The Tough Switch

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Change isn’t easy. We like to use what we know. Trucking and construction companies have been doing truck paper records for years. Switching takes time and more importantly, money as well. But with the cloud, paperless record keeping is easier than ever.

The benefits of online cloud records vs. paper based systems 

The huge advantage of cloud-based records storage is that it is far more flexible than the traditional paper-based system. If you want to retrieve documents, you can do so using your smartphone or any other device. If you want to update information on a document, you no longer need to type out the entire form. You simply need to make the changes over the phone or through a computer, tablet or other device. 

Tasks like this are much easier with cloud-based storage as you do not need to deal with bulky and heavy files. Rather they are stored electronically, which makes them easy to find and manage. The contents of each document will be kept secure from one another, ensuring that privacy is protected at all times. You can also print out any document you require whenever necessary, negating the need for a separate printer for such purposes.

It doesn't have to happen all at once 

If you're like most fleet managers, you probably have a number of spreadsheets, forms, whiteboards and other documents that are essential to your daily operations. If you've operated your business on paper for any length of time, the piles of paper can be overwhelming. The idea of switching to a cloud-based solution might seem scary. 

You don't have to rush out and change everything at once. You can take a gradual approach and make things easier on yourself in the process. Here's how: 

Keep it simple

Pick one area to start with, such as repairs. If a gauge breaks, have a driver enter it in the system. The work order doesn't need a long description. Every mechanic will understand what to look for when "Broken air suspension gauge" is entered. Mechanics can find the repair on the list and complete it with simple remarks like "Gauge replaced." 

Give yourself and your team time used to the process - could take a few days or a month or more. Then pick the next process to tackle. Add service reminders or perhaps tackle inventory.

Get comfortable improving one process at a time.

Better times ahead

While it is hard to do, there is no doubt that you’ll be glad you did when you begin to enjoy the benefits of digital records. And one other thing: for those who are thinking about making the switch from paper to cloud, remember that time is always on your side. Whether you wait another month or six months, your switch from paper is on the horizon, and the sooner you embrace it the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy all of its benefits.