• Posted On: October 13, 2015

How to Help Your Post-Recession Number of Building Inspectors Keep up With Demand

Economic growth – we all want it, but sometimes there are obstacles. Lending rates, legal slowdowns and supply-line delays are just a few examples of hurdles to growth. Sometimes it’s a local problem, as in there’s too much work and too few workers. In many places around the country, that is the case for building inspectors. Demand is high and inspectors are few.

When the Recession hit, new construction rates across the nation took a nosedive. With less building going on and lower revenues coming in, many local governments felt the need to cut their number of building inspectors. Now that the economy is resurging, demands for inspectors from new construction sites are also on the rise. It’s often tough for the skeleton crews to keep up.

One county had to cut 60 percent of their inspectors during the past five-to-six recession years. During that time, inspection requests fully dropped by one-third. No one had the money to build or to buy. Commercial and residential building ground to a snail’s pace. Now, however, the scant crew of building inspectors remaining has had to log overtime just to overcome a one-to-two week backlog.

One answer, of course, is to hire back more building inspectors. But that isn’t the only answer or even always the best answer. You need to evaluate if you need to hire more staff or just better equip the staff you already have. Because if you can enable the same number of building inspectors to work more efficiently each day, then you can meet demand without exceeding your budget.

After all, it isn’t just the number of passing inspections you need to worry about. Yes, construction must stop and wait until inspectors give the go ahead. Yes, this can mean up to 10 visits by an inspector throughout the process. But there is also the issue of failed inspections. Each failure also means a halt. Even if only a minor fix is needed to become compliant. Construction is on hold until building inspectors can return to check on the fixes before building can move forward.

But keeping the construction process fluid doesn’t mean that you have to add to your staff. There is a way to empower the building inspectors you have to make it through a high number of daily inspections. The right software tool can keep your inspectors in the field doing what is needed rather than running back to the office to fill out, file and organize paperwork. With Comcate’s building inspection tool, your people can perform site visits, document failures, issue warnings, even record photos for potential court action – all without ever having to leave the worksite.

Comcate is a software company built by former community leaders who understand what it’s like to sit behind your desk. We know what your job is like and we’ve designed tools to help. Contact us and see what we can do for you. While you’re at our website, check out the many testimonials from other civic leaders who’ve seen how Comcate improves performance and the bottom line.

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