Smart Inspection Platform
For those of you who may not have heard the term Smart Inspection Platform (or SIP for short), this article explores the basic definition of a SIP, the components of a SIP as well as the core benefits a SIP provides for your business.
A Smart Inspection Platform (SIP) is a digital technology that creates a platform for you to record, view, manage, respond to and maintain key infrastructure.
Essentially, a SIP is an advanced computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Your SIP gives you a holistic overview of your assets in a single, user-friendly platform - with detailed, real-time reporting functionality. This informs your ability to make critical business decisions about your assets, your business processes and the health of your operations.
Moving to a SIP gives you all the benefits of digitization, without losing the vital business records of the past.
A SIP provides all the key data you need to better manage your business while removing the risk of losing important paper-based records. Asset inspections are carried out via a simple, user-friendly smartphone app, using a predefined checklist which includes any images of the asset’s condition that may be required.
AssetPool’s mobile app enables technicians to conduct their asset inspections in the field and update the relevant SIP record immediately via the cloud. We use QR codes to ensure efficient tracking and data input.
Once the smart inspection is closed off, remote or office-based staff have immediate access to the results of the inspection, in real time. This allows your team to make informed, responsive decisions to improve performance and mitigate risk in the business.
A SIP differs from a CMMS slightly in that it is made up of three core components. These are:
Let’s take a look at what these three terms mean and why they are important features for every modern business.
Smart Inspections use a combination of IoT, cloud technology and data to understand the condition of a physical asset.
Individual assets are added to the Smart Inspection Platform (SIP) and relevant checklists are linked to these. Field technicians (or office staff - depending on your use case) are guided through each inspection via the checklists. To ensure detailed and accurate information is being documented, images can be attached to inspections (where appropriate).
Assets that can be monitored through Smart Inspections range from computers to heavy duty vehicles; there is no limit to what this technology can monitor.
If a business has a physical asset which is required to deliver an output, it can be monitored using this technology.
Having a Smart Inspection Platform allows you to better understand your business environment and predict where you are going to face challenges or where you will incur an additional cost if something fails.
If you were a facilities manager running a large environment, like a shopping mall, you could deploy a smart inspection platform to manage suppliers / service providers, holding them to their Service Level Agreements (SLA).
In an environment like this you often have multiple providers who each have different functions. As a facilities manager you have to understand who is contracted to do what, and if they are delivering. A SIP gives you full visibility of your operations, allowing you to take back control and streamline the facility management process.
Read our article, How Smart Inspections will revolutionize your business, to learn more about the advantages of switching to digital over paper-based asset inspections.
How does Smart Monitoring via IoT work?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a brilliant network of physical items (things) that are connected and made “smart” via the cloud (internet). Smart Monitoring uses IoT technology to help companies maintain their equipment as well as deploy field technicians responsively.
This means businesses have the potential to reap rich insights from the torrent of real-time data and machine-and-human interactions in their environments.
Various ‘sensors’ are embedded in your equipment to connect them to your Smart Inspection Platform. The sensors are programmed to assess different performance parameters and to ‘communicate’ this information back to the Smart Inspection Platform via the internet.
IoT has shifted the way business decisions are made because it enables proactive maintenance. Using a Smart Inspection Platform and IoT devices, you can be notified of risks in real-time allowing you to proactively prevent them.
There is no longer a need for valuable time to be wasted assessing if a physical item is functioning as it should be. This time can be focused where it is actually required. When an asset goes down, a notification is instantly triggered via your SIP to alert your technician that the asset is offline.
Read our article, Everything You Need to Know About Using IoT for Digital Transformation, to learn why IoT should definitely be included in your digital transformation road map.
Jumping back to our previous example of being a facilities manager for a shopping center, we’ll look at how smart monitoring can help improve professionalism and mitigate risk.
For example, if an escalator in the mall broke down, AssetPool’s Smart Inspection Platform can, using the power of IoT, notify your vendor that repairs are required immediately. This reduces downtime and improves your customers’ experience.
While a broken escalator may not be life threatening, there are many asset breakdowns that are extremely risky. A Smart Inspection Platform positions you to understand the state of your equipment therefore mitigate your risk.
When it comes to fire safety compliance, from a health and safety perspective, you can be held personally liable if your safety equipment is ill maintained.
If you have a fire system that requires maintenance, for example, your SIP can notify vendors when maintenance is due. Should the maintenance not be carried out as required, an alert can be sent to the facilities manager. The inability of a service provider to perform in line with an SLA can be escalated and the risk associated with the incident can be avoided.
The same applies to other high risk industries such as building and construction or the mining sector, where an asset that’s in bad shape can pose a massive health and safety risk if not attended to rapidly.
Smart workflows are achieved when you combine your Smart Inspections with Smart Monitoring and automation.
This translates to reduced downtime and a more productive work environment with less need for human intervention. Control, especially when you're in a decentralized or high dependency work environment, is an ever increasing need and IoT is the solution!
Interruptions are one of the biggest challenges faced in any working environment. Some can’t be avoided, but there are many that can be significantly reduced if not eliminated altogether.
To anticipate interruptions and address them proactively entails analysis of data (which is not always available) and determining the approach that is most appropriate for your particular environment. But, how do you find the time to do this when there are so many interruptions that are urgent, important or both?
With a Smart Inspection Platform deployed in your business, accurate data is no longer a cause for concern: inspections are being carried out and evidence is in your centralized maintenance management system (CMMS). With this data now available, trends can be identified and you are one step closer to improved efficiencies. A maintenance schedule can be effectively planned and monitored without using an Excel spreadsheet or pieces of paper. This plan is available for all users to access at any time and can’t get lost.
Why stop there? Include IoT and Smart Inspections and your equipment can notify the relevant individuals when there is a problem and it is unable to perform to capacity or as anticipated.
When the IoT device picks up a change in the equipment that it is embedded in, it can be programmed to send a notification to anyone, including external service providers, for the appropriate actions to be undertaken.
This means that if a piece of equipment goes down in your business, it can be repaired by a technician, and will be back up and running before you even knew there was a problem. After the repair, making use of an additional step in the Smart Workflow, you can receive a notification of the event and all actions which have been taken.
Interruptions that would previously have brought your operations to a standstill are now eliminated. and you have all the information you need about the incident recorded in your Smart Inspection Platform if ever you need to refer back to it.
AssetPool is a powerful, cost effective Smart Inspection Platform that helps businesses to digitize their operations. Through this digitization, businesses have the opportunity to minimize risk, increase productivity and have greater visibility over operations.
AssetPool is unique with its ability to provide a simple user interface that connects your remote workforce, remote assets and provides you with data, analytics and reporting insights to enable you to achieve maximum value.
Many clients who use the AssetPool platform experience an unprecedented return on investment (ROI). Some of the hidden cost saving benefits of AssetPool include:
AssetPool is extremely affordable and has various package offerings available to suit your business needs. When comparing the cost of deployment of the AssetPool Smart Inspection Platform to the costs involved, the only real question is can you afford not to implement it.
The AssetPool solution is robust and has been tried and tested in multiple environments. AssetPool clients range from a marketing agency that has used the platform to monitor performance of their IT equipment to a mine, running heavy duty equipment, there has not been a business identified that would not benefit from implementation of the AssetPool Smart Inspection Platform.
Technology moves so quickly and AssetPool keeps this front of mind, always. We have a team committed to research and development, with improvements and updates being delivered to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry.
With so many elements of a business moving to digital platforms we are investigating integrations that would further improve Smart Workflows to minimize requirements for human intervention in relevant processes.
ApSense is the range of IoT devices on offer with the AssetPool platform. IoT devices have various specifications and the asset that needs to be monitored will determine which device is best suited to your needs. The AssetPool team ensures a deep understanding of business requirements and offers the device that will have the most significant impact on operations.