ACHRNEWS

Software for Safety Inspections

February 9, 2009
The Versentia Mobile on tablet PCs supports inspectors in the field.


GLENDALE, N.Y. - You know how it goes when you write down system performance numbers when you’re out in the mechanical room. Things get smudged. Paper gets torn. If someone else has to key the information into the computer, handwriting can be misread.

Mistakes can be made. Heads will roll.

A new software suite from Insparisk, the Versentia™ suite, offers paperless data gathering for the safety inspection and maintenance of HVAC equipment (including boilers). It also can be used for the maintenance and inspection of elevators, fire detection/suppression systems, building façades, and electrical panels.

The first application, Versentia for boiler inspection, manages inspection and client data used in the boiler industry and combines customized routing and inspection functionality. Through a powerful backend database, it synchronizes with Versentia Mobile™ on tablet PCs to support inspectors in the field.

Using this software, Insparisk has performed nearly 270,000 boiler inspections in New York City on behalf of building owners, property managers, governmental agencies, property and casualty (P&C) insurance carriers, and others. Now the company is selling the product to mechanical contractors across the United States.

CONTRACTOR BENEFITS

“We see a huge opportunity in automating safety inspections in a variety of markets, many of which still function with pen and paper,” said Stephen Kleva, president and CEO of Insparisk. “The increased accuracy and efficiency enabled by [the software] greatly benefits jurisdictions, P&C insurance carriers, real estate management, risk managers, contractors, and others.

“The Versentia solution is proven here in New York City, and more than 100,000 inspections have been filed electronically at the NYC Department of Buildings since 1995,” he said.

It increases both data collection efficiency and accuracy, he continued. “We’ve seen this from the ground level: You move away from the paper basis, optimize data collection, and make it more efficient.” Data entry, approvals, checking, and billing, all become automated procedures. It reduces the human elements. “During an inspection, you would gather information that would have to be data entered,” he explained. There can be transfer errors. When the inspection is done using Insparisk, “the data goes right into the system.”

The software collects more data than an inspection may require. That data can be used by mechanical contractors to determine whether they need to perform repairs or maintenance. Performance degradation can be detected.

“We have used Insparisk’s boiler inspection services since 2005 in NYC,” said Vincent Scarcella, regional director at insurance underwriter CNA. “The company inspects about 4,800 boilers annually. Insparisk services are consistently high quality and reliable, as well as very cost effective.”

When Insparisk subsidiary City Spec performs inspections for its own customers, it includes digital images to accompany the report. “We use cameras to photograph the equipment and any deficiencies we see,” said Kleva. Versentia for boiler inspection enables inspections to be filed electronically, as well as tracked and catalogued with digital photographs. All inspection information is accessible for customers online.

While City Spec does perform inspections of its own in the NYC and Virginia-DC areas, “We don’t get into the part where we perform any type of maintenance,” said Kleva. “Our inspection services promote, enhance, and ensure the safety of our communities and their residents. We educate our clients on the safe usage, maintenance, and compliance rules for their equipment.”

The company also works as an inspection subcontractor to mechanical contractors and insurance companies. The program “helps other guys go out there and do the maintenance. We give them the data they need to make their job easier and more efficient.”

SOFTWARE DETAILS

The company pioneered electronic data transfer, or e-filing, of inspection reports and data in conjunction with New York City’s Department of Buildings. Seeing that there was a greater need for this, it branched out to create the software suite for use by other inspection companies and contractors. “We realized that the need was great across the board.”

The software enables inspectors to schedule inspection routes, and upload and download job details (including routes, contact information, boiler records, prior inspection results, inspection data, and digital images). It also initiates billing and inspection notification, and manages report e-filing.

Insparisk’s secure Website enables inspectors and their clients to access safety information 24/7, including information related to accounts and job status: inspection reports, filing dates, and building location and contact information. It also enables fee payments online.

“We’ve seen a large percentage increase of efficiency using an electronic means to collect data and maintain it,” Kleva said. “Everything’s tracked by a database and a computer. Paper trails can disintegrate.”

For more information, visit www.cityspec.com or www.insparisk.com.

Publication date: 02/09/2009