3 Different Asset Inspection Solutions [+ Template]

Updated on:
February 24, 2023
Published on:
February 24, 2023
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Asset management can be a headache, especially when it comes to inspections. But what if we told you that you could save time and money with just a few changes?

Let's learn how to use digital inspection tools to evolve from outdated paper and spreadsheet based inspections.

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What Asset Inspection Solutions are Best for Your Business?

Regular asset inspections are essential to prevent unexpected equipment failure and reduce risk of workplace injury and compliance fines.

But businesses and assets vary significantly in the amount and type of inspections needed, as well as the severity of the consequences of neglecting this responsibility.

To make things more complicated, inspections aren’t as easy as buying the right technology, they are conducted by people. Mismatching your solution and your staff, or not providing ample training will lead to missing and improperly recorded data.  

To help make things easy for you, we have broken down three different asset inspection solutions at various skill levels and price points. We even provide tools and step by step instructions on how to get started implementing each solution

What Do We Mean by Asset Inspection Solutions?

Asset inspections are regular assessments to make sure that your facility is working properly and in good condition including machinery and equipment, buildings, vehicles, or even land. 

These inspections are crucial for identifying and correcting wear and tear that could cause injury or unexpected breakdown. They also provide a detailed record of the asset lifecycle that can be used for budgeting and forecasting as well as proof of compliance with government regulations.

It's important to remember that not all assets are created equal—some are more valuable or potentially dangerous than others, so it's important to decide which ones should be inspected more often than others. In the end, these decisions are in the hands of the manager, but inspection prioritization should stem from the following factors:

  • How essential is the asset to continuing ongoing operations?
  • How much does the asset cost?
  • How difficult is it to schedule and execute emergency repairs?
  • How much danger does asset malfunction pose to employees and customers?
  • How well can an inspection result in thwarting an unexpected breakdown?

Asset inspections are a critical part of managing your business. Without them, you risk costly and unexpected challenges in the future. Let’s learn some different asset inspection solutions you can use to ensure your business remains safe and operational.

The “Classic” Pen and Paper Asset Inspection

The first asset inspection solution we will cover is the classic pen and paper method. For old school maintenance teams, this may be a familiar system. Pen and paper is sufficient to keep records on your assets, but present risks and limitations that could jeopardize operations. Still, thousands of managers and business owners rely on pen and paper each day.

For these teams, Xenia provides a free PDF download checklist library with processes and instructions to handle any asset inspection from HVAC and Boilers, to cranes and scaffolding. These checklists can be printed, completed by your staff and saved in a safe place for reference. Search the library for the resources you are looking for, and follow the instructions to get started. 

How to Manage Asset Inspections on Pen and Paper 

  1. Create a list of assets in the business that need to be inspected.
  2. Create checklist procedures for each inspection.
  3. Print or write multiple copies and place them in a binder.
  4. Create an inspection calendar and post where it can be seen.
  5. Have technician record information on appropriate checklist
  6. When complete, ensure it is placed back in the appropriate binder or folder.

Pros and Cons of Using Pen and Paper for Asset Inspections

Pen and paper can provide straightforward reporting of basic asset health as it requires no technical knowledge or electricity to use. However, there are serious limitations and risks to relying on this type of system.


  • Easy for old school staff to understand
  • Does not require tech or electronics


  • Very time inefficient way to collect data
  • Uses large amounts of paper
  • Limited ability to analyze results
  • High risk of getting lost or damaged
  • Limited accessibility and accountability
  • Handwriting interpretation can cause confusion
  • Does not prepare for the future

If you want to take the pen and paper route, we highly recommend checking out our template library to equip your team with the proper documentation to do the job. However, we recommend you read on before kicking off this process as there are different systems that will save you time and money.

Microsoft Excel / Google Sheets for Asset Inspections

Spreadsheets can be intimidating, but offer a wide array of tools to handling asset inspections. The trick is being able to set up the spreadsheet so that the data can be both collected and stored for future reference. We have built a system that enables you to complete work orders and schedule inspections. 

The sheet has two main parts: the maintenance work order log as well as the asset inventory list. Pull up them both in a separate window and read on to learn how to use them (Or read ahead and see why a software solution may be better for you)

How to Use Xenia’s Free Work Order Log & Inventory List

Before Using: 

  1. Download Copy to be able to edit: File→ Make a Copy
  2. Copy Document must have Apps Script File “Log Work Order” attached
  3. The first time “Submit to Log” button is clicked, you will need to provide Authorization for it to work. 
  1. Authorization Required → Continue → Sign In
  2. “Google hasn’t verified this app” → Advanced → Go to Log Work Order (unsafe) → Allow

To Use:

Step 1: In Settings input your Asset Locations, Team Members and PM Procedures.

Step 2: In Inventory List add each asset in your property along with relevant information such as ID #, cost, location, as well as a list of parts that need preventive maintenance attention.

Step 3: In Work Order Entry tab

  • Input date of Work Order
  • Select the Asset, Location and Team Member from drop down
  • Input Asset ID
  • Note: Parts Column will auto-populate from Inventory List. Do not manually add parts to the Work Order Entry.
  • Select Procedure for each Part from drop down
  • If applicable, input Cost, Invoice Number and Comments
  • Once complete, press “Submit to Log” Button
  • This will send all Work Order Entry data to Work Order Log for safe storage
  • Work Order Entry can now be reused for another work order

How to Use Xenia’s Preventive Maintenance Calendar Tool

  1. Save a Copy by navigating to File Munu → Make a Copy
  2. In Settings: Add your Status Options, Work Orders and Staff Members
  3. In PM Planner: Schedule work orders with drop down menus
  4. In Calendar: View all planned PM Activity

Pros and Cons of Using Excel or Google Sheets for PMs


  • Free Forever
  • Fast to get started
  • Digitizes inspection record
  • Allows scheduling inspections
  • Sharable and printable


  • Requires excel knowledge
  • Cannot assign work to team
  • Cannot set recurring tasks
  • Difficult to use on mobile
  • It is possible to accidentally break built in functionality
  • Data is not stored in one place
  • Limited data collection granularity

Asset Inspection Management Software  

Asset inspection management software can fall in two categories of software. These options are  inspections and audit software and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). These solutions are different but can both help to digitize and streamline asset inspections. Lets look at the key differences between these two solutions:

Comparing Inspection Software and CMMS for Asset Inspections

When looking at the technology landscape, you will run into two different types of software for asset inspections. The main difference between Inspection software and a full CMMS is that the former is less expensive but more limited in what it can do. 

Inspection and Audit Software Overview

Inspection software helps businesses to create inspection checklists, forms and logs to be used in app for execution and storage. Typically companies that fall into this category offer a library of inspection templates to help managers to quickly organize and plan their maintenance. The main benefits are:

  • Teams get standardized checklists to guide inspections
  • Inspection forms can record text, numbers, or pass / fail inputs
  • Images can be attached to checklist steps for clarity of communication
  • Data is securely stored for future reference
  • Analytics are provided to help identify problems early

Typically these tools are typically priced per user per month and can accommodate any sized team or operation. Pricing for these tools (and software subscriptions in general) differ depending on the length of the contract with the annual payment plans being 20% to 50% cheaper than a month to month plan. Below are some tools to evaluate, along with their annual pricing for unlimited access to checklists and inspections:

  • Xenia - $10 per user per month
  • SafetyCulture - $19 per user per month
  • GoAudits - $30 per user per month ($10 plan only allows 10 checklists per month)
  • Lumiform - $16 per user per month

CMMS Software Overview

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is designed to handle all major tasks that a maintenance team may face in their day to day work including work orders, preventive maintenance, inspections, audits and more. They are more complex and flexible than asset inspection software and can help to drive more efficiencies across the organization. With a CMMS,  the main benefits are:

  • Work order management
  • Preventive maintenance calendars
  • Checklist procedure builders
  • Asset inspection solution
  • Asset and Parts inventory
  • Maintenance Data analytics

There are many CMMS solutions on the market, and the key to success is to find the right fit for your business. For example, the needs of an oil refinery or an industrial manufacturing facility will differ greatly from the hospitality sector or a school. Both have assets that need to be inspected and maintained, but have very different individuals conducting the work and needs when it comes to data granularity.  

The more complex the maintenance to be conducted, the more powerful the software solution will need to be, and likely the price and user difficulty will rise accordingly. Here are a few CMMS solutions that are perfect for asset management:

  • Xenia - $10 per user per month
  • Maintainx - $32.50 per user per month ($8 plan only allows 3 work orders with procedures per month)
  • Upkeep - $45 per user per month
  • LimbleCMMS - $40 per user per month

Xenia is Cost Efficient and Easy to Use

Xenia is a user-friendly software that combines the main aspects of inspection software, CMMS and task management software to provide the essential functions that frontline workers need to manage work orders, preventive maintenance, inspections and checklists in a format they can understand, at a price that managers can afford. 

Xenia is a perfect fit for hospitality, property managers, schools and construction teams because the platform combines CMMS tools with operations, communication and quality management workflows. With Xenia, managers can unify their facilities and frontline data streams to improve efficiency and drive company wide technology adoption. 

How to Use Xenia as an Asset Inspection Solution

Let’s see how simple it is to assign, track and analyze asset inspections in Xenia. 

Here are the highlights:

  • Build customized standard procedures and maintenance checklists (or select from our pre-built library)
  • Create a new work order and seamlessly attach custom procedures if needed.  
  • Set a category, location, priority level, start and due time.
  • See what teams or employees are available and select for assignment
  • The employee is notified and can begin on their mobile device
  • The employee opens the work order, reads the procedure and begins work, attaching images and notes to each step as needed.
  • The manager can track progress and view data from desktop and mobile in real time.
  • If there are questions of issues, the employee can loop in team members or a manager via integrated chat.
  • Once complete, all data including time to resolution is recorded and securely stored in the cloud.
  • The manager can easily organize and export reports for process improvement.

Pros and Cons of Using a Xenia


  • Easy to use on both desktop and mobile
  • Custom checklist builder and ready-to-use procedure library
  • Unlimited work orders with procedure attachment
  • Easily attach photos and notes within work orders
  • Set category, location, priority level, start and due time
  • Set recurring work orders to make preventive maintenance calendars
  • Internal chat integrated with work orders for teamwork and accountability
  • Easily manage custom safety and quality control inspections
  • Customizable data analytics reports in PDF and CSV
  • Maximum flexibility and data security


  • Cannot do Internet of Things integrations
  • Does not use complex data models for predictive analytics

Our Advice: Pick 3 Options for a Free Trial, Test, Then Decide 

Your asset inspection solution will be used every day by multiple people on your team. It is important that the software is a good fit for the people that will be using it. Luckily, the modern software environment allows you to try before you buy. Due to the cost advantages of an annual contract, we recommend making use of the free trial period to compare software solutions directly, and then sign an annual contract with the software that is the best fit. 

No matter which solution you choose, using software to track asset inspections is by far the best solution available. It gives you the full power of data collection and analysis to have a better understanding of your property's health.

The ability to prevent just one unexpected breakdown will pay for the software for the entire year or more. Given a free trial is risk free, you can always revert back to an excel or paper solution if the software is not a good fit. Best of luck!

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