iPad usage begins to impact field inspectors’ work

As reported last month, NKAPC implemented new software in July that tracks and coordinates the activities of staff in a more comprehensive manner. TRAKiT makes this possible through the use of iPads for all field inspection activities. The iPads facilitate activities being more integrated, allowing staff to communicate better with one another on related activities, as well as to be more knowledgeable and productive in their responsibilities.

The TRAKiT program covers NKAPC’s responsibilities for building and zoning permits, building and engineering inspections, zoning code enforcement efforts, subdivision plans and plats, as well as planning and other large-scale projects.

“The use of the iPads is changing how we perform inspections”, said Brian Sims, CBO, Director of Building Codes Administration. “No longer are we needing to carry multiple folders out in the field with us each day, we only need our iPads. We're able to see previous inspection notes, plan review notes, conditions on the permit, and depending on size, the approved plans.”

Because the iPads store all of the previous history of a project, inspectors can be better prepared in the field to deal with changing situations.

“Before we started using the iPads, inspectors had no way to readily access information in the field about a past incident or inspection without coming back to the office to search through paper files”, said Scott Hiles, CPC, Director of Infrastructure Engineering.

“Because we have multiple engineering inspectors and multiple subdivisions under development at any one time, it’s virtually assured that more than one inspector will pursue inspections within a particular subdivision at some point. Now, regardless of who is on site he’ll have access to all of the previous inspection results at their fingertips.”

An additional benefit across all the departments that are using this new technology is the ability for the program, whether being used in-house or in the field, to identify conflicts and automatically alert the user. This helps reduce human error when resulting inspections using the iPad.

Martin Scribner, AICP, Director of Planning and Zoning adds, “The new technology helps streamline our process in many ways, such as providing automated results to inspections and adding photographs to files, all while out in the field, which means we’re not duplicating actions.”

“Prior to the iPad, we collected all of the data we needed from the field and then came back to the office to enter the results, which amounts to doing the same work twice. Only having to enter the data once has certainly made us more efficient,” he concluded.

iPad technology creates a streamlined, efficient process that leads to better prepared inspectors which results in more efficient and thorough inspections in the field.