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One regional district in British Columbia has put CityReporter’s facility inspection module to work in their waste management division. District staff are able to easily conduct inspections of transfer stations, landfills, and recycling depots on their mobile devices, even in remote areas with no cellular service.
The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, located in the Central Interior of British Columbia, is using CityReporter to save time during their regular inspections of landfills, transfer stations, and recycling depots.
For several years, the Regional District had been using CityReporter to inspect their recreation facilities and community halls. Staff within the district began looking for other ways they could use the inspection software and came up with the idea of using it to handle waste management inspections.
“The CityReporter module for facilities is very flexible,” explained Pamela Liu, the client support liaison who helped the Regional District throughout the setup process. “All they needed to do was create several custom checklists and then set up each landfill, transfer station, and recycling depot as a location.”
“In this particular case, the Regional District staff were adapting their existing inspection process to a checklist-based process, but if a local government had existing checklists and paper forms they could easily enter those same questions into CityReporter to get started.”
Employees of the Regional District can now inspect all waste management operations using smartphones and tablets, thereby eliminating the need for data entry back at the office. The software works even when used in the many remote locations they serve.
Any locations with safety hazards are automatically highlighted in red, making it easy for management to see which areas need attention. At the end of the year, staff can run reports to see what operational problems cropped up most often, such as vector control, fire protection, public safety, or general housekeeping.
The City of St John’s has implemented a new process for building permit inspections that will see inspections done more quickly and effectively. City inspectors will be equipped with CityReporter inspection software on their smartphones and tablets, which will allow them to complete and file reports electronically.
In May 2015, the City of St John’s, NL rolled out new technology to improve their building permit inspection process.
Building inspectors will begin using CityReporter on their smartphones and tablets to complete and file their reports electronically.
As a result, both the builders and the city inspectors will be able to go through the typical permit process much more quickly and effectively.
Thanks to this new technology, our inspectors will need to spend less time in the office, permits will be generated more quickly and deficiencies will be reported faster so that they can also be acted upon in a timely manner – everyone benefits, from the City to the builder to the homeowner.
The smallest towns and villages are responsible for processing building permits and conducting thorough inspections of construction sites. The Village of Radium Hot Springs, a tiny location in BC, Canada, decided to adopt CityReporter to ensure a good audit trail for building inspections.
Arne Dohlen, a building inspector for the tiny Village of Radium Hot Springs, started using CityReporter in 2011 to process all the village’s building permits and handle all his building inspections. It’s proved to be a valuable tool over the years.
Dohlen has said that he believes the program will provide the Village of Radium Hot Springs with “a good audit trail” for building inspections. To learn more about the results from the Village of Radium Hot Springs, click the PDF icon above.
…the inspection program provides me with a comprehensive checklist of items to review at each stage of the inspection and easily allows me to append photos to the inspection files.
Mike Pigg, parks supervisor at the City of Billings, MT, was recently recognized as the 2015 Young Professional of the Year thanks to the playground safety program he implemented using CityReporter.
Mike was credited with developing and implementing a new playground safety program for the City of Billings. With more than 40 public playgrounds, the process required his team to document the equipment at each location and research a tool that would help them efficiently conduct their safety audits.
Pigg settled on CityReporter as his playground inspection tool of choice and his staff are now in the process of conducting thorough inspections of all the play equipment at each of Billings’ public playgrounds.
More than 15 park districts across Illinois use tablets for their playground inspections. One supervisor explains what he likes about CityReporter and how it’s improved operations in his own department.
Wauconda Park District, located in Illinois, decided to try CityReporter after seeing it at the annual IAPD / IPRA conference.
Mark Ftacek, the administrative support supervisor, was responsible for implementing the new digital inspection process. He started by entering all the district’s parks, playgrounds, and sport fields into the software – then showed his team how to conduct regular monthly inspections using their mobile devices.
The methodical approach paid off. Ftacek is now able to run customized reports on everything from outstanding safety hazards to park vehicle repairs and has also found the digital system has eliminated his department’s paper waste and storage issues.
It has made reporting so much faster and easier and we have less paper waste for recording purposes. Overall it is a great program and I would recommend it to any agency that does safety and / or other reports / audits.
After two sawmill explosions rocked the lumber industry in northern BC, one pellet plant decided to implement mobile inspection software to stay on top of daily wood dust inspections. The results of their pilot project are promising.
In 2012, deadly explosions in two sawmills in northern British Columbia, Canada, resulted in fatalities and increased scrutiny on the role wood dust plays in industrial accidents.
The primary agency for workplace safety in the province, WorkSafe BC, now conducts regular wood dust inspections in mills across the province. Individual plants are also stepping up their ownership of the wood dust issue by doing their own daily inspections and providing the results to WorkSafe BC in a weekly report.
Still, the sawmills struggle with the amount of employee time and paperwork involved in inspecting every surface throughout the plant for wood dust. One plant in particular has turned to technology to assist them with the process.
Premium Pellet Ltd has been using CityReporter for about 5 months now for our dust inspections. […] We feel that this system allows good tracking of inspections and follow-ups to assure all levels of management that our plant is kept clean at all times.
More Results to Expect
In the Province of British Columbia, highway maintenance is outsourced to contractors. To prove they are are fulfilling their obligations, contractors are required to provide the government with documentation showing their work meets required quality standards. That takes a lot of paperwork.
Yellowhead Road & Bridge was one such contractor.
“In their own words, they used to deal with ‘a massive amount of paperwork’,” recalls Steven Findlay, president of Noratek Solutions. “Their inspectors needed dozens of different forms for every inspection. Imagine carrying binders with hundreds of sheets of paper along with you on your highway inspection. That’s what they used to do.”
Implementing Digital Inspections
“The majority of our user base had little technological experience, but they were able to quickly grasp onto this concept and incorporate this function into their daily operations,” stated Greg Poitras, who led the implementation. “This process, and the resulting database, enables all users and management to utilize incredible amounts of field inspection data.”
… allows us to collect our field data and associated pictures digitally, thus eliminating a huge paper processing function for our organization. This new data collection program was widely accepted by all users and deemed to be relatively easy to use.
The Town of Qualicum Beach implemented building inspection software as part of a pilot project… and improved their processes so much they were featured in a case study put together by BlackBerry.
Mark Eshpeter is a registered building official who worked for the Town of Qualicum Beach, BC for years. He first started conducting inspections on his tablet in 2009 as part of a pilot project. It’s been part of his daily life ever since.
In addition to helping him conduct methodical, consistent inspections, Mark appreciates the ability to use his tablet to take photos and attach them his inspection records right inside the building inspection software. “This greatly reduces the likelihood of uncertainties after construction with the contractors and home owners,” he explained.
…it is important to know, for sure, that critical inspection processes are being done on time, documented in writing, and verified with digitally embedded photographic proof of the deficiency and corrective action.
One building department in BC, Canada used to struggle with inefficiencies, lost paperwork, and expensive multi-part forms. Since implementing inspection software on their tablets, their paper-based problems are a thing of the past.
One problem with paper forms? They can get lost. Robert Blain, Technological Services Manager for the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, sent us a letter detailing what sorts of inefficiencies their building and planning department had in the past when doing building inspections.
The regional municipality has been using CityReporter for building permit inspections since 2012. After seeing positive results, they have begun using the inspection software in other departments as well.
With our old paper-based system we struggled with lost forms, having to print photos to insert in building files, and purchasing expensive multi-part forms […] All of these problems are now a thing of the past. Our files are now complete, legible, and have photos to document our findings.
The City of Colton’s Bill Smith has both a CPRP and CPSI designation. He knows what’s critical when it comes to keeping his playgrounds and recreational facilities in top condition. According to Bill, CityReporter meets his maintenance reporting needs in several ways.
Bill Smith, the current city manager for City of Colton, CA, knows what he’s talking about when it comes to parks and recreation. With a Masters of Public Administration and both his CPRP and CPSI designation, he knows what it takes to keep the city’s parks and playgrounds safe and well maintained.
Back in 2013, Smith learned about CityReporter and began using the inspection software for playground safety inspections and facility maintenance inspections in his city.
Smith goes on to share the results he’s seen – click the PDF icon to read the letter he sent us. At the end of the day, he “whole-heartedly recommends considering CityReporter for your maintenance reporting needs.”
I use CityReporter to assist with inspection of our city playgrounds, providing checklists, documenting compliance, noting repair & maintenance concerns, and keeping files for each of our facilities.
Located in British Columbia, Canada, the City of Campbell River began using CityReporter’s park inspection module in order to reduce their risk of liability. After three short months, they were able to report that they had already seen improvements in the efficiency and consistency of their park inspections.
Even better, they found the switch from traditional paper-based forms to CityReporter was easy.
The transition from paper to electronic has been easy and Noratek has provided us with excellent customer support. I would recommend CityReporter to any organization involved with inspection reports.
Located in British Columbia, Canada, the City of Castlegar was looking for ways to improve the way they conducted their building inspections. After trying CityReporter’s mobile inspection software, they were impressed and decided to make the switch.
Since then, Castlegar has reduced their departmental expenses strictly because CityReporter eliminated the majority of their paperwork. They no longer need to print documents, use microfiche, or pay for storage facilities. As an added bonus, going paperless helped the city meet their “go green” initiative.
Beyond the cost savings it has helped our city with our Go Green strategy and makes doing the inspection process quicker and more consistent.
Back in 2011, the Zion Park District wasn’t too sure about switching to CityReporter. They had a number of existing problems – misfiled or missing reports, incomplete inspections, and high transportation costs – but their maintenance supervisor didn’t like computers at all and thought using inspection software would be frustrating.
Fast forward to 2013. Thanks to support from the CityReporter team and some park employees who were enthusiastic about going digital, Zion Park District made the change after all!
The park maintenance supervisor now finds that using CityReporter’s inspection software is almost a second nature to him. As a result, the district has been able to save about $4,000 annually, and that’s after counting the cost of the annual license.
When I first pitched this idea to our maintenance supervisor he was skeptical as he does not like to use computers. He found an employee who embraced the idea and has helped him […] Now he can pull up any park on his computer, see what needs to be done, and get the fix started.
After seeing a fellow fire chief use an iPad for fire prevention inspections, Burns Lake fire chief Jim McBride decided to give the new technology a try.
As the Director of Protective Services for a small village in the north-central interior of BC, Canada, he had many priorities to juggle and couldn’t afford to waste time on inefficient processes. The time savings were significant and Jim McBride now uses an iPad mini for all his fire inspections.
Sandwich Park District, located in Illinois, is responsible for maintaining 9 parks and 1 facility with a small staff. In 2012, they began using CityReporter in order to streamline their operations and get more done with a limited amount of resources.
Over the next 12 months, they were able to reduce the amount of time spent on park inspection paperwork by 50%, thus freeing up their staff to work on more important tasks.
Download the case study below to gain insight on what Sandwich Park District did in order to minimize the time spent on inspection paperwork. You’ll come away with ideas for doing more with less in your own department.