The true test of effective management isn’t how well things go when everything’s going great - it’s what happens when stuff goes wrong.
Coping with problems is massively important when you’re managing a mobile workforce where even the simplest of snags has the potential to cause a whole heap of operational headaches.
This is one of the areas where traditional paper-based approaches to managing mobile workers are struggling to meet the rising expectations of today’s digitally connected world.
The problems posed by traditional ways of working and the benefits of making the switch to paperless alternatives is something that’s looked at in-depth in our recent guide - What happens when your business goes paper free?
A simple example of this is what happens when a paper job sheet goes missing. It’s one of those everyday problems that every mobile operation faces but what are the potential consequences?
Consequences of missing paper job sheets:
- Missed deadlines
- Admin headaches
- Customer disputes
- Safety compliance
- Company reputation
If a job sheet gets lost before a scheduled task, it’s going to take a worker time to find out where they should be and what they need to. This may require trips back to the office/depot or waiting for calls to the back office team to be returned.
The resulting delays are likely to cause missed deadlines and angry customers. If this happens at the start of a working day, it can have a knock-on effect throughout an employee’s daily schedule.
Paperwork going missing after a job has been completed creates a whole range of potential administrative troubles. Unless somebody spots the problem, your company has carried out a job for which there’s no record.
This is likely to mean that billing doesn’t get triggered and any materials or resources used are unaccounted for. These are the kind of issues that are liable to only show up at the end of a financial year when books don’t balance.
Having no record of a completed job becomes a real problem if there’s any kind of query or complaint relating to the work. This could be a dispute over delivery times or the number of billable hours taken to complete a task.
Without a job sheet to verify these kinds of details, it becomes incredibly hard for a customer support team to deal with complaints or demands. This becomes a particular problem if it involves any kind of legal action.
The loss of a job sheet means that any notes or advisories that have been recorded are going to be lost. This could be information about a potential hazard or checks highlighting the need for repairs to a piece of equipment.
If this is linked to any kind of health and safety breach, the lack of documentation will make a bad situation very much worse. Ineffective and missing paperwork is a red flag for slack safety standards.
Missed deadlines, poor communications, slow billing and frustrated customers all help to damage a company’s reputation. This is a particular risk in an age of online reviews and ratings.
There’s also the reputational risk of administrative failings being exposed during an external audit or investigation. The regulatory requirements include the stringent data protection legislation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
The problem of paperwork being lost has always existed but in the past there was no better alternative. The arrival of digital processes and management systems means that’s no longer the case.
A digital approach means there’s no need for any paper documents, everything’s stored securely online and able to be accessed and updated from a phone, tablet or handheld device.
You can find out more about the benefits of switching to MyMobileWorkers’ paperless solution here: