Construction Inspection: App Speeds Data Collection

Construction Supervisor Builds a Complex Mobile App for Site Inspection in Minutes

 

Construction Supervisor Modernizes Building Inspection with a Mobile App Built in Minutes

Alpha TransForm for Construction Inspection

"We're getting better data, faster and speeding our site inspections. And I did it all in minutes with TransForm."

- Kevin H., Supervisor, Construction Firm

Construction Firm

A construction firm in the midwest is constructing commercial real estate projects with a team of over 150 employees. The company has operated for more than 20 years across multiple states. 

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Speed to Market 

Data collection app for construction inspection built in under 20 minutes

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Smartphone Use

Fast, easy capture of detailed inspection data on any inspector's smartphone

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Data Integration

Easily connects to all required construction systems of record

Business Challenge: Faster Construction Inspection

The Company used a paper and clipboard process when inspecting equipment or construction sites. While investing in tablets was cost prohibitive for the company, utilizing employees smartphones was a great opportunity to improve the speed and accuracy of data collection. The company also saw an opportunity to reduce paper and manual data entry staffing costs.

Company management used mobile devices for approvals, for reviewing financial documents and sales dashboards. With virtually every construction worker and building inspection carrying a smartphone in their pocket, management believed the time was right to leverage the power of smartphones out in the field for quality control. They sought to better manage projects, building inspections, punch lists and other construction activities. The company did not have an in-house IT team, so the management team tasked Supervisor Kevin H. with exploring the options and determining where to begin. 

After reading about how other construction companies were leveraging workers' smartphones to collect site inspection data, including building codes, Kevin decided to begin with one of the most critical data capture efforts for the company: site and equipment inspections. Kevin has no development or IT experience and he expected to have to buy an app or hire a development firm to do the work. Unfortunately, the company had not allocated any special funds for an app and he was skeptical he could find the right solution within his budget.. 

"I am not a developer or programmer. I've never built an app before, and now all our site inspections are running on a business app I created in minutes."
Solution: Mobile Construction Inspection App

Kevin accepted bids from development firms, and evaluated forms products that had inspection forms.  Immediately it was clear that using a development firm was outside of his budget.  He looked at several forms products that could capture the data his company required, but he quickly discovered they were not valid options for several reasons.

  • First, these vendors' products could not capture the rich mobile data his company required offline. This was a major problem, because often a cell signal or WiFi are not available on new construction sites.
  • Second, these projects had limited ability to capture video and image files, and none of the images could be marked-up with inspectors' notes.  For inspections, taking images and annotating issues and areas of concern was a requirement. 
  • Finally, the vendors could save the data in XLS or cloud databases, but he needed to get the data from the inspections back into his company's systems of record to make moving to mobile truly efficient for the organization.

He came across Alpha Software when researching "apps in minutes" and after seeing a reasonable price on the company's website, decided to give Alpha TransForm a trial.

As part of his trial, Kevin built his first inspection app -- complete with image capture with annotation, GPS capture, inspector signature capture, etc. - in minutes. While he could have started with a TransForm inspection sample app, Tom crafted his app based off the form his company used so he could directly map the to his company's format and process.

TransForm automatically optimized his fields for one-handed data collection on a smartphone, including one-click pass/fail, customized keyboards (for example, when only numerals are required). "In minutes, I had a professional looking app running on my own smartphone."

Kevin watched two additional 10-minute tutorials to understand how to quickly add his company's logo and brand the app. His new inspection app tested and deployed through Alpha Cloud within days. Integration capabilities within Alpha allowed Kevin to connect the app to the company's existing systems with very little effort.

"Before our trial was over, 3 inspectors had already used the app successfully," he explained.  

The TransForm data collection app has collapsed inspection turnarounds, decreased paper and data-entry costs, and dramatically increased data accuracy and depth. 

Benefits of Faster Construction Inspection

Kevin reports that inspectors love the new construction app.

Building inspectors are able to quickly meet more inspection requests. They can collect images and video that couldn't be captured in the previous paper process.

Corporate is pleased with the results because problems arising from inspections are noted THAT DAY. This has dramatically reduced lags in the company's inspection and project sign-off processes. The company is also covered should any issues arise because the data is all captured and logged securely in its corporate systems. 

The site inspection app has been so successful at speeding final inspections that Kevin has already started work on mobilizing the company's equipment inspection processes. "I'm rolling out our second app now. I'm working with our team to build out our first equipment inspection app and I plan to have that one completed and in use this month. I couldn't be happier with the results and the price."

 


Alpha can help you meet your construction needs. We offer pre-built punch list, non-conformance and home inspection apps or can build the app you need. Learn about Alpha Software Construction Project Apps.

"I'm rolling out our second app now. I'm working with our team to build out our first equipment inspection app and I plan to have that one completed and in use this month. I couldn't be happier with the results and the price."

Let Us Help You Achieve Your Objectives

Have questions?  Contact Alpha Software at 781-850-4600