Guest Column | October 24, 2022

How To Choose The Best Field Inspection Software For A Government Agency

By Boris Glushkov, Canalix

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Field service inspections are operations with big impact and specific complexity that, to be optimized, usually require digitalization (at least at organizations where digital maturity is still not reached). Even though those operations are critical, organizations are experiencing difficulties in implementing field inspection programs and building an inspection management system that enables them to be successful. That puts field inspection operators such as governments, regulatory agencies, or third-party agents in the spotlight to discuss cutting inspection costs and optimizing the work.

How Do Field Inspections Look Like Today?

Governments are constantly facing challenges produced by other crises. Modernizing field inspections is one of the approaches government agencies are taking to save time and optimize resource utilization. That usually happens through digitalization and automating repeatable processes that follow workflow templates with pre-defined steps.

The public sector is not the most advanced in terms of digital maturity; therefore, many regulatory agencies still perform field inspections relying on paper and spreadsheets. Not modernizing this work process results in inaccurate field inspection data, disconnected teams, lack of visibility on who's doing what, and lower productivity.

How Does A Government Agency Go Digital With Field Inspections?

The public sector can quickly catch up with digitizing its inspection processes. Today there are specifically designed digital platforms that allow government agencies to manage field inspection programs effectively regardless of their size. These tools use advanced technologies like AI, geospatial analysis, etc., and can be deployed directly across teams and processes and integrated into existing systems.

Such a tool is Canalix - an inspection software that enables regulators that perform field inspections to achieve seamless communication and connect the right information to the right people at the right time. Over this communication base, regulators can build data-driven field inspection programs. Workflow templates can be modified as per the specifics of the inspection process that is at work. Those specifics vary according to the sector, the size of the organizations, and other industry-related factors.

Digitizing field inspections offers many remarkable advantages. Canalix, for example, is used mainly by regulatory agencies. According to their experience with digitizing inspection workflows, three major points should be considered when a government agency evaluates the qualities of an inspection management platform.

  1. Effective inspection platform offers easy-to-use and customizable workflow templates that accurately define the processes. It's deployable on mobile devices in real time and guarantees consistency in the inspection program. The platform also supports issue reporting content through images, videos, and other digital recordings. AI can turn geolocation into a valuable part of the inspection platform by tagging inspection activities and defining their priority, considering the location. Suppose every stakeholder in the field inspection cycle has access to a real-time digital platform with reliable data. In that case, this can eliminate the issues with time, delays, and productivity.
  2. Not just automation, but intelligent automation. For an inspection management system to function efficiently, the digital platform must allow automation to be built directly into the processes and connect field and back office teams in real time. For example, Canalix shares that their platform allows an internal stakeholder to set up a workflow to automatically notify field technicians or inspectors in real time for an emergency or planned check-up. Upon a resolution, a similar notification to the inspection team will be sent for a follow-up check-up so that work can resume. An inspection platform that enables team and workflow automation empowers public sector organizations to create and assign quality field inspection tasks, report issues on time, track their resolutions, and all that with high-level progress visibility. The effectiveness of the inspection platforms also depends on their ability to provide light configuration of automated workflows to get users to start quickly without the constant need for IT help.
  3. Quality data. Going digital with field inspections gives the public sector organization access to quality data and reporting. For example, regulators can address issues previously uncovered because of the poor quality of the field inspection data, the low productivity levels, the inefficient schedules, etc. Quality of data is not solely enough to guarantee success with inspections. The inspection platform must put the right data into the right hands. That's why the evaluation of inspection software must include the property of data delivery and the system's ability to share data across teams, management, field technicians, inspectors, and other systems.

How Does A Government Agency Choose Quality Inspection Software?

Given these three pillars of advantages, how should government agency approach their choice of a digital platform for field inspections? They should set their eye on properties such as:

  • Customizable to operational needs
  • Shareable data
  • Easy Adoption
  • Real-time accessibility
  • Security and privacy
  • Scalability
  • Cloud-based
  • SaaS

Streamlining field inspections this way will help improve the productivity of inspection teams and reduce costly mistakes so that government agencies can stay on schedule and a budget. A digital inspection platform is not just another optimization tool that sits alongside others. It is the means to initiate transformation that will produce a long-term strategy for optimizing the work and reducing the costs of inspections. An end goal that's desired by many public sector organizations when digitizing processes.

About The Author

Boris Glushkov is a digital transformation expert in Canalix - Advanced Inspection Management Platform. His expertise is to help public sector regulators to adopt transformational efficiency improvements. With configurable data, rules-driven casework automation, and AI-optimized task orchestration, Canalix is transforming field inspection in line with best-known practices.