The digital transformation journey in the public sector may look different in different government agencies. Sometimes the process starts with a specific problem that identifies the needed technology. But sometimes, the process is reversed – it begins with particular technology being applied over the existing work process. Our practice as a digital transformation partner taught us that the former approach is the more efficient one, while the latter brings more risk of failure. These observations are especially relevant to the regulatory sector and the transformation of manual inspection processes.
Costly resources like inspectors and highly qualified technicians often have to perform repetitive tasks: running inspections from site to site, recording their checks within paper files. Then this documentation gets entered into an electronic system, which often leads to data errors. The use of digital inspection management tools allows inspectors to focus more on higher-level tasks such as analysing data to improve operations, which by itself is an upskilling benefit. The upskilling of the workforce is essential evidence for the success of digitally transforming manual processes.
The automated data collection provides a consistent and accurate work process, enabling inspectors to update their progress more frequently. On the other hand, this benefit allows decision-makers to react quickly to critical changes in the collected data.
In the past, the automation of manual inspection processes was often dismissed as a too complex and expensive endeavour. However, today we have the technologies to transform manual processes without the challenges of the past. With cloud-based infrastructure and affordable wireless devices such as tablets, data gathering and sending is fast, and automation becomes a more realistic goal.
Transforming manual inspection processes with AI and Machine Learning
Regulatory agencies have access to automation technologies such as AI and Machine learning. But their efficiency is present mostly when they are fed with accurate information. The use of digital tools on inspection sites guarantees the gathering of quality information via digital checklists and real-time data transmission. The AI engine can provide decision-making support and improve efficiency and compliance with high-quality data input.
Theoretically, this is the ground regulatory agencies step on when undertaking the digital transformation process. But how are things actually with real-case scenarios? Let’s look at some customer stories we have at Canalix – inspection management platform and dive deep into how the platform handles the inspection process.
Monitoring of critical tasks
Some regulatory agencies no longer consider manual inspections enough for high-risk cases and require digital monitoring or the regular submission of self-inspection data. The compliance improvements need the automation of safety-related inspection schedules.
Improving the safety compliance of high-risk projects requires the automation of safety-related inspection schedules. After a periodic on-site inspection, the regulator may demand new monitoring points submitted by the inspectee via a self-submission portal. Doing this without the costs of sending an inspector on-site and getting the needed data is a classic example of cost-optimisation of operations that goes hand-to-hand with compliance improvements. A double benefit gain that inspection automation services like Canalix are helping regulators achieve.
Turning inspection data into process optimisation insights
Automating the data gathering stage by inspectors is only the first of many steps towards the digital transformation of the inspection process. When quality data is assured, what comes next? Reasonably, it is to turn this data into actionable information and insights. Those insights will help decision-makers to improve operations and strengthen the agency’s regulatory compliance rate.
Turning data into insights is more than just aggregating data from a historical perspective. Canalix, as an inspection platform, collects data that gives individual pictures over each inspector’s capacity and workload so that team leaders can prevent burnout and assure balance is kept in the process of resource scheduling.
Acting upon the gathered data and insights
And, of course, data can be presented in many contexts to different actors within the organisation. For example, an inspector may see information about the inspection site’s conditions in previous inspections or check alerts from IoT devices on the inspection site. This data may shape the structure of the inspection round so that the inspector can focus his attention on the most critical aspects. All for the sake of efficiency, of course. This model of turning data into insights supports the observe, orient, decide, act loop. It enables team leaders to decide based on relevant data that would direct action within the organisation that’s supposed to correct something that’s not working well enough.
The digital transformation approach as a modular step-by-step
Some organisations are looking at technology as a tool to help them fix a single issue – like automating manual inspection processes. Others aim at substantial digital transformation projects that will transform the whole organisation by replacing entire systems, not just separate modules step-by-step. And some organisations wish to test the technology without knowing exactly where they should begin. Canalix offers digital transformation solutions focused on resource optimisation that can speed up progress regardless of which category from those mentioned above we’re talking about. Contact us if you need to know more.
Related: How a regulatory agency cut operational costs with modular digital transformation approach?