There are all sorts of inspection software solutions out there. Some are designed for the needs of food safety inspections, other for construction safety inspections, etc. A common work process between all sorts of inspection models is the checklist data gathering. When we say inspector, we always imagine someone with a list of paper and pen in his hand, or with a tablet and stylus. This is the moment when the inspector is gathering data and uses checklists to do that effectively.

What’s the role of checklist in inspections?

The checklists is just an ordinary list of tasks that may be specific for each field of inspections. They are a tool that prevents inspectors from missing an important task during inspection. That’s why the optimal use of checklist is a constant work in progress that needs to be updated every now and then.

One of the most advertised benefits of using inspection software is the improved productivity that saves the time of inspectors. The time saving benefit that’s owed to digital checklists is mostly a result of streamlining the data gathering during inspections and automating the preparation of reports. Doing inspections in the cloud doesn’t fit with using pen and paper checklist. That’s why good inspection software needs a well thought checklist functionality.  So what should we require from inspection checklist perspective when we research different software solutions for inspections?

Related: What’s the benefit of route optimisation in inspections?

What are the benefits of inspection checklists?

  • Checklists improve safety

The use of relevant and detailed checklists in the inspection management is crucial to ensuring safety. That’s why checklists must be easy to create, edit and save for future use. In other words configurability is what should be expected from a decent inspection software. It means that inspectors have to be able to create and work with different checklists – one that serves the daily inspections, other that serves more critical inspections and so on. When the checklists are pre-defined, inspectors can easily load the checklist template they need on their device and conduct their inspections without missing something important that may lead to big mistake.

  • Improved communication between departments in regulatory agencies and enterprises

Inspection data is a constant subject to analysis. The old-fashioned way of going through data is to dig yourself into a bunch of paper and move folders with documents across halls and floors. However, if a cloud based inspection management system is ensuring the digital processing of data gathering, then the analysis of inspection data would be far more easy to be done or sent for review by inspection directors, analysts or some other government agency.

  • The completed checklist are automatically uploaded and stored to the cloud

This gives flexibility to everyone in the inspection management process and things happen faster. Inspectors can also attach documents such as photos or pdf files to the inspection data. This way everything will be in one folder and stored digitally. A digital inspection management solution with good document management system solves a lot of problems for the inspectors who are still using the pen and paper method for conducting inspections. This problem solving feature can be tested at very early stage through proof of concept.

Related: Why and how should we test a proof of concept of inspection management software?

  • Inspection checklists can be reused and their data saved

No need to make new checklist every time before inspection. Inspectors can just reuse the last used inspection checklist. The data from digital inspection checklists can be combined with other data and used for the purposes of visualizing trends or just informing the higher management about the big picture.

  • No paper means more security and more access.

To top all of the benefits, comes the green promise for using less papers and utilising resources with more care to the nature. This is one of the values that stays behind our inspection management solution – Canalix.

Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.

The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande

Automation is the main tool that we use to increase efficiency. Automating inspection checklists is an example of how everyone in the inspection management process can save valuable time that was previously spend on searching for information, making reports, planning and scheduling of inspections. Now all these time-consuming tasks can be reduced to just few clicks with the mouse. But in order to work, checklists must be well thought in the stage of research and buying inspection software.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of using configurable checklists in digital inspections? Contact us here.

If we look at the official data for non-fatal accidents at work in the EU, the statistic will show us graphs that either go up or down. Going up means more accidents at work, while going down means the opposite. More accidents means more expenses. So the reasonable question here for both  – regulators and private enterprises that are subject to regulations is: how to control the rate of work accidents and keep it down? The indirect answer is: by optimising the safety inspection program of the organisation. The more direct answer that tells exactly how to do that, you’ll find below.

The basic purpose of optimising the safety inspection programs is to ensure:

1. Worker’s safety

Keeping the workforce safe ensures the long-term stability of the company’s worker retention program

2. Good reputation

An organisation with low rate of work accidents is an organisation with good reputation. It’s an advantage and should be recognised as such.

3. No disruption of operations

The safety of the work environment improves productivity and reduces the disruption of operations. Avoiding disruptions helps company to keep their work on the budget they planned.

4. No fines by regulators

Regulations are being updated regularly. That’s why it’s important to use an inspection solution that ensures that regulations are being followed in an up to date manner. Because fines may seriously side track the company’s plan.

safety inspection software

A good safety inspection program may be divided by three components:

  1. Inspection planning & scheduling

    The inspection planning and scheduling component needs constant optimising because a good plan can improve the resource utilisation and prevent mistakes.

  2. Inspection execution

    The inspection execution component is the part that can significantly improve the speed and quality of inspections. The use of technology can transform the work of inspectors by allowing them to use pre-defined inspection checklists or just benefit from entirely digital document management system. The digital infrastructure of the inspection management process can remove the manual work that often slows down inspectors.

  3. Training

    The digital infrastructure allows inspectors to gain better visibility on inspection outcomes and therefore recommend relevant actions and training to the workers that can reduce the risk of accidents on the workplace.

The importance of digitizing the safety inspection checklists

What’s the best way for inspector to identify risks during safety inspection? By following a checklist. When everything’s written down on a checklist, the inspector has a better chance to cover all of the potential risks. With digital inspection management solution, the process can be improved even more. When regulatory bodies adopt software solutions for safety inspections, the pre-defined checklists can be easily implemented into the work process of inspectors. For different types of safety inspections can be configured specific checklists.

If we step out of the regulatory inspections field for a moment and look at the general impact of checklists, we’ll see double confirmation about their benefits. A lot of researches are pointing that checklists help experts to execute their projects more efficiently. In an important field like safety inspections, the power of checklists must be utilized to ensure the wellbeing not only of workers, but of the community at all.

Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.

Source: Checklists help eliminate mistakes and improve efficiency

Why a safety inspection software must have configurable checklists?

Safety inspections are complex and that’s why configurability must be a part of the requirements to any inspection management solution. A good configurable inspection software will allow regulatory agencies to configure specific checklists for each type of safety inspections – safety inspections for tools and equipment, for electrical concerns, for scaffolding, etc. Checklists are very overlooked component in the inspection programs. Their function is a gamechanger when it comes to data gathering. Because only detailed and correctly gathered data may generate a valuable inspection report. 

The importance of optimising safety inspection reports

The outcome of a safety inspection inspection ends into a report. The report has the purpose to recommend corrective actions to reduce the risks of hazards in the future. However, a report may or may not be efficient if the best practices aren’t followed.

The benefits that safety inspection reports bring are:

1. Capturing erro-free inspection data

A good inspection checklist is a key to gathering sufficient error-free data that can be exported into inspection report.

2. Real-time documenting of inspections

Recording inspections in real-time allows inspectors to capture fully their observations. The performing of field inspections with tablet allows them to capture images in the mean time and attach them to the reporting file. The image can make feedback more clear.

3. Full visibility over inspection data

The digital gathering of inspection data allows inspectors to gain better visibility over the inspected subjects. The leverage on data can make inspections more risk-focused and help not only to mitigate risks, but also improve over all compliance.

4. Make safety inspection reports readable

Big words and complex sentences have no place in inspection reports. Reports must be understandable and clear. No unreadable handwriting! Automating the generation of inspection reports based on the gathered data and collected observations, can ensure the readability of the reports.

How to find the right safety inspection software?

The choice of inspection management system  depends on the strategy that the organization is following. If a government agency is following a cloud-first strategy, then sure their focus must be on cloud inspection services. If the organization is focused at health and food safety, then they should aim at a solution that is specialised in this sector. The same applies for enterprises that want to transform their inner inspections and audits.

Two rules for preparing safety inspection research:

  1. Find something that will answer your goals – cloud-based solution or on-premise solution?
  2. Find something that will be a good fit to your use case – work safety inspections, food safety inspections, environmental inspections, etc.

Related: All you need to know about cloud strategy in government agencies

Prepare a list of requirements and start your research. Then reach out to potential suppliers and book a Product tour or a Demo session that can highlight the features that can provide the execution of the best practices we described above. The next reasonable step would be to order a proof of concept.

Are you looking for safety inspection software? Contact us now and we’ll help your select the best solution for your safety inspection requirements.

Route optimization sounds like a thing that you’d expect Google Maps to do for you. But in the work environment of regulatory enforcement and inspection management, inspectors would think otherwise.

Let’s take for example the job of inspector who does construction site inspections every day. Every inspection site includes a list with areas that must be checked to ensure compliance with safety standards and other regulations. Sometimes these lists contain over hundreds of checkpoints. The small details that surround the important work of inspectors makes the process slow. Often inspectors would spend all they travelling on a long distance to do inspection on one construction site that has a high priority and requires high skillset. If the volume of inspection requests grows with time, the Inspectorate will have to hire more inspectors or make the already hired ones work and travel more. In both cases it will mean more expenses to be made.

The old fashioned way of solving the issue with the growth of workload in inspections would be to hire more inspectors and just send them to more work spots. But this is also a very expensive way. Actually it’s the way of the regulatory agencies that are still not gone through digital transformation. The question is what other way can we offer to them?

What’s the way to reduce the cost of inspections?

The cost of inspections depends on things such as inspector’s location, travelled distance to inspection site and inspector’s salary of course. If we set up manually the inspection scheduling calendar, the most complex inspection cases will go to the most qualified inspectors and sometimes this means that the most qualified inspectors will have to cover the less inspection ground because of the travelling. This is expensive for many reasons. The use of inspection management software can bring drastic optimizations in the inspection routing.

How a software solution can optimise inspection routing?

Imagine that each inspection request is being automatically assigned with a complexity score that takes into account the location, availability and skillset of all inspectors. Now imagine that this software is able to match inspectors with relevant case. And all this while the software is mapping the most optimal inspection routes and takes into account all of the constraints that are scored during the processing of the inspection request. This sounds too good to be true. This is where data-driven automation and AI come at play and make the life of inspectors and everyone in the regulatory agencies easier and way less expensive.

The example with the construction site inspections is not a limit. This kind of inspection solution can be applied to many regulatory areas – food safety inspections, fire inspections, education inspections, energy inspections, insurance loss control inspections, etc.

route-optimisation-inspections

How route optimisation changes things for regulators and enterprises?

When we talk about route optimisation, we don’t mean Google Maps. It is more than just finding the shortest available route between point A and point B. It’s about finding the most efficient route for someone who is at point X and have to go through points A, B, C, D, E and F and spend different amount of time for inspection. There are stops that must be made between these points and different time must be spend at each one of them. Finding the most efficient route for such a complex task is not easy to be done  manually. That’s why a good inspection software with route optimisation feature is needed.

Summary of the inspection optimization benefits:

Route optimisation reduces not only the costs of inspections, but also improves the efficiency of inspectors and allows them to cover more inspection ground by travelling less and ultimately safe their time.

Is Canalix a route optimisation software?

Canalix is an inspection management solution that is focused on transforming the inspection model of regulators and enterprises. Route optimization is a key AI-powered feature of the software and is used by our clients. Some of our customer success data shows that our clients reduced the total travelled distance by inspectors with up to 40% and managed to cut costs while improving the inspection process.

Do you want an estimate of how much route optimization can reduce the costs of inspections in your company? Contact us now.

Related: Why you have to try a proof-of-concept before buying an inspection management software?

One of the strictest regulation policies in the EU is in the field of food safety. Food safety concerns directly the health of people and their quality of life. That’s why there is strong sensibility to keeping compliance with regulation from the side of the food industry and enforcing regulations from the side of regulatory agencies.

The growing food safety culture leads to the adoption of new technological solutions that can help regulators transform their food inspection model. However, some countries are struggling with the digital transformation of the food safety inspections more than others. In a culture with growing food safety awareness and improved regulatory practices, transforming the inspection management model can make foods even safer.  That’s why the adoption of IT infrastructures in the food safety inspection model is a step that regulators must be taking on (if they haven’t yet).

What can inspection management software do for food safety inspections?

Ditch the paper, embrace the digital

Imagine the paperwork that food safety inspectors and other administrative entities must do to ensure the flow of inspection management. Inspections checklists, copies of documents such as permits, orders, maps, photos of inspection site, etc. It’s a big load of paperwork. Now if we imagine that the paper is being replaced by software that allows everyone to his job digitally, it won’t be hard to see the benefits in terms of productivity.

Related: Have a look at the food safety inspections offering of the inspection management platform of Canalix.

But the question is how a digital document management system can make foods safer? The answer is in the data. It’s very challenging to organize and present data that is based on paper documents spread all over the cabinets of a food inspection agency. If this data is collected and organized via sophisticated inspection management software, then it can be visualized, analyzed and used for identifying trends and building a better visibility on food inspections. In other words data can be used for making smarter and faster decision making that directly affects the optimisation of inspections.

The bonus thing: the use of inspection software with integrated document management system can improve the inspection management process not only in food regulatory agencies, but also in the food industry itself (by serving as a digital infrastructure for internal inspections and audits).

Inspectors inspect more while working less

If the digital document management safes time for inspectors, how can we enable them to use this time to cover more inspection sites and cases? Digital transformation allows regulatory agencies to leverage on technologies such as AI to optimise inspection scheduling and inspection routes so that inspectors can be send on the most optimal inspection routes without causing a conflict in their schedules. The application of such AI-driven inspection management can ultimately lead to long-term cost savings for the regulators because of the optimized resource utilization.

Related: How to reduce the cost of inspections with routing optimisation?

Reduce human errors with the help of data and AI

An employee of the Food Safety Agency may assign wrongfully skilled inspectors to an inspection case. As a result there will be a lot of time and costs wasted for nothing. Automating food safety inspections with the use of data and AI can dramatically reduce the making of such mistakes. The effect of such optimisation can be seen from miles. The question is why it takes so long for the public sector to turn to new technologies that can ensure the safety of our communities?

Related: How AI can transform inspections?

How a food regulator embraces digital transformation?

It all starts with strategy. Your organization has a digital transformation strategy? Good. Then it will be easy for the CIO to prioritize the adoption of inspection software for food safety. Even if your organization doesn’t have a strategy, now is the time to make one.

Contact Canalix here, if you need food safety inspection software and a digital transformation strategy.

Related: Understanding a digital transformation strategy

This will change everything” was quite a popular phrase at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the world of business this phrase was mostly connected with changes in terms of digital transformation. But digital transformation has been an ongoing trend for the last 15 years. So what’s the different in digital transformation in the post covid-19 era? The answer is simple: what’s different is the speed of adoption of digital infrastructures. The urgency for action is dictated by the uncertainty in the global situation.

The new world context is affecting the pace of cloud adoption in regulatory inspections as well. A field such as regulatory enforcement that’s focused at ensuring the safety of our communities is a serious matter and the urgency for digital acceleration is very sensible there. It means that decisions must be made on a faster pace to ensure the functioning of law enforcing government agencies in the new reality of mass lockdown with growing infection rates.

If we have to summarize the focus that government agencies must keep in the current COVID-19 recovery era, it will come down to:

  • Government agency need to make faster decisions
  • They should focus on automating inspections and leverage on AI in inspections
  • They should focus on real-time risk assessment
  • They should focus on driving agility in inspections
  • They need to stick to cloud-first approach

And all of these must be done on a much faster pace than before the COVID-19 era. So let’s get to the biggest question in this article:

How does digital acceleration in inspection management looks like?

Like every big question, there are a lot of “depends” in the answer of this one. The digital acceleration in inspections depends mostly on the digital adoption strategy of the organisation. In the public sector this means that the CIO must speed up the decision making in the roadmap of the digital adoption strategy. If there’s no digital adoption strategy in motion, then now is the time to make on.

Related: All you need to know about making a cloud adoption strategy

What are the possible ways do accelerate digital transformation in inspections?

  1. Don’t transform outdated legacy systems, move to an entirely new cloud service designed for inspection management. This can be the faster and smarter approach for transforming inspections. But a careful research is needed.Read our guide: How to find inspection management software online?
  2. If on a central level the government has successful history of cloud implementation, then the good example must be followed. Following an already known path can accelerate digital transformation in inspection. For example if a social care institution has a successful history of implementing cloud based case management solution, then the smart move for this institution will be to follow the same path when implementing an inspection management software.
  3. Reorganize spend and move funds from less valuable initiatives to more urgent ones like cloud adoption.

Related: How to approach cost-efficient cloud adoption?

What to expect from accelerated digital transformation in regulatory inspections?

Doing something on a faster pace in the public sector is definitely not normal. But the new reality must be accepted. This means that there are certain red flags that must be kept in mind when we approach accelerated digital transformation in the public sector:

  1. A balance between efficiency and resilience must be kept.
  2. Inspectors, administrators and functional leaders must be equipped with the required skills.
  3. Configurability that can adequately answer the needs to different use segments in inspections (an inspection software must offer configurability for different type of inspections – food safety inspections, construction building inspections, social care facility inspections, playground inspections, etc.

Related: How governments should prepare for the post-pandemic scenarios?

This all is a part of the strategic planning. Strategic planning includes the conversation for the future and the priorities that must be followed if the most likely future scenario is changed (a thing that already happened on a massive scale with COVID-19). A change of the possible scenario such as the global pandemic might require from CIO’s to change the pacing of the digital adoption strategy for inspections. Disruption is not a bad thing if we are able to predict the outcomes.

Do you need help with the strategic planning for the digital transformation of inspections in your organisation?

Contact us now.