Why you need a centralized reporting system

Kevin Bett Jul 2015

In this post I explain the important benefits of having a centralized reporting system to manage NDT reports.

Agile NDT Reporting system dashboard

Every NDT inspection that is carried out must be documented in a inspection report. This serves not only as a record of the inspection and result but contains technical information essential for any follow up inspections.

I have often found that many NDT service providers neglect the importance of inspection reports, after all, it’s usually only tangible evidence that the paying customer has to show for their money.

Many reports that I have seen in my 15 plus years experience as a level 2 NDT operator are lacking in at least one significant area, be that layout, design, technical parameters or usability for the creator.

Essentially a NDT report must be designed in a way that effortlessly passes the often complex technical information along to a non-technical reader. Ideally in a well designed and pleasing to read way.

NDT reports are actually legal documents and the author should be willing to stand up in a court of law and defend all the details described in his/her report.

Centralized Location for More Control

If I’m the own or manager at a NDT service provider company, I want to make sure that the reports created are stored in a location where the whole company has access. I want to be sure that the management can access and review all reports created by the technicians. This is mostly for quality management, as a manager I can’t be in the dark and out of touch with the reports my company is producing.

With many NDT providers this can be the case. Without a centralized location for report storage, often NDT technicians create reports on their laptops or desktop machines with don’t have a centralized location for report storage. This can result in an unwanted distribution of various reports in many different unmanageable locations.With technicians coming and going it can be impossible to maintain order, just what you don’t want in a system which manages legal documents.

Having a central, well maintained repository for report storage must be one of the priorities for any credible NDT service provider.

Unique Report Numbers for Traceability

Each individual NDT report should have a unique identifier, usually in the form of a report number given by the author. This is essential for traceability and referencing. The report number is usually in a pre-defined format set by the service provider or parent company. Without a centralized reporting system the management of a report numbering system can be impossible to maintain.

NDT service providers may have technicians working simultaneously in many different locations and maintaining a track of which is the latest report number to use can be difficult. What usually happens is that a book or spreadsheet is used and numbers are assigned to different technicians as and when they need to create a report. Even if all the technicians are in the same office keeping a track of report numbers manually can be nightmarish.

Having a centralized reporting system with a database however, allows for the automated generation and control of report numbers. Thus allowing the author to concentrate on the content of the report and not worry about which report number they should be using. Whenever a new report is generated the system automatically assigns the next number in the sequence. This simple feature can make the difference.

Maintain Control over Report Layouts

Generally having a centralized reporting system will mean that there are more controls over the actual layout and formatting of the report. Technicians will not be able to change the parameters or the layout design of reports. Control over this is essential in any quality management system.

When technicians have the ability to change report layouts, the original design of the report ofter merges into something unrecognizable as each individual may change the layout to incorporate their desired changes.

Intuitive Interface for Ease of Access

So having a centralized location is important for the basic ability to manage reports created by many different technicians over an extended time period, however the ability to access this centralized repository is also crucial.

This is where having an intuitive interface that easily allows users to navigate through all reports in the centralized location is a must. Lets take the example that I’m the owner of a service provider company again. I would want to quickly review all reports created by my staff in a particular day. Having a centralized repository is great but I need an intuitive way to access it.

With our product the dashboard page shows an at-a-glance overview of what is occurring. This is great if you are a manager. You can see right away what is happening in your NDT business, who is creating what reports, the results and if the client has received their reports yet.

If you’re looking for complete cloud based NDT reporting solution which has email integration as standard and can help you streamline and improve your reporting processes, consider getting in touch for a free no obligation consultation.

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