Category: Cloud Software

Using Cloud-Based Industrial Inspection Software to Digitalize Your Business

To meet shifting customer requirements while continuing to provide superior industrial inspection services amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ways in which providers run their business and provide service to customers are rapidly and necessarily evolving.

For industrial inspection providers, the business climate, both current and future, remains fraught with uncertainty. This is especially true for those that have inspectors or engineers performing work on assets and equipment on customer sites.

Indeed, the need for digitalization of inspection service delivery and management processes has never been more apparent. With low barriers of entry into new technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), remote sensing, advanced video inspection equipment, blockchain, and digital twins, the tools you need to make big changes are ready to be integrated into your business.

Moving too quickly and haphazardly deploying new technologies, however, is a recipe for failure. Without a single, digital system of record in place on the backend, customer data remains siloed and still requires manual steps to integrate, analyze, and output into customer reports.

To fully optimize your industrial inspection processes via digital transformation, both from a business and service delivery perspective, it is necessary to have a cloud-hosted digital platform on which to stand these technologies up.

Industrial inspection software, when delivered in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, can effectively serve as this digital platform for companies that perform inspection services in industrial environments.

Cloud-based inspection software is scalable and is usually priced on a per-user basis, allowing you to easily add or remove employees or contractors on the fly. In fact, companies switching to cloud-based software on average see a 19.63% increase in company growth.

Cloud inspection software, as opposed to on-premise software, is by nature always available from a computer or mobile device. Therefore, your “uptime” is guaranteed, allowing you to perform critical inspections without worrying about potential IT issues and downtime. 

Because the software, data, and computing power is managed automatically in the cloud rather than on a company server, it is easily accessible by everyone across the organization. Also, with cloud-based inspection software, you can grant different types of permissions to your workforce based on their roles, giving them access to everything they need and nothing they do not.

Administrative efficiency is also a big benefit of cloud inspection software. It makes it easy to digitalize paper forms for capturing inspection results and data. Inspectors can capture data from a mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone, then push it directly into the software in real-time. This speeds up the process and eliminates the need for manual input of data when inspectors return to the office.

Data security is also a top priority for industrial inspection providers. With your customer’s data being stored in a secure cloud environment, it is much safer than being kept on a local computer hard drive or, even worse, paper forms in filing cabinets that could be compromised via theft or fire.

Cloud-based inspection software, especially if specifically designed for inspection management, can support key business functions, including:

  • Quoting / Costing
  • Scheduling and dispatch
  • Managing inspectors
  • Data collection from various inputs and technologies
  • Output engine for customer reports
  • Invoicing and payment management

Cloud-based inspection software allows better inspector utilization and time management, consistent and easy data capture, detailed job costing, real-time job status for your customers, and a streamlined billing process.

Learn more about Floodlight Software, cloud-based inspection software designed to digitalize industrial inspection business operations.

Floodlight Software Presenting at American Welding Society (AWS) Inspection Conference

The Floodlight Software team will be on hand both presenting and exhibiting at the American Welding Society (AWS) Inspection Conference Jan. 21-23 in Houston, TX. Held at the Hyatt Regency, this conference is a joint effort from the AWS, the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), and the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing (AINDT).

These organizations are joining forces to explore the latest trends in corrosion engineering, NDT, steel construction and welding inspections.

In addition to topics on inspection methods, techniques and equipment, the idea of “Digital Transformation of NDT businesses” will certainly be top of mind for inspection companies looking to stay a step ahead of the competition.

If you are attending the AWS Inspection Conference and are interested in learning more about how technology can improve your business, please join us for a presentation titled “The Operational Value of Digitizing the NDT Inspection Process.” This interactive presentation will be given by Floodlight Software’s own Bruce Breeden at 11:30 am on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Arboretum 1-4.

In this session, Bruce will outline how to approach digital transformation by mapping the end-to-end processes and critical steps necessary to streamline an NDT business and deliver better service to your customers.

Visit our product tour page to learn more about our cloud-based inspection management platform, which can digitally transform your inspection business from quote to cash.

How NDT Management Software (SaaS) Is Making Pipeline Inspections Safer

There are roughly 3 million miles of pipelines distributing oil, natural gas, and other hazardous liquids across the United States. This dispersed network weaves across North America and grows in complexity depending on the geographical abundance or dearth of natural resources. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), this tangled web of steel and plastic is under-regulated and generally not safe. 

In the last decade, the gas and oil pipeline industry has fallen prey to an alarming loss of lives, injuries, and financial damages. Consider the following data compiled from 2009 through the end of 2018 by FracTracker, an industry reporting group. As a direct result of pipeline fires and explosions during this period, there were:

  • More than 5,500 incidents
  • Almost 600 injuries
  • 126 fatalities
  • $4 billion in damages
  • More than 30,000 people that needed to be evacuated

According to FracTracker, 1.7 pipeline incidents are reported each day in the U.S., requiring 9 people to be evacuated, and causing almost $1.3 million in property damage.

And to make matters worse, this data is not even close to being comprehensive. As reported by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), just 5 percent of gas gathering pipelines are subject to safety regulations. With the number of pipelines in the hundreds of thousands in oil fields across the country, gathering pipelines are largely unregulated. 

Clearly this situation is a major safety concern for the environment and the general public, but also for those on the frontlines servicing, inspecting and performing non-destructive tests on these potentially volatile assets. These modern-day heroes are out performing the work that can prevent accidents and save lives. 

Despite the critical nature of the work and high customer expectations, many NDT businesses still rely on manual processes for service delivery, both in the back-office and in the field. Paper forms are prevalent and create problems in getting accurate and timely information to customers.

With the recent innovations in data capture, including drones, sensors and barcode or RFID scanners, NDT businesses can now take advantage of a long list of technologies to help them serve customers better and keep pipelines safe. 

In light of the new technology that is popping up, software, long one of the easiest ways for businesses to streamline processes, has become almost an afterthought. Perhaps that is due to the siloed nature of business software, requiring integrations in order to interface with other software used in the business or by the NDT teams themselves. 

There are many types of highly specialized NDT software on the market today, each with unique value adds. Most are highly specialized and focus on the tests themselves, allowing an efficient way to both perform NDT and record the results.

Cloud based software subscriptions, or software as a service (SaaS), is also beginning to penetrate the NDT market, and for good reason. The ability to capture data from the field in real-time and push it into one system of record is invaluable.

In our work with NDT inspection companies, we have witnessed several ways in which NDT software can help you better serve your end customers. This will in turn prevent even more pipeline accidents, saving lives and irreparable environmental damage. 

Some of these improvements include:

  • Making field inspectors / testers safer
  • Making field inspectors / testers more productive
  • Enhanced collaboration
  • More accurate data capture
  • Better business decisions
  • Better communications with customers
  • Better customer service
  • More timely reporting
  • Always available data
  • Increased data security
  • Easy data access and recovery
  • Low administration and overhead
  • Low price point
  • Fast time to value
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved DSO
  • Improved time to cash

If you want to make your NDT inspections business better, safer, and more profitable, moving from manual, paper-based processes to one process of automation via software is crucial. To learn more about cloud-based NDT software for your business, visit our solutions page

Automating Industrial Inspections and NDT with Cloud-Based Software

As the NDT inspection market becomes an increasingly critical element of the global economy, the way industrial inspections companies deploy software needs to evolve. With a wide range of software available to the inspections and NDT markets, it is common for an organization to use disparate systems that don’t integrate, compromising productivity, customer service and competitive advantage. All too often, an industrial inspections service provider is unable to grow their business because they do not have the appropriate systems in place to manage their customers across the entire lifecycle.

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