January 2, 2008
Let’s cut to it: web- and mobile-based operational software saves you time and money by providing a management platform that enhances your business processes and organizational efficiencies in the office and out in the field.
Just kidding. But customer satisfaction and retention is improved through better ongoing communications and consensus of inspection ratings of work quality, with deficiency work order/action items, including photographic documentation and signature validation, dispatched to all the right people as they are instantly uploaded from a handheld device.
Web- and mobile-based operational software technology enhances operational excellence and drives continuous improvement. Performance excellence must be driven top-down and executed by management teams that understand and believe that, “What gets measured gets done, and what gets measured and reported improves,” until agreed-upon performance standards are met and consistently sustained.
Sometimes you count the votes, and sometimes you weigh the votes. Top officers understand that there will be promoters and detractors of any new technology or improvement program. They know that they must weigh in on the side of the promoters of excellence and not allow detractors to maintain the status quo. These systems provide scheduling calendars, which act as tickler files, sending out automated reminders and work schedules via e-mail and text message to the tech on their mobile device. You can route and organize individual personnel, or a particular buildings periodic tasks and frequency cleaning with these automated notification systems. They optimize the coordination of personnel, resources, and other assets, maximizing the effectiveness of the organization. The tickler file system will generate an action item/work order, which will remain open until the work is completed, inspected, customer approved/validated, and closed, providing a complete archived business process.
These systems allow for customers and contractors to enter into a true partnership relationship with more customer oversight and contract disclosure by allowing the customer to view online submitted inspections, open action items/work orders, and run their own reports of the contractor’s performance. They document complaints and operational improvement trends giving proof of sustainable acceptable levels of contractor performance. They tie together multiple locations and various departments, standardizing quality assurance inspection systems. You can show benchmark scores against current service performance, and show trends of continuous improvement.
You can achieve regulatory compliance, manage programs such as “green” initiatives, document training and safety programs, conduct customer surveys, and automate any number of other data collection and audit tracking functions, even worldwide.
Data collection can be entered from a number of different sources such as your laptop or desktop or be entered from handheld devices through the Internet. Inspection systems are completely customizable, allowing them to be used for numerous data collection purposes, with multiple score values or score types achieving customer satisfaction in the required rating systems. The system should also calibrate instantaneous scores in the field upon inspection completion, giving the inspector immediate feedback.
Inspections and score results can also be validated through the systems capability to upload from the handheld device, both pictures of deficiencies or corrections, and verifying signatures of both the inspector- and the customer-agreed-upon score values. You can save inspection time, data input time, consolidation and report generating costs, and travel and vehicle expense. You can avoid or reduce fines by being proactively prepared for OSHA, MSDS, and Right to Know, HACCP, HAZMAT and other audits.
Companies leading their marketing efforts with technological advancements and advantages to their customers are winning greater contract opportunities from less sophisticated competitors, and experience higher customer retention rates. The greatest challenge is having the system do many complicated things in a very simple fashion so that virtually anyone can use the system effectively with a minimum amount of training and expertise. The system should be set up in ways that the programs and forms themselves commoditize the expertise of the collection processes and contain costs.
Embracing continuous improvement and being a leader through enhanced technologies is the sustaining position of an organization. It is the direction of the industry and the way of the future.