The department’s property inspectors were using a clunky PDA application. They wanted to replace the legacy system.
Not just transferring the same inefficiencies to a larger screen, Enabled worked with WA Housing to transform their aging PDA-based system into a real-time inspection app.
The app resulted in significant productivity improvement & engagement for field staff while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
When Enabled was referred by Telstra’s mobility team to the Western Australian Department of Housing, the department’s property inspectors were making use of a clunky PDA application.
Uptake of the PDA device throughout the business was limited, and feedback from WA Housing staff pointed to numerous issues with both the device and application itself. Further to this, the Windows Mobile platform had become obsolete and it was no longer possible to source new PDA devices.
There was also a need to establish more comparable results between periodic inspections. As the PDA allowed evaluations with freeform text, each inspector could establish their own vocabulary resulting in a mainly qualitative assessment with a high degree of comparative ambiguity.
From the outset of the project, Enabled also understood that the Department were looking to also replace their legacy management system, but the move to a more robust mobile solution should not be slowed down by this longer term migration.
At the time, the 3G iPad 2 was identified as the most appropriate device. As a proof of concept to demonstrate its feasibility of apps on the smaller screen, Enabled also offered the same app but formatted for the iPhone, this was readily accepted by the Department.
Not simply transferring the same inefficiencies from a PDA device to a larger screen, Enabled redesigned the Inspection system from the ground up.
We also enabled complex property assessment with a shared vocabulary system, smart reports, workflow management, security features and much more.
As the app would be used by mobile staff out in the field, communication was vital. Considering all four elements of WA Housing’s inspection solution, we set up the Web Services and integrated the solution into the existing ERP system.
Previously, mobile staff used digital cameras during their housing inspection trips. Photos are extremely important as evidence in court cases, but cumbersome to take and document. Now directly within the new iPad app, WA Housing staff can take pictures, which include GPS time stamps and metadata.
These photos, stored together with inspection notes, provide better evidence while allowing staff to focus on more important non-admin tasks.
The project not only resulted in an app, but also a new way of doing things, with benefits such as: