If done without proper tools, field inspection can take way more time. The process is both time-consuming and challenging to manage in the long run. Mobile field inspection software can help you increase the overall productivity, whether on the field or back in the office.
In this article, we will explain what mobile field inspections are, the types of some field inspections, the challenges that could be faced using them, and solutions for resolving them.
What is mobile field inspection?
The term “field inspection” = refers to the work performed on your customer’s site where your products are installed or it can be used in-house (for example: inventory checking).
Mobile field inspection is having a check of the field work through a mobile app. You don’t have to do much here, just download a suitable app for your company’s needs. Moreover, if you want something customized, you can also try that.
Mobile field inspections are becoming a new trend because of many reasons. One of it is how they have created the room for centralized information and simplify data collection.
Also, if you want to go back and check the latest information from the field inspection, there is no need to visit the field or rummage through countless papers, as you will have all the information readily available online.
A field inspector travels to locations where one documents the current conditions and takes notes. The notes are usually directly filled in a mobile app using a questionnaire that is tailored to the specific job or task assigned.
Based on the results from a field inspection, it is possible to create a report and evaluate the next steps that should be done immediately and prepare also for future tasks. The job and the tasks of a field inspector largely differs according to the field they are working in.
Where is it used?
Field inspection can be employed in any industry having employees functioning in the field, outside the office. Industries like healthcare, utilities, property maintenance, construction, and telecom have been using field inspection services for a long time. Below are some practical applications of field inspection management across different industries.
There are various sectors where field inspection management is used in manufacturing, including automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics, industrial products, consumer products, etc. Equipment having a warranty is usually serviced or repaired by technicians under preventive or predictive maintenance.
Knowing about a field’s assets and inventory is critical for service technicians in the transportation industry. Some of the areas included are: bay schedules, driver logs, fuel management, spare parts, and other essential data to inspect road and air traffic issues.
Energy and utilities
Energy and utility are another application of field inspection management. To ensure deadlines are met, technicians must consider geospatial information from remote assets.
Fuel or gasses
A standardized and streamlined approach to field inspection management can reduce a company’s costs in the fuel or gas industry. Strong focus in such industries relies on safety, reliability, compliance, and performance. For example, field inspectors can check the level of used fuels and therefore better anticipate an upcoming order of new fuel tanks.
In the healthcare industry, field inspection management certifies that the medical devices are in working condition. Besides managing the equipment, healthcare professionals are dispatched for in-home services and can log in important data about their patients and medication that should be administered or ordered.
Companies dealing in the utility industry have to deliver continuous services. They get the most out of field inspection services by dispatching engineers and inspectors to manage equipment in the field. Further, field inspection management can also aid in managing employees and complying with the codes.
The construction industry involves several employees and equipment. Using field inspection management, workers can get data about the field in real-time. Further, the management solution also helps to decide where the data needs to be utilized.
Field inspection management helps to dispatch workers in the telecommunication industry to gather necessary information about the field. They also look for the problems customers are addressing and solutions to resolve them.
Maintaining a property may involve several tasks carried out by various experts. Field inspection management facilitates the scheduling and tracking of the progress of multiple work orders. Additionally, the paperwork with field inspection management is centralized on a single platform, making them accessible on any cloud.
Example: Types of field inspections in real estate
To better understand what types of inspections might field inspectors conduct, it is best to illustrate it on a specific field. For example, a field inspector working in real estate and property management can do these types of field inspections:
Loan Inspection: It involves assessing a property’s condition beforehand a bank approves a mortgage for it.
Drive-by Inspections: This is simply just checking out the occupancy and external damage at the property.
Walk-through Interior Inspections: Documentation and inspection of the bank owned properties.
Delinquent Mortgage: Checks whether the mortgage is paid or unpaid.
Rental Property Inspections: looking out for illegal activities, or pets at a pre-occupied rental property.
Foreclosure Inspections: Examine the house’s condition and whether any items have been left behind following a foreclosure.
Verification Of Improvements: Determine if homeowners are eligible for loan modifications for improvements such as roof repair or structural repair.
Moving Inspections: Document the condition of rental properties before or after residents move in or out.
The biggest challenge in field inspection is definitely the problem of necessary paperwork and therefore also harder management. From analyzing a lot of industrial data and research to frameworks, some of the most common challenges faced in field inspection are:
Making unique maintenance and support system
Customers’ expectations of the field inspection providers have increased in the past few years. Therefore, inspection providers are not relying on that traditional buy-and-sell business model. Instead, they are working to develop a better customer-supplier relationship.
The best thing here is that customers can access product-attached services like support and maintenance deals at a minimum cost. Manufacturers must transition from “free to charge” services and open doors for the revenue needed to support new and effective business models.
Using the Internet of Things to improve customer processes
The Internet of Things (IOT) plays a vital role in digital transformation. Moreover, it also improves customer outcomes and initiates new opportunities. Unfortunately, many companies and organizations do not know how to utilize IoT. Thus, their customer processing is slow and way too time-consuming.
Optimizing service delivery
A field inspection organization’s first priority is to minimize service delivery costs. The wise decision is to streamline field operations and work more intelligently with your existing resources. This will result in higher customer satisfaction, retention, and profits.
Practical strategies to optimize service delivery can range from reducing on-site labor and minimizing spare parts and logistics costs to leveraging the right people for the job. Field inspection management works towards delivery optimization in a simplified manner.
Field inspectors can face many challenges like looking for skilled technicians and lacking the technology to manage assets. Here are some other challenges that you can encounter in field inspection management:
Miscommunication of data about tasks and inability to make up for return trips.
Scheduling conflicts such as the inability to align tasks within the given deadline.
Shrinkage of the talent pool.
Inability to integrate data on time and end up missing deadlines.
Mobile inspection software
Digital tools have been found very helpful in overcoming the challenges faced in field inspection management. This eventually helps field inspectors and managers to have a better outlook on the jobs, orders received and dispatching schedule.
Good field inspection management software can aid in automating tasks to reduce the workload and ensure on-time delivery. It can also deal with collecting the payment, having a customer service history, and tracking tasks that need maintenance.
Field inspection is required because it helps to simplify tasks, and hence there is no need to visit the field to gather data. Using mobile inspection software can benefit you in the following ways.
Goodbye to paperwork
With field inspection software, you can bid farewell to paper rolls and checklists by having a single integrated platform for all the information about your field. It will simplify the management process and save you a lot of money.
Effective team management
Nothing will go the right way if you are not on good terms with your team. Field inspection services can implement a better communication bridge between employees, field inspectors, and engineers. The key is to use strategies understood by every individual in the company. A
Error free results
Mobile field inspection services readily eliminate errors in analyzing and concluding data. Manual inspection can often deliver inaccurate results. However, with field inspection software, your data is in safe hands and the data collection has a high level of accuracy.
Predictive on field maintenance
Many companies have found predictive maintenance effective in prolonging equipment’s lifespan in the field. Predictive maintenance is a significant trend in field inspection services and refers to when the repairs are scheduled.
For arranging predictive maintenance, field inspectors can integrate their field services management with IoT. This helps them monitor the installed equipment’s health and formulate measures to prevent damage.
Moreover, IoT has a great potential for managing field services and providing data for the staff back at the office. Furthermore, IoT can formulate benchmarks for comparing equipment’s current performance to how it initially worked.
Using this information, field inspectors can speculate on the condition of the equipment in the field and arrange maintenance or repair.
Field inspection management software automates tasks, so you have fewer things to take care of. This automation can include scheduling, dispatching, preparing contracts, the functionality of the equipment, warranty, and agreement management.
How does a successful field inspection operation look like?
Because of the changing business dynamics, field management might not seem as easy as it used to. The competition among businesses and organizations is getting tough as customers’ expectations are getting higher.
What an ideal field inspection service operation looks like might vary across different industries and businesses. For the stance, one field inspection component might be necessary for some teams. Still, it would have much less significance for others.
In general, field inspection services must be swift to let your customers know what they can expect in the future. Here are some other points you can identify a successful field inspection operation:
Papers and checklists are already in the past because field inspection management is simplified using digital gadgets. One important thing is to check whether the managing tools employed are compatible with the mobile devices your employees own in the field or not.
Choose a field inspection management solution that can be smoothly integrated into your organization’s different systems. There is no point in using field inspection services if you cannot integrate them with your existing working system.
Back then, managers would have to wait for the field inspectors to return to the office with essential data. Field inspection management maintains data in real-time for the managers and staff back in the office without waiting for the field engineers to return from the field.
A good field inspection service must have the option to customize questionnaires and checklists according to your company’s needs. It will further improve customer experience and increase your company’s productivity.
Portability is the most important thing to look out for in a field inspection service solution. Make sure the solution you are implementing is available and accessible to all the employees across varying platforms, as discussed above.
How to improve field inspection operations?
Below are some best practices to follow for improving field inspection operations.
Make response time your priority.
Collect and analyze data wisely and make sure to put it into good use in the future.
Promote communication and team management on the field and at the office.
Ensure the office team is aware of what is happening in the field.
Optimize routing and delivery times.
Always schedule preventive maintenance at hand.
Mobile or field inspection services can provide you the right tools to manage field operations efficiently. It can ease your task by offering a single solution with a broad range of features.
Moreover, a great field inspection management software will not only reduce your workload but will also increase productivity and improve communication all in one integrated platform.
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