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Structurally Sound

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Structural Surveys Ltd is a specialist structural engineering consultancy providing inspections of commercial buildings, assets and residential properties.

Based near Manchester, but covering the entire North West of England and North Wales, Structural Surveys has grown significantly in the past year, largely due to quality of service provided by their experienced engineers.

Recently we caught up with Andrew Russell, Managing Director to discuss how technology is playing a role in Structural Surveys’ ever-expanding business.

Andrew, who has 38 years of structural engineering experience working with leading consulting engineering practices around the world, has seen the evolution of technology in his industry. Andrew explained “I spent many years working with a notebook on site and then trying to decipher the notes once back in the office, possibly days later, before eventually typing up a report; I just knew this wasn’t a very efficient way of working”, he went on “in later years, I used dictation to record a digital voice file, sending it to a typing pool before receiving a text file back and then I would prepare a report.  Our industry can be resistant to change, and while dictation was an improvement on paper and pen, I still found it frustrating. When I founded Structural Surveys, I knew there had to be a more effective way and having heard of GoReport in the past, I decided to look at their digital products”.

Structural Surveys design and inspect a wide range of building structures, across most sectors of the built environment and are aware that time is of the essence. Andrew notes “clients refuse to wait a couple of weeks for reports, so by providing a high quality aesthetically pleasing report within a day or two of a survey is impressive to our customers and helps gain repeat business”.

Alex, Florence and Andrew

On a personal note, with the arrival of baby Florence, time has become more precious to Andrew and fellow director and wife, Alex. Florence has highlighted the importance of  striking the right work- life balance and technology provides maximum adaptability, Andrew stated “as the technology is easily accessible, I can take slots out of my day to be around for my family for example by working from home in the evening, I am able to enjoy bedtime with my daughter. That flexibility is a real bonus”.

When asked if there was any downside to the technology and its adaption Andrew cited “Getting used the technology was a bit odd  in the first one or two surveys. Inspecting and the dictating simultaneously was different to what I was used to, but I feel I have mastered that very quickly. Also the new generation of the GoReport process has seen big improvements with voice recognition, much better than the previous edition, and I now feel very confident using the technology”.

With a wealth of knowledge of building defects, Andrew has put this to good use with the development of a phrase library, of which Andrew remarks “this is a huge time saver, and I consistently draw upon it whilst on site. The other features I find most useful; are the dictation combined with the speed of the voice to text transcription and the capability to annotate photos, alongside the ability to automatically place photographs into the reports at the relevant points”.

Andrew also went on to praise the GoReport team by saying “I found everyone I’ve spoken to at GoReport extremely helpful and very responsive.  One of the really positive aspect is knowing that there is quality support. GoReport are not just about developing something, you know you can pick up phone or e-mail and get a very rapid response and they understand what you need”.

For more information on Structural Surveys please visit: www.nwsurveys.co.uk  or contact them on Tel: 0333 3554920 or e-mail: enquiries@nwsurveys.co.uk

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