Incorporating Photos into Mobile Inspections

21 Aug
Phone inspection photo

Technology Enabled Business Solutions

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In a recent blog post, KTL discussed checklists as a common—and important—way to collect information. Mobile forms and technology make completing checklists and inspections of almost any type easier and faster in the field. The data provided through these checklists is highly valuable, as it can be easily manipulated and analyzed to inform business decisions.

However, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so imagine if those checklists and inspections could be accompanied by photos. This is exactly what KTL has developed to assist clients in conducting various types of inspections—from routine safety checks to environmental reviews to facility-specific inspections.

Photos Tell the Story

In some cases, photos are used strictly to provide visual documentation of inspections conducted. Photos can often highlight best practices and pinpoint concerns better than words. In other cases, photos may be used to help visually document changes over time. A photo log showing daily, weekly, or monthly progression provides the ability to compare photos, making it easier to identify changes that could be missed through regular site visits.

Using Microsoft Power Apps®, KTL has built a custom app that collects typical form data according to the site’s needs, but also has the functionality for site staff to take and upload photos associated with the checklist. These photos have associated latitude and longitude, so photo location can be displayed and reviewed on a map.

Once the photos are taken, they are named, catalogued, and stored directly in Microsoft SharePoint®. As a future enhancement, the app may also be capable of producing PDF reports summarizing the data and incorporating the photos entered into the mobile form.

A More Robust Record

The ability to associate photos with inspections creates a more robust record:

  • Provides a visual representation of site features on a specific date and time
  • Allows for easy comparison based on date and/or location
  • Enables real-time physical monitoring/review/analysis from the office based on photos uploaded from the field
  • Helps identify areas for continuous improvement and then assign required follow-up actions
  • Integrates with an overall compliance management system for a comprehensive view of compliance status

And, importantly, this functionality can easily be expanded to other business needs where visual representation would provide more comprehensive and valuable data.

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