Let’s be realistic about safety. A lot of us space out when safety is being talked about or when listening to it is made compulsory. When things are going along in your business day to day, safety is rarely a thought on the mind of business owners, field technicians, and dispatchers. But this also hold true: Safety doesn’t matter – until it does. You don’t care about safety or appreciate it until something goes wrong.
For as much as we overlook it and take it for granted, safety products and procedures have very real, substantial impacts on our lives and businesses. Airbags reduce passenger fatality in crashes by up to 30%. The lost productivity in the United States due to workplace injuries, often from unsafe practices, costs employers $62 billion per year – more than the GDP of 91 countries.
And that’s just physical safety – what about the safety of your business? We’ve all rolled our eyes at HR-mandated seminars on workplace practices and compliance. But these activities have very real costs as well. The average case of timesheet fraud costs a company over $70,000. When an employee does substandard work for a customer, that can end with your company in court – thousands of dollars in court fees and settlements, not to mention the cost of a damaged reputation. In some cases when substandard work is provided, a contractor or business owner can end up in jail.
These scenarios are enough to keep business owners up at night – but they can be mitigated and risk can be easily managed with the right practices. For contractors and service businesses, field service management software can help to minimize risk to employees, owners, and customers – keeping everyone happy and out of trouble.
Importance of Proof of Work & Labor
The core of Field Service Management (FSM) programs is work order management for both the office and the customer – the office is able to outline what the customer requests are, giving the technician the right information to complete the job. The customer then receives a digital invoice and documents for the work order, showing them the work was completed for their records.
This digital trail is the most basic utility provided by FSM, available in every system from the most basic to enterprise-level deployments, but it’s also one of the most powerful utilities that keeps businesses and their employees safe from legal liability in a number of ways.
- By using a FSM application, technicians can attach photos, videos, inspection forms and more to the work order – visual proof of the work completed.
- Many FSM applications have geo-tracking for mobile devices. This allows system administrators to see where there technicians are throughout the course of the day.
- Some field service applications provide an audit log for work orders and customer records – which allow business owners to see a full history of how a work order has been edited.
- Some field service applications allow for technicians to complete digital forms, such as an inspection report or installation checklist. These steps ensure that procedures and protocol are followed.
These seemingly simple functions within FSM programs provide a ton of protection for companies, employees, and customers – and make it easy to expose parties that aren’t telling the truth. Without an FSM program, it becomes the word of the customer against the word of the contractor, leading to a drawn-out battle in court costing both parties significant time and money. It’s an ugly situation for all parties.
This level of transparency provided by field service applications protects good customers, good employees, and business owners – allowing owners to minimize their risk and improve their reputation. They can also use their FSM as a tool for selling – showing customers that they will have transparency throughout the process of working on their home.