Businesses conduct audits to make sure their activities are in order and confirm the integrity of their deliverables. A field service audit checks if the process complies with specifications and meets the desired quality standards.

But conducting audits is difficult. Instances of audit failures are all-too-common in enterprise settings. Here are the five top reasons why audits fail and how a field service management suite preempts failure.

1. Lack of knowledge

Successful audits depend on accurate documentation. Setting audit baselines depends on getting information from supplier certificates, quality control manuals, technical handbooks, product documentation, and other resources. Unfortunately, most businesses struggle to keep such resources organized and easily accessible.

Field service apps offer integrated knowledge repositories. Inspectors may access resources easily to get insights into the ideal state and fill the missing knowledge gaps.

ReachOut Suite field management suite offers:

  • Easy integration with knowledge repositories. Native integration and APIs link internal and external databases. Inspectors may refer to instruction manuals, quality handbooks, and other resources effortlessly.
  • Electronic forms and checklists with easy validations. The forms marketplace offers hundreds of readymade audit forms. These forms, curated by experts, offer pre-built questions and checks. The form questions make it easy for enterprises to set baseline standards.

Read more: Tips To Make Your Field Service Business Competitive With A Job Scheduling Software

2. Lack of follow up

Audits make explicit the shortcomings or what is wrong. But such knowledge is useless without follow-up action. Unfortunately, many enterprises conduct thorough audits but lack follow-up capabilities.

A good example of audit failure due to lack of follow-up action is the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, London, in 2017 that killed 72 people. The premises had hundreds of fire risk assessment audits conducted over the years. But these audits were a mechanical exercise, with scant regard to whether such audits served any purpose. There was no follow-up action to remediate the shortcomings identified in one audit. The list of to-do actions accumulated, and at the time of the fire, there were 5000+ outstanding fire risk assessment actions.

Manual forms or Excel spreadsheets make follow-up difficult. A field management suite automates reporting and follow-up action. ReachOut allows:

  • Rich media capabilities. ReachOut’s field service app leverages the smartphone’s camera to capture images and videos. Co-opting images, sound clips, and videos deliver better insights and offer better insights to decision-makers.
  • Automated reports. The suite auto-generates audit reports. Auditors may email reports automatically, using Gmail or other email clients, to stakeholders.
  • Converting audit or inspection reports to work orders. ReachOut’s ticketing system enables traceability for the follow-up actions. The field management suite converts tickets into work orders. The scheduler assigns field agents to work orders, to execute the recommended remedial or follow-up action.

3. Lack of resources

Most enterprises today operate with tight budgets and face a resource crunch. Audits rank on top of the items in line for a cut of resources when things get tight. This is despite audits identifying wasteful activities and contributing to optimizing costs.

A field management suite enables audits with minimal resources and efforts. The integrated field management suite helps effectively manage to schedule, dispatch, and invoice. Conducting audits requires no additional investment for the software. Electronic audit forms incur minimal marginal costs.

ReachOut digitizes audits and enables automation. 

  • The forms marketplace offers several free and paid forms that suit most audit and inspection situations. 
  • Field agent apps enable conducting inspections using the field agent’s smartphone. The app leverages the smartphone’s camera, GPS, and other capabilities to make the audit exercise powerful. The camera enables taking images and videos. The GPS allows for tracking the time spent on the audit.

Read more: How Does Routine Cleaning Inspections Benefit Your Business?

4. Scheduling issues

Even when everything falls into place, scheduling issues may derail audit efforts. 

Field management suites make audits part of the operational workflow. The integrated scheduling tool assigns qualified field agents to the task. The suite links with inventory and ensures the availability of the needed parts and equipment to execute the task. 

ReachOut makes it easy to assign staff to conduct audits and follow-up actions. The suit offers:

  • Handy tools to schedule staff for inspections. 
  • Easy calendar views, drag-and-drop interfaces, and other dynamic options make assigning agents to conduct audits easy.
  • Intuitive views: Inspectors and auditors may view their schedules in advance. At the inspection time, they may download the correct forms for the audits. Forms come optimized for mobile.
  • Dynamic dispatching: Integration with maps guides auditors to the inspection site through the best routes.
  • Integrated invoicing: ReachOut integrates invoicing. The auditor may auto-generate the invoice for the audit and collect payment for the task before leaving the site.

The straightforward workflow and dashboards offered by the ReachOut app make it easy to conduct audits. The enterprise may assign junior agents to conduct the audits, sparing the time of senior technicians for field service tasks.

5. Difficulty in conducting the audit

A major reason for audit failure is difficulty in conducting the audit process. Even when enterprises set aside personnel and other resources for conducting audits, the doing part is hard. Printed audit forms, paper notes, pencils, and ring binders make the task messy and error-prone. Mistakes creep in during data entry and when reproducing data on enterprise systems.

Even with digitalization, adapting to the new digital forms may generate resistance. Field executives entrusted with conducting audits may end up with too much in their places. Productivity loss and the disruption caused by the new digital audit forms and processes may cause great resentment.

ReachOut’s smart forms come with simple, easy-to-use interfaces. Enterprises may add conditional logic, multiple sections, mandatory questions, and other features. Form creators may use these forms to:

  • Set a range for form fields and make sure the audit exercise becomes more accurate and efficient.
  • Configure date and time stamps to prevent retrospective manipulations. 
  • Capture electronic signatures as proof of work completion.

Read more: 6 Reasons Why You Need To Switch To ReachOut Suite For Your Field Service Business

ReachOut also offers stylized forms. Enterprises may customize their audit forms and include branding elements. They may upload these forms to the ReachOut suite and conduct audits as before. Apply Stylus allows inspectors to write audit notes on their smartphone screens instead of typing. The process becomes more efficient. Auditors may carry on as before without loss of productivity or going through a learning curve. Yet, they can enjoy all the benefits of digitalization.

ReachOut’s cutting-edge field service suite streamlines the end-to-end audit process. It reduces human error and automates the process, delivering big efficiency gains and cost advantages. 

Take a quick demo or talk to our team to find out the exclusive features offered by the ReachOut field management suite. 

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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