Everyone has apps they love for weather, news, sports, recipes, games, and personal fitness tracking, but could you ever imagine using your smartphone to conduct a risk audit or safety inspection?
The holiday season is upon us and many will be giving or receiving an iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android.
There are plenty of options out there when choosing smartphones and you should expect modern audit software to work properly on any of them, not to mention larger format tablets. Many insist that the size or form-factor of even the largest smart phone is not adequate for the data collection activities that are necessary for an audit. It may be true that utilizing a smartphone to type up a full audit findings and recommendations report is less than ideal, its usefulness in collecting information during the physical walkthrough or inspection should be considered.
Your smartphone likely supports Voice-to-Text
During an audit or inspection one thing holds true in almost every case. The surveyor has a need to take notes quickly that will be critical to his/her report. This is where individual style and preference takes over. Some carry a clipboard and jot down notes on paper. Others carry a laptop and type everything they can remember when they get a chance to sit down. Your smart phone gives you the ability to dictate the notes you want to reference for your report in to any text field. This is ideal if you are using an audit data collection app, but you can just as easily load a report template in to Google docs and edit it through your browser on your phone.
The Apple iPhone products may hold a slight advantage over the others when it comes to conducting a field inspection or survey. This is not to say that Android and Windows phones don’t support voice-to-text, but you may need to do a little research to figure out how it works. Everyone knows Siri, and although many find Siri to be a little annoying, the option to speak instead of type is ubiquitous.
Your smartphone is a camera
You may already be using this feature of your smartphone during an audit. There are countless occasions where a picture is worth a thousand words. If a picture isn’t enough there are apps like skitch and evernote that allow you to annotate your photos with words, shapes and drawings.
Your smartphone is connected
One of the most important aspects of any audit is the ability to share and collaborate on the findings. Even when conducting an inspection in a facility in a remote location with no wi-fi connection, it is likely that a cellular data connection is available.
Your smartphone is exactly that — yours
It’s already in your pocket and you are probably already on a plan that supports voice and data. Modern audit management software should offer native apps that can be easily installed for free from the app store, windows store, or google play store. BYOD (bring your own device) is the new normal for many industries with increasingly more workers conducting business and personal activity on the same device.
So if you happen to be the recipient of a shiny new smartphone this holiday season, consider the many ways it may, in fact, enhance your audit productivity. But make sure you load it up with your favorite games, news, and shopping apps first 😉 — Happy Holidays!!
If you would like to test some of these methods on your own, contact me to get set up with a free trial of CompWALK mobile audit and inspection tools.