As an inspector, I started providing Construction Inspection services in 1983, and writing field reports was always a challenge for me. I took all the key field inspection notes in my handy pocket binder and then got on the road as quickly as possible to cover more inspection projects and/or beat the rush hour traffic home. I had the bad habit of not completing my final written reports until the end of the week when time sheets and reports were due. It always made Friday a very stressful, albeit productive day.
After 5 years in the field as a special inspector and another 5 years as an Inspector of Record, I somehow convinced my wife (who had been writing my reports and billing my clients for the last 5 years) that we should start a materials testing business. She was not interested at first, but then the home health care start-up business she was involved in dissolved, and she finally agreed to give it a try.
I was amazed to find out how many inspectors were like me - they loved to be outside the office setting, working in the field, interacting with contractors, engineers, and owners on a common goal to build a code compliant project. The problem became that many of us are not very good with handwriting, to the point where we had to hire administrative help to type up massive amounts of field reports. Technically-experienced project managers were then needed to review these reports and make sure they were coherent before sending them out to our clients. The worst part of this is that the time to type up these reports and review them was non-billable to our clients. How could a business survive in this fashion?
Technological Innovation is how, April 3, 2010, the iPad was first introduced!
It soon became apparent that this was the answer. We just needed to hire an experienced programmer/developer to find a way to help ISI make it all come together. We were lucky enough to find Verus Technology to do just that. GreenBox development was started, and in a little over two years we went live on the platform. Since then, we created a GreenBox video in 2014, and subsequently sold 4 licenses of GreenBox via word of mouth.
What has been so valuable is that with each new licensee we have been able to further improve and build on GreenBox's capabilities. GreenBox is now an entire resource management system that includes:
- Green technology that gets rid of paper platforms
- Cost savings from admin support and filing of paper
- iPads for inspection reporting including immediate photo documentation and delivery
- Dispatching capability which ties together the entire reporting, time keeping and invoicing process
- Supports marketing/laboratory test results, project management, inspector certification and expiration information, and much more
In general GreenBox was developed to allow Materials Testing Companies to focus on their core business needs as opposed to getting hung up in administration and processing paperwork.
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Article written by
Edward King, Executive Vice President