“I’ll do it when I get back.” For restoration businesses, where every piece of data can be critical, this is one of the most dangerous sentences you can hear! After all, we operate in an industry where earning five-star customer reviews is essential. Any delay in receiving and acting on important information can put a job in jeopardy, and could quickly tank your reputation among the people you’re trying to serve.
There’s more than just customer satisfaction at stake, too. “Consistently excellent documentation is a key ingredient to operational success,” as Lisa Lavender writes at Restoration & Remediation. “Service, cashflows, efficiency, communications, company credibility, and more can suffer from even a blip in basic documentation.”
But your agents in the field may not be in the habit of providing documentation until the end of the day, or the morning of the next—or in some cases, not at all. Waiting a few hours or half a day to get that info could compromise your ability to understand the situation on the ground, and in turn, the quality of service you provide to your customers. It also increases the risk of losing that data altogether.
The good news? This problem is easily solved with modern documentation tools and technology.
Mobile job management and documentation tools like DASH—available on all mobile devices—are designed to help you implement a more reliable system of documentation that’s easier for your workers to use than old note-taking methods. And with upgrades like ProAssist, all that info is automatically updated in real-time, from every site, every day.
If you’re not yet sold on the importance of documentation tools, though, here are a few good reasons why you may want to consider implementing a solution like DASH.
5 Ways Documentation Tools Can Help Your Business
1. Improve the quantity of your data. Data is critical to success in the restoration industry more than ever before. “All the trucks, blowers, hygrometers, and dehumidifying machines in the world will not provide a path to growth and profitability,” as Scott Severe and Kim Slizak explain in their white paper on restoration contractor KPIs. “Data, when used to set and track specific goals and concrete company-wide objectives, can.”
Diligent, proactive documentation is a crucial driver for success in property restoration. That means not just thorough documentation of the site but also consistent, purposeful inspection notes and a complete record of conversations with customers and their requests—all the elements that combine to ensure you’re offering the best possible service.
With in-the-field documentation tools, the amount of data you can gather instantly increases—and without a corresponding increase in labor. On the contrary, the same tech that immediately records information also makes the process easier than it ever was before. No more scribbling notes in a notepad to be lost or misunderstood later. Today, documentation is a matter of simply opening a smartphone app.
2. Improve the quality of your data. As essential as it is to gather data, it’ll do you little good if it’s inaccurate or difficult to interpret. The traditional method of transcribing notes from a paper record into an electronic system has long been an enemy of accuracy, as well as a source of missed opportunity.
Documentation tools like DASH take that challenge head-on, offering a means to enter information in real-time, directly from the field—and avoid the problems associated with transcribing them later. When notes are added from the field, they’re instantly digital (and instantly available). And it’s easy for everyone to use, too, further ensuring that the right kind of data is being recorded at the right time.
3. Improve the safety of your data. A lost notebook or a damaged or accidentally deleted electronic file can cost serious money in time and repeated work. With documentation tools like DASH, all entered data is also instantly stored in the cloud. That means all of the sensitive, urgent info from the field is backed up and protected against loss from the moment it’s noted.
4. Make documentation easier for your staff. As Lavender points out in her R&R article, new property restoration documentation tools are designed to make data “easier to collect and easier to manage than ever before.” And that doesn’t just apply to leaders, but to everyone on the team, including staff who may not usually be receptive to technological innovations.
Let’s face it: for technicians in the field, strict attention to documentation is rarely a priority. As Lavender notes, what should be a simple matter of quick documentation is “the source of much frustration” for restoration businesses. As much as you can make the process easy and automatic, the better grasp you’ll have on all the critical data that matters to your bottom line in the field and beyond.
5. Give yourself a competitive advantage. More than most other industries, property restoration businesses can enjoy an immediate advantage from real-time documentation tools. A higher quality of information gathered in the field, and much faster access to it, could add up to enable your team to complete jobs much more quickly and effectively.
Given all the money spent on equipment to create high-quality photographic and audio-visual documentation of job sites, the chance to make that data more readily available—as well as more secure against loss—could make a big difference in a competitive marketplace. And by empowering you to do a better job for your customers, job documentation software could also be an essential driver of referrals and new business.
Get the Documentation Tool that’s Designed for Your Business
When so much depends on the data you collect, a reliable system is essential! With DASH, it’s easier and more cost-effective than ever to achieve the documentation you need to manage projects and your business from anywhere in real-time. Learn more about how DASH can help you take your business to the next level: Sign up for your demo today.