When it comes to business new year’s resolutions, the number one resolution that fire-life safety contractors and in-house facilities departments can make is to switch from paper to digital inspections. There are a whole host of benefits in doing this that positively affect the bottom line, levels of risk, the office staff, and field inspectors. If you’re already using a digital inspection system, bravo. If you’re still using a paper-based inspection system, you’ll do yourself and your company or department a huge favor by switching from paper to digital inspections.
Top 10 Reasons To Switch from Paper to Digital Inspections
Here’s a look at the top 10 reasons to switch from paper to digital inspections.
1-Immediate Inspection Results
When field inspectors are using a paper-based inspection system, the office staff typically doesn’t get the inspection forms until days or weeks after the actual inspection has occurred. On a practical level, field inspectors may come by the office every week or every two weeks to drop off inspection forms. This is particularly problematic when inspectors have found a critical inspection deficiency that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. In contrast, a digital inspection system like BirdDog allows field inspectors to upload their inspection findings in real time so the office staff gets the inspection findings the same day the inspection took place.
- Faster billing of inspection services
- Faster identification & resolution of critical deficiencies
2-Improved Inspection Reports for Customers
Another reality of paper-based inspections is that paper forms can get dirty, crinkled, wet, stained with coffee, and more. If soiled inspection forms will be copied or scanned by office staff, they may be hard to read. If the damaged inspection forms will be scanned and sent to customers, they won’t look professional. In contrast, digital inspection reports both look professional and can be more easily branded with a contractor’s logo and colors.
- More professional-looking inspection reports
3-Double Entry of Data Eliminated
With paper-based systems, office staff members typically have to enter the data digitally for report generation. When inspections are hand-written, they can be difficult for the office staff to decipher. This adds time to the process, and can result in errors that create liability. With digital inspection systems, inspection data is entered by field technicians, and that information is uploaded to the administration portion of the software. In addition, the digital information can easily be parsed into a report and emailed to customers.
- Save office staff time & money by eliminating double data entry, copying, scanning, and mailing inspection reports.
4-Master Inventory List of Devices Per Facility
Paper-based systems typically don’t have a master list of the devices at each facility. With digital inspection systems like BirdDog, field inspectors enter the devices custom to each location once. Once the initial device information is loaded into a digital inspection system, field techs will have master lists of devices to inspect by facility.
- Accurate, thorough master lists of devices by facility
- More detailed, thorough & accurate inspections
5-More Efficient Handling of Inspection Deficiencies
It’s very common that, when a paper-based inspection system is in use, deficiencies found in inspections either fall through the cracks or that there’s a significant delay in resolving deficiencies. With digital inspection systems, deficiencies are clearly identified and prioritized in terms of severity, and resolved faster.
- Faster resolution of deficiencies
- Improved safety
- Reduced risk & liability
- Increased revenue from services business
6-Time Savings for Field Techs
Once data about devices per facility has been entered into BirdDog the first time, then that data is available for field techs to use in subsequent inspections. This saves time for field techs because they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they inspect the same facility. A digital inspection system also eliminates the need for field inspectors to manually deliver their paper inspection forms to the home office. In addition, digital inspection systems allow office staff to build needed inspections, and the field tech simply has to perform the inspection by answering questions.
- Increased efficiency
- Time savings allows field techs to finish more inspections by day, week, etc.
7-Improved Documentation & Liability Protection
Paper based systems provide limited documentation for liability protection. In contrast, digital inspection systems like BirdDog feature a more detailed level of documentation that’s time-stamped. So if there’s an accident or a fire that results in a lawsuit, contractors & building owners have stronger case because the proof of the inspections are time-stamped.
- Improved liability protection
8-NFPA Code Information Easily Available
With paper-based systems, field inspectors mostly focus on data collection at inspection locations and don’t have all the code information at their fingertips. In contrast, digital inspection systems like BirdDog provide NFPA standards & guidelines in the digital inspection forms, along with specific disclaimers that limit liability. BirdDog presents questions for inspectors to ask that includes the code reference. This is particularly helpful for new inspectors just building up their experience. In contrast, standard paper-based inspection forms do not guide inspectors.
- Saves time for field inspectors
- Protects inspectors from liability & risk
9-Inspection Data Archived In The Cloud
Although the specifics vary from state to state, it’s required by law that inspection reports have to be saved for a number of years. With paper-based inspection systems, this means contractors & facilities departments need extra office space to accommodate an extensive array of file cabinets. With digital inspection systems, inspection data & reports are stored in the cloud, take no office space, and are easily accessible.
- Minimizes office space & file cabinet needs
- Inspection data easily accessible (vs. searching file cabinets)
- Increased customer satisfaction by quickly & easily providing inspection report copies for customers who request them
10-Additional Inspection Information Available
With paper-based inspection forms, there’s no easy way to include photos to supplement inspection findings. With digital systems, inspectors can shoot photographs of deficiencies and attach the photo file to the digital inspection.
- Proof of deficiency work that needs to be completed
When owners or managers of fire-life safety contracting companies or in-house facilities department are making strategic decisions for 2020, the decision that will most transform their operations is to make the switch from a paper-based to digital inspection system.
Want a demo of the BirdDog Mobile Inspection System? Contact Asurio for a demo today!