Last year a company in Ohio was fined $250,000 by OSHA when it failed to remove one of its forklifts from operation after it failed multiple inspections for defective brakes. This was an expensive reminder that staying on top of inspection schedules and resolving failure conditions is unreliable at best with an outdated spreadsheet or paper-based system – and it could have been much worse. There were nearly 100,000 injuries and 85 fatalities from forklift incidents last year. Any disconnect between the status of an asset and management puts the employees using that asset at risk. Automated asset inspections allow users to view an asset’s current location, condition and its complete maintenance history and upcoming inspection schedule within seconds. Here are five ways your company can benefit from an automated asset inspection system.
Time is money, and when employees are spending countless hours tracking down assets and manually entering data from inspections, it costs large, unnecessary amounts of money. Simplifying this process through automation makes it more efficient and cuts down on administrative costs. You know exactly where your assets are and don’t have to spend time transferring data from your inspection sheet to a spreadsheet. Consequently, employees have more time to focus on more important tasks. Investing in an automated system may seem expensive but using the “cheap” paper and spreadsheet way costs more time and money in the long run.
Improved Accuracy and Efficiency
According to a study from Dartmouth College, 94% of workplace spreadsheets contain manual errors. Some of these errors may be minor and go unnoticed, but others can be very costly. Even Fortune 500 companies are not immune to such mishaps. Emerson, one of the biggest technology and engineering corporations in the world, came up $3.7 million short while estimating the total cost of a contract bid because of one cell that had not been included in the formula that calculated total expenses. Inaccuracies when it comes to asset inspections can also be costly, but more importantly, jeopardize safety. A false input indicating that an asset is safe to use when it needs a part fixed is hazardous for employees. The risk of human error from manual entry is minimized with an automated system.
Easier Audits and Compliance
Compliance audits can be stressful when you have to franticly look for the right paperwork. When it’s automated, all inspection information can be easily accessed online. Additionally, effective systems alert you in advance of upcoming inspections to avoid missing deadlines. These alerts allow you to stay up to date on inspections and resolve maintenance issues right away before they get worse. The cost of a failed inspection can quickly add up, costing over $13,000 for every day beyond the abatement day.
Automated asset inspections allow employees to be assigned responsibility over specific assets. There are many benefits that come from involving employees and holding them accountable. It stresses deadlines for important tasks and increases employee participation and effort. Studies have shown people perform better under observation, commonly referred to as the Hawthorne effect. We have all experienced this effect. If we’re at the gym and know someone is watching us, we tend to run a little faster or lift a little heavier. The same is true at work. When we are accountable for something, we tend to work a little harder to ensure we do a good job.
Data Continuity and Consistency
Analyzing data becomes nearly impossible when there are inconsistencies in the formatting of data. For example, someone may enter the date of an inspection using day, month, year while someone else enters it as month, day, year. Or two different inspectors may describe the same piece of equipment differently. This causes inconsistent data in the maintenance history and upcoming inspection dates. Automating these processes ensures that all data is consistent and creates continuity over time.
Making the switch from manual asset inspections to a reliable automated asset inspection system is critical to ensure your assets are being properly managed and inspected. Good asset maintenance not only increases ROI exponentially, it creates an overall more productive workplace.