4 Ways to Fix Your Site Inspection Operations

August 19, 2022

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Digital transformation is no longer a goal but a reality as companies have rapidly doubled down to stay competitive. Relying heavily on manual workflows is a lost opportunity and positions you poorly in the market. For the telecom industry, companies need to enable digitization and automation at scale, starting with the ability to leverage data for analytics-driven insights.

Ambiflo’s digital transformation ladder shows that most telecom contractors are not yet digitized, meaning they still rely on manually created site documents, processes, and project trackers. The telecom industry needs a solution that is fast to deploy, easy to use, and provides real-time visibility. Here are four steps to digitize and organize your site audit processes (and no, we don’t consider Excel Spreadsheets’ digital transformation’).

1. Digitize your form for mobile users

Too many telecom site operators rely on printed PDFs and manual data entry, which requires manually updating spreadsheets and site inspection audit logs. Simply moving to digital forms will greatly reduce overall workload and risk of manual error–better guaranteeing consistent enforcement of business rules and acceptable inputs and outputs.

Data entry and quality issues will become a thing of the past as mobile apps ensure improved data capture accuracy. And your site survey operations will be significantly streamlined as field techs quickly and easily capture and upload pictures associated with each site audit instead of waiting to get back to their office to organize them. Digitized site documentation drives best practices across all teams, including quick onboarding schedules and increased staff retention.

2. Mobile techs use the app on site

Deploying tech with easy-to-navigate UX/UI built for the field, will save you time on-site and back at the office. Apps can enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) and enable improved methods of procedure checklists (MOPs) while balancing the need for offline operations. 

With the inherent nature of telecom, it’s common for field techs to have low/no connectivity. View apps with offline operations so that when field techs regain mobile connectivity, the systems will auto-sync, pushing the latest changes. By capturing data in ‘offline mode,’ you can quickly communicate the site data to the back office, eliminating the need to share manually/send the files (or worse, drop off paper PDFs).

In Coolfire’s approach to this challenge, field techs select the site, choose their capture type, and get to work collecting data. Streamlined workflow on a mobile tool reduces time spent on-site by 30-70%–without the overhead of extensive field training. The built-in business logic ensures all the data is captured in full before the tech leaves the job. Everyone is kept informed by sharing tasks, locations, and information right as it happens. Collecting rich data across all teams is critical for decision-making insights.

3. Generate automated PDFs on site

Back office processing is expensive in terms of inefficiencies and human labor. In a recent telecom site survey case study, workers allocated up to 20% of their week for post-site documentation only. This productivity loss is attributable to manually transferring data from paper to tablet, going back on site when they missed a piece of data, or–in some instances–finding out they simply couldn’t read their own writing.

Auto-generated reports eliminate post-site manual reporting and human error. Coolfire Core is configurable to support custom exports of site details and images – for example, Glenline Telecoms adapted the software to design workflows and task lists unique to their customer requirements. With Core, Glenline’s site engineers can quickly document site details, easily upload pictures from the field, and ensure they’ve met customer requirements before leaving each site.

4. Automated end-to-end processes

Mobile-first tools enhance two-way communication between field techs and operations managers with automated reports and ZIP files shared upon project completion. Create handover packages in minutes from data captured in the field. Site capture processes are simplified with a built-in timeline, map, and list views to keep telecom field teams organized and on task. Field teams can see the latest assigned tasks and add job details as they move from one site to the next.

Connecting your existing systems to the field allows you to seamlessly push data directly from the field into your platform of choice. Digitally connecting teams to data reduces operational chaos, produces better visibility, and allows leaders to plan tasks and due dates. 

Your site audit processes will have improved quality and consistency, along with positive customer impacts downstream. Delivering real-time actionable insights will compress timelines for completed site audits and site remediation to commence earlier. Instead of manually sifting through a pile of static reports, your customers can see all project details digitally summarized in a centralized tool and schedule maintenance programs in real time for high-risk sites.

Adopting new technology is not only a means to stay relevant but a way to shape the future of your business. Cultivating your toolset is essential to stay competitive–and often gives you the competitive advantage. If your vision is to enable data-driven insights backed by streamlined field operations, consider Coolfire Core. Connect your field techs to the critical job info to capture site data faster and more accurately.

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