Companies that are still performing inspections in the traditional paper-based system are confronted with many limitations and risks. We have repeated the risks of paper-based inspections many times due to the safety risks.

Worksites are often dangerous places to work in surrounded by heavy machinery, equipment, plus all the people moving around.

Businesses from all industries are constantly looking for methods to prevent mechanical hazards or work accidents. 

Work inspections require a proactive approach especially when they are performed daily. Modern technologies or software tools have only recently become part of an inspection routine. Many companies nowadays are still using manual checklists, excel spreadsheets, and/or paper-based forms which are not only disrupting organization collaboration but can cause many other negative outcomes.  

Below are the four most common paper-based inspection challenges companies face regularly.

1. Human Error

Human error is inevitable when conducting paper-based inspections, mainly due to limitations or harsh working conditions. The costs of performing an incomplete or incorrect inspection are huge.

When an inspection is incorrect or incomplete, the operator has to travel back to the worksite. That implies another round of budget allocation, assured transportation, and valuable time. While still conducting paper-based inspections, operators are having a difficult time supporting information with objective data.  

Have you experienced human errors in your inspections?

1. Time & Costs

When processes run smoothly and without interruption, businesses experience an increased uptime.

How much time and money do you think you would save if operators could see issued and rationalized alarms, all in one place? 

As long as the operators do not have instant access to the checks that have been carried out before, and can't overview what important matters emerged from those checks, the communication between them and the other departments will be slow and difficult affecting all the departments within the company. 

banner with text and two oil and gas operators next to a oil terminal

3. Data Access. Slow and Difficult

Is communication among operators and other departments bridged within your company? Have you ever measured how much time is spent communicating data within the company with all the people responsible for the projects you run? 

You should consider the optimization of the work processes e a top priority in order to overcome the present-day challenges and communication disconnections. 

Are you considering building a seamless integration between the office and the field operators? 

3. Audit Trail

How much does one worksite visit cost your business? When performing paper-based inspections one error is enough to force the operator to go back on the worksite. These are costly, time-consuming and in some cases involve very complex logistics. 

For a clear and concise understanding of the impact of digital inspections on your business, you can read the article How can your organization make the most of digitizing operator rounds? Case Studies. 

Final thoughts

We understand the magnitude of the industry's risks by conducting operator rounds and inspections in the traditional, highly-time consuming way. Our clients have chosen a mobile solution and support system like Smartflow because of the high necessity to revamp workflows, data collection, task management, maintenance management, production tracking, and compliance. 

Smartflow is a platform that helps businesses accelerate the execution and compliance of Operations, Maintenance, and SHEQ workflows by offering a single solution for all mobile workflows. It enables field engineers to smartly capture and visualize data.

Smartflow provides various field service-related business solutions that are easily accessible and at the same time scalable and adaptable to local preferences. It acts as a front-end of the EAM, where the EAM system still remains to be the single source of truth.


  • Leo Brand

    CIO at Vopak
    With the rollout of the Smartflow platform at our terminals, we will be able to speed up, building our digital infrastructure to transform our frontline operations. Our people at the terminal will be able to work much more efficiently, and they will be supported in standardizing processes like ISGOTT and digital operator rounds.
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    Thomas Visser

    Management Trainee Vopak Europoort

    Usage of the Smartflow environment makes it much easier to standardize workflows and to reduce administrative time and errors. For example, when a tanker is discharging her cargo, only questions relevant for discharging activities are provided.
    Furthermore standard information and remarks that are applicable for Vopak Terminal Europoort such as emergency procedures, can be pre-filled thus reducing the amount of questions that need to be performed.
    Having all data in one digital environment makes it possible for each stakeholder to have easy access to all relevant and up-to-date ISGOTT documents. Zero paper waste as operators perform the process using a PC and ATEX certified tablet.

  • Mark van der Wolf

    Director Service & Projects at MOBA
    Smartflow offers MOBA many advantages in terms of efficiency and lead time reduction of the service order process. By implementing the user-friendly Smartflow, we expect a significant reduction in the manual administrative work of both the service engineers and the back office.
  • Mario Rovers

    Manager AMTeK at Aboma

    The Smartflow app helps inspectors collect and interpret data. We can easily analyze data and prepare for future events or to predict failure. Data can be analyzed immediately consequently improving the quality of inspections.

What is holding your organization back? What is the element that is still missing from deciding to implement a connected worker solution?

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