Think outside-the-box for ways your field inspectors can collect the information you always wanted by automating crane and lifting equipment inspections.We all know inspections are a vital and necessary aspect of crane safety and functionality, and certain types of inspections, like safety and compliance, are often mandated. Lack of proper crane inspections can lead to disaster: “accidents can happen when cracks in booms have been allowed to develop due to a lack of inspections and cracks appear where winches broke down due to inadequate inspection and maintenance,” said Laura Hatton in her article, “The safe use of mobile cranes.”
But with an app to automate inspections, crane businesses can tackle those mandatory safety and maintenance inspections and have time left over to gather additional information on the jobsite.
By speeding and automating the mandatory inspections you’ve always had to do, you’ll have more time to find answers to questions like, “What’s my long-term service potential with this customer?” or, “How is my customer service measuring up against my competitors?”
Before we get into some of the creative ways your crane service techs can use an inspection app to improve productivity, profitability, and even customer satisfaction, here are the mobile features you’ll need to automate the process:
- Customizable Electronic Inspection Forms – Create your own inspection forms to sync with tech mobile devices. By completing the forms on their mobile device, techs no longer have to worry about printing forms, reentering data, or filing paper documents; it’s all automatic.
- Cross-Platform Inspection App – The mobile inspection app integrates with the back office, so inspectors just complete the e-form in the field, take a picture and/or collect a signature, and sync for instant reporting.
- Automated Inspection Reports – With greater forms adaptability and more efficient inspection procedures, managers can increase inspection detail to make their organization more data-driven with detailed inspection reports delivered right to their inbox.
Inspection Ideas to Take your Crane & Lift Equipment Business to the Next Level
Now let’s get to the good part. With the flexibility afforded to crane companies using a mobile inspection app, the amount of information they can collect is endless. Here are some of our ideas you can use to get the most out of automated inspections in your crane business. What sort of inspections will you perform with your customizable inspection app?
1. Perform Inspections as Part of an All-in-One Service Operation
As part of an all-in-one service management system, customizable inspection apps work in tandem with the rest of the service process including scheduling, dispatching, inventory, asset tracking, and more. For example, a tech could take periodic inspections of his van’s inventory and sync on the mobile device so the information is visible to whoever’s in charge of purchasing and stocking inventory.
2. Survey Customer Satisfaction
Conduct customer surveys inquiring customers about their satisfaction with your company, technician performance, and level of service. With inside information into customer preferences, you can cater your service offerings and prioritize certain skills and behaviors to match what customers want most.
3. Reduce Safety Liabilities
Safety inspections are commonplace among crane and lift equipment business, but with the ability to store and analyze scores of safety inspections over time, companies can evaluate where their biggest safety risks lie and remedy areas that are repeatedly unsafe, reducing overall safety liability concerns.
4. Share Valuable Knowledge from the Field Internally
Techs can fill out an inspection form after completing a complex procedure, which could be stored and shared with other technicians working on similar jobs. To make the knowledge sharing even clearer and more valuable, the inspectors could include pictures, video, and detailed descriptions so future techs don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time they struggle to finish a challenging job.
5. Evaluate Sales Opportunities and Account Potential
Due to their face-to-face interaction with customers, field technicians are the boots on the ground so to speak, so they’re in the best position to sell upgrades, new products, or extended warranties. Using mobile inspection capabilities, techs can inspect an asset on a customer site, take pictures to identify conditions that may require additional parts or services, and present that information to customers.
6. Integrate Inspection Information with ERP or Accounting System
Inspectors with a mobile inspection app no longer need to reenter data collected in the field. All information documented in the app automatically integrates with the ERP and back office systems. Field inspectors can use these integrations to track information related to customers, accounts, inventory, and new orders in order to immediately identify new opportunities and organize billing and account information.
7. Analyze Competitor Equipment
Create a form for inspectors to document and take pictures of all equipment on a particular job site. Figure out when and how customers are using competitor equipment, then form a sales plan to reveal how your equipment and services are better.
Conclusion: Gain Valuable Feedback to Actively Improve your Business
With heightened competitive pressures and increasing compliance requirements among crane businesses, there has never been a better time to provide your field workers with mobile tools to complete not only the information you need, but also the data you’ve always wanted in order to build a better business. Use the feedback you gain from real-time field workforce data collection to take action and improve your service business from the inside out.