Choosing the Best Mobile Inspection App
If you’re in search of the best mobile app for building and facility inspections, you’re probably already convinced of the advantages of digital records over paper. Even if your people—or third-party inspectors—already use a digital system, lugging laptops around a job site can be a hassle. The obvious solution: inspection software that can run as an app on mobile devices. But then what?
If your organization’s portfolio encompasses five million square feet or more, finding the right mobile inspection app for your purposes will hinge upon having the right Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) in place. A modern IWMS transforms your portfolio management from a series of increasingly untenable, never-quite-current spreadsheet roll-ups into a single real-time view of all the people, places, and things that need management and inspection. It also means your mobile inspection app won’t be a standalone repository of static checklists. Instead, inspectors can draw on facility and asset maintenance and service histories and will have baselines on similar equipment in the portfolio to determine when an asset isn’t performing up to snuff.
Choosing the Best Mobile Inspection App: What To Look For
First and foremost, your mobile inspection app should be designed to work with and complement the powerful abilities of your IWMS. Giving inspectors access to the complete set of data and analytics provided by your IWMS while they’re in the field is a tremendous advantage. In addition to that, consider the following selection criteria when choosing the best mobile inspection app to suit your organization’s needs:
In-App Inspection and Auditing
Your mobile inspection app should provide you with comprehensive data on all the equipment and categories that need assessment. This is where access to your full CRE portfolio via your IWMS comes in very handy: The app connects with a database that already includes an inventory of every facility and asset needing attention. Look for an app that updates in real-time, too, since you’ll want inspectors to have the most current data and records for every point of scrutiny—and for their findings to be instantly available to colleagues who need that information as well.
Adapts To Your Workflow and Management Needs
The last thing you need is to build every inspection procedure from scratch. The best mobile inspection apps adapt to your workflow, not the other way around. Look for apps that can cover every asset in a facility. If a piece of safety equipment needs to be examined on a regular schedule, your inspection app should be able to provide you with that information in a timely manner. You’ll also want to ensure you’ll be able to use the app to assign all the correct people to the task, since some inspections and approvals require official sign-offs for compliance. As well as being convenient, your inspection app should work with you to help keep your people safe and your facilities fully operational and in compliance with all pertinent regulations.
Mobile inspectors should have access to metrics that help them—and you—make the right repair-versus-replace decisions based on their findings. From within the app, you should have access to maintenance histories and information on property maintenance budgets and overall building value.
Supports Third-Party Inspections
Many industries require third-party inspections to verify regulatory compliance. Your app should be able to permit you to grant outside parties access to your system to enable them to upload their results immediately into your data pool. Not only does this save you time otherwise spent manually entering their findings post-inspection, it also reduces the possibility of introduced errors.
If third parties regularly conduct facility condition assessments (FCA) on buildings and equipment in your portfolio, your inspection app should give them all the information they need at their ready disposal, such as relevant asset categories, an asset condition scale and precise asset location, so they won’t be forced to squander valuable time hunting around the job site. Inspectors will welcome this increased efficiency—and if your organization is paying for their time, you’ll welcome it as well.
Field-Tested, Continuously Updated and Fully Supported
This is where your due diligence will pay off. When choosing the best mobile inspection app, consider how long the app has been on the market, how often it gets updated and what level of support is provided by the developer. Your organization and its needs are continuously changing; you want an app with the capacity to change and grow right along with you.
Look for additional details in a mobile IWMS app that will increase functionality and make the day-to-day duties of your workers easier. These details could include:
- Voice-to-text functionality to allow inspectors to take hands-free notes.
- Ability to work offline in areas where cell phone coverage is spotty or nonexistent and automatically sync back up when coverage returns.
- Barcode scanners to give you immediate access to equipment history and manuals.
- Integration with your mobile device’s camera to allow you to visually document facility or equipment conditions and completed work.
- Integration with Google Maps.
The more reliable and useful features your inspection app contains, the more likely your workers and third-party inspectors are to glean full usage from it.
eCIFM’s On-The-Go Mobile Apps Paired with the Power of IBM TRIRIGA
If your organization uses the powerful IBM TRIRIGA® IWMS to manage its real estate, facilities and maintenance, consider eCIFM’s On-The-Go mobile apps, designed to bring the full functionality of TRIRIGA into the field. eCIFM’s Inspections On-The-Go app is designed expressly to make building, equipment and safety inspections more thorough and efficient by giving inspectors onsite access to a comprehensive set of data and allowing them to document their findings in the moment.
eCIFM, an IBM premier business partner and certified value-added TRIRIGA reseller, developed its first mobile app for the TRIRIGA in 2005 based on user feedback and requests. Our full suite of mobile apps is fully tested and constantly updated, so you know they’ll work they way they’re supposed to work whenever your people need them. We offer full onsite and remote support and training on TRIRIGA and on all our products and industry-specific solutions. If your organization is in need of building and facility management solutions designed to help you make the most of your real estate portfolio, contact us today.