With rapidly changing technology affecting all areas of industry and making the world a smaller place, find out about how SGS’s digital inspection solutions can save you time, resources and money.
Starting in the new millennium (2000), the fourth stage of industrialization, known as Industry 4.01, has further shrunk the world. By the time Industry 4.0 is over, who knows what new technologies and scientific discoveries we will have at the push of a button, or even at the pointing of a finger?
On the same and parallel path, the testing, inspection and certification sector is experiencing the same kind of revolution in how the sector operates. New technologies are now ubiquitous, affecting traditional ways of doing business. Among those activities affected are inspection and audit activities, wherein independent inspectors and auditors physically visit a site to verify and confirm if things are being conducted in the proper manner in accordance to set rules and policies.
Interestingly, inspection and audit activities happen in different aspects of society, such as in government, business-to-business and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In the government sector, adoption of these new technologies is relatively slow. While utilization of IT products has improved many administrative functions, initiatives to rethink modes of operation in other areas of governance using new IT interventions remains unorganized. The introduction of SGS’s QiiQ® technology can considerably change this notion, and bring enormous benefits to government institutions.
Restrictions in people movement
A global pandemic like COVID-19 impacts everyone and everything very quickly, effectively bringing all social and economic activities to an almost complete halt. Inspection, audit and other regulatory works are among the activities which are severely affected by such global health issues. But then, many aspects of society and the economy rely on inspections and audits, and they need to continue, in spite of movement restrictions. There must be another way of doing things in this environment, the so called next-normal.
Introducing the SGS QiiQ app
The QiiQ Digital Inspection System is a new SGS application. It employs cutting-edge technologies that allow people and institutions to perform remote and online inspection2, verification and other regulatory activities. QiiQ was originally designed by SGS for use in the industrial and commercial sector, but its features can also be of great use for governments and the private sector as well. QiiQ is currently being used by SGS in many of its services across all sectors such as industrial, environment, health and safety (EHS), government/institutions, oil and gas, and others.
QiiQ is a highly interactive application, making full use of technologies including the internet, smartphones, computers, cloud storage and others in performing remote visits, inspections and audits, in order to achieve regulatory objectives.
QiiQ allows office-based staff such as inspectors/auditors to remotely connect to the smartphone or tablet of another person, such as a client. In the QiiQ environment, both the inspector and client can interact in real-time. All photographic, video and audio proceedings are fully recorded, thereby enhancing transparency and upholding the integrity of the whole inspection process.
QiiQ is multi-connectivity capable, making it very useful for organizing multi-member inspection teams, allowing them to simultaneously interact with the same client/party. QiiQ is a fully developed application system which can be customized according to the inspection needs of the user/s.
Not just the typical online videoconference app
The SGS QiiQ Platform is more than a conference call application. While it can be classified as an online video conferencing tool, QiiQ differs from the rest in the following aspects:
- QiiQ overrides the smartphone at the client side for full camera control
- QiiQ has ‘screen scribble’, frame-capture, and other useful functions for better interaction
- By design, QiiQ interaction events are securely archived in a professional and organized manner for easy reference and retrieval
- By design, QiiQ operates in a highly controlled digital environment ensuring full data security
SGS QiiQ’s applications
The SGS QiiQ application is a limitless tool for trade facilitation. It can cover all aspects of an organization’s activity where communication/interaction, transparency and coordination are necessary.
SGS QiiQ can fit well in a government environment, especially within its regulatory functionalities, i.e. where onsite visits, inspections and audits are involved which normally entail enormous resources in terms of manpower, logistics, finance and other administrative collaterals.
Benefits of using the SGS QiiQ digital application
The SGS QiiQ digital application technology provides a totally new perspective on how we can do things which were unthinkable just few years ago; that is, by providing a virtual but real-time presence in a faraway place which allows direct interaction with another person.
The following benefits can be attributed to SGS QiiQ:
- Increased productivity and efficiency
Travel times are eliminated, with additional time made available for other equally important activities
- Faster logistic supply chain operations
As there is no travel time required for the inspector, inspections can be scheduled within a very short notice period, helping trade in the logistics supply chain
- Enhanced safety
Hazards related to personnel deployment in the field are minimized
- Increased flexibility in inspection activities
Spot attendance, inspection milestones, non-conformity or failure investigations can be arranged at the shortest notice. Inclement weather or traffic congestions become irrelevant when setting up remote inspections
- Enhanced transparency and integrity of inspection process
Images and video footage of material, components, equipment and vendors, provide valuable backtracking evidence. Opportunities for graft and corruption are minimized. Inspector integrity and transparency is enhanced
- Legacy documentation of all inspection processes is preserved
As all QiiQ interaction activities (online inspection, training, consultation, etc.) are fully recorded, they can be reviewed in the event of investigations, research, and personnel evaluations and appraisals. All recorded inspection proceedings under QiiQ can be re-used as reference and training materials for newly hired staff. Inspection experiences and knowledge are well-preserved and accessible
Why choose SGS?
As the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company, we offer unrivaled experience and expertise in the field of product certification and approval marks. Plus, our unique global network has accreditations to all major standards and regional regulations. As a result, we offer you comprehensive services for a wide range of consumer goods – all over the world.
Contact us today to find out more about our certification and product mark services.
Learn more about SGS QiiQ Remote Inspections.
This article can also be found in our PCA Newsletter (Q1/2023) – which keeps you up to date with developments in technical barriers to trade and product conformity assessment.
Read more PCA articles (Q1/2023)
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- Selling to Saudi: combined conformity assessment services for textiles
- Trouble-free Tanzanian Trade: PVoC services and eTrade solutions
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1 Industry 4.0 refers to a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data.
2 For ease of understanding of this publication, ‘inspection’ shall be used interchangeably for words ‘verification and confirmation’.
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