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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. Sometimes, to get the desired quick fix, organisations need to update not only the technology but also the process itself. That is the lesson one of our clients – a national regulator in the UK, learned when they deployed our automated job scheduling solution Jobtimizer without updating the essential work processes first.

This situation left our client with unrealised potential for resource optimisation. What makes their story worth telling is that they worked closely with our software development team to identify the processes that needed updating. Our practice with regulatory agencies enabled us to make the right suggestion at the right time. Long story short, our client unleashed the potential of the workforce and the whole inspection management process was transformed into a more efficient version of itself.

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.

Jobtimizer - Your AI-Enhanced Resource Scheduler


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

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.

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.

When we speak of ROI (return-of-investment) in digital transformation of inspection process, the KPIs  are mainly in terms of efficiency and improved connectivity in inspection teams. That’s so because a digital inspection platform can automate many manual inspection tasks and regulators can benefit from improving their operational efficiency and their safety compliance standards. 

Even though many of the customers of our digital inspection platform Canalix start using it driven by the urge to switch to a paperless inspection management system, they end up with more benefits than simply removing paper. As a result they report improvement of more performance indicators than initially expected:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Inspection tracking and performance overview by location and inspector as a tool to apply targeted improvement of safety standards
  • Reduced travel time between inspection jobs
  • Saving time and money on inspection jobs.

But some agencies achieve a larger ROI than others. So let’s get to the obvious question.

How can regulators achieve a larger ROI from using a digital inspection platform?

Canalix is an inspection platform and as such, we ran a customer survey with our customers on the effects they observed since they transformed their inspection services with us. The most popular insights from our customer survey indicate: inspection scheduling is done faster than before with up to 75% improvements, efficiency is improved by up to 40% and inspection allocation errors are entirely removed due to the AI-enhanced inspection allocation software.

 


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.

How digital inspection platforms are transforming regulatory inspection? 

These inspection optimisation highlights are important for every regulatory agency with inspection driven processes. But what exactly stands behind them? Our customer survey indicates that the use of a cloud-based document management system, digital inspection checklists, uploading photos directly into inspection reports eases communication within inspection teams. The data that Canalix compiles for team leaders, allows them see the big picture view with an easy-to-use interface. This on the other hand gives them the power to make informed decisions on time and predict potential problems that may require more regulatory attention in the future. The ultimate goal: improving the safety standards of the agency and target the time of inspectors to the tasks that matter the most.

These findings from our customer surveys are highlighting the large ROI result examples that digital inspection platforms bring to regulatory inspections.

Why some regulators are struggling with achieving large ROI results in terms of inspection optimisation?

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates

Some customers are digitising their inspection case management with the sole purpose of ditching the paper and be in line with the modern age. But having a digitised inspection case management system is like a stepping stone towards more changes in the inspection process.

For example: the digitised case management data can be seeded into an AI engine and be automatically scored by complexity and risk level. This automated processing enables regulators to allocate their inspector’s time on the cases that matter the most. Depending on the inspection procedures within the regulator,  low complexity cases may be automatically assigned to self-inspection procedures or just get a low priority tag.

Related: Where do remote inspections and inspection allocation optimisation meet?

This example is just an illustration to the axiom that a small step in digitising inspections has the potential to evolve into innovative inspection allocation practice that turns the whole process into more optimal version of itself. This is just an example of why some customers are achieving larger ROIs than others. The adoption of a digital inspection platform should be thought of as an opportunity to reimagine the existing processes, not only as a tool to remove the paper or to digitise checklists.

If we come back to Bill Gates’s words that we quoted above, we’ll conclude that the more we rethink and reimagine the existing inspection processes through the prism of  inspection platform, the larger will be the impact of the transformation. So if we have to define one major difference between the customers with large ROI outcomes and customers with small ROI outcomes, it would be the lack of vision for the latter. Defining a clear digital transformation vision requires time and energy. That’s why Canalix as an inspection management platform always consults future customers about the vision for their future. Do you want to join our list of customers with large ROI results from the use of inspection software? Contact us for a free demo here.

The global pandemic brought a new normal and slowly started pushing regulators and their inspection services to a new digital reality. The long term effects of this crisis change are yet to be defined, but it made one thing sure – technology is the future of regulatory inspection services.

The pandemic boosted the digital changes in the public sector, but it also revealed that these changes started way before the pandemic swamped the world. So that makes two things that public sector IT leaders must acknowledge:

  • that the debate whether regulators need digital transformation is over;
  • public sector institutions must work together to accelerate and optimise the use of technology to bring public services closer to the public.

To optimise the use of technology, regulators must not only merge technology with inspection services but also ensure that it’s done in a manner that will make them resilient in times of changes and challenges. 

Based on the changes that were brought by the ongoing global pandemic, it’s evident that technology transformed many public services. The regulators had to transform their inspection models so that they can deal with the growing backlog of inspection requests in terms of limited capabilities to perform inspections due to social distance requirements, etc. 

How Canalix transforms the world of regulatory inspections?

The digital transformation conversation before the pandemic

For the public sector regulators, the conversation about digital transformation was on a relatively early stage before the pandemic. But the crisis changed that and now everything happens faster than before. Regulators had to change their pace and start transforming overnight. The fast change directed their focus to the use of cloud-based saas inspection software – a convenient type of solution for the urgent necessity of the new reality.

Those who successfully transformed their regulatory inspection services before the pandemic, moved their operation workloads in the cloud and scaled their inspection models for the digital world with workflows for remote inspections or self-submission portals for self-inspections. Since many regulators saw growth of inspection requests during lockdowns and after lockdowns, these kind of changes enabled them to continue their oversight function effectively.  They were able to score the complexity of each inspection request and assign self-inspections to low complexity requests and on-site visits by an inspector on high complexity cases. In other words they had the tool to react to the crisis and respond with adapted inspection service model.

Whether regulators were ready or not for this kind of change, it happened and it is here to stay. So what’s going to happen in the next couple of months in terms of digital transformation in regulatory agencies? The answer is digital optimisation. 

The digital optimisation conversation after the pandemic

Saying that the conversation about whether regulators need digital transformation or not is over doesn’t mean that the regulators achieved digital maturity and mastered the power of digitalisation to perfection. It means that it’s not a question anymore, it’s an integral part of regulatory inspections. In other words, digitalisation and inspection services are going to be intertwined from now on and regulators need to find the way to optimisation in technology usage and deployment.

The pandemic as a stress test for the digital adoption go inspection software

Even though billions were spent on digital transformation in the public sector before the pandemic, most of the initiatives in the regulatory sector were in constant progress aiming to change the data infrastructure, moving operations to the cloud and leveraging on AI for different use cases – automatically assessing the complexity and risk level of cases and assigning the most optimal inspection routes. However, the challenges that accompany the transformation of an old legacy system made these initiatives take significantly longer. Therefore the progress often was slow. 

The lack of urgency made institutions reactionary towards changes. Their digital transformation efforts were seen only as a reaction to the changing habits of their customers – the public. The pandemic situation brought urgency into the digital transformation strategy of many institutions including regulatory agencies. The regulators themselves recommended institutions to examine their disaster recovery plans and prioritise coordination with their technology and cloud providers. The pandemic brought regulators not only to the realisation that digital transformation is urgent, but it also provided a path from transformation to optimisation and digital acceleration of regulatory inspections.

Lessons for the inspection services after the big pandemic stress test

The pandemic has shown that regulators can grow their efficiency in the reality of the new normal. So what are the key considerations for IT leaders and CIOS from regulatory agencies? For regulators technology optimisation is linked to the efficiency of their oversight function. The way to acceleration and optimisation for them goes through inspection data analytics tools, AI systems and resource management tools that enable them to scale and continue to provide their critical oversight functions. The harmony between technology and inspection services is yet to be found, but the acceleration for that to happen is turned on. Canalix is an inspection software platform that is built to address the urgency of the new post-pandemic reality and the challenges it created for regulators. Contact us to help you with your digital acceleration strategy now.

The smart use of resources is a crucial part of effective regulatory inspection management. If human resources such as inspectors are scarce, and the number of inspection requests progressively grows, the regulatory function of any agency would suffer.

How do we solve the human resource scarcity in regulatory inspections?

The most obvious answer would be to raise the number of available resources. However, that would also cost more. The use of public expenses requires regulators to spend them wisely. The efforts to improve efficiency should be directed not at acquiring new resources but rather on managing existing resources more optimally. In inspections, it requires good inspection planning and scheduling, because mismanagement of resources can easily lead to waste and less efficiency. 

Related: Resource optimisation and regulators – the good practices from the private sector

Good news for regulators looking forward to resource optimisation

Regulators that want to optimise their resource management can choose among different resource optimisation software tools. The variety of solutions may be overwhelming, so the process of research is a bit of a challenge. If you type “What’s the ideal resource management tool for regulatory inspections” on google, you’ll hardly find a good answer. 

Related: Implementing resource scheduling software in the inspection workflow

Let’s try to answer these questions ourselves in this improvised guide. What can we consider as a good option for resource optimisation software? Which are the resource management features that an inspection planning software should offer? But before starting with these questions, let’s start with the WHY.

Why do regulators need resource management tools?

With resource management software regulators can reach a higher level of efficiency by utilising the existing resources better. A good resource management tool enables team leaders in regulatory agencies to keep track of who’s doing what and therefore make better decisions about resource allocation.

A resource management software like Canalix’s Jobtimizer is helping regulators to schedule and assign inspections to available resources – inspectors. As part of the platform CANALIX, Jotbtimizer can take resource scheduling to the next level by using an automated inspection risk scoring system and assign high-risk cases with priority over low-risk cases. This helps in deploying the workforce at the right time to the right place – whether it will be an on-site inspection, virtual remote inspection or self-inspection.

Related: The intersection point between remote inspections and resource allocation optimisation.

The use of an inspection management platform that combines resource scheduling, case management, project management, etc. is important for regulators because using a separate tool for each of these objectives is too time-consuming and can harm the productivity of inspection teams.

So in a nutshell, regulators need resource management tools to ensure optimal resource utilisation, transparency, control and foreseeing problems.

How to identify a regulator-friendly resource management software?

To begin with, resource scheduling is not just assignment operations. It’s more than that. How can you identify a resource optimisation solution that works well for the regulatory inspection objectives? Here’s a checklist with the most important resource scheduling features:

  • Full visibility on inspections – performance, tracking and analytics. Having full visibility on inspection teams helps leaders to pipeline their pending inspections and help inspectors to complete crucial tasks in time. Also, having good visibility on inspection performance via dashboard helps to reduce errors and always allocate the right resource to the right task.

inspection management analytics software

  • Paperless planning. Managing a physical calendar and filling it with the schedules of inspectors is an unnecessarily complicated task. The digital era changed this for good. But is it enough? No, it isn’t. Resource management tools like Jobtimizer are going the extra mile and transfer all of the scheduling and paper-based operations in the cloud. It means that inspectors always have access and back up to their schedules, and also – they get updates real-time.

inspection case management

  • High configuration – one of the definitions that describe Jobtimizer best is its’ high configuration. What does a high configuration resource management software mean? It means that regulators can speed up their inspection processes by easily integrating the software with other platforms so that efficiency can remain high.

Resource planning on SaaS inspection platform

When speaking of resource management, there are two types of software solutions – SaaS and installed on-premise software. The cloud-based SaaS inspection software can be used on any device, no matter where. While the on-premise installed software has limitations in that regard. 

Related: How resource optimisation improves task management in regulatory inspection

Since regulatory inspections require lots of fieldwork and mobility, SaaS resource management software is the more recommended option. It delivers the required freedom and flexibility to ensure convenience for inspectors and inspection teams.

How to find a resource planning tool? Where do we search? How do we compare prices?

Almost every research starts by typing a question in the google search bar. Many software marketplaces provide brief descriptions of different products. Comparing between features and reviews is easy, but also -trying the free trial / live-demo version is important before jumping to any conclusion based on automated comparison via a marketplace.

Related: Is inspection optimisation a risky digital transformation project?

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter if a regulator performs 5 000 or 50 000 thousands inspection a year. In both cases, resources must be managed intelligently. By following this guide, regulatory agencies can easily find a decent inspection management system for their resource optimisation objectives and deploy it successfully for better inspection management.

If you want Canalix to do the first steps for you, contact us now.

One of the major shifts in inspection management that happened in the past 15 months was the mass adoption of the remote inspections model. The remote inspection management allowed regulators to efficiently comply with travel restrictions and pandemic safety regulations. It also enabled them to apply successful resource allocation optimisation.

What did regulators found in the remote inspection model?

Regulators saw an opportunity to improve the quality of their inspection services and to develop a new customer-friendly way for performing low and medium risk inspection.

Related: Why remote inspections are important for the reopening of the EU economy?

Of course, the pandemic didn’t invent remote inspections. The digital transformation of the inspection management model has been around for some time. So there comes the question: why this revolution happened now? Why not in 2010? The reason for that is mostly psychological – redefining the operational processes is a big step for conservative organisations such as public sector regulators. The pandemic was the trigger that provoked this major shift and made the change necessary.

How remote inspections are boosting resource allocation optimisation?

Adopting a remote inspection model can happen fast. But obtaining value and connecting the new inspection model to optimised resource allocation techniques, requires thought and time. How do we make sure that remote inspections will deliver resource optimisation value?

Set KPIs

When we talk about resource allocation optimisation, we should know what resources we’re aiming to optimise. If we look for an intersection point between remote inspections and resources, then it would be cutting the cost of inspections and improving the quality of completed work.

In that case, public sector regulators will have to set KPIs to measure the success of resource allocation optimisation. The adoption of the remote inspections model is the perfect time for optimisation of that kind. Possible KPIs will include reduced time spent on travel, cutting travel costs, increasing the number of completed inspections, reduced number of pending cases in the backlog, etc.

Help inspectors and case managers embrace the needed change

The adoption of the remote inspections model requires changes from the human resource’s end. Inspectors need to convert their inspection M.O. into a remote version, specific criteria must be set about which inspection case is eligible for remote inspections and which not so that case managers can make sense of this new prioritisation.

Related: Remote video inspections – benefits, constraints and risks

What are the pain points inspectors should focus on while adopting the remote inspection model? For example, an inspector who performs a remote inspection may need to ask the customer on the other end to interact with an object. A pre-defined list with the higher risk areas may serve as a good guide for the remote inspections. The digitalisation of inspections makes it easy for inspectors to prepare a pre-defined risk-oriented scenario for each remote inspection based on the data for the case in question.

Long story short, what inspectors need to focus on when converting to remote inspection is the interaction points. How would each interaction happen? To do that effectively, inspectors must be able to prepare a scenario for each inspection based on the data submitted for it.

resource allocation optimistion and inspection management

Remote inspection workflow + resource allocation optimisation

To illustrate the importance of this point, we will describe a classic workflow that our inspection management system Canalix triggers for remote inspections.

An inspectee calls the regulator’s office to request an inspection. Then a support agent sends him a link to a self-service portal where the inspectee can fill in the required details. There the user can upload pictures, video or other shreds of evidence needed for categorising the priority of the case and its complexity.

Once this information is submitted, a case manager can schedule a remote inspection or make another relevant action – assign an on-site visit due to higher complexity or downscale the case to a self-inspection procedure due to its low risk. Since this whole procedure happens digitally, the regulator is saving hours of work, driving and manual paper processing.

The reopening of the economy after the pandemic covid-19 waves serves as a great example of the efficiency of this inspection management system. However, this example is valid for other disaster scenarios. In such situations, efficiency is vital to response time. That’s why the remote inspection model is here to stay. The question is how long will it take for the rest of the world to adopt it.


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 a case study.


Conclusion

The remote inspection model can go hand-to-hand with resource allocation optimisation. The effective implementation of remote inspections enhances the regulator’s ability to reduce operational costs, improve the response time and deliver efficient inspections even when the inspector can’t do an on-site visit.

The adoption of remote inspections is not a complicated idea. But it has a serious impact on inspectors, case managers and ordinary citizens who need regulatory inspection services. That’s why any change of the inspection model should be put in a framework to drive value – whether it would be in terms of resource optimisation or just productivity boost.

Canalix is an inspection management system that serves as a solid foundation for a remote inspection model. Its low-code and high configuration saas nature allow regulators to adapt to the change of the current times. Learn how your organisation can find the perfect intersection point between remote inspections and resource allocation optimisation now. Contact us here.