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Blog May 2023 Updated August 2023

5 Risks of manual processes in field service operations

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Michael Boches Head of Product - AMCS Utility Cloud

As operators go about their rounds for compliance and maintenance purposes, a great number of them still rely on paper forms and manual processes.

Why? The technician is right there on-site, can write down the pertinent information, and enter it into a master data depository back at the office. Plus, it’s consistent with how operations have been tracking and logging information for years…

However, paper-based processes introduce inefficiencies and additional risks into your operation.

Manual processes tend to be inefficient, can lead to inaccuracies, and put operations at risk of non-compliance. AMCS Field Services can help you automate processes and improve the way you collect data, report, and manage your assets.

Here are five reasons why asset management via paper and pencil is risky:

1. Lack of quality control

While data may be recorded correctly, it may not be clear who performed the work or if a work order was submitted. In fact, there may not be evidence that work was performed at all.

Given the nature of penmanship, there’s also the very real possibility that a 6 could be mistaken for a sloppy 0. Rain and wind can turn crisp, clean form into a soggy and illegible mess. On rare occasions, the initial data could be misplaced or lost from site to truck to office. Improper data input can lead to faulty conclusions and possibly compliance issues.

2. Time delays

Work may be completed and data logged on site, but it may take hours or even days for that data to be officially incorporated into the master file in your IT system.

Time can also be lost if the CMMS system doesn’t show specific analytics. Admin staff often must take extra time to manipulate the data in a way to view trends. Precious time can be lost if emergency work needs to be performed on an asset.

3. Time lost in retrieving historical data

Work orders, reports, and other historic files would need to be saved in a filing cabinet, excel sheet, or separate databases for point solutions. Collecting data from different applications and paper records can be time-consuming and frustrating.

4. Inefficient teamwork

Typically, paper maps and work order lists are given to crews to complete. Consultants often supply a binder that outlines needed sequences such as hydrant flushing. Binders are needed for different assets or processes. Bringing a portable binder library plus paper maps and work orders is not a practical solution for the teams in the field. Plus, binder assets are likely to return in less than complete or pristine condition.

5. Redundant efforts

Even after the information has been entered into a work order, it must be entered again, separately, into GIS to update asset data. This creates a lot of repetitive administrative work, pulling your team away from supporting customers and other strategic initiatives.

Stay on top of your assets by automating your processes.

If you’re still using paper forms and manual data entry processes, AMCS Field Services can automate data collection and reporting, make sure data is accurate and keep a single up-to-date record for historical information. Gone are paper forms and lost or inaccurate data, redundant data entry and wasted time. Our solution can also help users track, monitor, initiate, and manage work—as well as report and predict asset health—using real-time or manually-entered data.

Ready to see what AMCS can do for you?

Request a demo to discover how AMCS Field Services will help you efficiently manage your assets, increase visibility into their operations, and improve decision-making

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