This blog post has been updated on January 27, 2021.
Compliance is the nagging task on the to-do list that has to get done. DOT and plaintiff lawyers keep the consequences high if you don’t stay on top of the paperwork. The good news is this mind numbing process can be automated. You can sleep at night knowing you’re in compliance. In the meantime, you’ll get to ditch the excel sheets and manilla folders that are causing you all those headaches.
How do you know that a compliance tracking system makes sense for you? You may not feel like spending more on a new-fangled program because transportation is a pennies business. However, the time given back each day and the tools that prevent little things from falling through the cracks are what make these systems so valuable.
The government was not thinking about ease of implementation when they created the rule book.
Smaller companies squeeze in addressing compliance expirations throughout the day. If your company has a dedicated Compliance Coordinator on top of it 24/7, you’re of the size where it’s easy for little things to fall through the cracks due to the scale of drivers. Electronic record maintenance saves a bundle of time for those who use it.
Consider the process to maintain a Driver Qualification Folder on paper:
If you ever need to find a specific record for a driver, you have to dig through thousands of pages. If you ever need to check an expiration, you need to browse through a spreadsheet which quickly becomes another scavenger hunt. Then Jeff takes out the Pre-Hire MVR before the road test without telling you and forgets to put it back. You won’t realize Jeff did that until a DOT Auditor points it out for you. All that takes time and is so unnecessarily painful.
Compliance systems allow you to look up records in seconds. Once a record is uploaded, it’s always there (if Jeff downloads it). It’s much harder to put a paper in the wrong place on the computer. And best of all, the system will alert you when records are missing or expiring instead of you having to check all the time - no more thinking!
With more time available comes more opportunities to save money. If you don’t have to worry about DOT compliance as often, your managers have time to focus on other more valuable tasks. Using texting features to capture images of new CDLs and Med Cards reduces the cat herding for your team. The unnecessary cost of paper, overpriced printer ink and folders goes away. You can eliminate the Office Space frustration of the ongoing paper-jam. A digital paperless process keeps you out of the mind-numbing tasks and focused on what really matters.
A consistent process is an efficient process. You don’t have to think about what to do - just complete the clearly defined task. It also makes it easy to cover when someone goes on vacation or leaves the company. A manual compliance process will always be limited by time, inefficiencies of scale, and the physical space and security issues to store those records. No person, however remarkable, can perfectly account for and make up for all of those obstacles.
Digital compliance systems save time and money, eliminating the unneeded pains of tracking records and sorting through mountains of paper to find what you need. If a computer tells you exactly who needs what with ample time in the future, you will always know the compliance status of your whole company, whether that’s 10 drivers or 10,000. You can much more easily schedule and dictate tasks if you know exactly what you need to do and when as opposed to occasionally checking spreadsheets. Organization becomes much easier if technology does 95% of the job for you.
Manilla folders, spreadsheets, and file scavenger hunts can and should be a thing of the past. Investing in a compliance tracking system such as A-Suite will save you time and money otherwise spent on a flawed process. Plus, it will make you a more efficient company so that the entire compliance process doesn’t rest on one person’s shoulders.
If you invest in a compliance system, you will save yourself countless headaches and you’ll sleep well at night knowing you’re protected from litigation.
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