How smart inspections will revolutionize your business

How smart inspections will revolutionize your business


Laptop in a shadow


Over the past year our organization has seen tremendous growth and user adoption across our platform and across many different industries. We have learnt a lot about our clients, who they are and how they are different, they fall into three different categories: 

  1. The Unaware - Don’t know the technology exists and is affordable, completely oblivious to digital process optimization. 
  2. The Cautious – Aware of the technology, wants to try it out, gets the concept but they are too busy running their inefficient paper & excel based business. 
  3. The Adopter – They get it, they have been looking for something to help them and often after the demo they sign up and don’t even need a 14 day trial account.


Exploring Business Risks of “The Unaware” and “The Cautious”

Below I am going to touch on why you and your business are at risk if you are, The Unaware or The Cautious.  


The Unaware – Around 10 months ago I went to a meeting with a man whose company provided specialised machinery into the food industry of which he serviced and maintained as well. We were introduced by an AssetPool client who knew this company would benefit from the move over to our digital solution. This company built really impressive equipment and have done so for many years, when I began to understand their process the alarm bells went off immediately, it was clear they were losing money, loads of it, and very unnecessarily. Could we help his business? Without a doubt, but could we help his business with the leadership we met? Unlikely. 


While they have a good business, and without going into too much detail, this business is in trouble as it has been left in the hands of the elderly founder’s children. They have not changed any of the processes for many years, they are taken advantage of by their clients because they often fail to prove when work was carried out, be it a repair or a service and they are completely at the mercy of their staff doing paper record keeping correctly. 


It is important to know when to handover the reigns of your business, it is more important to handover the reigns to the right leadership to take the business forward. As Robert Brozin – Founder and CEO of Nando’s puts it in this article by London Business School – “You stop getting tickets to the rugby world cup final, you walk into the office and the guys you were meeting with yesterday are meeting with somebody else. And people are a bit quiet, they’re a little bit scared to talk to you, which really dents your ego. Then you look around and see the business doing well, the profits improving and all of that stuff and you think ‘jeez’.


In the end we demonstrated AssetPool and explained to the Managing Director how we could help, the next steps were just beyond his comprehension as he had not kept up with the times, he did not even use a computer in his business to get his own e-mails. The biggest risk this business faces is lack of change, if they do not change their outlook on innovation and leadership I’m afraid they will be a casualty of ignorance.


The Cautious – Vastly different to the Unaware and not in quite as much of a pickle, they understand technology, they have systems and processes in place, some fairly current and they know that someday they will have to adopt a “Smart Inspection” system which does away with paper, excel, corrupt and delayed information. It’s not even a case of if, it’s a case of when? So what’s the hold up!!


These guys can run great businesses, they are great to deal with, they work so hard that they really are considered by industry as the top of their game. This brings to mind a couple of companies we have dealt with in the past, they came to meetings with us, they get it, and they walk out with a Trial account set up – then nothing! A week goes by, we make contact and something has come up, a month goes by, the lead is cold and we simply have to respect their time and the fact that life happens or they have chosen another software provider. 


What are the risks of delay for these guys who are busy or on the fence? 

  • Their competitors are using a platform and these competitors can offer their clients a digital solution. Soon we will be in a world where clients will no longer accept paper-based checklists and excel spreadsheets.
  • Their competitors will seem advanced and pro-active, giving them an edge. We have seen this happen already. 
  • Their competitors will see improved profitability and savings, fast! Which inevitably will allow them to capitalize on reinvesting in their business, perhaps even some smart advertising.
  • The biggest risk will be convincing their competitor’s clients to leave them in future, because once the client is on the platform and gaining benefit from it, the client will be reluctant to move over to another organization and lose the history and accessibility of the current provider’s platform.    


What is an example of an inefficient paper based process vs a digital one, and how it is directly linked to costs? 


Scenario – Your client 150km away calls your reception, it’s 07h30am, they report an urgent callout to site, a critical piece of machinery you just installed on a production line has gone down, they need assistance ASAP and a report on the findings sent urgently as management is very unhappy and need answers today.


Paper & Excel Process: 

Your company is using a paper job card, paper checklist and a camera to take photos, which will be attached to the Job card. Let’s investigate and explore the process: 


  • Call your technician who is on his way to the office 15km out, he is asked to go to the site urgently as he recently did the install. He agrees but needs some more Checklists as he has run out. 
  • Arrives at the office, has a coffee and grabs the paper checklist – Leaves 08h30 
  • Arrives on site 2 hours later – 10h30
  • Works on the machine for 4 hours – 14h30
  • Drives back to the office – 2 hours – 16h30
  • Scans job card and checklist to administrator who has stayed late to help. E-mails photographs. 
  • It is determined that a control arm was bent, and the client must cover the costs. 
  • The report is sent to the client at 17h30 with an invoice for the day's costs and overtime. Invoice Value = $734


Outcome - The next day the client claims the control arm was bent on installation and wants proof it was an issue after the installation happened, however at installation time the technician forgot to take a picture proving the installation was fine and the control arm was in good condition. Although the client may be wrong, they are a big client so you cover the costs – A loss of $565  


chart of paper costs


Digital Inspection Process:

Your company is using AssetPool Smart Inspection. Let's investigate and explore this process: 

  • Call your technician to let him know to turn around now and go to site, you will issue the AssetPool job to him
  • He gets a coffee on the way and arrives on site 2hrs 15min later – 09h45
  • Works on the machine for 4 hours – 13h45 (Closes the job) 
  • He heads home for the day which is 50km from site and 45min travel time -14h30 
  • The administrator and the client get the automated Job card. The administrator invoices. Invoice Value = $626

Outcome – The client accepts the invoice, he is happy with the turnaround time and service as well as the good price, he doesn’t even know your margin is in fact better than a paper based margin. He doesn’t argue the point on the control arm because the previous AssetPool report shows the arm in good working order. 


chart of cost of digital

The solution is simple, you have to adopt a digital Smart Inspection solution for your business & the sooner, the better. It’s not only good for your bottom line it HELPS SAVE THE PLANET – Less mileage, Less paper!


Michael Kirk

Specialist in process management, digital transformation and change management! Passionate about our businesses, it's people, friends and customers we help on a daily basis.

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