All businesses know that not being compliant can be costly and even, in a worst case scenario, downright dangerous.
But governance of asset compliance requirements has traditionally been an arduous and labour-intensive task…
Compliance is an intriguing word, isn’t it? In everyday usage it has a variety of meanings. It can even have vaguely meek and mild connotations – with undertones of conformity, feeble-minded obedience in all things, genuflecting to one’s omnipresent overlords and so forth…
In business, however, it has completely different implications. In fact, there is no room for nuance at all. Compliance is an absolute necessity. Failing to be compliant with the standards, regulations and, particularly, safety requirements of your industry can have catastrophic consequences, ranging from financial downfalls to even possible loss of life.
Conforming to regulatory compliance is what helps businesses protect their reputations, their resources, and their products and services. It is a huge element of the trust that a company builds with its customers, existing and potential, as well as its vendors and suppliers. Any business that wants longevity and success relies on this trust, and that is only earned by behaving ethically in all of its work practices. At the base of ethical behaviour is compliance.
The major pillars of any field service businesses include meeting contractual requirements, managing work orders in real time, ensuring the safety of workers and contractors, accurately recording work completed on-site, adhering to SLAs (service-level agreements), creating professional service reports and compliance governance. For all and any of these pillars when there are issues this can potentially result in:
- lost revenue and market share
- asset downtime
- unexpected costs
- unhappy clients
- unproductive employees, and
- employee injuries.
When rigorous compliance adherence is overlooked, however, you can add to these:
- asset repairs being made by non-certified engineers, potentially leading to breakdowns and further issues, or
- non-compliant spares being used, which can be not only costly, but possibly lead to injuries or even fatalities.
When compliance is enforced, however, a business is aided in preventing rule violations, which protects it from fines, lawsuits and worse. It is a process that must be ongoing and consistent. Even the smallest and simplest business may have a plethora of compliance requirements it needs to satisfy. But consider how much more of an onerous task this is for the larger organisations in industries like HVAC, electrical services, facilities management, mechanical services and local government, which are likely to have hundreds, if not thousands to address on a regular basis.
Many companies, large and small, will have already established a program that accurately and consistently governs their compliance policies and I’ve often seen examples of respected (and respectable) established organisations relying on spreadsheets with reams of columns detailing the compliance policy, due date, who is responsible for updating it, when it has been completed and so on.
Traditionally, organisations have needed to take a significant number of steps to ensure their compliance governance is watertight, including the:
- implementation of written policies and procedures, including a standards of conduct guide and an ethics policy
- identification and designation of a compliance advisory committee, officer and executive committee
- establishment and organisation of effective education and training in compliance
- development of effective lines of communication and the establishment of a hotline
- implementation of internal monitoring and auditing – both internal and external audits, inspections and peer reviews
- enforcement of behavioural standards via clear disciplinary guidelines and consistently applied appropriate consequences for infractions
- timely response to any detected problems or issues and the undertaking of actions to correct them, and
- establishment of a chain of responsibility for unresolved issues – stipulated hotdesk response times, and elevation through various levels of management as and when necessary.
The many, many work hours spent on ensuring compliance and ticking off all the steps above take an organisation away from its core business – providing the products and services of its chosen industry.
So now imagine all of that automated and digital. I’ll give you a moment to let the joy and sheer relief of that sink in…
A market leading fully integrated asset management and field service solution like Asset Aviator tracks and records all of an organisation’s assets in real time and this includes governance of each and every compliance requirement – at your fingertips and updated automatically.
As each asset’s details are entered into the software, the associated compliance requirements are also recorded with links to any relevant legislation. Automated alerts inform you when updates are due, what action may be required and if any other issues need to be taken into consideration. This means no more checking the calendar every month for upcoming due dates, no more scrolling through spreadsheets, either physically or online, to check the requirements for specific assets or regulations. Instead you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing all your assets are compliant, will remain so and that any necessary action will be prompted automatically and seamlessly by your software solution.