In July 2011, the newly formed Jims Building Inspections (JBI) approached us (Gsoft Production Media) to create an iPad app that would enable their franchisees to carry out inspections in a quick and concise manner.
One of the most important features of the app was that it would store selectable “defect statements” that would dramatically increase the speed and accuracy with which inspections could be carried out. This was no simple task. We designed the app so that almost all data it used would be configurable via a CMS. This data is downloaded to the app periodically so that all users have the most up to date info, provided by JBI head office.
The app also downloads “leads” from the main Jims Group head office. An inspector simply selects a lead and uses its pre-populated fields to begin report. They then select the report type (JBI head office assigns various support types to each user) to continue. Some preliminary information is then gathered about the property, such as building type, construction type, weather conditions, etc. They then get to the main part of the app where they enter “defects”. The app enables them to drill down into the specific area of the property where the defect was found, and select from a pre-defined list of defect descriptions. From here they can modify the description in their own words to suit. They can also add photos with arrows, further illustrating the nature of the defect.
Once all defects are added, they will summarise the condition of the property and the app will generate the report in PDF format. At any point, the inspector can go back and make modifications, then regenerate the report. Once they’ve verified the report is correct, they can email it to the client directly from their iPad.
As with most apps, there have been some significant upgrades along the way. The current version of the app and website / CMS have some extremely powerful features that gather all data from inspections and store it in a sophisticated database.
Each inspection carried out via the app is uploaded to our CMS and can be “sold” again. This means that customers seeking an inspection on a property can search the database through the JBI website, and purchase a report if it has already been done.
Every piece of data that is input via the app (plus photos) is also saved in our database, so in the future, we’ll be able to extend our searching functionality infinitely.
We have plenty of plans for future upgrades of the app, website and CMS, but for now the 50+ franchisees using our system on a daily basis will continue to find value in it. And for JBI, the app continues to be an important sales tool when recruiting new franchisees.