Common NDT reporting mistakes - Custom Fields

Kevin Bett March 2020

This is the second post in a series about common NDT reporting mistakes. One of the most common mistakes I see while consulting with NDT service providers is that many of them don’t enforce a consistent report design and layout.

Report Layouts & Designs

Often times technicians try to change the design and layout of NDT reports. This can be for a number of reasons, they might have been given specific attribute from the customer that they want included on the report, not wanting to disappoint, they may try and add on change exiting fields on the report to include the new field.

Another case might be to try and surpass inherent limitations with the system that you have supplied, so perhaps they need to add images or scan plans and the reporting platform just wasn’t designed to handle it. This can result in external sheets or layouts that were not approved by you or your management team.

Another scenario is often times report templates are given out in Word or Excel format and through differences in technician experience levels or even differences in computers over time especially your reports can begin to look significantly different.

So how do we fix this?

How do we maintain our report layouts, how do we keep our reports looking the same and over time and prevent individual employees or contractors from making things up as they go along. How can we have faith that our quality management procedures will not be compromised.

To gain more control over external processes you must centralise them. By bringing together what once was distributed you can exert more control. NDT reporting is no different, when we have a centralised reporting system you are in full control over all aspects.

A centralised reporting system allows you to define and maintain the report design and layout. This should make it impossible for employees to then try and change either to suit their particular job or project. Having measures in place to restrict the ad hoc changes to report layouts will improve quality management. Standardisation and continuity of report design is crucial to building authority and improving relationships with your customers.

Having said that though, of course there should be some form of middle ground here, it can’t be all one sided. We should have some flexibility in our reporting system to incorporate fields which perhaps we haven’t even considered before, I mean we can’t know in advance all the potential requests from customers when they might want something specific added onto a report.

Custom Fields

This is where custom fields come in. We should give our technicians the ability to add and label custom fields to cover irregular requests from customers. So having custom fields as part of a centrally controlled report creation and management system takes a step forward in maintaining continuity but also allowing for the addition of minor fields.

If you’re looking for a complete cloud based NDT reporting solution which incorporates custom fields 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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