Conducting inspections in remote locations can be a challenge, especially facing lack of connection, long geographic distances or adverse weather conditions.
Fortunately, today there are digital tools that make it possible to collect data efficiently, even in adverse working environments.
This means that inspections no longer have to be limited to easily accessible locations, but can be conducted in remote areas without compromising data quality.
Imagine for a moment that your company needs to perform urgent maintenance tasks on critical machinery for the continuity of operations.
To this potential scenario, we can add the difficulty that the equipment is located in remote or difficult to access geographic areas.
Surely, if you work with paper forms, the following problems would arise in this scenario:
- Approving work permits remotely.
- Having real-time reports on maintenance tasks.
- Instant access to critical information for taking necessary actions.
These challenges represent the daily reality for companies performing inspections or maintenance tasks in remote locations, whether for themselves or third parties.
What are the most common challenges of remote inspections?
Remote inspections are a part of routine maintenance processes, differing only in that the technicians involved need to have experience in highly complex activities.
Many installations related to these activities are located in hard-to-reach places, requiring long travel distances on poorly maintained roads, rugged terrains, or unknown surfaces.
Moreover, adverse weather conditions can also be a complex factor, as there is a higher probability of encountering storms, poor visibility, and other phenomena. All of this makes it more difficult for on-site teams to move around.
This can translate into a high likelihood of accidents. For example, inspecting a crane on a North Sea oil platform is riskier than checking the operation of a bank’s data center in the city.
Another characteristic of remote inspections is the lack of infrastructure and basic services. In most cases, there is a shortage of electricity, drinking water, and even suitable shelters for the workers.
This means that, in addition to their work tools, maintenance team members must carry equipment and resources to prevent any accidents that may occur during the inspection.
Furthermore, the company in charge of the inspection may face difficulties associated with a lack of qualified personnel. This can be particularly complex if inspectors need specialized knowledge in specific areas such as biology, fluid mechanics, or geology, for instance.
On the other hand, the lack of effective communication tends to be a significant challenge in all remote inspections. This makes it extremely difficult to convey information and maintain clear and effective communication with other team members or with the operations base.
Similarly, if the Internet connection is limited or unstable, it will restrict the possibility of sending information or receiving help in case of an emergency.
How to overcome the challenges of remote inspections with digital tools?
Traveling to remote geographic areas with only paper forms is no longer a viable or safe option. On the contrary, advanced technological solutions are required to expedite and streamline these tasks, even in remote areas.
In fact, thanks to the use of advanced tools like DataScope solutions, it is now possible to perform remote inspections using mobile forms and collecting data automatically for real-time monitoring.
All this without the need to be permanently online and with the possibility of checking the GPS location of the technical team.
With DataScope, maintenance team members can efficiently and effectively control the execution of various types of field inspections, as well as perform auditing processes or any other reports that involve collecting, categorizing, and analyzing large volumes of data.
How to conduct efficient remote inspections with DataScope?
Thanks DataScope’s features, on-site teams are able to:
- Ensure that inspections are carried out in the correct location by using the GPS tracker.
- Upload images to backup the information reported during the inspection.
- Generate automatic reports with new findings or issues that must be repaired.
- Transform data into valuable information, presenting it in charts and graphs , in order to take more informed decisions.
- Ensure compliance with commitments made to customers, preventing legal complications and enhancing the company’s reputation.
7 Advantages of using DataScope’s mobile app for remote inspections
1. Perform inspections without network connection
Teams conducting field inspections can visit different locations and fill out customized mobile forms using their own mobile devices (phones, laptops or tablets).
If no internet connection is available, the user can still fill out forms, and sync them once the connection is restored.
2. Group customizable forms in one system
The DataScope “Form Builder” allows to create dynamic digital forms with features such as photographs, geolocation, barcodes, QR codes, digital signature, and much more.
3. Report and assign tasks related to inspections results
The “Task Assignment” module enables managers to assign tasks to on-site team members, indicating time and due date of each activity.
Also, managers can monitor the status of each task and send messages via app to the on-site staff.
4. Generate custom and automated reports
Whenever a DataScope form is completed, a downloadable PDF document is automatically generated, containing all collected data and relevant inspection findings.
The PDF editor also allows you to create customized reports to accurately present the results of inspections or audits.
5. Keep clients always informed
Companies providing technical service to clients can activate automatic email notifications. This means that every time a form is completed, clients will immediately receive the PDF report in their email inbox.
6. Monitor inspections at every time
In the “Summary” module, all the inspection results can be directly and clearly displayed.
7. Create automated workflows
The collected data can be securely connected to more than 4,000 apps through Zapier, allowing you to quickly visualize the most relevant information in software such as PowerBI, SQL, among others.