Vendor inspection and surveillance services typically require specialised personnel to attend sellers’ facilities around the world. Every inspection assignment is unique, as are the modes of travel necessary to attend and confirm evidence of assurance. Depending on the product, a confirmation of product conformance may require multiple disciplines at the same or varying stages of assembly. The coordination of inspection stages throughout product(s) assembly add logistical challenges, especially at a time when travel parameters have changed. When normal operating procedures are no longer an option, a proactive approach to providing services can realise new and long-term opportunities.

Applus+ in Canada was active on major projects in North America and China when the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic was in its first wave. Personnel safety, border closures and travel restrictions made travelling from facility to facility no longer an option. The team needed a method to provide quality services for its clients with the confidence of product conformance, while contributing to the global effort of reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Using remote inspection to reduce risk of exposure to Covid-19

Applus+ had already been utilising video and audio technologies to improve access to expertise and in situations of limited access.  When facility access and travel limitations became an obstacle, Applus+ adopted and adapted these technologies for use in Vendor Surveillance Services. In collaboration with clients and sellers, Applus+ developed a methodology to perform remote surveillance and verification inspections with minimal to zero risk of exposure to all personnel.

The challenge was how to deliver high-quality services with high confidence of product conformance to the clients who trust us, while protecting everyone involved in the purchase agreement. Remote inspections allow for reduced in-person inspection teams (i.e. when a single inspector would be present), while being scalable to enable three or more stakeholders to attend in real-time to confirm evidence of assurance. Applus+ has been successful in developing a conformance verification methodology to conduct remote inspections that limit facility access to one or zero external personnel. Remote inspections have been completed across multiple disciplines and verification techniques with conformance to project-delivery requirements.

Our Vendor Surveillance services keep evolving to respond to our clients’ needs

The lessons learned while conducting remote inspections realised an opportunity for continuous improvement of services through real-time access to experienced subject-matter experts, providing a real-time mentorship and auditing of inspectors to increase competencies with on-the-job feedback. With these adopted technologies, we are increasing the transfer of experiences to the next generation of inspectors. The auditable records of video provide a mechanism for Applus+ to identify challenges within repeat-services, to develop topics for lessons learned across our projects, to issue information bulletins and to highlight opportunities for training.

A global partner with a local approach

As problem-solvers, our professionals’ commitment to supporting clients in their challenges has provided Applus+ with opportunities to develop new solutions and open up new markets. Our proactive and dynamic spirit, along with our strong customer focus, also makes us a trusted partner to our clients, wherever they are in the world.

Applus+ offers a global service in all of the world’s key markets, which allows us to be an ideal partner for companies who need solutions to control operations remotely in unfamiliar regions. With an extensive network of offices in more than 70 countries, we deploy local teams to assure each project is developed according to the specific practices and requirements of that project irrespective of geography.

Contact us for more information on the vendor surveillance and source inspection solutions by Applus+.