Reseller News

Council inspection app boosts productivity and consistency

Robotic process automation technology rolled out to a dozen repetitive processes
Building inspectors and ratepayers are benefiting from a new Auckland Council application.

Building inspectors and ratepayers are benefiting from a new Auckland Council application.

A building inspection app running on Microsoft Surface devices has created a "one stop shop" for Auckland Council inspection staff in the field.

Rolled out in February after nearly a year of development, the app replaced multiple different platforms and devices used by the council's regulatory services team, which completes up to 160,000 building consent inspections a year.

The application was built in an SAP certified add-on called Neptune, selected due to its seamless integration with the current SAP User Interface frameworks, the council told Reseller News.

"This allows for the same look and feel as any other SAP Fiori application, a great aspect of continuity for the user," said the council's director of ICT, Mark Denvir.

A key requirement of the app was that it needed to work offline whilst the inspectors were on site. For that reason, development was complex with a key consideration that back up data for offline applications required the application to use its own storage. 

A synchronisation module was required to be designed and developed to ensure that there were no data inconsistencies when the offline data was backed up, with the back-end server. 

The application was chosen to run on the latest Surface Pro LTE, with Windows 10. This allowed the inspectors to use the device as a form of a “one stop shop” for everything including emails, SAP and the Inspect application itself. 

With up to 180 inspectors all utilising the same way of working, the app has boosted productivity, saving time as well as money.

Council has also rolled out robotics process automation (RPA) from UiPath to execute repetitive business processes 

"To date, the RPA initiative has automated 12 processes and has achieved savings of around $0.6 million," Denvir said. 

Included in this is automation of invoice payment processing and public consultation submission processing.