Smartphone-Based Infrastructure Work Order Submission

Victor L. Guinn


Air Force Civil Engineers (CE) require a constant stream of current information about facility problems to diagnose, prioritize, repair and maintain the large infrastructure inventory needed for day to day operations. Controllers currently rely on information collected via verbal submissions from facility owners, from which they create text based work orders to repair infrastructure issues. Verbal submission is limited in its ability to diagnose the growing, and increasingly complex facility infrastructure systems. Newly developed smartphone-based work order submission may hold the key to this problem. To test if smartphone-based submission systems generate more useful information, an experiment was designed to test submission systems using simulations of real-world, historically based maintenance scenarios. A course of broken infrastructure was laid out and test subjects asked to submit work orders utilizing either verbal or smartphone-based submission systems. Analysis revealed that the smartphone system had the greatest information usefulness, mitigated the CE organizational language barrier, and allowed any individual regardless of facility diagnostic experience to submit a work order at the level of an expert. These results show that smartphone technology is capable of not only quickly being able to relay more pertinent information to a CE craftsman, but in the hands of any Airmen the system allows them to freely communicate with CE craftsmen as if they were facility diagnostic experts themselves.