you can easily access it anywhere and at any time without having to go into the office to pull up this information manually.
Another cool feature of many inspection management tools is the ability to transfer and import some of the tools that you might already use within programs like Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word into this new tool so that you don’t have to start from scratch.
In a complex field like inspection management, you can save a lot of time and effort by simply uploading your large Excel spreadsheets into this new tool instead of inputting all of that information manually. Then from there, the tool can immediately process and organize all of this information and present it to you in an easy to read format – saving you time and a lot of potential headaches in the process.
What to look for and expect
So now that you are hopefully sold on the uses and benefits of integrating an inspection management tool into your business…how do you go about this? There are so many options out there that it can be a little bit overwhelming and confusing. After all, this is an investment for your business and you want to make sure that you get it right the first time.
So how can you tell which tools will work for your business and which won’t? The best inspection management tools can consist of inspection software and are largely customized so that you can basically make it into what you want and need it to be in real-time. You also need to look for a tool that is easy to use and understand – after all, you are using this tool to make your life easier and cut down on the time and effort that you put into this process, so the tool actually needs to be easy enough to use to make it worth the investment.
At the same time, you need to remember that integrating an inspection management tool into your business is a process. It won’t happen overnight. You might need to integrate it using steps so that you are able to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to training and correct use of the tool.
While this might seem like a lot of work, good inspection management tools allow you to use lists that you already have so that you don’t have to start from the beginning. From there, you are able to maximize your investment by saving time, money, and effort in the inspections process.
Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more. Follow Lauren on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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