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Benchmark checklist is going digital

The Benchmark checklist is going digital with a new app, bringing a wealth of benefits to both engineers and consumers, writes Billy Wilgar, deputy chair of the Benchmark Steering Group.

Gas engineers will be familiar with the Benchmark checklist, and its important role in facilitating best practice in gas boiler installations. It has helped to raise standards in the industry and is critical in consumer protection through its direct link with the provision of appliance warranties. The next few weeks will see the most recent and significant update of all – a new app.

The app will enable gas engineers to fill out the checklist digitally on their phone or tablet at the time of installation. An early version has been tested by gas engineers and manufacturers, who have been getting hands-on and feeding back on their experience, to ensure it offers everything that engineers may need.

The intuitive digital checklist is simple to complete, and can be used when there is no online connectivity as the data uploads automatically when there is a connection.

The app also serves as an information portal that holds details including the boiler’s servicing history. This is boiler unit-specific, and means that engineers can access the records of a heating system even if they have not worked on that appliance previously.

The first and most obvious advantage of digitising Benchmark is the reduction in paperwork. Rather than filling out various copies of the checklist, signing in triplicate, and running through it all again with the customer, gas engineers will be able to streamline the process and reduce their admin time.

This is particularly important as we move into the hectic winter months, which, this year, are likely to include more servicing and maintenance work because of missed visits during lockdown. Dealing with this backlog will put a strain on gas engineers’ time, but digitising Benchmark will help to cut down on unnecessary paperwork.

Another benefit of the app is that important information such as service history can be found quickly and easily. Storing this information on the app will facilitate a more efficient assessment of existing systems so that engineers can get up to speed quickly with the appliance they are working on.

Ultimately, Benchmark promotes best practice in the industry, ensuring that heating systems are specified and commissioned correctly. The new Benchmark app will contribute to this in a number of ways, but perhaps the greatest significance will be in the increased awareness it will generate around servicing.

A consumer version of the app is scheduled for release in the coming months, which is designed to provide homeowners with annual service reminders, in the form of push notifications directly to their phone.

Gas engineers are fully aware of the importance of regular servicing, yet we know that this can fall through the cracks for a whole range of reasons. By sending a reminder directly to the customer, the app will encourage an uptake in servicing.

From an engineer perspective, it also has the added benefit of directing consumers to the gas engineer who completed the installation, which will help to generate future business and foster a stronger, ongoing relationship.

The free Benchmark app will be available to download from your usual app store in early November 2020.

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