The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) is a nonprofit housing organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income Philadelphians. PHDC focuses on rehabilitating, modifying and weatherizing existing homes. PHDC provides pre-repair inspections, construction and project management services.
Field Service Challenges
A core business function of PHDC is to inspect and assess housing and recommend required repairs. Some of the challenges PHDC faced were:
- Scheduling the inspections was a tedious task that involved a lot of manual coordination with substantial cost and time overhead.
- Field Inspectors had to fill in a large numbers of paper-based forms for each inspection.
- Data capture from the field was often not accurate and sometimes some key information was missing.
- Budget cuts were forcing PHDC to cut inspector staff, but at the same time had to deal with an increasing request for inspections.
Field Inspectors needed an easier process to perform inspections in order to perform their jobs more effectively. PHDC wanted to use mobile technology to improve the inspection process on the field and improve scheduling and visibility from desk operations.
PHDC had specific objectives to be addressed in order for the mobile initiative to be a success. Some of the key requirements Speridian had to address were to:
- Automate the inspection scheduling and data collection process from the field, increasing efficiency and accuracy of field inspectors
- Provide an effective Inspection scheduling system to manage the inspection process
- Implement real-time GPS capability to monitor field activity
- Allow for offline mobile access
PHDC chose Speridian, recognizing its expertise with:
Field Service Solutions: Speridian has a proven track record in delivering superior field service apps for utilities and construction companies. Speridian consultants knew the challenges field service workers faced in the field and had designed processes which were optimal for field service usage.
Mobile Apps & Systems Integration: With many successful mobile initiatives, Speridian has developed a mobile application framework called Mobilize for successfully deploying field service initiatives. Speridian also has highly valued integration expertise and was a one-stop-shop for native mobile applications, systems integration & support.
Speridian deployed a mobile field service application to run on the iPads carried by PHDC field inspectors. Speridian’s Mobilize application provided an easy and efficient tool, which could be leveraged by the client’s field service personnel to complete inspections quickly and effectively.
- 40+ paper-based forms were automated and complex business rules were implemented in the Mobile Application.
- Inspection data logged into the application was available immediately to their Supervisors, thus saving a lot of time and improving the processing of the data.
- Using a web portal, office staff was able to schedule inspections with the appropriate inspector based on the skillset, experience & availability. This was a major improvement from the prior process of assigning inspections in an ad-hoc manner.
- PHDC’s management was empowered with real-time visibility of the field operations.
- GPS capability provided PHDC with the ability to monitor field activity and increase operational efficiency.
- Field inspectors are able to take photographs of the site and embed them as part of the inspection report.
- Field inspectors are able to accept client signatures on the iPad application as part of their inspections.
- Inspection reports were available from a web portal in a pdf format which could be downloaded & emailed to third parties like contractors. Having instant access to these inspections reports helped PHDC move away from a paper-based process.