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May 26, 2023

3 factors to consider when establishing strong documentation SOPs

As a restoration company, you may already have SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) in place; but what does your team have established in terms of field documentation SOPs? Field documentation SOPs are critical to keep your team on track and covered from a practical, financial, and legal perspective. After all, it’s not as simple as just going back to check off something that you missed, and that extra detail may have been just what you needed in order to resolve a legal dispute, days or years down the road. If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen.

After sitting down with the experts in our Documentation 101 webinar, we’ve come up with the following three factors to keep top of mind when establishing your company’s field documentation SOPs.

Factor 1: Keep consistency and scalability top of mind 🔁

Consistency and scalability are the most important factors to consider when establishing your documentation SOPs, and will be important to keep in mind even as we move on to the next two factors in this blog. You need to develop a process that will work for your company regardless of the people or the circumstances — in other words, you’ll need to ensure that you capture the same documentation regardless of the type (residential or commercial), size, price, and busyness of each particular job. Come up with a plan, and make sure that it’s consistent no matter what, on 2k jobs or 200k jobs.

Why are these factors so important? Imagine your techs are all documenting things differently, and only capturing certain components of the loss. Lack of consistency in the present is just setting your company up for difficulties with scaling in the future. If you’re planning to scale your property restoration company, you need to have solid processes in place that you already know will work for you and check all of the appropriate boxes. It will only make things easier for you in the long run!

Factor 2: Consult with your team on creating a checklist ✅

Now that we’re keeping consistency top of mind, you’ll need to start making a list of every piece of documentation that you need — create a checklist, and stick to it. Consider what you need by sitting down as a team and making a list together, discussing what’s required from the very first photo, all the way through to the certificate of completion on the reconstruction side. Your team will be much more likely to buy into the documentation workflow you are trying to establish if you include them in the process from the get-go. Make a list of every single document or piece of information that you’ll need through each of these stages.

Next, split up this completed list of required documentation amongst your teammates — who’s responsible for documenting what? Consult with the team by getting their input on the process, asking them to try and poke a hole in your list and provide you with different information from their own perspectives. Sitting down with your teams to create and allocate this list will not only help everybody keep on track, but also help you with ensuring consistency on every job.

Factor 3: Educate your team about the purpose of your consistent list 🎓

Now that you’ve created and divvied up a list of documentation that’ll be consistent on all jobs, you need to educate your team on the why. Why? Because if you team understands the purpose of each piece of documentation and the impact it has, it’ll get much stronger buy-in!

You have a team full of clever and compassionate people — use those traits to help them understand the bigger picture and impact that their documentation has on others. If they’re unaware of the ways in which their documentation affects others, or they don’t document consistently because they don’t know what to do — then it will be difficult and time-consuming to track missing data down, and cause unnecessary back and forth, wasting time and resources. Instead, help your field techs understand how their documentation practices in the field will affect everybody else, and how it ties in to the greater good.

In short, walk everybody through the reasoning behind each step of the documentation process. Understanding the purpose of each item on your consistent process list will help you get greater engagement, and ensure that your plan will be enacted entirely.

Get more insights into SOPs and strengthening your company’s documentation workflow by watching our Documentation 101 webinar on-demand.


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