Running a propane business relies on many moving parts, and there’s no doubt that one of the most critical departments is your delivery team. Finding ways to improve efficiency for drivers is invaluable to help your employees work efficiently, keep daily operations on track and minimize risk for your company. Have you heard about how your peers across the United States are starting to use mobile services to do just that?
Mobile services aren’t new for propane delivery teams; using mobile technology for dispatching and route tracking is quite commonplace. But have you considered implementing a mobile application for drivers to input critical documentation electronically? Following suit of mobile safety inspections, mobile driver documentation is the next opportunity for propane marketers to eliminate documentation error rates and subsequently protect their employees and companies from unnecessary risk.
How Does Mobile Driver Documentation Work?
Mobile driver documentation is completed on tablets instead of by hand on paper forms. The mobile forms provide intuitive prompts and form fields to eliminate factors like illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation to create 100% accurate and complete documentation.
It’s a significant time saver for drivers in the field. After a mobile form is complete, a copy is sent to and stored in an electronic database where managers and office personnel can easily access it and generate management reports.
4 Uses of Mobile Driver Documentation That Will Save You Time & Money
1. Completing Monthly Meter Creep Test & Discharge System Inspections
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a monthly inspection of all cargo tank motor vehicles — aka bobtails — in service. With mobile driver documentation, your drivers can complete these monthly inspections faster and with greater accuracy so they can get back out on their routes and you can be confident they are operating vehicles that are safe. Plus, you will have electronic documentation of each vehicle’s monthly inspection in your database instead of a jumbled filing cabinet packed with paper forms.
2. Reporting Unsafe Conditions
Reporting unsafe conditions at customer locations is a critical responsibility for drivers out in the field. They are visiting customer locations regularly on deliveries and are often the first line of defense in spotting unsafe conditions.
Drivers with tablets can use mobile services to take photos and report these unsafe conditions in real time and notify your office digitally so that you can address and resolve the issue quickly — and have documentation of the initial report in the event of litigation.
3. Identifying Tank Set Follow-Ups
Your delivery drivers are visiting customer tank sets every day; given the right tools, they can also identify tank sets that require follow-up more efficiently with the help of mobile documentation. One of the most common causes of propane accidents is homeowner modification, either to the tank set itself or to the property, causing the tank set to no longer be compliant.
When a delivery driver identifies a tank set in need of follow-up, they can take a photo with their tablet, include any relevant notes, upload that to your digital database and flag it for review from management all from the cab of their truck.
4. Evaluating Driver Performance
Mobile driver documentation can be a huge help for your management team, too. With drivers completing all their documentation digitally, your managers have a readily available performance log for each driver.
Managers can track driver performance and provide real-time feedback as necessary. This process helps your drivers continue to improve their skills and helps management evaluate performance in a much more efficient manner.
Is Mobile Driver Documentation Right for My Business?
Whether your company already uses some type of mobile application and digital documentation service or you are just starting to think about switching from paper forms, it’s a good idea to consider your drivers in your decision-making. Mobile documentation is a game changer for driver efficiency, documentation accuracy and overall risk reduction for your company.