Most of us have dealt the process of inspection one way or another. Buying a house? The bank will send an adjuster to inspect the property value. Car accidents are responded to with an insurance specialists sent over to examine the damage. Restaurant, factory and facility officials – in nearly every industry – go through a similar inspection process.
Back in the day, inspectors would come equipped with paper forms, a pen and a clipboard to fill out and send to another person for processing. Forms often contained hundreds of detailed questions; leading to a lengthy inspection cycle due to the number of data handlers. The handwritten process was typically error prone, untimely and largely outdated.
Some companies have evolved their inspection process using Microsoft Excel forms. Today, Excel forms serve as an efficient tool for converting paper forms, but do not automate the rest of the process (i.e. how the data is delivered from person to person, database analysis and reporting procedures). There are other solutions out there that use custom-developed software applications, but tend to require complex rules and are widely expensive. For those looking to embrace modern software innovations, like SpreadsheetWEB, at an affordable price, optimization is only a few clicks away.
SpreadsheetWEB Automates the Inspection Process
Microsoft Excel is a solid tool that allows business users the chance to develop complex inspection forms with no prior coding experience. For example, a property inspector might use an Excel spreadsheet to transform a paper form into a functional software-based spreadsheet (as indicated in the figure below).
Using this form, without SpreadsheetWEB integration, the inspector would arrive at the property, with a laptop, ready to fill out the relevant property information. The process would continue as the inspector emailed the spreadsheet and any additional information (i.e. pictures, etc.) to the next person for processing. As you can see, the process would quickly become laborious and dependent on email accuracy – increasing the likelihood of human error and the difficulty of analyzing inspection results across multiple properties, unless the processing included manual inputs of each inspection form into a master database.
SpreadsheetWEB picks up the pieces where the Excel process leaves off. The intuitive software mimics the look and feel of Excel without IT intervention.
The difference: after converting the Excel form into web-based form, SpreadsheetWEB’s interface allows all data and attachments to be sent directly to a central database – accessible to all persons necessary for processing. With integration, inspection reporting could be a one person job.
Workflow with SpreadsheetWEB Integration
We can recall the property inspector example to access the changes in workflow using SpreadsheetWEB integration. The manual process of emailing and individual report entry is eliminated. For example, after entering all pertinent information (pictures, text, etc.), the inspector presses the Save button, and the entire form is transacted into a back-end database as a new record. Note that the transaction is entered into the database, aiding future analytic processes and diminishing likelihood of internal error.
SpreadsheetWEB has a web-based control panel to manage previously saved inspection reports. This allows an inspector the ability to login and view previously saved reports. Features also include a built-in security model that allows each inspector access to one’s reports, only. The system also allows users to distinguish accessibility hierarchies.
Built-in workflow capabilities allow designing a whole workflow to assign and transfer each inspection report. Email automation features can also be integrated with the entire workflow to send custom updates to indicated inspectors, as reports move through the processing cycle.
Real Time Reporting
How many new inspections are process during a specific time period? How is each inspector performing, overall? With this software, users can create real-time reports with a simple database query to find the answers to organizational issues. SpreadsheetWEB’s built- in dashboard reporting feature allows power users the ability to create custom reports. This is a great feature for managers or team leaders who want insight on big picture questions.
Data Security and Implementation
Dashboard access can be restricted to select individuals to protect sensitive data. Some companies prefer to maintain data internally or through a third party hosting facility. SpreadsheetWEB provides a solution to information security, with features that allow hosting on standard Windows servers and MS SQL databases. This allows companies to deploy SpreadsheetWEB quickly and cost effectively on internal servers or external hosting facilities. SpreadsheetWEB is also available on AWS trough private AMIs.
SpreadsheetWEB is great for automating complex reporting processes. With this software, companies can transform their current paper based or Excel-based inspection form to a web-based, secure, database-driven applications without having to write a single line of code. SpreadsheetWEB can automate data collection and reporting with seamless and effective ease.