How to manage site inspections efficiently, while easing the process and raising the standards

Site inspection checklist
Site inspection checklist

Are you managing your site inspections with Excel sheets?

Then it is time you consider digital site inspection checklists to ease this process for you.

Many inspectors, auditors or site managers use traditional ways to run their inspections jobs. Hard to manage paper forms, emails, scanned documents with signatures can easily become a cumbersome work…

Modern technologies that are available today, have made it far more efficient to capture and track site inspections. From scheduling a visit, sending automated alerts to capturing information and pictures and generating rich PDFs on the go…

First of all, let’s have a look when site inspection checklists are used?

Construction, engineering and industrial companies are required to keep sites, staff and assets safe and make sure they are working according to regulations. For this purpose, an inspector visits a site and runs inspections to go through defined checklists to assess risks and to report their observations.

Construction site inspection
Construction site inspection

These checklists are defined based on the type of an inspection. Such as is it an internal inspection or an external one for a client? Or is it a scheduled or emergency one and so on…

What are the current challenges companies are facing today when it comes to managing their inspection jobs?

There are three main challenges companies are facing regularly:

1 – Managing inspections with paper forms

Main challenge here is to manually complete large number of questions in paper checklists… Scanning these checklist paper forms or re-typing into a spreadsheet, uploading and emailing them, back and forth.

If an inspector has to rely on paper forms and documents for their job, then this becomes a complicated process that can increase compliance risks.

An inspector needs to make sure that they have all the right tools and documents they need before their visit. During their visit they need to make notes of all their observations.

Using paper forms means when they go back to the office they have to scan documents, and sometimes re-type all the info. And, all of this take up a lot of valuable time.

2- Document management and unreliable reporting

Pulling together an inspection report can be extremely time consuming. Conventional ways require inspector to re-type the captured information in spreadsheets and reconcile them, which can take long time and effort.

In addition, this data will need to be transformed manually into graphs and charts to achieve insights, which is not ideal…

One of the key aspects of managing inspections is making sure that there is accuracy on reporting.

It can be frustrating for everyone involved in the process if the reports are not reliable.

3- Not being able to handle pictures and signatures on the go

Traditionally, an inspector would take pictures on site, then go back to office download these pictures and store in company systems.

It can be time consuming trying to attach the right pictures to the right logs within inspection reports.

Simplify site inspections by taking as many pictures you need on the go.

In a similar way when signatures are required from clients, subcontractors or owners, they are often taken on papers, then scanned back in the office. This whole process can be slow, error-prone and not easily accessible for searching.

To modernize your site inspection checklists, you should consider going mobile and paperless for higher control, compliance and simply for faster outcomes.

Here are 4 important tips on how you can transform site inspections and ease the process

1- Digitalise your inspection checklist and eliminate paper

Site inspection form
Site inspection form

After all, it is not efficient to rely on papers, emails, phone calls when the most important aspect of inspections is to ensure that work is being done properly to the highest quality.

Digital site inspections can be achieved with an online forms and workflow management software.

This speeds up the entire procedure. Inspections can be scheduled on a regular basis and automatically assigned to inspectors.

Automated notifications and reminder alerts can easily be sent to inspectors to remind their schedules.

Inspector can complete the checklist on a tablet or smartphone on site, attach photographs, media evidence and annotate them when needed.

Then, final reports can be shared and made available in real-time to anyone who needs to see them.

2- Use data reporting to increase quality and compliance

Data gives us the ability to see and understand progress of things. There is no doubt that it is crucial to provide clear overview of the job progress to project managers or other decision makers.

It is important that inspector flags issues on time to avoid any project delays.

With the right digital solution, data can help you with your inspection strategy and make better decisions.

By using real time reporting not only data can be shared easily, also any delays, bottlenecks can be spotted and dealt with in a faster manner.

Working with a digital solution means the records of site inspection tasks and results are saved for future reference and auditing purposes. And it can be very valuable when a hand over to another inspector is needed.

Ultimately, you will be able to manage tasks in real time and review progress from your browser, tablet, or mobile device at any time.

You will store the key data, not just scanned documents, while optimising the process and collaboration between the teams.

Reacting fast can be a major advantage for companies of any sizes to save time and resources immediately.

3- Attach pictures and signatures on the go

Mobile forms that allow you to take pictures, annotate and attach them to the form instantly is a must have. This eases the way pictures are attached to the reports. 

They can also, capture digitally client’s and inspector’s signature, generate a PDF report instantly on the go.

4- Look for flexible inspection checklist solutions

When you are looking for digital solutions to manage site inspections, you must consider solutions that allow you to customise checklists, flow, rules, alerts and more. Nowadays only capturing data is not enough.

You can always start with a template but it is vital to have the ability to make changes… big or small depending on your own needs.

With a tailor-made approach, a comprehensive site inspection delivers a better user experience.

Also, reporting should be provided in a flexible way. Different managers might have different needs.

Flexibility around reporting dashboards, exporting data into a format you need are important to help you achieve business goals and save time.


At Kianda, we build modern process apps that are both flexible and user-friendly.

Why not try our Inspection Checklist Process App today?

About Author:
Osvaldo Sousa – Digital process automation expert with almost two decades of experience in information technologies. He is the CEO/Co-founder of Kianda Technologies.

Managing Quality Control Through an Effective Corrective Action Plan

Quality control corrective action plan
Quality control corrective action plan

All quality engineers and compliance managers face the need to correct some part of their process or quality management system from time to time.

Given that many businesses regardless of their industry, face increased regulatory pressures, internal quality initiatives that require companies to take a more proactive and automated approach to their corrective and preventive action processes.

This might come about because of an unforeseen fault that has developed in a product or component that, consequently, requires a form of remedial action to put right.

As well as taking corrective measures, possibly as a result of a product recall. It is imperative that corrective action is taken with regard to currently manufactured products.

This is where an effective corrective action plan can be so effective in managing ongoing quality assurance. What is it and how do you go about implementing one?

What is an action plan for corrective procedures?

Corrective action examples include things like applying modifications to existing work processes, perhaps strengthening a weakened component on the production line.

Other corrective action examples include better in-house testing before products are shipped to their customers or a list of remedial actions for whatever has gone wrong during construction project.

Quality control procedure
Quality control procedure

When quality processes have been found to be not up to scratch in the past – usually because of an upturn in warranty returns, product failures or non-conformance – a corrective action report will be put together by members of the quality control team.

This is to ensure that future failings are minimised or, ideally, gone away completely.

What should be included when thinking about corrective action planning?

Any plan to correct a quality issue should not be rolled out without a thorough understanding of the root causes of the failures in question.

Without collecting data on non-conformance reporting and generating a non-conformance log, it is impossible to know whether the corrective action procedure scope you come up with will adequately address all of the quality issues.

In the absence of the correct sort of non-conformance reporting, you may fix one problem but not address another one, thereby putting your quality processes out of kilter.

Indeed, your QHSE workflows may end up being interrupted, slowing the entire process down unless the root cause of corrective action has really be bottomed out.

How Corrective Action and Preventive Action (CAPA) can help

When it comes to corrective and preventive action, a CAPA system can be indispensable.

Only by a systematic approach that investigates faults properly across the entire scope of your design, manufacturing processes or on-site operations you will be able to come up with a corrective action plan that truly works.

You can think of a CAPA system as one that diagnoses faults as well as delivering a corrective action procedure for each of them it finds.

Of course, it is possible to go about this work in a number of ways.

Many quality control professionals will be aware that CAPA usually requires expertise drawn from a wide range of individuals working within an organisation to come up with corrective and preventive action that really works.

Some rely on spreadsheets to collate the relevant inputs from various departments, some focusing on QHSE workflows, others on incident reporting guidelines and other still on corrective action procedures for different situations.

A workflow software can simplify the entire approach to CAPA quality, can reduce the administrative burden by transforming the processes into digital forms and workflows.

The truth of the matter is, that such approaches to CAPA can become overly complex and may be susceptible to quality issues in their own right.

To put it simply, such an approach can be needlessly hard to manage. However, a digital business workflow software can simplify the entire approach to CAPA quality, can reduce the administrative burden by transforming the processes into digital workflows.

What does it do and what advantages will such workflow software offer your quality assurance teams?

Benefits of digital CAPA workflow
Benefits of digital CAPA workflow

Continuous Improvement in CAPA Quality

In order to come up with a corrective action process for each of your production failures or non-conformities on site, you need to collate large amounts of data.

Commonly, the larger an organisation is and the more product lines it has, the more onerous such a task becomes.

Without great accuracy in your quality process management, action plans may even make your quality issues worse, not better.

That is why investing in a workflow software system that is dedicated to assisting in process management is so useful.

Make the improvements last

By integrating your incident reporting workflows into a software platform that also helps you to engineer a suitable corrective action process, you start to tie up all of the contributing factors.

Reduce risks and admin tasks

Of course, using a paperless incident reporting workflow system helps everybody involved to share their knowledge in the most up-to-date manner.

Defects and faults can be tracked with the help of software which not only highlights particular areas of processes, but could also help to audit why and when such faults occur.

For example, studying the visualisations available in such a digital platform may mean that you alter your incident reporting guidelines so that you can more quickly establish which suppliers’ components have been used in a product that has failed, potentially allowing you to identify the root cause of the problem.

Collaborate effectively with all your office and on-site teams 

By investing in such a software platform, your entire organisation – not just your quality control department – can place itself on a footing for continuous improvement. Assign tasks and controls and track them using an easy workflow.

For example, it would allow technical sales representatives in the field, not just quality engineers at your head office, to input into the incident reporting workflow with your customer’s views also being taken into consideration, something that a conventional CAPA system simply cannot cope with.

This means that the corrective action procedure scope would be necessarily widened to take more fully into consideration how and when fixes might be conducted, whether in the field or back at your production facility.

Reliable reporting and tracking

Corrective action plan process
Corrective action plan process

In addition, digital business process automation software that offers quality management also allows you to inspect quality performance analytics.

You can use this to monitor in a fully audited way under what production conditions your system failings occur, for example, which production operatives tend to see the most returns.

Indeed, any quality management software worthy of the name should also be able to integrate fully with your back-end systems to help maintain and improve quality.

As such, establishing the root cause of corrective action is only one part of what digital quality management software offers.

It can lead to greater efficiencies not just with your in-house quality processes but drive-up customer satisfaction and provide improved efficiency in production processes as you learn more and more about your potential issues.

In other words, by automating your core business processes and by updating your document management activities, you can promote collaborative working processes among teams and improve management decision-making.

Further Reasons to Invest In Quality Workflow Software

Given that all manufacturers regardless of their industry – and many businesses that provide services to their customers, too – face increased regulatory pressures, internal quality initiatives are only more pressing, it requires companies to take a more proactive and automated approach to their corrective and preventive action processes.

If you are not investing in software that enables this to function accurately and in a timely manner, then you are in danger of losing out to competitors.

Today’s technology tools are intuitive and can work seamlessly with your existing processes without demanding big investments.

Furthermore, quality software of this type can be integrated seamlessly with all of the other apps and software systems you are currently using.

Quality audit process
Quality audit process

Automating CAPA quality means being able to produce data for national, regional and global regulatory inspectors as well as those all-important ISO auditors.

Not only will deploying one reduce audit times and time spent on gathering your findings but it will decrease business risks by helping you to identify the right preventive action to take every time.


Kianda is a workflow automation platform that allows companies like yours to automate and streamline quality management processes via easily built online forms and workflows.

To discover how Kianda can help you start your free trial today!

Start your free trial

About Author:
Osvaldo Sousa – Digital process automation expert with almost two decades of experience in information technologies. He is the CEO/Co-founder of Kianda Technologies.
 
 

Digital incident reporting in construction can save lives

Digital construction

Digital construction

Digital advances in the construction industry

Digital construction is becoming far more ingrained in the built environment, with business process automation at the forefront of streamlined processes. QHSE workflows and management approval processes are utilised in many departments, including procurement teams issuing purchase orders, design teams automating the steps to approve drawings and quality control teams managing inspection and test procedures.

Health and safety naturally lends itself to automated business processes, with incident reporting and near miss, good catch practice forms being significantly improved through automation.

Safety and the construction industry

Construction is a high-risk industry. Busy construction sites are full of potential hazards. Over the past two decades, there have been vast improvements in the safety performance of construction companies. This has come from legislation, improvements in construction methods and an increase in internal health and safety management systems.

Implementing digital QHSE workflows

With more and more companies going digital, it is imperative to introduce automated systems and workflow software into your business processes to demonstrate current safety practices and keep up with competition.

Incident reporting guidelines and procedure

Traditionally, incident reporting was reactive and tended to use only prior incidents as the basis for review. The incidents may have only been recorded through phone calls or meetings and a note in the accident book, without any real health and safety quality control.

Standard industry guidance for managing health and safety sets out incident reporting guidelines to those implementing arrangements in their organisation. One of the common features of industry guidance is to ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ . This can be implemented through an automated construction incident reporting process.

Construction incident reporting tools

A standard incident reporting procedure will normally involve specific incident reporting tools such as a form to fill in and a process to follow to escalate the incident to management, depending on the severity. A digital workflow and process automation result in reduced process failure, as there is less reliance on employees to take positive action, such as making phone calls and sending emails.

Legislation and incident reporting

Legislation can vary from country to country, but generally places a duty of care upon those working in construction to manage their own health and safety and the health and safety of those around them so far as it is reasonable. More information on this can be found on the relevant government website for your region.

There are numerous regulations that you must be aware of, which include things such as lifting operations, personal protective equipment, control of hazardous substances and incident reporting guidelines. Compliance with legislation can be automated through online forms and QHSE workflows.

Forward-thinking companies use business process automation for effective audits of construction sites for compliance with laws, regulations and good industry practice. This can identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, which can improve overall health, safety and quality on construction sites. It can also highlight areas for immediate concern and expedite corrective action.

Why is your safety incident reporting procedure important?

Incident reporting workflow and procedure is incredibly important to any construction business from an ethical, statutory and profit point of view. Accidents are bad for business and most clients will ask for accident history when tendering for any work.

If there is no incident reporting system, it becomes difficult to learn from past mistakes and implement changes to avoid recurrence. This would be viewed adversely in any accident investigations or prosecutions.

incident reporting system
Incident reporting system

Identifying Trends

The ‘Check’ stage is recommended when managing health and safety which requires measuring of performance and investigating accidents, incidents and near misses. Therefore, an incident reporting workflow needs to be in place for incidents to be reported, which captures the required details for escalation to the appropriate level of management.

The procedure must also be able to identify trends. For example, minor hand injuries may not require serious escalation, but a large number of reported minor hand injuries could signal a worrying trend and require investigation to understand if there is a pattern emerging.

What could happen if your safety incident reporting procedure isn’t working?

Many countries have strict rules on the reporting of incidents. For example, the U.K. has Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, Ireland has Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 2016 and the U.S. has the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 where reporting is detailed in Section 8.

Where regulations set out minimum reporting timelines for specified injuries, dangerous occurrences and occupational diseases, an effective safety reporting process is critical to ensure that these issues are captured and reported in the statutory timescales.

Kianda software is easily tailored to meet specific laws and regulations, and readily adaptable to any changes in legislation as they occur.

An example of an incident report required by these regulations would be if a scaffolding collapsed in Ireland, which must be reported to the Health and Safety Authority in ten days, or risk prosecution. In the U.K., an incident such as this would need to be reported immediately.

Penalties

If you don’t report a reportable occurrence to the appropriate health and safety enforcement agency, there can often be a custodial prison sentence for the responsible person, or persons and a large fine for the business.

Learning from incidents reduces the risk of recurrence (and the severity if they do reoccur) and is key to keeping workers safe and incident free. This in turn contributes to keeping a business profitable and successful.

incident reporting software
Incident reporting software

Why use digital workflows to manage incident reporting?

Digital workflow software can be used to implement incident reporting forms. An online form is used to simplify the reporting of incidents, provide visibility of incidents to management and provide key metrics related to the number of near misses and incidents.

It should also collect information about why incidents may have happened and suggested actions on how to prevent recurrence.

Effective use of an incident reporting form can reduce the time it takes for people to report incidents, reduce additional paperwork and track actions that have been identified to prevent incidents recurring.

It also allows for a high standard of quality control by setting mandatory fields for data input.

Management information and monitoring

Management can view weekly, monthly and yearly overviews of performance via dashboards. This means that decisions can be targeted at reducing the risk of future incidents.

There is also a track record of the steps that have been taken, to help demonstrate a company’s commitment and efforts to improve their health and safety record.

By reviewing health and safety performance, lessons can be learned and shared through several mediums, such as additional training, toolbox talks, changes to construction methodology, purchase of new equipment, or a review of approved sub-contractors.

Implementing effective construction incident systems

The end users of the system must be considered when implementing the systems, as well as those in the management chain. Barriers to reporting should be minimised, so employees should be trained and able to submit forms online or offline and capture data from the incident easily (such as pictures from a smart phone or tablet).

Software for construction processes
Software for construction processes

Good practices

Effective incident reporting systems also have a focus on near miss reporting and good practices. Near misses are useful for looking at close calls where someone has been lucky and putting steps in place to ensure that luck does not play a part in people’s future safety.

An example of an incident report that involves pro-active management is good practices. Good practices look at what is going well and provide feedback to the teams to improve morale and belief in health and safety, whilst also allowing for these good practices to be distributed to other teams.

Kianda is a software platform that allows companies like yours to automate and streamline business processes such as incident reporting via easily built online forms and workflows.

Start your free trial today at www.kianda.com

About Author:
Osvaldo Sousa – Digital process automation expert with almost two decades of experience in information technologies. He is the CEO/Co-founder of Kianda Technologies.

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https://www.kianda.com/blog/2018/11/06/benefits-of-digital-process-automation-in-construction/

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