During the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies have turned to mobile apps as a way to complete audits and inspections without a site visit. However, the use of mobile inspection apps has been on the rise for a while. Here are 5 reasons why mobile apps are the future of audits and inspections:
Audits & inspections can be completed remotely
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, companies were looking for ways to reduce travel costs and overhead. Mobile auditing apps enable teams to complete inspections without traveling or going on-site. That eliminates the need to pay for airline tickets, rental cars, hotels and food stipends — not to mention the time savings you’ll realize.
With the impact of a global pandemic, the ability to complete audits and inspections remotely is even more important. Many people are working from home or not allowed to travel, and visitors can’t come on site. Instead, apps allow an employee at the inspection site to capture data — including photos, audio, and video — during a walkthrough using a mobile phone or tablet. Then the information can be uploaded to a centralized system and analyzed remotely.
The way people work is changing
Mobile technology has profoundly changed our professional lives. Today, employees use their cell phones to make work-related calls, check email, conduct video meetings, and submit timesheets — to name a few. Statistics show that 91% of corporate employees are using at least one mobile app for work, and 70% of employees keep their phones “within eye contact” at work.
With more employees working from home or in non-traditional arrangements, mobile work has become a natural extension of traditional offices. It makes sense, then, that mobile audit and inspection apps have grown in popularity in recent years.
Apps are more efficient than pencil and paper
When it comes to productivity, mobile apps have a huge advantage over pencil and paper. Instead of having to write down information and transfer it to the computer, data can be captured on a mobile phone or tablet and synced directly to a centralized system. This eliminates the need for time-consuming manual data entry and reduces the potential for errors.
Nearly every industry has realized this already and started leveraging digital tools. Doctors and nurses are using electronic medical records instead of paper charts. Aircraft mechanics have replaced clipboards with apps to document maintenance activities. Similarly, we can expect to see more organizations using mobile apps to complete assessments like safety inspections, environmental compliance audits, and quality checks.
Mobile audits & inspections are more flexible
Another downside of paper-based systems: once inspection forms are printed, they can’t easily be changed. Mobile apps offer a level of flexibility that’s simply not possible with pencil and paper. Unlike static forms, digital assessment tools can easily be adapted to different situations. For example, you can drag-and-drop questions from a central library to build any type of audit or inspection. Or, you can define logic to skip questions, trigger findings, and drive corrective actions.
Apps deliver meaningful business intelligence
Audits and inspections are an important tool for organizations to reduce risk and meet their compliance obligations. But with paper forms, there’s no easy way to make sense of the data. People waste time compiling information into reports instead of being able to act on the information in them.
With mobile apps, those issues are a thing of the past. Results from audits and inspections can be tracked centrally and analyzed centrally. Dashboard visualizations illuminate trends and patterns in the data. Instead of being just another box to check, audits and inspections provide powerful insights that make your organization safer and more compliant.
The use of mobile apps for audits and inspections has already caught on in many industries, including oil and gas, utilities, and manufacturing. As these apps become even more widespread and affordable, more companies will realize their potential to reduce administrative and travel costs, improve efficiency, and deliver business insights.