One of the things that historically, inspection solutions haven’t done very well is support feedback loops and communication between the folks doing the inspecting, and the folks that need the feedback on the inspections. If you think about it. It kind of defeats the whole purpose. The reason why you inspect things is so that you can understand the compliance, readiness, etc of the thing being inspected. That is almost always something that benefits from a feedback loop and often a feedback loop that includes multiple parties and enables some type of collaboration.
Unfortunately, the typical case is that inspectors go out, they perform their inspection. Maybe they write something down on a sheet of paper, maybe it’s got some comments on it, whatever. They hand it across to someone responsible for the thing being inspected and that’s that. Their may be a system they enter it into, or someone else that gets a copy, but often their is no builtin way to get feedback or collaborate around issues that are uncovered in the process.
Sure maybe there is a re-inspection process, but in this day and age where technology has the capability to connect us all its often still a heavily manual process. It’s also front and center as one of the key areas we were determined to solve in our own inspections capabilities. It’s also a big reason why ExAM4Inspections is built on top of a customer relationship management platform.
CRM & Inspections
A lot of people kind of shook their head when we chose to re-platform on Salesforce. They asked why we would do that. Not the choice to move to a secure cloud platform. It was the CRM part. I heard a lot of “I don’t know why would you do that?” The reason we did it in part is because it’s about people. I am a huge believer in addressing the human part of every technology enabled solution. In my eyes inspections are often very, very people centric.
In many cases the process is incredibly human centric. The inspector is identifying areas of deficiency and in many cases a big part of the job is communicating that deficiency to a person or a group of people to get it resolved. So when you start thinking about bringing in a better inspection tool set. Making sure it includes a set of tools that helps large groups of people share information securely makes a lot of sense. And of course our success shows there are a lot of people that agree.
In fact we use the traditional CRM capabilities of Salesforce extensively from supporting the ability to send outbound notifications about inspection, to managing correspondence and logging phone calls. For example once an inspection is scheduled it’s very easy to create a workflow that takes an event and automatically sends out notification to the 35 inspection scheduled this week. Maybe 24 hours before every inspection we send out a notification to the listed point of contact. Whether it’s a homeowner or the responsible party for a vehicle or a piece of machinery, we ensure the people involved are in the loop.
This way everyone is available when they need to be available. If somebody has to reschedule, no problem we’re able to handle that because we have a people centric inspection process and we can handle the communications and collaboration required to get to the end goal. So communications and messaging is one part of our people centric approach, but the other really big part is our ability to leverage Salesforce communities to build this more collaborative people centric approach.
It’s the ability for ExAM customers to expose the information they want directly to their various stakeholder communities securely and in a way that allows you to choose what gets shared. And you can do it at the time you like, with the people you like. Maybe you only share things after they go through the approval process. You don’t have to share it right when it’s collected. Every deficiency doesn’t have to automatically show up in front of your customers. You can still maintain control and be able to work through your process, but at the end of it, you’re able to expose information that lets the other stakeholders in your into your process and understand the relevant inspection in detail.
In fact the utility of inspection communities can go far beyond just distributing the inspection information. They can be places where thework order related to addressing these inspections lives and enable support for the work orders and trades related to addressing deficiencies.
An inspector may find an issue in the course of an inspection during the day that requires a service order that goes out to for a repair. Once the repairs completed, you can automate the communication and enable the re-inspection and of course because of the community all of that can be seen in real time so you don’t have people calling in and asking about status, they can see exactly what the situation is with regard to everything.
There are massive efficiencies in this that we’ve found not too mention that you’ve also got happier participants in the process because they have the information that they need to support decision making and to prevent anxiety about the process itself.
For the person is responsible for managing the inspections, there’s also a huge benefit to not being constantly in a communications cycle where you are having to answer the same questions over and over, everybody’s on the same page.