3 Ways to Prevail over Paper with Mobile Inspections

Translate inspections into data to grow your service business with an integrated mobile inspection app


Are your field inspection processes still performed using paper forms or spreadsheets? If so, you may be losing out on significant sales opportunities.

Read on to learn how an easy-to-use mobile inspection app can boost the quality and efficiency of your entire service organization while driving revenue.


How paper inspections limit service organization growth

What happens after your inspection forms are filled out? Are they filed away, never to be seen again? If that’s how you’re operating today, you may be missing out on important insights and revenue opportunities for your service organization.

And recording data on paper and reentering it in the back office just isn’t fast enough for companies to be proactive in the field.

“Now in 2020, data is king,” says Ray Thomas, MSI’s vice president of sales. “The more data you have, the better decisions you can make.”

Whether you’re in charge of running a massive service organization or performing bulk inspections, automating the inspection process through mobile is key to success in today’s increasingly connected environment.

Mobile devices equipped with an all-in-one field service management system allow data to start working for you as quickly as possible.

Let’s review a couple ways a mobile inspection app can help you unlock more revenue from your inspection process.


Improve service compliance and consistency

You probably know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. The same could be said for managing paper inspection forms: you can try to enforce your technicians to fill them out, but mistakes happen. They may forget to fill out the paper form, or fill it out and misplace it, or write so illegibly you can’t read it.

And what happens if the technician completes the wrong version of the inspection form? If they have to go back on site to fill out the correct version, then they’re missing out on servicing other customers and bringing in more billable hours.

With a mobile inspection app, you can ensure your field technicians arrive prepared to every appointment with all the information they need in the palm of their hand. Here’s how.

Configurable mobile form builder

MSI’s field service management software, Service Pro, includes a highly configurable form builder that allows you to translate any paper form into a mobile form. Using the form builder, you can make any field mandatory, including photos and signatures. And even better news: there’s no coding needed, so you can focus your IT resources on more important, revenue-driving projects.

Consistent, accurate mobile inspections

With a mobile inspection app, there’s no question about which form version to use. You can automatically push the current form version to all of your technicians’ mobile devices from Service Pro’s form builder.

What about enforcing mobile form completion while techs are in the field? Service Pro’s got you covered. To make sure your technicians fill out inspections consistently and accurately, you can add the form as a required task to work orders. This means your technicians can’t close the work order until the inspection form is filled out as required.

And all the data your techs collect through these mobile forms automatically syncs back into your ERP or accounting system, so you can make sure your customers are getting exactly what they need from your services.


Collect – and act on – customer feedback

Let’s face it – it’s not easy to analyze a stack of papers to extract areas of improvement. You know you should review paper inspection forms to see where your services could perform better, but you always seem to have more immediate priorities to get to first.

However, if your inspection forms are just filed away in a drawer, you may be missing out on important insights from those forms to drive customer satisfaction and retention. These forms may include important data, such as recurring equipment failures, that you can use to develop stronger customer relationships.

For example, let’s say your field technician identifies a failed piece of equipment at a customer site and documents the issue in the inspection form. Actually, this piece of equipment has failed multiple times over the past year. What happens next?

If you’re using Service Pro, you have that data immediately available. As soon as the technician completes the mobile form, you can see it in the field service management software in the back office. You can view this customer’s previous inspection forms online and determine the piece of equipment should be replaced.

Next, you can forward that information to your sales team so they can connect with the customer. With data to back up the need for new equipment, your sales team has a stronger pitch for the customer to replace the equipment and purchase a service contract for preventive maintenance. So you get more value out of your customer and the customer gets better equipment uptime. It’s a win-win for everyone.


Stories from the Field: How mobile inspections help Service Pro users save millions and boost customer satisfaction


Service Pro users tell us time and time again that the mobile inspection feature is one of their favorites. And their results from using mobile inspections speak for themselves.

Here are just a few ways Service Pro’s mobile inspection app helps our customers achieve unprecedented levels of warranty claim savings, follow-up revenue, and customer satisfaction.


Heavy equipment dealer experiences seven-figure claim recovery savings

Before using Service Pro, one of our customers, a heavy equipment dealer based in Texas, had a real challenge with collecting data from the field.

“They were submitting warranty claims, but if any data was missing or late, they would get deducted from the claim return for the work performed for the OEM under warranty,” says Thomas.

Without a mobile solution, they were using paper forms and missing important information. Because they weren’t collecting accurate data from the field, they had to write off a significant amount of warranty claims for which they should have been reimbursed.

With Service Pro, they now collect all labor and parts information in the field and immediately report that data to the back office the same day. This means there’s little to no lag time from when the preventive maintenance work is completed to when the reimbursement is submitted.

By ensuring reimbursements are submitted on time, they have experienced a seven-figure warranty recovery savings within less than one year.


Service provider speeds quote turnaround time for increased follow-up revenue

For most people, New Year’s Eve brings up images of party hats, champagne, and counting down the last seconds of the year. But for an irrigation equipment provider in Georgia, New Year’s Eve was filled with stacks of paper and combing through handwritten notes to find potential sales opportunities. Definitely not a cause for celebration.

“When their technicians were out on a service call and noticed something for follow-up, they would write 12/31 in the margins of their notebook,” Thomas says. “Then on New Year’s Eve every year, they would go through all of those notes for follow-up and quote them out.”

As you can imagine, that probably wasn’t the most efficient way of reviewing follow-up work. Occasionally, the equipment they were following up on had already been fixed, potentially by a different service company.

Now with Service Pro’s mobile solution, they can capture all the data electronically to make sure it gets reviewed right away, not put off until the last day of the year. And their team can spend New Year’s Eve with family and friends instead of drowning in paper.

As an added bonus, if our customer finds an issue during the inspection, an alert with equipment photos and detailed notes from the technician goes out to the sales team for immediate follow up. Then the sales rep can provide a quote the same day, which typically increases the likelihood the customer will take you up on that quote for follow-up revenue.


Quality customer experience made possible with mobile inspections

You know a good customer experience when you come across it. In fact, a visit from the cable repairman inspired an employee from an California HVAC company to take their field service operations mobile.

“We had one of our customers say that the cable repairman came to their house and was using a mobile solution. The technician plugged into the equipment and ran diagnostics, which gave the feeling of a quality service call,” Thomas says.

At the time, this customer was using paper for his field technicians. The customer wanted their customers to have a similar experience, where they show up on site, know what they’re doing, and provide first-class customer service. And their customers have the confidence that they’re the right partner for their HVAC service needs.

As a result, their service sales increased from $600,000 to more than $1 million.



By replacing messy, handwritten paper inspection forms with a fast, easy mobile inspection app, you can achieve service excellence. Organizations work smarter, not harder. Powered by a service engine that’s firing on all cylinders, companies drive benefits to both their customers and themselves, without hiring more employees.

Improvements across the board can be expected—in field visibility, operational efficiency, revenue generation, and more.

MSI recently presented a webinar, 3 Ways to Achieve Service Excellence with Mobile Inspections, to help service organizations automate their inspection process.

In the webinar, presenters Ray Thomas, MSI’s vice president of sales, and Adam Bartos, MSI’s director of sales engineering, discuss how a mobile inspection app can:

  • Improve service compliance and consistency
  • Better predict your customers’ needs and wants
  • Identify service and product sales opportunities

Webinar Recording: 3 Ways to Achieve Service Excellence with Mobile Inspections

Learn how to translate inspections into data to grow your service business with a mobile inspection app in this 30-minute webinar recording.

Register Now

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