Over the past two years, I have been preaching the use of handheld computers when on-site, whether you are touring the facility as part of a the design phase, construction phase, surveying for energy or equipment condition assessment, or O&M assessment. In this computer age, pretty much everything we document is done through the use of software. Now we can bring our software with us when we leave the office by bringing along a handheld computer. This technology is further enhanced when the conveniently sized unit has a bar code scanner attachment. Integral with the use of a handheld computer application should be a scanner that can efficiently open the door to a wealth of information particular to the role of the person holding the computer.
While both the handheld computer and the tablet computer can accommodate touchscreen applications when using these handy devices, it is the wider viewing screen that makes the Plan B equipment easier to use. For our group, we have been able to download into the tablet any and all of our standardized checklists when completing a facility survey, energy survey, construction inspection, project closeout, or PM workorder. The range of application is as diverse as your file directory. The touchscreen application increases speed of documentation and accuracy of the documentation, and it reduces and/or eliminates the manual checklist's need to input the information again on the computer back at the office.