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Gwen Chen
By
May 23, 2018

How to Make an Inspection App

Inspection App Form Gif

We host webinars every Thursday and in the last two episodes, we built an inspection app to help perform inspections more efficiently on-the-fly. Yes, you got it right—we built out the entire app during the webinars! Our DIY inspection app was very well-received, so much so that I'd like to share how we built it with all of our readers.

So, even if you still use Excel, Google Sheets, or paper forms to perform equipment inspections or you've never built a mobile app before, take a few minutes to check out how we built this app. You just might discover that you, too, can be an app creator! My post provides some context on how we built out the app—when you have some time, I encourage you to watch the webinar recordings (links to both can be found at the end of this post).

Before we get started, here's what you need to know about this inventory app: it automates data capture (machine ID, images, and signature etc), pre-fills form fields, and sends notifications through email and Slack. It is also bar code and NFC-enabled so inspectors don't have to manually enter Machine IDs. Now, you can use the inspection app as is by clicking on the button below. That being said, it's always good to know the major steps that went in to building out the app—that way you can easily customize it to meet your needs!

Get the Machine Inspection App

Step 1: Check columns and form settings

  • Launch AppSheet from the Google Sheet add-on: AppSheet will read the column names and pre-set data to the correct types, i.e., Text, Image, Date, Signature etc.
  • Clean up the data and create views: We created an Audit View where auditors can enter responses to all questions about the machines, and a Repair View for the maintenance/technician team to fill out.
  • Adds, updates, deletes: Configure data access so that only certain people can delete data.

Step 2: Ensure fast data capture

  • Auto-capture: Audit ID, Auditor Email, and Audit Date are set to auto-capture.
  • Hidden fields and views: Make sure that certain fields or views are hidden if you don't want auditors to edit them. By default, Repair Description field and Repair View are hidden. They are only visible when a machine fails an audit.
  • Drop-down list and auto-fill: Instead of manually typing the Machine ID, inspectors can select an ID from a drop-down list or scan the bar code or NFC tag. Once the Machine ID is entered, Machine Type will be auto-filled. Machine Issue field also has a drop-down list. Auditors can select multiple issues that need to be fixed or add new issues.
  • Divide a long form into 2 sections (Audit and Repair), create slices and views accordingly: It is much easier to use tabs to navigate a long form.
  • Only show active machines: Those are the ones that need regular inspections.
  • Data filtering: auditors will only see relevant data in repair view.

Step 3: Enable notifications

Automatically send an email after a new audit is complete. Push Slack notifications when a machine doesn't pass an audit. In your email, you can include everything or just a summary of an audit.

Inspection App Slack Gif


Get the Machine Inspection App


For more details, check out these webinars (click on Show More to find time stamps on a certain topic that interests you):


 

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