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Is this your worst nightmare?
Imagine that a lawyer is in your office, subpoenaing your records.
Would you have the evidence to protect your company in the event of a lawsuit? Would your documents contain courtroom-ready proof that your company had left the structure dry? Would there be concrete evidence to show you didn’t leave behind conditions that contributed to mold growth? Would your records show that you demonstrated due diligence in preventing secondary damage?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, consider it a reminder to document every job using daily records of drying conditions and moisture content readings.
The good news is that there is an app for that.
During the last few years, we’ve seen a number of useful applications appear for restorers. These range from simple psychrometric calculators to magical tools for quickly measuring rooms and buildings.
Most of these applications were designed for other industries, and had some functionality useful to restorers. However, during the last two years, several new apps have been specifically designed for restoration contractors.
Brandon Burton discusses mobile documentation apps in detail here. But we thought it would be useful to review how a true restoration documentation app can help you make your business a little more “nightmare proof” and operate more efficiently.
- Eliminating physical paper.
- Speeding data entry.
- Adding automated analytical and calculation tools.
- Eliminating duplicate data entry.
- Increasing the quality of finished documentation.
- Designed for low training requirements and fast implementation.
Logistics of mobile documentation
Here are some best practices to make sure your implementation is successful:
- Parallel implementation: Initially, do your documentation on both paper and mobile device until the training and integrity of your implementation are reliable. Lost data can be very costly.
- Consistency: Once you implement, ensure it is used by each of your techs 100% of the time. Inconsistent use will confuse your staff, create problems when looking up historical data and negatively impact the skill level of your team using the tool. You chose it because it is the best way, so stick with it.
- Partner: The provider of the software should be a partner in your success. Make them accountable for delivering per their promises. Train early and often and lean on them for tech support. If they don’t provide it, you may have chosen the wrong partner. Better to find out early than late.
Don’t make your worst nightmare a reality! If you'd like to brush up on your record keeping skills and review industry best practices for documentation, consider taking (or re-taking, if it’s been awhile) the applied structural drying course.
Kevin Fisher is the education manager of the Restoration Sciences Academy’s education department, with direct responsibility for course scheduling, registration, technical support, curriculum development and marketing and sales-related activities. Fisher has been with the industry as a technical training instructor since 1999.