Automating the workflow of vehicle inspections

vehicle inspections automation canalix

When we talk about digitalising vehicle inspections, the conversation inevitably goes through mentioning a list with benefits. Today there are many SaaS inspection solutions and mobile apps that are digitalising the vehicle inspection process. These tools are great for identifying issues, making reports, mitigating risks, making inspections more mobile, improving compliance and managing the inspection schedules more efficiently.

Vehicle inspections before digital transformation

Before the wave of digital transformation reached the shores of vehicle inspections, they were performed with pen and paper. That was the only way to do that. Car inspectors and technicians had to put up with missing papers, lost clipboards, unreadable handwriting, etc. on a daily base. End-users and inspection agencies on the other hand had to deal with the same issue. The paper-based inspection process was a prerequisite  for a lot of errors that prolonged the inspections – technicians often had to rewrite inspection reports so that the customers can read them or had to show them personally some issue that’s under the car. 

Vehicle Inspections in 2021 – paperless and accessible

It’s 2021 now and the paperless inspection management tools are widely accessible solutions. There are as many definitions of efficiency as the number of inspection solutions on the market. Which means that even though major step toward optimisation is made, there’s still room for improvement of the inspection process.

digital vehicle inspections

What is the definition of good vehicle inspection system?

Let’s take a close look at the workflow of inspections. Vehicle inspections are varying in complexity. For example truck inspections may require inspector with more advanced skillset than light weight car inspections. It mean’s that every inspection requests needs additional profiling in order to be assigned to a relevant inspector. A good digital vehicle inspection system would be one that fully automates the workflow of inspections and does so by ensuring the flow of the process with low error-rate.

The workflow of vehicle inspections 

The workflow of vehicle inspections goes through three agencies – the user, the government and the inspector (auto shop). How do we turn the wheel of this process and automate it? This can be explained with a lot of words. But long story short the inspection cycle starts with the inspection due date and finishes with the published outcome report. So  if we have to define what an efficient vehicle inspection software looks like, it will be: a tool that supports the whole inspection management cycle from approaching the inspection due date to finish. The so called a-to-z in vehicle inspections.

vehicle inspections

Key features of vehicle inspection management system

How do we make sure we’re not missing an important brink in the workflow chain? Let’s make a checklist of features that are needed to ensure the flow of vehicle inspections according to their cycle stage.

Self-service portal

Stage of inspection cycle: approaching the inspection due date

The approaching of the vehicle inspection due date is the trigger that activates the workflow of the inspection cycle. After the user is notified about the approaching due date, he receives access to self-submission portal.

Self-submitting inspection data

Stage of inspection cycle: request of vehicle inspection

The gathered data for vehicle inspections is basically the same each year. The only variable is the age of the vehicle, so the user just have to re-confirm it. The digital submission of pre-defined data has the potential to reduce the error rate to zero. This is a win-win for the end-user and for the inspection authority.

Inspection scheduling

Stage of inspection cycle: planning of the inspection

Once the user self-serviced his inspection request, the inspection agency must schedule an inspection on the requested location, date and time with predefined checklists needed for completion by an inspector. This process can be additionally streamlined in various ways. For example some inspection management solutions like Canalix allow the creation of inspection pools where inspectors can pick up and take over inspection requests that fit their skillset and schedule.

Mobile inspections with tablet

Stage of inspection cycle: inspection execution

Aside from benefit of removing paper and improving data accuracy, the digital inspection model has other perks to offer. The use of mobile device for inspection means that inspectors can capture images during inspections. Later those images can be used in the outcome report so that the user can understand better the meaning of the report.

Vehicle inspection reports

Stage of inspection cycle: completion

After finishing the inspection execution there’s one last thing left to do. The inspection report. When digital inspection checklists are being used for fast and efficient inspection execution, the outcome report can also be exported as fast and efficiently. The digital format of the automated inspection report allows to be sent by the inspector to the user and the inspection agency in no time. The digital workflow is a prerequisite for error-free inspection cycle. That’s why its structure is considered by our team as one of the best practices in the implementation of vehicle inspection software.

What other features are needed for a new vehicle inspection system?

  1. Integration with existing inspection creation flow​
  2. System of record​
  3. ID verification
  4. Security

General benefits of digital vehicle inspection software

vehicle inspections reportThe benefits of using digital inspection software on macro level help inspection agencies to achieve their goals to reduce the use of paper and ease the burden of paperwork, to improve the speed of processes, etc. But there are still some problems that exist on microlevel. These issues must also be addressed to achieve the maximum optimisation impact.  Canalix is focused at those micro-level problems and as a result solves the following  problems:

  1. More inspection work is done with the same quantity of resources. The option to select pre-defined checklists and templates for inspections allows inspectors to save time and get more work done in an 8-hour working day.
  2. Savings on digital inspection infrastructure. The cloud-based inspection management infrastructure of Canalix reflects the good example of many inspection agencies in digitally mature countries. The adoption of cloud solution for inspections is a proven cost-wise decision not only when it comes to digital inspection management platforms, but to all kind of digital public services.
  3. Access to inspectors’ skillset. The access to inspectors’ skillset can enable the inspection agency to “unlock” the inspection requests that are relevant for the inspector’s skillset. It’s another key to achieving efficiency in the vehicle inspection performance.
  4. Focus on compliance. The reduced error-rate of inspections and inspection reports gives more accurate data. The automated inspection system can makes the outcome reports more readable and understandable as opposed to the paper-based inspection reports. This information is enabling the user to understand better the action that need to be done to improve compliance
  5. Consolidation of inspection agencies. There are hundreds of vehicle inspection points in each country. It doesn’t mean that it’s normal to have hundreds of different vehicle inspection reports. The use of one unified inspection management solution that reflects that state’s regulatory policy is a good thing and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Traditional vs Digital Vehicle Inspections

Traditional Vehicle Inspections

Digital Vehicle Inspections

A lot of time spend on phone calls and paper work

Minimised manual tasks, optimised automated performance

Paper checklists, often lost or filled with errors

Electronic checklists, easy to be configured and filled with pre-defined set of data and reduced chance of error

Inspection files are stored in paper folders

Inspection files are stored and organised automatically in the cloud

Schedule an inspection after double checking schedules via phone or email

Automatically make inspection requests available for pick up by relevant inspectors from the inspection pool

No visibility on historical data

Full visibility on previous inspections

Inconsistency between inspection reports

Error-free unified inspection reports

Hard to read outcome reports

Easy to understand outcome reports with photos


The use of vehicle inspection software is not only reducing the errors in the inspection management cycle. It helps inspection agencies to achieve higher level of compliance and efficiency. The remove of the paper burden and the introduction of mobile technologies for vehicle inspections is just the most visible outcome of the digital change. But there’s more to digital inspections than that. Canalix is isnpection management solution that helps inspection agencies to open their eyes for the visible and not so visible problems in the inspection model. Our product can solve them in no time. Book a free demo to get to know how.

Resources: EU’s rules on vehicle testing.