The Austin Company Streamlines Inspections and Saves $250K Annually with Canvas
- Greatly improve job site inspections
- Inspections reduced from 2 hours to 15 minutes
- Improved internal communications and processes
- $90,000 saved annually in productivity
- 800% increase in inspection efficiency
- Project Safety Audit-Graded
- Storm Water Construction Site Inspection Report
- QA/QC 034410 Per Cast Concrete
The Austin Company, is a US-based international firm, offering architectural, engineering, design-build and construction management services. The company has a rich history with more than 135 years of experience serving clients in diverse industries.
One of their core values is a constant focus on safety and quality, ensuring a safe work environment for employees, clients, and partners. For every site or building inspection, the company has a rigorous process for quality and safety reports.
However, paper-based reports were causing delays and issues for the company and its inspection process. Since job site inspections were filled out manually, it could take hours or days for reports to return from the field to the office.
In addition, it required extra hours of data entry to put the final inspection information into their system. The Austin Company realized that paper was inefficient for its inspection program, and it was costing them precious time and money. They needed a better way to capture more information while improving productivity and efficiency.
In February 2013, The Austin Company addressed this business challenge by turning to Canvas, the global leader in mobile apps for businesses. Thousands of organizations leverage Canvas’s cloud-based, “Software-as-a-Service” mobile app platform to replace cumbersome paper forms with highly-customizable mobile business apps for process improvement, enhanced site safety and overall data collection efficiencies.
Businesses can search from over 21,000+ ready-made forms and app templates in the Canvas Application store that can be customized to an individual business user's needs. In addition, Canvas offers a do-it-yourself app builder that enables non-technical users to build apps in minutes. Safety managers, building inspectors and all types of workers can benefit from eliminating paper workflows and streamlining processes.
The Austin Company worked with Canvas to develop health and safety and quality apps to be used in the field for any on-site inspection project. About 40 safetly and building inspectors are using Canvas currently to improve job site inspections. They have seen real and measurable results and improvements to their inspection processes.
Faster Information Collection
Inspections that once took 2 hours now take only 15 minutes. They found time savings with the powerful feature set Canvas provides. Ways they save time include:
- Automatically populate forms with job site information such as name, location and address, instead of filling this information out manually.
- Fill out information that applies to specific job sites, without having to worry if they’re skipping fields they may or may not need.
- Choose which section of a job-site is being inspected and directly navigate to that section within the inspection form. Use automated color coding to quickly determine if a section of a form needs to be started, is in progress, or has been completed.
According to Charlie Engel, their director of QA/QC and Safety, this represents significant cost-savings and process improvements. For each inspection, Austin is saving money in both personnel time as well as the cost of paper, copier maintenance and supplies, and postage required for reports that were previously mailed out. The company is on pace to realize about significant time savings in its first year of working with Canvas.
Real-Time Access to Data
Previously, collecting inspection information required a multi-step process. Inspectors would fill out the information by hand at the various sites. Forms would return to the office hours or days after the on-site inspection occurred. Finally, an employee would have to manually enter this information into the database. Only then could management access this important safety information.
With Canvas, all of these forms are now submitted immediately to the cloud. There, site managers can access inspection reports with a quick search. Canvas removes the need for any additional data entry or filing. Site managers can also do a mass export of forms when working on a report. With either an Excel or CSV file, these formats allow for easy integration into other back-end database systems.
Improved User Experience
Switching to Canvas has created an easier experience for The Austin Company’s inspectors. Instead of lugging around a clipboard and paper, employees carry smartphones that fit neatly in the palm of your hand.
Also, with conditional branching, inspectors can only fill out the sections they need to on their inspections. This helps them fill out inspections more quickly and not be frustrated by filling out the wrong section!
Instead of a lengthy description on the site, inspectors can now use one click to capture images of the site they’re inspecting. Not only do they expand the data Austin Company has, it helps make the inspectors jobs faster and easier.
Flexibility to Meet Evolving Business Needs
As a cloud-based, mobile platform combined with an easy-to-use mobile app builder, Canvas provides The Austin Company the flexibility to add new features and functionality to any of their mobile apps. As needs evolve and change, Canvas makes editing apps a frictionless process.
For instance, as safety regulations change, The Austin Company can easily update their safety inspections to match new rules. What once may have taken hours or days to update, print and send out to various sites now happens in minutes.
With over 40 users and growing, The Austin Company has saved paper, time and money that has more than paid off its investment in mobile apps. Canvas has given The Austin Company an easy-to-use mobile experience that allows the company to focus on quality projects for all their customers.
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