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Fire Investigations UK was formed in 2011 and is a leading professional fire investigation company with a global capability. FI-UK use legally recognised scientific methodology to accurately report without bias.

Two years ago, Chris Clarke, Partner at Fire Investigations UK, asked us to build a software application to create a consistent reporting process for his international network of fire investigators. The system needed several layers of functionality to support the detailed and mixed-media reports created during an investigation. Unlike several off-the-shelf software systems, it needed to be mobile friendly to support the remote-working investigative team.

“Our business is founded on the principles of accuracy, and our motto is to reflect the facts without distortion. We asked PCM to create a system that would streamline the reporting process and ensure consistency across a wide network of fire investigators.”

- Chris Clarke, FI-UK

The Work

The investigators working across the world create detailed reports based on a number of fixed form fields. Every report follows the same process to ensure accurate data collection and analysis.

Our software development team worked closely with Chris, who already had detailed lists of the data and forms that are required to complete a report.

Project Structure

Once we had a detailed list of the information that investigators must collect during an investigation, we set about developing a project structure. The factors we considered include:

  • The order in which information is inputted
  • Data format for structured data such as time and dates
  • Where images are required
  • Details of the investigator
  • Client details
  • Fire/non-terrorist explosion locations

Image Upload

Images are a vital part of the reporting process. During the investigation images are collected and then used as evidence. The CRM system needed to be able to accommodate different image formats. The platform is hosted  with enough storage to support the upload of large image files, and a lot of them.

Output and Backup

Once the reports have been filled-out in the software application, the details are outputted in a specially designed PDF document as well as backed-up to a cloud storage application.  This minimises manual work for both the investigators and the administration team. The fields within the software populate pre-designed spaces in the PDF, and the document is in-line with Fire Investigations UK branding.

External Links

The CRM system was developed to work alongside other processes already in place. Links to an external intranet and company calendar were added to the navigation menu within the CRM.

Auditing

The software allows details from every investigation FI-UK carry out to be securely stored and audited if required. Dates, contacts and data is all maintained for future reference and backed-up remotely if a restore is required.

The Results

Fire investigations UK now have a bespoke software application that is tailored to their requirements. There are over 10 active investigators and FI-UK back office staff using the software.

The software system is able to adapt as the fire investigation industry does. As FI-UK’s processes have adapted over the past two years, PCM has worked closely with them to update the software. Further integrations and forms have been added when best practise, regulations and laws necessitate.

Talk to us about bespoke software development for your business. 

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