Intelligent mobile technology transforms Sefton’s Building Control processes

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (Sefton MBC) has extended its use of Idox technology – reporting savings and success with the Building Inspector (BI) app.

Designed to allow site surveyors to work on the move, the Council’s Building Control team is now able to create, view and complete inspections on site, before automatically syncing case information to the back office when connected with Wi-Fi.

Such mobile working has boosted productivity by reducing paper trails and removing time-consuming parts of the process such as manual file creation, location and retrieval – key aims for the Council generally. In due course, the app is also expected to reduce the amount of physical space needed for storage.  

Ian Berrington, Service Manager for Building Control at Sefton MBC said:

“Idox’s BI app has allowed us to take full advantage of the benefits of agile working, helping us achieve savings in terms of efficiency, reduced storage costs and fewer work stages. Before the Building Control team used the app, officers would retrieve the case file for each of their planned site inspections from the filing system, take the file out on site with them, make their handwritten notes on the site report card and then return the case file to the filing system. The app removes the need for these stages, freeing up staff time, ensuring reports are always legible, and avoiding potential inspection delays via misfiling across our two office locations.

“The app has the additional benefit of being able to store supporting technical information which can be accessed on site by the contractor or property owner if required. From a citizen perspective, a site visit from a BCO with the ability to access and populate their files electronically via a tablet, must appear more professional than referring to paper-based notes and plans. Overall, digitising the Building Control process through the BI app has provided a net benefit in terms of time and cost savings.”

Following a successful rollout for the Building Control team, the Council – who already use Uniform, Public Access and EDMS for Planning and Building Control – is currently exploring how Idox’s additional role-based apps can be adopted by its Planning department to realise further savings.