Mobile Inspection App
Problem to Solution
In Salt Lake County fire service staff spend painstaking amounts of time conducting building fire inspections. In one city alone 2000 inspections need conducting annually. That puts a big strain on resources. Many cities have recognized that the paper-based processes currently in use, and poorly designed software solutions are a key part of their problem. One city approached WebMapSolutions and asked us to build a simple mobile inspection app to help them improve their inspection process.
Working closely with the city, our staff looked at current processes and the key pain points. The current software solution was hard to set up, complex to use and still required a certain level of manual data entry. In short the fire crews disliked the software: “We dreaded inspections” said one crew member, “Many of us went back to paper-based methods to do inspections which, though time-consuming, was far less frustrating than our current software solution.”
In looking at the design of a new inspection app, WebMapSolutions asked the fire staff to walk us through their ideal workflow. White boarding and wire-frames helped us understand better the pain points of the current workflow and allowed the fire staff, with our guidance, to design the new inspection app.
Mobile Inspection App Workflow
The final mobile app was map-driven, allowing staff and managers to quickly view inspection locations and status: green map icon meaning pass, red map icon meaning failed. New inspections required a simple button tap on the app. An electronic form allows staff to quickly tap pass or fail based on specific safety questions. Using the mobile’s camera an image(s) could be attached to the inspection. A final app screen allows signatures to be collected. The submit button in this screen generates a report which includes pass or fail information, signatures and images. This report is sent automatically to the city and building owner. All inspection data is also uploaded to ArcGIS for manager access.
“Our new building inspection app has revolutionized our inspection process. The app is intuitive to use, works in both online and offline modes, and automates tasks which in the past were painfully slow and frustrating. Our fire chief now has easy access to all current inspection data. That has greatly helped the planning process.” – Fire Staff Supervisor