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Gwen Chen
By
November 28, 2018

Smart Inspections – A Safe Bet for Manufacturing

Inspections are an important aspect of manufacturing. The inspection process helps manufacturers ensure the quality of their processes, products, and production line resources.

Businesses can work to improve the work-related health and safety of their employees and environments through inspections. Plus inspections are an important means through which companies demonstrate compliance.AppSheet_SmartInspections

Traditionally manufacturing operations have relied on paper-based processes to record and share inspection information. To a large extent they still do.

The problem is that physical documents and paper-based processes are prone to data loss, human error, and information-sharing delay. That can increase the risk both of manufacturing operations and businesses in general.

Collecting and disseminating inspection information via mobile apps can address these problems by:

Improving Productivity & Decreasing Errors

The adoption of mobile apps frees workers from the cumbersome processes of carrying, stacking, and sorting inspection forms and records. On the front end, that eliminates the problem of lost paperwork. On the back end, it eliminates the need for secondary data entry into a computer.

Entering data on a mobile app also eliminates data recording duplication efforts. Secondary data entry personnel don’t have to guess when handwriting on inspection forms and notes is difficult to read. And there’s less lag between the time an inspector enters data and others can review it.

Increasing Data Accessibility

Mobile apps also make data available to the parties that need it in real time.

That’s helpful for organizations of all sizes. But it’s particularly valuable for large organizations with multiple manufacturing operations spread across the world. Mobile apps make it easy for people to collect, share, and review inspection data from across the company and from wherever they are.

“Unlike geographically enclosed businesses with only a few locations to monitor, multinational operations can’t employ a lone health and safety officer to safeguard working conditions,” writes Saving Advice. “Organizations with far-flung field operations must prioritize health and safety, collaborating between teams and across sites to meet company and legal regulations.

“To conquer these obstacles, global enterprises have begun to disrupt the traditional ways of tracking health and safety standards by adopting mobile forms,” the media outlet adds. “Platforms like these offer flexibility and freedom of movement that give managers a bird’s-eye view regardless of the scale of operations.”

Allowing for Faster Decision Making & Action

Providing people with the information they need when and where they need it allows them to make better decisions faster. That’s particularly important when it comes to manufacturing inspections.

Inspection data varies based on the organization and initiative. But it may include information about:

  • Accidents or faulty processes resulting in the injury or death of employees.
  • Events that led to non-worker injuries.
  • Fire exits or other information related to evacuation accessibility.
  • Occupational diseases.
  • Site-specific conditions that may be dangerous.

That said, you can see how taking action sooner rather than later on such data can mean the difference between health and harm – or even life and death. Real-time access to data via mobile apps, and related analytics and notifications, also can help manufacturing operations ensure compliance with regulations, drive continual improvement, and be more competitive.

Attracting & Retaining Top Talent

Of course, an important part of being competitive in today’s business environment involves hiring and retaining the right people to get the job done and move into the future.

Adopting connected technology like mobile apps can serve as a tool to attract talent to an organization. The use of mobile apps shows millennial job candidates that manufacturers are forward-thinking businesses.

“There is no easier way to attract the millennial workforce than by adopting and utilizing technology,” notes Manufacturing.NET. “Millennials grew up as digital natives. Not only are they adept at using technology, but they find comfort in it, and are attracted to companies that utilize it fully.”

It may not seem particularly high tech to move away from paper-based processes through the use of mobile apps. But leveraging connected technology to improve productivity and business outcomes is what digital transformation is all about. And mobile apps can be an important part of driving productivity, gathering and acting on current data, driving new value, and lowering an organization’s risk.


Bonus: AppSheet has a lot of inspection app templates for manufacturers, home inspections, and IT inventory managers. Primary functions included in the following Equipment Inspection App include:

  • Location-based items with pre-filled fields.
  • Tabbed inspection forms, with barcode, signature and photo fields.
  • Historical inspections associated with items.
  • Employee directory with related locations and inspection history.
  • Charts with a quick overview of percentage values of Passed and Failed inspections.

Equipment Inspections AppCopy the Equipment Inspections App Template

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