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Housing regulator tightens up with integrated system

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The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) is rolling out a SAP Mobility Application in its effort to enhance and tighten up its home inspection function and to improve its service offering to the home-building industry.
This application forms part of the organisation’s strategy which seeks to implement an integrated system that will provide home inspectors on the ground quick and easy access to most current information as well as to simplify the home inspection process.
The intention is that this application will enable the NHBRC to do away with the manual inspection reporting system and will assist in improving efficiencies in the inspection of newly built homes which will result in stakeholders (i.e. builders and consumers) experiencing quick turnaround times regarding the structural inspections, ultimately resulting in the delivery of quality homes.
“As the first housing regulator in Africa to adopt a SAP Mobility application, the NHBRC looks forward to the benefits that the SAP system will bring to its business as it continues to deliver on its mandate of assuring quality homes,” said acting-CEO Abbey Chikane.
The application will also play an important role in addressing issues such as non-compliances that were issued staff workload, and resource levelling in order to ensure that critical inspections are not missed.
The application has the following features: GPS feature that guides, pinpoints and geo-tags construction sites, and even stores photos as evidence of inspection for a holistic reporting process.
It replaces a PDA system which had its own challenges, but which served NHBRC well. The new application will run on a tablet with the latest features, high quality camera, access to the NHBRC networks, email access and security, access to business application and documentation (such as plans, home builders manual, standards and non-compliances) , longer battery life and offline capabilities. It will further integrate seamlessly with other SAP modules to retrieve data on new home enrolments and inspections that need to take place and to track the status thereof.
“We are positive that this innovation will assist us in providing an optimal service to our customers. “NHBRC home inspections’ function is at the core of our mandate and it is designed to mitigate against risks associated with building a new home and to protect consumers against shoddy workmanship,” says Chikane.
A newly-enrolled home is subjected to a minimum of four and a maximum of eight inspections depending on the enrolment value of the home. This includes foundation, top-structure of the house and roofing.
NHBRC has more than 200 inspectors who in the past financial year were able to serve the building industry, by conducting 258 446 inspections on a total of 111 368 non-subsidy houses and a total of 230 103 inspections on 111 387 subsidy units.