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Using Android devices to manage inspections and field service

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Though Android-based phones and tablets are very popular in the market, only a few Android applications seem to be focused on business needs, especially in managing field technicians and capturing inspection information.  

The demand for inspection software running on Android devices has increased due to the low cost and availability of these devices, compared with other mobile devices currently used for business applications.  

Since the majority of field technicians already carry phones, using their Android phones or tablets for data collection does not require large capital expenditures or complex rollout projects.  

Inspection software can be used by diverse businesses from property management companies and property service providers to retail chains, food establishments, transportation industry, construction sites, educational institutions, the service and support industry and any sector that is involved in performing inspections and collecting data in the field.  

  • Property management firms and property service providers record data pertaining to property audits, assessments and safety inspections
  • Retail chains may require their stores to conduct regular audits; corporate inspectors/ auditors may also travel between different locations to perform facility and safety inspections
  • Food establishments are required by law to conduct food and safety inspections on a regular basis
  • Safety personnel in the transportation industry are required to conduct audits while maintenance staff need to record their activities
  • Casinos perform a variety of data collection activities including auditing food establishments, calibrating slot machines, inspecting facilities and conducting safety audits
  • Higher education institutions are required to perform safety and property inspections, and maintain detailed logs
  • Manufacturing plants are required to conduct various safety-related activities including safety inspections and data collection
  • Construction sites are required by law to conduct safety inspections and site audits
  • Service personnel record information, which needs to be sent back to their offices in a timely manner in order to generate customer invoices
Key requirements of Android Apps for information collection:  
  • Inspectors must be able to quickly master the App, learn how to navigate to their desired screen/function, and adopt the App as an ‘extension’ of their business tools
  • Inspectors must be able to use their App without being dependent on connectivity, recording all the information onto their device while it is offline, eliminating dependency on connectivity in remote locations and reducing costs since data can be transmitted using Wi-Fi
  • Barcodes integrated into the application using the Android’s built-in camera allow inspectors to scan assets to quickly access relevant information. The scanner can be used in conjunction with the inspection software to retrieve historical information as well as current tasks required to be performed
  • Picture-taking and integrating the image with the inspection data with minimal number of clicks must be enabled. Wireless transmission of pictures must be done efficiently and securely without exposing the server to security breaches
  • Simplified data collection through standardised functions and drop-down lists must be facilitated to minimise data entry
Techs4Biz Australia develops and sells technology solutions for improving work related activities and processes, managing and tracking corporate resources, along with combining software with handheld devices.

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