Tap Report co-founder and CEO Paul Amendola had been managing fire and life safety inspections in Toronto’s financial district for six years when he started looking for digital solutions that would help him navigate the multiple inspection reports, maintenance orders, and asset approvals that kept coming across his desk – and found little.
The closest he remembers finding was a few barcode-based systems that were “very difficult to use – and very expensive.”
“It was very difficult to stay on top of everything,” he says. “Staff would sign off on what they thought was the kitchen in the north east corner, but unfortunately it would turn out to be the south east corner, which we wouldn’t find out until the tenant started complaining – and that happened a lot. People were making mistakes, signing off on paperwork that said they were there when they weren’t, and unless I went to every single asset and looked at the tag on it to see if it was signed I wouldn’t know if it had happened or not.”
“And if you don’t fix something and an emergency happens, you’re in serious trouble.”
Tap Report simplifies the process by replacing the inspection labels on workplace safety assets such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits with NFC-tagged microchips, similar to QR codes, and the pen-and-paper reports with an inspector’s mobile device.
Instead of tracking their work on a clipboard, the inspector need only tap the chip and shoot a photo of the device being inspected to prove their work – and Tap Report will automatically generate a report for managers like Amendola’s past self who need to verify that it was done.
“Now the manager knows that the inspector’s in front of the exact asset they’re supposed to inspect because they actually have to tap the microchip,” Amendola says.
Managers can also use the app to provide inspectors with specific instructions unique to each asset – a fire extinguisher, for example, will have different safety criteria from boiler room or a generator.
“And if there are any problems, it’s easy for the inspector to say, ‘There’s a problem,'” Amendola says. “They can pick it from a dropdown menu. They can take a photo. And whatever they do is attached to that specific asset so there’s no longer any danger of inspections falling through the cracks.”
Since the app was first used by its first client (a downtown Toronto medical facility that declined to be named) in November 2014, Tap Report has been used to conduct more than 9 million inspections, Amendola says, in industries as varied as manufacturing, property management, and health and safety.
And in case you’re wondering, it’s available on both iOS and Android.