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Mobile Inspection Apps: The Future of Manufacturing

Mobile Inspection Apps

The COVID-19 pandemic had a drastic impact on the manufacturing industry. During the outbreak, many big manufacturing companies turned to mobile inspection apps to complete inspections without a site visit. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, inspectors could conduct inspections and audits on-site. As such, mobile inspection apps came to rescue these manufacturing companies. Mobile apps allow employees to capture real-time data from the inspection site in the form of photos, videos, and audio and upload it to a centralized system. This system can then be accessed by the site visitor to conduct inspections.

Mobile inspection apps have the power to address one of the significant challenges plaguing the manufacturing industry – labor shortage. Recent research revealed that almost 2.4 million manufacturing job positions will remain unfilled between 2028. The global pandemic has exacerbated such labor shortages, putting the manufacturing industry under even more stress. Since the pandemic is still ongoing, manufacturers are still facing restrictions on the staffing thresholds. 

Smart mobile apps can help manufacturing companies fight labor shortages by getting the job done with a limited number of workers. The apps streamline the existing processes, making workers more productive. They increase the efficiency of workers by cutting down the time they spend on redundant and repetitive tasks by digitizing all business processes and paper forms into offline easy-to-use apps. Mobile inspection apps can also capture the expertise of experienced workers, which then can be used to guide the younger ones. 

Mobile inspection apps improve the inspection process in many other significant ways, such as:

  1. Digitization of paperwork: Mobile apps eliminate paperwork and digitize all field collection forms and processes, making processes much simpler and more efficient. 
  1. Elimination of unnecessary tasks: Mobile apps allow users to automatically create reports and databases, thus eliminating all redundant tasks. You can create and export a digital form through the mobile app. 
  1. Real-time data and planning: The traditional technique of inspection planning is quite tedious and time-consuming since each inspection has to be manually entered on a map/list. With mobile apps, this process is digitized. Managers get access to real-time inspections that allow them to plan ahead and reduce errors.
  1. Instant reports: Mobile apps generate automated quality reports just after the completion of the inspection. This allows both inspectors and clients to make quick and well-informed decisions. 
  1. Improved communication with the organization: Mobile apps allow for efficient communication between the inspection and maintenance teams. They allow for real-time data sharing, thereby eliminating any administrative time lags. 

Using low-code/no-code Platforms for Mobile Inspection Apps 

Accelerated by the global pandemic, many manufacturing companies are rushing to make mobile inspection apps, but often they lack critical features that are important to improve workers’ productivity. A mobile app should prioritize user experience and high levels of customization based on the needs of the workers of a particular company. Low-code/no-code platforms excel in the customization and personalization of mobile apps and are easy to create. There are many advantages of using these platforms to develop inspection apps. Some of them include:

  1. Higher Levels of Productivity and Safety 

Your field workers do not like wasting time on the floor, and they want easy-to-use tools that make their job easier. To perform their jobs better, workers should be able to move around the working facility without having to worry about any potential injuries due to a disorganized floor. They should be able to perform their jobs easily, efficiently, and safely. Apps made on low-code platforms allow for better visual management of the workspaces. 

An excellent example of a mobile inspection app is the 5S Audit App, which is built on lean manufacturing principles and eliminates all the unnecessary tasks done during an inspection on an everyday basis. The 5S Audit App allows for a better, quicker, and more detailed collection of data in the form of photos, videos, and audio and is committed to improving the working environment for field workers by enhancing productivity and safety.

  1. Greater Optimization

Low-code platforms for mobile apps allow for greater optimization for remote workers, helping them capture inspection data with just a click. Low-code platforms facilitate the creation of inspection apps with the ability to take pictures, dictate notes employing speech-to-text capabilities, and highlight those pictures with a digital link. They also include an app checklist with customized control functions for data input and data capture. These apps have large pass/fail buttons that allow users to swipe left and right across inspection questions’ screens. 

  1. Offline Capabilities 

A mobile app cannot be called mobile until they work offline as well. One of the essential features of a low-code platform is the ability to develop apps that work even offline. Even though most worksites have internet connectivity, many remote locations, especially in rural areas, may not have a stable internet connection. Sometimes, the worker may be in the middle of the operation, and internet connectivity fades out. If the app does not have offline functionality, it will lead to incomplete data entry and failure in operations.

Similarly, imagine if an app is offline for a couple of hours in an area with a bad connection. Once the connection is restored, a large amount of data has to be uploaded successfully, and this might take an entire day. Smart apps developed on low-code/no-code platforms with offline functionalities can save you all that trouble. 

  1. Digital Transformation 

Mobile apps built on low-code provide greater agility by combining less coding with automated testing. They can efficiently respond to change and adapt to the customers’ needs and market changes. Developers do not have to learn complex code to make immediate changes. Instead, low-code facilitates changes quite organically. Inspection apps made on low-code/no-code save money and time, digitize paper-based processes, improve data quality, and reduce errors, thus paving the way for a complete digital transformation. Allowing field workers to accomplish these tasks leads the path to true digitization. 

Given the tremendous benefits of low-code/no-code in developing mobile apps, they pave the path to a bright future for inspections and audits.

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