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?
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.
- 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.