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May 19, 2018

Paper-Based DVIR Procedures Are Getting a Facelift with Technology

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For fleet managers like yourself, daily inspection reports are just another part of the reality of running your business. However, they don't have to be nearly the headache that they once were proven to be. In recent years, new tools have arisen to provide you with the option of setting aside your paper-based process in favor of something a bit more in keeping with today’s technologically driven landscape.

After all, daily vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) are already a required element of commercial vehicles and provide necessary protections for both your business and, by extension, your drivers. So, considering the indispensable nature of DVIR, why should you and your drivers be forced to deal with an archaic way of doing things if a better option already exists?

That’s the question your industry is currently facing, as the rise of an electronic-based alternative to traditional DVIR — coined eDVIR — has challenged the entire framework with which inspection reports are created, completed and submitted. As news spreads, the battle of paper-based DVIR versus eDVIR is undoubtedly going to rage on.

The only question that remains is which side of the debate you and your company will be on when all is said and done. Some veterans of your industry may balk at technology essentially stepping in to revolutionize such a critical part of your business, but others will see this as an opportunity to streamline part of your drivers’ routine. But before you settle on your own perspective, we’ll take you through both DVIR and its digital counterpart so that you can make an informed decision.

DVIR Explained

DVIR-clipboard

So, before we elaborate on the latest in DVIR, it’s time for a quick refresher. Over time, it’s possible that inspection reports have become second nature, but don’t let that lead to complacency. Remember that a daily record — conducted by each driver and of every vehicle — is a requirement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

So, while your employees may not want to take the time to keep updated with this process, it is quite literally mandatory by law. Until a report is ready, you cannot be certain that a vehicle is safe to hit the road, and that might open the door for culpability if an incident does occur out there. It’s simply not worth the risk to allow a driver to head out without having at least the safety net of a DVIR to provide the minimum amount of protection you need to have peace of mind about each trip.

At its most basic level, an inspection report should answer the fundamental questions raised about the condition of a vehicle. For example:

  • Do key parts like the windshield wipers and lights function properly?
  • Are the tires in decent shape and properly inflated?
  • Does the vehicle have any leaks, defects or other items that require attention before the trip begins?

The full list of concerns is quite exhaustive, but the point stands that the level of detail on a DVIR runs deep. It has to, in order to serve its purpose as both legal document and safety precaution.

Whenever a driver takes a vehicle out without one, he or she is — knowingly or not — putting the long-term reputation of your business on the line. Sure, it’s easy to write DVIR off as a mere formality and breeze through the steps without much care or regard for accuracy, especially when you’re burdened with having to fill out and submit paper copies of each day’s reports.

Then, as the fleet manager, it’s your job to try and make sense of it all. Of course, some drivers are going to waive their DVIR just so that they can keep up.

But vehicular collisions occur every day. If an incident does occur, it’s up to you to ensure that your company and its drivers have met at least the simplest requirements expected of them. That mean having an updated DVIR file, and such a prospect is far less headache-inducing if the records in question are of the digital variety, not the paper kind.

Before the technology to streamline this process was made readily available, it’s only natural that paper-based DVIR would reign supreme. In any case, we are in a new age. DVIR is clearly a key part of your business. So, if you must comply with regulations, there’s no reason why doing so has to be so convoluted. eDVIR may be the new kid on the block, but we’re willing to bet that you’ll hop aboard the digital train once you have a bit more information on hand.

Going Digital

going-digital

At face value, the eDVIR process isn’t that much different than the traditional way of doing things. Drivers still complete and submit daily reports so that you can keep them on file. The inspection points themselves are largely the same, and the protections they provide have never been more pertinent to the long-term prospects of your business.

What does change — quite drastically, we might add — is how you complete and submit reports. With a fully digital system, drivers no longer need to deal with lengthy inspection forms. Instead, these can be customized to only include the fields you need or rearranged to suit your needs. Then, they are submitted instantaneously using a cloud-based interface, allowing managers like you access to inspection reports in real time.

We have already demonstrated that DVIR is a requirement of your business, and eDVIR at least makes it easy to open the lines of communication and stay in the know with your team.

Moreover, fully electronic inspection reports give you the chance to organize your DVIR records and streamline your processes on the back end. Piles of paperwork can become tiresome quickly, but eDVIR strips all of those concerns and streamlines this critical part of your business to the point that you won’t have to worry about a thing.

In the event that one of your drivers is involved in an accident or some other incident, electronic files will be far easier to access than the old paper forms.

After all, compliance is a real hot-button issue these days, and the last thing you want is for your DVIR files to be incomplete or out of date. eDVIR ensures that this doesn’t happen and that you’re prepared for any circumstances that may come your way.

You’ll even be able to run fully customized reports to uncover opportunities for growth or to identify trends within your business that can pinpoint ways to cut costs or otherwise boost productivity. Even without this added benefit, digital files should already minimize the amount of human errors present in eDVIR, leading to greater accuracy and a higher overall quality of work.

While it is only now starting to gain traction, eDVIR is fast becoming the standard-bearer in your industry. With so many administrative duties in your hands, we’re sure that you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty in the simplicity that is eDVIR. Cleaner inspection forms and real-time submissions alone are game-changers, long before you factor in the many ways in which eDVIR can serve your company better than traditional DVIR ever did.

Less hassle and more efficiency just for bringing your DVIR system into the modern age? That’s not a bad trade-off any way you look at it, but the real clincher for your company will likely be how eDVIR makes it so easy to satisfy regulation and maximize protections for all involved. This is a gift in and of itself, one which you would be wise to at least consider before retreating to the outdated system you know.

Benefits of Technological Upgrade

If you’re still on the fence about taking the leap into eDVIR, we’ve got you covered. Let’s briefly run through some of the most integral advantages of using this digital format instead of relying on paperwork.

  • Work faster: Because you can customize forms and automatically store and organize completed inspection reports, your drivers will able to log in, run through the inspection points they need to hit and get out without having to waste precious minutes fiddling with paperwork or risk losing the completed form before it’s ever turned in. The entire process is streamlined from top to bottom, and there’s no telling how much of a difference you’ll witness once you integrate eDVIR into your business. Time, as they say, is money. The resources you’ll save with this new process is easily among the best elements of it all.
  • Simplified reporting: Noticing a pattern here? eDVIR doesn’t only streamline — and thus expedite — the inspection process itself, but this same benefit extends to the reporting module as well. If your company is ever audited, you’ll need to be ready to present months’ worth of inspection reports. With digital copies, you’ll be able to access them at a moment’s notice. In fact, you can even customize specific reports based on your own parameters, saving you the time of having to sift through piles of paperwork just to (hopefully) identify what you’re looking for.
  • More open communication: Across the board, one of the most impactful ways in which technology has changed our world is in how we communicate. Case in point, with fully digital eDVIR, you can communicate with your drivers instantly. Any submitted inspection forms will be easily accessible, and the maintenance team can begin preparing to address any action items discovered during inspection. You can even submit photos through the system for further proof or clarification. Whereas you once had to wait until your driver returned to accept the report and finalize maintenance plans, you can now plan ahead and use your resources more strategically.
  • Fewer errors: Say goodbye to those days of having to decipher one of your driver’s handwriting or struggling to make sense of a completed inspection report. With eDVIR, it is so much easier to review a report and acknowledge next steps well before intervention is needed. In addition, the ability to customize forms keeps the reports lean and makes it far less likely that a driver will make a mistake. Human error is unavoidable to some degree, but now you can greatly reduce the chances of a major mistake slipping through the cracks. Such a mishap could damage your business and your reputation, if it goes unchecked. Don’t leave your company’s well-being to happenstance.
  • Incredible mobility: By now, we’ve acknowledged that eDVIR uses the cloud to upload and share information, but let’s emphasize it once more. This system, of course, works for either iOS or Android and on any mobile device, be it smartphone or tablet. Because your drivers travel all over the place, the need to access the system from anywhere is obviously much greater. Thankfully, eDVIR accommodates this, making it a breeze to log in no matter where you are.

Farewell to Paper

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Simply, eDVIR provides a host of benefits that could very well help your business function more smoothly and present the possibility for even more improvements ahead for your business. Though the technology itself is still relatively new, many companies like yours have already seen much success with it, crediting eDVIR for increased productivity, greater accuracy in their records and more accountability on the part of their drivers.

The inspection reports themselves may be digital, but the effect of this new process on business operations is very tangible indeed. Is it any wonder then why eDVIR continues to be heralded as the future of inspection reports? No matter what metric one turns to for success, eDVIR appears poised to facilitate it.

That’s why Whip Around has invested heavily in our eDVIR product. Our easy-to-use system allows complete autonomy and customization of the inspection process. Regardless of how you want to configure your inspection form, Whip Around can make it happen, saving you countless man-hours and ensuring that your drivers stay focused on the job at hand.

Anywhere you are, you’ll be able to manage inspection reports with the touch of a button. Imagine the flexibility of being able to access these DVIR from your mobile device, not to mention the detailed analytics that accompany such digital files.

You’re just one click away from finding a better way to manage your fleet. For more information on how Whip Around can help you, get started FREE today!

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