Governments lean heavily on regulators to ensure public safety, but also to optimise operational costs in times of uncertainty. As a result of travel restrictions throughout the global pandemic, some regulators started embracing self-inspection programs. Regulators that operated with self-inspection software were able to continue inspecting even when there were strict travel restrictions. Since self-inspections proved to perform well in times of uncertainty, regulators started treating their inclusion in the inspection programs as a long-term optimisation strategy that could solve problems beyond the pandemic.

The Canalix customers that use our inspection management software with self-inspection module are more efficient and agile and report a cost reduction effect.

What is a self-inspection program?

A regulator usually adopts a self-inspection program for inspectees with a good track record of compliance and a low-risk level for potential hazards. Those entities can perform inspection checks by themselves while the regulator maintains complete visibility over the inspection procedures and controls their standard. The results are optimised costs, better resource scheduling and agility.


Resource optimization and business scheduling software

CASE STUDY: How a regulatory agency cut costs with resource scheduling software?
          • reducing the scheduling time with up to 75%
          • increasing efficiency of operations with 40%
          • fully eliminating errors in the resource allocation process.
Download the case study.

 


Canalix helps regulators adopt remote inspection and self-inspection programs. Self-service inspections are usually conducted by the inspectee. Still, the regulator regains complete visibility over the inspection check’s execution, ensuring that the collected inspection data is valid and the compliance standards are not violated. Generally, self-inspections are executed with a pre-determined frequency, calibrated based on predictive and prescriptive analytics used to assess risk, and as part of cost-optimisation and efficiency improvement strategies.

Related: How do self-inspections improve the regulatory environment?


The benefits of self-inspection software

1. Self-service portals help organisations cut costs, and so do self-inspections

Inspectees with a history of maintaining consistent compliance with safety standards are logically the first cases that can transition to a regulatory self-inspection program. These entities are easy to trust, and that’s why regulators can save the costs of sending a ground crew on-site and transform the process into self-service based inspections.

Many Canalix clients who used the inspection management software report that implementing self-inspections helped them free up resources to work on more complex work at higher risk.

2. Self-inspection programs remain active even when operations get disrupted.

In 2022 regulators have to deal with uncertainties more than ever – global pandemics, budget cuts, and resource shortages. Flexibility is the key to resilience. Many regulators are adopting self-inspections as a tool to employ flexibility in their battle with uncertainties. A robust self-inspection program would help regulators reduce dependence on outside parties to conduct inspections.

This type of flexibility will be precious when disruption occurs and when times are back to normal because the self-inspection programs help regulators continually save costs. 

3. Self-inspections boost productivity, improves collaboration and reduce risk

By creating a culture of continuous improvement, self-inspection changes the overall mindset from policing to accountability. Self-service inspections empower inspectees to take control of their processes and maintain effective collaboration with regulators simultaneously. Advanced digital inspection software facilitates cooperation between regulators and inspectees because of the centralised source of data that makes the self-inspection process visible to the regulator. While the inspection teams are saving time from going on-site, they can use that time to regularly review the self-inspection data and analyse reports to make informed decisions to improve efficiency.  


self-inspections


How to implement self-inspection technology for your organisation?

1. Set communication channels

Suppose a regulator implements a self-inspection program for the first time. They need to know who will perform the self-inspection and what should happen if an issue emerges. The self-inspection program is more likely to succeed than fail when the communication is good. 

2. Prioritise real-time data collection through mobile devices.

Accurate self-inspection data quality = improved inspection management. One of the perks of using inspection management software to perform self-inspections is the availability of real-time data. Regulators must prioritise collecting real-time data such as photos and videos during self-inspection with a tablet or mobile phone because this will enable inspectors to verify the accuracy of data and extract more value from it.

4. Establish precise inspection KPIs and track their progress

For inspection team leaders in regulatory agencies is essential to track the KPIs of inspection performance. Those are the metrics that allow managers to track the performance of inspection teams and check whether the pre-defined objectives are met. Inspection KPIs are the indicators that define the success of the self-inspection process. By tracking their values, team leaders can assess whether the self-service inspection program is working well or if something needs to be changed to meet the regulator’s goals in terms of costs and performance. When regulators have constant access to data, they can quickly adapt their self-inspections to become more efficient.

Related: The essential KPIs for inspection management and self-inspections.


Why your organisation needs a digital self-inspection software?

  • Regulators can transform any inspection type into self-inspection and not lose visibility over the process.
  • The inspection software is configurable, which means that workflows can be configured and automated to guarantee the standardisation of self-inspections and, therefore, inspection data will be reliable.
  • Regulators can gain to save operational time and analyse large amounts of data from self-inspections. That way, they can manage future risks before they become critical.
  • With remote inspection software, regulators can adopt a flexible approach in times of disruptions and keep operations intact.
  • It helps regulators solve one of the most reported issues in the inspection management cycle, including communication, collaboration, resource scheduling conflicts, and data-driven decision making instead of subjective assumptions.

Related: How is field-service tech vital for public sector regulators?


Canalix helps regulators improve resource utilisation and optimise inspection performance from a distance. The centralised inspection platform supplies leaders with real-time data that serve as building blocks for better decisions. Inspectees and inspectors are empowered with the tools to turn their relationship into a collaborative partnership. The end goal is consistently to increase productivity and reduce operational costs. Try it now.

In 2022 regulators have to deal with uncertainties more than ever – global pandemics, budget cuts, and resource shortages. Flexibility is the key to overcoming the increasing uncertainties. Many regulators are adopting self-inspections within their inspection programs and policies as a tool to employ flexibility in their battle with uncertainties.

What are regulatory self-inspections?

A regulator usually adopts a self-inspection program for inspectees with a good track record of compliance and a low-risk level for potential hazards. Those entities can perform inspection checks by themselves while the regulator maintains complete visibility over the inspection procedures and controls their standard. The results are optimised costs, better resource scheduling and agility.

How do self-inspection add value?

Canalix helps regulators adopt remote inspection and self-inspection programs. The regulators benefit from self-inspection innovations by saving time in the travelled distance and optimising the costs of inspections. The inspected entities benefit from speedy processing of inspection checks and resolving issues that need fast resolution. But there may be many other reasons that turn regulators’ sight towards remote inspections. Below we’ll list 6 of them.

Why are self-inspections the future?

 

1. Self-inspections help government agencies cut costs

Regulators and other government agencies can significantly reduce operational costs by adopting self-inspections. The adoption of self-inspection solutions by Canalix customers is usually associated with an average of 40% improvements in efficiency connected with reduced manual work, faster resource scheduling, and better resource utilisation that ensures that inspectors are always focused on the work that matter the most.

Related: How government agencies can reduce costs in 2022?


Canalix is an inspection management software that works as a modular platform. It can be adopted in a sequenced way – each module at a different stage, by following the tactical goal to identify the area of operations that can be transformed first to achieve the most significant optimisation result. Then by adopting other modules, the digital transformation can scale and therefore, a further modification of processes be performed. Since the inspection software modules are in the cloud, Canalix provides a service model that enables government agencies to remove inefficient or manual processes and speed up the delivery of inspections.

2. Better allocation of costly resources

Canalix, as a self-inspection platform, gives apprehensive visibility to regulators of the pending inspections with the highest risk. The AI engine automatically calculates the risk score of the low-risk inspections and triggers a self-inspection workflow for them. At the same time, costly resources like inspectors can be allocated to the jobs that matter the most, e.g. with the highest risk score. This inspection management mechanism improves resource allocation and helps high-risk inspectees enhance their compliance and safety standards, and low-risk inspectees receive significant autonomy.

Related: Where do remote inspections and resource optimisation meet?

3. Predictive risk

Regulators can monitor repeat occurrences for the same risks and point our areas to inspectees who need special attention to prevent future hazards. This improves efficiency because regulators don’t have to investigate for problems but know where the risk is by looking at the self-inspection data and pointing it out to the inspectee to mitigate it.

4. Improved inspection data quality = improved inspection management

One of the perks of using inspection management software to perform self-inspections is the availability of real-time data. When inspectors receive their data digitally, the quality of data is better; therefore, monitoring risks and tracking inspection performance enable inspection teams to handle potential threats and improve safety more efficiently.

self inspections

Related: Why real-time data is important for inspection management?

5. Stronger collaboration

Real-time data also empowers regulators and inspectees to collaborate more efficiently during self-inspections. The Canalix clients from the regulatory sector report that self-inspection collaboration via the inspection management platform reduces the time needed to complete actions during inspections. That enables inspection teams to move on to the following tasks in their to-do list faster than before.

6. Self-inspection software implementation is easier than ever

Canalix is a modular inspection platform, so it’s easy to adopt the self-service inspections by integrating it into an existing inspection management system. In contrast, adopting a self-inspection procedure was a challenging and time-consuming initiative just a decade ago. There’s the technology and opportunity to implement self-inspection programs quickly and effectively. 


Case study: Reduce operational costs with inspection scheduling software

Read it to understand:

    • The advantages of modular digital transformation
    • The vital architectural practices and technologies that enable modular transformation
    • How a regulatory agency in the UK is benefitting from a modular approach with Canalix.


How can Canalix help you with self-inspection software implementation?

Canalix puts the power of an advanced AI engine in the hands of regulators who wish to implement our self-inspection module. With this technology, regulators enable their inspectees to mitigate risks before they emerge. Aside from the efficiency benefits, this digitised inspection process grants significant cost-optimisation benefits for the regulators and empowers their inspectees to predict potential problems.

Contact us to learn how our self-inspection platform can be integrated into your inspection management system. 

Read also: How to improve the engagement level of self-inspections?

Digital transformation can hardly bring a quick fix for teams’ productivity and operational costs if an inefficient process is just covered with a layer of technology. Тhe nature of these initiatives is strategic and affects many parts of an organisation – people, systems, processes. Sometimes, to get the desired quick fix, organisations need to update the technology and the process itself. So ultimately, the quick fix turns out to be in not such fast motion. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be successful if approached right.

That is the tactical move one of our clients – a national regulator, learned when they deployed our automated job scheduling solution Jobtimizer. It helped them automate repetitive tasks like job scheduling with RPA technology. The result was that they managed to secure efficiency improvement without replacing entire systems. But at the same time, they laid the ground for further optimisation initiatives. This tactical modular digital transformation approach targeted an area from the operations cycle with a huge impact that would subsequently facilitate further process optimisation. Our practice with regulatory agencies enabled us to make the right suggestion at the right time so our client can start their digital transformation journey from a well-thought starting point. At the same time, we helped them plan the following points from this journey ahead of time.

inspection platform modules

Assessing the existing work model

As a national regulator, our client’s core processes are within the inspection management field. They are performing their services with a network of inspectors with different skillsets, certifications and locations. When inspectors are allocated to various jobs, they have to inspect the job site to determine whether it complies with the public safety standard and assess the risk of future hazards. Depending on the outcome of the check, the inspection site is marked low-risk or high-risk for potential accidents.

The regulator conducts approximately 800 000 inspections each year. Their back-end officers are responsible for the inspection schedules. When the caseload is too big, the regulatory agency employs third-party inspectors (external workforce), which results in higher operational costs. Inspectors are using tablets with inspection checklists for the type of inspection they have an appointment for. When they complete the check, they upload the inspection data to the cloud server and generate an automated outcome report sent to the inspectee.

Optimising the inefficient inspection job scheduling

Even though the inspection process functioned with automated rules that guaranteed the inspection execution according to the regulatory requirements, there were a lot of manual processes involved in it. Our client receives thousands of inspection requests every day, and then an employee manually assigns inspectors to inspection jobs based on their availability. Inspectors often had to travel in and out of the same town within the hours of a single day. That was harmful to their productivity, motivation, and impacted operational costs because of the growing spending on fuel for travelling.


job scheduling software

Our client was aware of the inefficiency of this manual type of job scheduling. They knew that the possible solution was within the field of digital transformation and inspection scheduling. That’s why they decided to transform their processor with a job scheduling software that takes constraints likes availability and location to map more efficient schedules where inspectors take the smarter route. Before taking this step, an inspector had to go to and leave the same town twice for a single day because of inconvenient scheduling; with Jobtimizer, they didn’t have inefficient schedules anymore. This transformation itself removed a significant burden off the inspectors’ shoulders.


The further need for process optimisation

job scheduling tool

Our team regularly reviewed the optimisation data our client shared. They managed to optimise the weak points with job scheduling, but another problem in their inspection process was still brewing. The backlog of inspection cases gradually grew, and they had to hire external inspectors to meet the rising number of inspection requests after the pandemic’s outbreak in 2020. Even with our intelligent job scheduling assistant at hand, our client faced increasing difficulty managing the caseload and its balanced distribution.


Step 2: from job scheduling optimisation to changing the entire inspection model

The growing workload and the limited resource meant that our client had to update their inspection management system, not just the job scheduling part. The road ahead for them was to enable inspectors to focus on high-risk inspections and allow the low-risk inspection requests to be self-served.

Since we already had experience with other regulators that transformed their inspection management system with self-service modules, we knew that the risk-based inspection methodology would work with them too. Our client purchased Canalix to change their inspection management system entirely by adopting a self-service module and remote inspection program for low-risk and middle-risk cases. The advanced AI engine automatically scores the risk and complexity of each inspection request, and the high-risk risk cases are allocated to inspectors for the on-site check. In contrast, the low-risk jobs are redirected for completion via a self-submission portal. Since Jobtimizer as a job scheduling tool is built to work flawlessly with Canalix, our client had an easy time adopting Canalix.

inspection scheduling transformation

Why start with a tactical modular digital transformation and not replace the entire system from the very beginning?

Replacing an entire system requires rethinking technology, replacing systems integrated to other core systems, and holding years of data to be migrated. In other words, it’s a costly and time-consuming endeavour. Automation can deliver efficiency improvements and work with existing components, so it was the smart and right starting point for our client’s digital inspection transformation journey. The case with Jobtimizer as an RPA technology enabled them to automate repetitive operations like job scheduling while meeting pre-set goals, criteria, and priorities.

Do you want to get deeper insights into how Canalix helps regulatory agencies to cut operational costs and improve productivity? Download the free case study now!


Resource optimization and business scheduling software

CASE STUDY: OPTIMISING THE RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN REGULATORY AGENCY
          • reducing the scheduling time with up to 75%
          • increasing efficiency of operations with 40%
          • fully eliminating errors in the resource allocation process.
Download the case study.

 

Remote video inspections are part of the new normal. Regulatory bodies and inspection entities both benefit from this regulatory inspection innovation in reopening the EU economy after the lockdown ends. But is it going to work that way? Not if government agencies ignore the constraints and risks of performing inspections remotely. The key to the success of remote inspection programs is to ensure the process flow has good communication between regulatory bodies and inspection entities.

Benefits from remote and self inspection programs

Technology proved to be a great ally to regulators during the global pandemic. The digital adoption of inspection management solutions helped regulators stay efficient even during the lockdowns. The digitally advanced government agencies achieved this by introducing remote inspections in their regulatory policies and, more specifically – video inspections.

Canalix can apply remote inspection and self-inspection programs to various inspection fields – construction, work safety, social care facilities, food safety, fire prevention, etc. These sectors benefit from this innovation by saving time in the travelled distance and optimising costs of inspections. On the other hand, the inspection entities benefit from speedy processing of inspections and resolving issues that need fast resolution. For instance, food facilities like restaurants benefited from swift reopening after lockdowns ended; construction projects can benefit from more flexibility in the construction schedule; social care institutions managed to comply with the social distance rules easier when inspections were performed remotely, etc. Long story short, it’s a win-win game when we talk about remote video inspections.

How to prepare for implementing remote and self-inspections software?

The rules of standard inspections can be applied to remote inspections or self-inspection plans. It means that inspection scheduling, filling inspection checklists and managing documentation can mirror the regular inspection process. Conducting remote regulatory reviews may sound too liberal for conservative organisations like government agencies. That’s why sticking to the standard inspection model as tightly as possible is recommended for acceptance. But it doesn’t mean that the process doesn’t need its guidelines. A big part of the changes that covid-19 brought are here to stay, and the same is expected for remote inspections and self-inspection plans. That’s why they should not be looked at as something temporary that doesn’t need policies and new rules. Remote and self-inspections policies and rules should be considered as ever-evolving procedures now.

Rules and policies for remote video inspections

1. Basic rules for remote inspections

Regulatory agencies planning to introduce remote video inspections should prepare guidelines to help inspection entities and their staff carry on remote assessments and self-service based inspection checks. The basic rules for remote inspections should highlight the inspection reviews that allow this method. Usually, those are low complexity and low-risk inspections.

2. Inspection scheduling rules

The prioritisation of inspections should be scheduled according to a particular set of rules. Canalix’ inspection platform has a stand-alone inspection scheduling software that serves as a module that can schedule low-risk inspections to self-inspection procedures and fill the calendar of inspectors only with high-risk inspections.

Read also: Make inspections risk-informed with risk-based inspection software

3. Inspection execution tools

Tools like Skype or Facetime can be used as a medium for the remote inspection process. The policy of the remote inspection program can require the process to be always with live video so that the inspector can direct the process. If the inspection does not happen live, the inspector may not be able to take a picture of something or ask some questions. At the same time, self-inspections need stand-alone evidence submission portals. The best way to approach self-inspection procedures is by going with a modular transformation approach. 

How should inspection entities proceed to request a remote inspection?

The easiest and safest way to request a remote inspection is via the self-submission portal. Once the request is submitted, the regulator can decide whether to accept or decline. This process can be automated with rules that will allow remote inspection for cases below a specific complexity score and vice versa. For example, Canalix is an inspection management software with self-submission portals that can automatically allow remote inspection for applicable requests or decline if the request doesn’t qualify for remote processing according to the agency’s guidelines.


Case study: Reduce operational costs with inspection scheduling software

Read it to understand:

    • The advantages of modular digital transformation
    • The vital architectural practices and technologies that enable modular transformation
    • How a regulatory agency in the UK is benefitting from a modular approach with Canalix.


Technology is an excellent ally to governments and citizens in times of crisis. 2020 and 2021 proved that this is a very accurate statement when it concerns the field of regulatory inspection management. But to realise the benefits of technology-enabled remote inspections, government agencies must consider the constraints and risks. With error-free communication, enabled by self-service evidence submission portals and rules-driven automation, regulators and inspection entities can successfully finish inspections. With relevant and comprehensive guidelines, this new inspection process can bring positive change to the regulatory inspection programs of many sectors.

Are you a public sector professional that wants to implement remote inspection procedures in the work of regulatory agencies? Contact us; we can help.

EU countries are re-opening the economy of their communities at different rates for a second time this year. Perhaps it won’t be the last. The COVID-19 rules are changing each one of the public sectors. But one of the most overlooked on is the inspection management area of regulatory agencies.

Keeping communities safe is a top priority for every EU member sate. Safety inspectors are the people who ensure compliance with safety standards. Regulatory bodies are managing the governance on state and local level in order to guarantee the public health. The lower accidence rate in the safety regulated areas usually means that the regulatory bodies are doing their job fine. But when violations of the regulatory rules go undetected with growing rate, it’s a sign for couple of problems – the inspection management mechanism needs to be updated or the inspection capacity of regulatory agencies is over the top.

How digital inspections are facilitating the re-opening?

The answer to these problems usually is solved with reorganization and optimisation of resource utilisation. While in normal times government agencies had roadmaps ahead of time for optimizing their work, COVID-19 now complicates things. For instance, enforcing regulatory compliance via inspections in nursing homes, schools, restaurants, office buildings has become more challenging and at the same time more important. Many entities from these sectors have been closed and in order to re-open will need inspection.

Together with the increased inspection workload, there are new regulations lurking behind the corner (new hygiene standards because of COVID-19, social distance rules, etc.) that are going to complicate things additionally. Regulatory agencies are facing challenges and if they don’t find good ways to address them, the reopening of the economy might be slowed down. This will affect not only the public health, but also the wellbeing of everyone within the community.

Changing the inspection management process is crucial for the relaunch of the economy

inspection tablets canalix

Even though a lot of changes happened in 2020, most of the inspections in the public sector are performed the same way as 20 years ago. It’s enough to deduce that there are problems that need to be solved not just because of covid-19, but because they’ve be overlooked for a very long time. For instance, a lot of processes in the regulatory inspections are still paper-based and require full time working hours in office. On the top of that, administration staff needs to spend extra time on manual processing and clearing of data errors.

Digitalization of inspections

There are countries that transformed their regulatory agencies – the UK, Iceland, Canada, some US states, etc. But other countries are still not there. When we talk about removing paper-based processes and replacing them with digital ones, we don’t talk only about implementing digital inspection checklist instead of a paper one. We talk about taking a data-driven approach in the digital transformation of inspections.

How the data-driven approach transforms regulatory agencies?

The data-driven approach in inspection planning brings previously collected field data to use when setting up the priority of inspections. This enables inspectors to focus on risk and therefore improve the efficiency of inspections. What makes the difference in this approach is that inspectors are able to focus on the areas that are at higher risk and the event of violation in regulations is more likely. The risk-focused inspection method requires from inspectors to have special tools at their hands in order to work efficiently.

The new tools inspectors use for on-site inspections

Performing field inspections the old fashioned way – with many sheets of paper and a lot of manual work – can be optimised. Inspectors can use tablets and digital checklists for data gathering on the field, their inspection scheduling can be automatically updated on their devices in real time with different constraints taken into account. The inspection routes can be optimised so that inspectors can cover more inspection ground and travel less.

The early adopters of inspection management solutions in countries like the UK, Canada, Iceland are known to be benefiting these digital transformation perks. But for them and for the late inspection management software adopters there is a new challenge that came with Covid-19 – the remote inspections.

remote inspections

Remote inspections in the workflow of regulatory bodies

One year ago nobody would have imagined that it is possible to perform remote inspections on nursing homes or schools. But 2020 changed a lot of things, including our perception of what’s normal. The new normal requires new methods of performing inspections. So how do we transform inspections into remotely done work?

First there needs to be done a broad distinction for which inspections can be done remotely and which not. For regulators with paper based process it will be hard to attain visibility on all inspection data. But agencies that have already transformed their inspection process can easily gather and analyze data in order to determine the most prevalent risk factor, complexity score and the impact on community for each inspection entity. With this factors being addressed, regulators can take on the following strategies:

1. Assign self-inspection for low risk inspection sites.

Let’s take for an example a nursing home. In this scenarios the administration of the nursing home will be provided with an access to a self-service portal and inspection checklist that needs to be filled. The staff of the nursing home can perform the inspection on their own while filling the necessary details on the digital checklist and then submit the information for inspector review.

The self-inspection is a simple process that can be easily implemented on an already existing digital infrastructure. Nonetheless, experimenting with self-inspections can be a great first endevour for the late government agencies adopters of digital inspection solutions.

Related: Why Self Service in Inspections is Important?

2. Perform traditional inspections with inspectors on site for complex and high-risk cases

The high complexity requires more attention. Therefore the cases that impose higher risk because of their complexity need special attention from inspectors on site. The inspection planning of such cases can go as usual. But still – a fully digital inspection process can reduce the covid-19 risks and facilitate the compliance with social distance rules because of the paper-free workflow and fully digital document management.

3. Delegate the compliance with new COVID-19 rules to self-inspection

Some government agencies are keeping their approach conservative, even if they use all of the advantages of the digital transformation. Meaning that they stick to the traditional on-site inspections for both – low complexity and high complexity entities. Still, they can optimise their work by delegating the compliance with new COVID-19 rules to a self-inspection process. This is a smart way to remove the additional weight of new regulations off the tasks list of inspectors on site.

Is this the future of inspections?

Data-driven, risk-focused, remote process. These three pillars have already started shaping the modern era of inspection management before COVID-19. The global pandemic only accelerated this transformation. It’s a hard thing to plan and implement, but this is where third party inspection management solutions are making the difference by helping the public sector to embrace this much needed change.

Transforming government agencies and regulatory bodies is not just a matter of fashion anymore. It’s an essential transformaton with key role for the safety of our communities. Inspection organisations need to act now. Contact Canalix if you’re in need of a fast and easy digital transformation plan.