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Carriers Required to Adopt Electronic Recordkeeping Solution
Foley
6 mins read

 

Two out of 3 carriers still haven’t made the transition to a digital recordkeeping solution. But with offsite audits on the rise (and quickly becoming the DOT’s primary audit method), going digital is no longer an option.

In fact, when the DOT made the decision to start conducting offsite audits, they did so because they believed most carriers had already moved to a digital recordkeeping solution. For those who have, the offsite audit process hasn’t been overly burdensome – particularly if they’re using an online, automated solution that makes it easy to both identify compliance gaps and download files upon request.

But for those who are still using paper, the process has been significantly more difficult. Paper files need to be found, audited for accuracy and then scanned and uploaded to the auditor. And if that wasn’t hard enough, it all needs to be done within 48 hours.

Digital Recordkeeping Now Required! Get Offsite Audit Ready Now

It’s a time-consuming process with a high risk of errors. Now that unsatisfactory and conditional ratings can also be given through an offsite audit, there is also a high risk to the future viability of a carrier’s business if they fail to provide the auditor with all the documents requested (or if there are legibility issues that make the documents difficult to read).

The bottom line is this: if you employ DOT-regulated drivers, then you must convert to a digital solution now.

Identifying the Best Digital Recordkeeping Solution

When making the decision to go digital, it’s important to understand that not all digital files are created equally. So while it’s true that scanning paper documents into a computer and saving the files to your desktop is technically a digital solution, it has its limitations:

  • Documents are only available in a single location – so if you need to review a document in a driver’s file, or prepare files for an offsite audit, you’ll need to be in the office to do so.
  • Scanned documents can be difficult to read – If documents are blurry or illegible – or information is cut off – you’ll have a compliance problem on your hands during audit time. For audit success, the goal is to make it as easy for the auditor as possible. For best results, make sure information is clear, well-organized and complete.
  • Scanned documents can quietly go out of date – Medical cards, Motor Vehicle Reports and Commercial Driver’s Licenses need to be updated regularly. Unless you have a reliable system in place to alert you to upcoming expiration dates, these documents can expire without your knowledge – leaving you in trouble at audit time.

For best results, look for a fully digital compliance solution that is hosted online in a secure environment – and that provides automated alerts to keep your files compliant. For example, users of the Foley Platform get automatic alerts and email notifications when a driver’s file is missing a critical document or a CDL or medical certificate is due for renewal.

Converting Your Current Paper Documents

Before you begin converting to digital filing system, you’ll want to fully audit your paper files to make sure they are compliant. Again, a fully automated compliance solution like the Foley Platform will identify and alert you to missing documents – so if you miss something during the initial audit, you’ll be quickly alerted to any issues once you begin the conversion process.

Appointments Still Available: Get Your Demo of Foley's Digital Compliance & Recordkeeping Solution 

Once your files are converted, and  you have a fully digital recordkeeping process in place, offsite audits (and audits in general) become much simpler. For in-person audits, you’ll be able to show auditors the digital files they need to see from any computer or mobile device. For offsite audits, you can download files from your online account and upload them to the auditor immediately.

And if you’re using a solution such as the Foley Platform that tracks due dates for you, you can hand over your files confidently because of our alerts and notifications system. You’ll always know when action is required on your part to keep your files compliant.

In closing, the rise of offsite audits is here to stay – and switching to a fully automated recordkeeping solution is your first step in maintaining full compliance. Not only will you save time and improve the safety of your fleet, but you’ll be taking a big step towards maintaining a high safety rating for your business.

To see how easy it is to manage electronic files using the Foley Platform, request your free demo today.

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