This is a blog by Mark Ralls President of Essential Safety Resources, and GoCanvas Reselling Partner.
I’ve worked in the safety & health field for the better part of 20 years, inspecting thousands of jobsites and facilities. I, like most people, used a clipboard and notepad. I’d walk around writing down what I found.
When I started in safety, this was the only way to do it. We’d then have to regurgitate all the data into something others could understand and act upon. As you can guess: it was very, very time consuming. I would spend almost twice as much time creating the reports as I did conducting the inspection.
Now, I still conduct inspections frequently, as does my staff. We’ve ditched the clipboard and pens: We all use our smart phones or tablets. Prior to finding GoCanvas, we were already using the electronic devices. Basically, it was an electronic clipboard and pad of paper. This method still required a lot of additional work back at the office, but at least some of the work was cut and paste.
So why did I switch to GoCanvas?
As mentioned above I conduct inspections, taking me anywhere but my office. Before: I would write out all my notes in the field, go back to the office, type out all the notes again, download pictures and try to match each picture to the finding. It was slow, painful, and inefficient.
Now, I use the GoCanvas app. I type out my notes, take the picture in the app, load GPS coordinates and email it to myself. If anyone else needs to see it immediately, I just add them to the distribution list. I do it once, finish it out in the field, and can easily find the submission later.
At the end of the inspection I can email it to anyone I choose. This is great, especially if I have a finding that creates an eminent risk to life or health and needs immediate attention. After the inspection is complete, I can go back to the office to edit/modify/clarify the text, add regulator references or company standards that apply to the finding. Then, I send it out to the people responsible for correcting the issue or for review.
Since it’s done once, my whole staff becomes more productive. With all the details and pictures automatically grouped together in the finding, people can find the location and easily identify what needs to be corrected.
I don’t have to go out to the location again and point to the deficiency. I don’t have to worry about mismatched photos or unreadable text. We save time by preventing these common misunderstandings and mistakes. GoCanvas makes the work go more smoothly. When things can go smoothly, things always go faster.
With GoCanvas API web-services, integrating submissions with my system becomes instantaneous. All the inspections are downloaded to my database for tracking. No additional inputting of inspection data. Just a few clicks and the information is downloaded. I can see what inspections have been conducted, who conducted them, where they were conducted and what the findings were.
GoCanvas makes it easy to track the inspection findings from beginning to end. Plug this information into an executive dashboard and management can see all this too. This easy access increases accountability. Better accountability increases compliance and in turn, a safer work environment.
From my database, I can then create reports for management. It’s easy to track and trend the findings. I can pull out pieces of the inspections to create safety bulletins to share with other sites, clients or departments.
Using mobile apps has saved my organization much time and in turn, saved me a lot of money. It helped my customers as well. I deliver a better product at a better rate. As an efficient and effective organization, my customers tell more people about my work. So my business grows.
Check out the apps Mark uses in his Essential Safety Resources Store