Trafalgar has recently launched across all branches nationally, an android tablet application to automate property inspections and reporting to owners and tenants. The application developed for Trafalgar by Digital Matters, a Bryanston based IT development specialist, equips Trafalgar property inspectors with a tablet device to inspect and record all the relevant details of a property inspection. Property type templates are fully customisable to the specific building and unit concerned and once loaded, ensure that the property inspector focuses on all the defined elements of the inspection template to achieve a comprehensive inspection. Any items which are not in a good condition require a photo to be taken as a description with voice and written notes to add for scoping of the necessary repairs. Tenant and inspector signatures are captured on the tablets together with a time and GPS stamp to confirm the inspection process and record. Synchronising the tablets on returning to the office enables the inspection reports to be quickly prepared for preview, editing comments and photos with finalisation and distribution thereafter. The finalised inspection reports are electronically archived on a document management system for legal record purposes and a maintenance action list report is also generated for a maintenance administrator to attend to the necessary maintenance work required.
This is an exciting technology enhancement for Trafalgar adding rigour to the all important property inspection process. Defined templates which need to be fully completed to sign-off, enforce a comprehensive inspection, previously difficult to control with a paper based system. Mandatory photos for all items scored below ‘OK’, enriched with voice and typed notes, all embedded in an inspection report, add a new dimension to property inspections. Whilst the inspection process at the unit may even take a bit longer due to the controlled scope and photography required by the template, the packaging and reporting of the inspections is significantly accelerated together with an enriched and more meaningful report format.
Experience has shown that thorough and careful property inspections together with promptly attending to identified maintenance items significantly reduces long term maintenance costs whilst enhancing the value of the property concerned. Scoping maintenance work and quotes required using photographs also significantly accelerates maintenance delivery. Equally, the property management of buildings overall is significantly enhanced by regular and careful building inspections also covered by the tablet application.
The introduction of android tablets as a core business tool initially within the property inspection space, opens a whole new arena of functionality and scope extension. Already a number of projects have been initiated to utilise the tablets more widely to support field based staff to be more productive, available to clients and associated service requests and to support automated reporting requirements.
Written by Andrew Schaefer (Managing Director)