Our Work

Synergy Building Consultants

Onsite inspections on iPad

Around five years ago the Canterbury region of New Zealand suffered a number of devastating earthquakes. Both people and property suffered considerably, and the process of getting back to some level of ‘normal’ has been slow.

As part of the rebuild of Christchurch there are a lot of houses and commercial premises that need to be fixed.

One area of these properties that suffered was roofing, from warping to cracking, not many got away without any damage at all.

This is where Synergy Building Consultants came to Digital Fusion, they needed a better tool that would help them manage all the roof inspections that were being sent their way.

Up until this point they used a clipboard full of paper and a digital camera to assess a roof and make notes on the conditions and suggestions around repairs. 

As you can imagine, after completing 5-7 inspections per day, trying to work out which photo went with what report was mind boggling. As was the need to take the written notes and convert them into reports, ready to be emailed off to insurance companies.

Like most of the people that approach Digital Fusion, Justin from Synergy wanted/needed a better way to do things. He wanted to offer better customer service, a great integrity of data and most of all the ability to do things faster.

The moment Justin talked about the requirements we realised that FileMaker Go (iPad) and FileMaker Pro (desktop) would be the perfect fit.

The requirements for the project were:

-Gather information while out in the field. This included the ability to use pre defined requirements i.e. type of roof, pitch, flashings etc. On top of this there are free format fields that will allow Synergy to go into greater detail i.e. client discussions etc.
-Take photographs of the roof and it’s condition and store these directly in the app/report. 
-Once completed, the details needed to be sync’ed back to the desktop solution where the report can be generated.
-Back in the office the details are picked up using FileMaker Pro on the desktop. Within a few reasonably simple steps, a full report can be drafted up and emailed directly to the insurance company.
-All reports were to be stored in the desktop solution for future reference. Notes and communication with the insurance company and property owner are recorded against the report record.

What Digital Fusion built for Synergy is a seamless tool, from gathering data while up a ladder, to sending out reports. The speed of collection and reporting has been greatly enhanced, as has the accuracy of data.

As a footnote.

When we set out on this project we thought the gains would come from using FileMaker Go in the field. After reviewing things with Justin he now believes that the desktop is where he is getting the most gains and it’s where FileMaker sets this apart from other solutions available. The ability for Justin to manage and report on roof inspections has allowed him to take on more work, something that wouldn’t be possible without a mobile/desktop solution.

And the great news, Justin is keen to continue to develop the solution further. Within the next few weeks we will be adding integration with Xero to the solution, this will mean that invoicing is handled within FileMaker and then pushed out to Xero.