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3 Reasons Every Inspector Should Be Using Mobile Forms

By Keith Bateman on February 17, 2017
Tags: Data Collection, Productivity

mobile devices and the cloud

In today's modern world there is one type of form that is found, in one shape or another, across almost every industry --- the inspection. Whether you find yourself in Construction, Field Service, Oil & Gas, Retail, Health Care, HVAC, or Manufacturing --- an inspection report is an essential part of the daily data collection process in many small to enterprise sized businesses.

In fact, more than 54% of GoCanvas clients use our mobile forms to replace their old or outdated inspection report process! 

In the past when you looked at inspections and how they were conducted, they were all pretty much processed the same way. A piece of paper, many times multiple pieces, was filled out by hand and returned back to the office where it was manually re-entered into an Excel spreadsheet or the company's backend database. The paper inspection report and any other documentation, like photos, were then placed into a large filing cabinet in case they were ever needed in the future.

After you start doing about 100 paper inspections, you can see how much paper is really costing your business.

Between the cost of each paper inspection ($1 per), a filing cabinet ($300), and paying someone 2 hours per day ($10/hr) to re-type all the data into your systems --- things begin to quickly add up. This doesn't even take into account the time-cost of actually filling out the paper inspection, transportation of paper documents, and the cost of dealing with lost/damaged/delayed reports. 

3 Reasons Every Inspector Should Be Using Mobile Forms 

data collection on mobile device

1. Higher Quality Data - The purpose of an inspection is just as it is defined, as a " careful examination or scrutiny" of something. So when it comes to performing an inspection, collecting the right data is critical. Mobile forms like GoCanvas allow you to leverage the power of your mobile phone or tablet. You can take photos, capture GPS coordinates, automate calculations, and even retrieve past inspections right from your device. Having all this functionality built into one platform cuts down on a number of actions that you or your field inspectors have to worry about, and allows you to focus on the critical details that are right in front of you. 

security graphic

2. Secure Data Management - One of the biggest drawbacks to paper inspections, or paper forms in general, is the delay of getting the data from the field back to the office. Many things can happen in the time that a form is filled out and returned. It can be lost, damaged, or even altered in the hours and days it takes to get a paper form returned. With mobile inspection forms from GoCanvas, the data is sent back as soon as the report is completed. If you don't have Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection, the form will be securely stored on the device until the inspector is back in range. When the reports are sent from the mobile device, they are neatly organized within your company's GoCanvas cloud database for review, edit, download, print, or export. This data is available whenever and wherever you need it. The data can even be integrated and shared with programs that you already have in place!

Analytics with Excel and Graphs

3. Real-time Analysis - A huge benefit of mobile inspection forms is that the data can be reviewed in real-time and decisions can start being made proactively instead of reactively. When the inspector has completed filling out the report on his/her device, the data is sent via email as a PDF to the parties that most need to see it. This could be the site supervisor, the client, or both. This PDF report can be customized by you with our PDF Designer tool. In connection with your inspection, the PDF report can even display scores based on how questions were answered. Aside from the PDF report, the raw data can be exported into the GoCanvas Business Insights tool and fed into live dashboards and pivot tables in Excel. This gives your company the ability to have live, visual reporting across all the inspections that are being submitted daily. 


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