Technician Job Notes Done Right

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 27, 2014

One of the most common complaints of senior integrators is poor job notes.

Service technicians, especially junior ones, routinely screw this up, compounding problems and increasing costs. 

Not only are these notes important for future reference, they also can be critical to customer relations as well.  In this note, we examine the 6 details every technicians's job notes should contain, and explain why collecting these details can separate your company from trunkslammers.  

*** ** *** **** ****** ********** ** ****** *********** ** poor *** *****.

******* ***********, ********** ****** ****, ********* ***** **** **, *********** problems *** ********** *****. 

*** **** *** ***** ***** ********* *** ****** *********, **** also *** ** ******** ** ******** ********* ** ****.  ** **** note, ** ******* *** * ******* ***** ***********'* *** ***** ****** contain, *** ******* *** ********** ***** ******* *** ******** **** company **** *************.  

[***************]

Why *** ***** *** *********

** * ***** *****, *********** *** ********** *** ******* *********. The ******* ********** **** ** ****-********* ************ **** ** **** methods ** ********** *** ******** ************ *** *********** ********. ***** are ** ***** ***** ****** ** **** ** ********** *** notes:

  • ****** ** ***********: * ****** ******* ** *** **** **** *** ********* firmly ********* **** / ***** / *** ******* **** *****.
  • ******* *******: ****** ** ******* ** **********, **** ***** ******* *** ************* *** names ** *** *********** ********* *** ****.
  • ******** ********** /******** ********: **********, *** ***** ****** *** ******** *************** *********** ** initial **** ********* ****** ** **. ****** **** ******** ***** project ********** *** ******* ************ **** ********** ****** ****** ****.

6 ******* ***** *** **** ****** *******

*** *********** ******** ******* * ********** *** *** **** ****** does *** **** ** ** *******, *** ****** ******* * few *** ******* **** ***** ****** **** ***** *** ********** leaves *** ***. ***** *** ***** ************ ** ***** ****** include:

  • Billable *******: Starting by reporting the time work started and work ended on a day, but also 'nonproductive' but billable details like travel time/ mileage and even per diem expenses should be recorded.
  • Customer's ***** ** *******: The specific name and time whomever received or escorted the security company's technician on site.
  • Scope ** ***********: What work was actually performed? While 'adjusted cameras' may be brief, it is not useful. However, specific details on which cameras were adjusted and a quick overview of which adjustment was performed is useful.
  • Parts / ********* ****: Accounting for all devices applied to a job on the day they were used ensures contractual items like warranty periods have a good start date, and inventories of even 'consumables' like short lengths of cable, sealant, and fasteners can be accounted in billing. 
  • Did Work ***** *********? *** ***?: The most valuable information that can be shared often details what the problem was actually discovered to be, versus what was initially reported. The work needed to fix the issues often varies greatly from the initial diagnosis, and sharing this feedback can be a critical benefit for enhancing assessment skills, uncovering other problems, and building effective communication among internal groups.
  • Is *** ********?: Finally, confirming whether or not the job is finished seems obvious, but should be overtly mentioned. If so, then confirming if the customer 'signed-off' permits closeout and invoicing to begin. If not, then planning the job return, what parts are needed to complete the effort, and what additional labor hours are required are logically introduced.

** ******* *** ********* *** ******** ** ****** ***** *** needed, **** ****** *** ******* ******** *** ***** ******** ** prioritize ******* ********* ** * ***** ******.

*********

*** ***** ****** ** ********* ***** ***. ***** *** ******* may ** ** **** ** ***** *** **** ***** ****** day, **** ******** ** ********* ***** ************ ** *****. ****** to ******** *********** ******* * **** ********* ** ** * Friday ********* **** ********** ****** ** ******, **********, ** ********** useful *** *****.

 
*** ***-**** ****** *** ******** ***** ****** ** ****** ******* minutes *** ***** ***** ***** ******, ** **** **** *** man-hour *** ****. ***** ** ******* **** ** $** *** hour *** * **********, **** **** ** ** * **** of ***** $*** *** ***** ********** ******* **** * ****.

Why ** ** ***** **?

********** *********** ** *** ***** ** ***** **** ** **** paperwork ** *****, ******* **** *** ** ** * ********. When ****** *** **** ** ******* (*******?) ******* ***** *** job **** **** **** ***** * *****, ********* *** ******** value ** *** *********** **** *** ******* ** ***. **** value ********:

  • ******* ********: ** * ******** ******** ******* ** ********* **** **** are ******** ******, ******** *** ***** *** ******* ***** ** confusion *** *****.
  • ******* *******: ** * *** ** ****** ** ******* ** *** equipment *******, ****** *******, *** ***** ********** ************, *** ***** are *** **** ********* ****** ** *********** ******* ** ***** who ******* **** ******* ***** **.  ********* *** '*** *******' are ***** ********* ** ******** *******, *** *** ***** ***** carry ****** **** ********** ******** ************. 
  • ******** *******: ***** ******* ********* *** ***** *** ** *** ******** notes, ***** ************* *** ***-***** *** ******* **** ** * pretense *** ***** ********. ********** *** ***** ********** *********, ******** reviews ** ****** *********** *** ******* ********* ** ***** ******* call ** *** ****** ** ****** ******** *******.

****** ** ***** **** ************** ** ********* ************* **** **, *** notes *** *** ***** ********* ****** ** ********* *** ******* ******. The ************ ** ********** ******* *** *** ** ******** ** the ****, *** ***** ******** ******* *** ***** ** **** ********** ******** *****.

Commercial ******* ********** *********

************, ****** ************* *** ****** ** ***-***** ************* ********** *******, whose **** ******* ** ********* ********** ** ************** **** ******** integrators. *** **** ******* ** ***** ********* ** ** ********* good ******* **** ******* ******* ***** ** ******* ****. ****** platforms *******:

**** ********* ***-***** **** ******* **** ***** ********* ******** ** ******** aspect ** *********** *** ****** **********. ** ** ********** *** not ******* **** *********** *** ******** *** ******* ** ********** job *****, **** *** **** ********** ** *** '** *** use' **** ** ********* ******* *** *** **** *******.

Anecdotal ****

** ** **********, *************** ** *********. ** ** **** ****** that **** * ******* ******* **** ***** **, *** ***** place * ************** ***** ** *** ******** *** *****. ******* is **** *********** **** ********* ***** **** **** ** **** vagueness ***** *****-** ***** *** **** *********.

*** *******, * *** **** ******* "***** ****** *" ** not ****** *** *************** *** **** **** * **** ** Camera * ** ********. *******, * **** ********** "****** #* was ******** *******. * ****** *** ******'* ** ** ***.***.*.*, and ** ******** *** ****. * **** ***** ****** *** PoE ******** *** ********** **** **** ****** ** ******" ** a **** ****** **** *** *** **** **** *************** * good ********* *** ******* ****.

** **** ***, ******** **** ** **** ****** ***** *** actually **** ***** **** *** ****.

**** ***** ***? ** *** **** *** ********* ***** **** or *** *** **** **** * *** **********?

Comments (7)

Anyone willing to share software aps PC, MAC, tablet, smart phones, they use to help with the documentaion suggested?

We use Zoho; it works well. Techs can add notes in the field or have our guys in the office do it. They have apps for iphone and android, techs can also take photos right from the app, every time someone else on the job messes something of ours up with like to document it and send it to the customer before we invoice them. Its nice for the techs as they can see all of the notes from all technical support calls and previous service right from their phone. We also have all of the parts numbers used for the customer in the system.

It makes it easy for us to run reports and see which customers are having the most problems, keep track of installation notes and market to our customers. For example, I can run a report of all our cusotmers who have Fire and Burg Bosch systems but no Access, then I can send a customized email to all of them advertising acess control.

Which ZOHO product do you use to achieve that result?

Anecdotes and 'war stories' are often dismissed as informal chatter, but job notes often carry weight when sharpening business intelligence.

This bears repeating.

Remember, there is no such as useless information. There is only creative and uncreative useage of information.

I have to agree with the premise of this article. Project deliverables are a challenge for smaller companies to realize the importance of. Work orders allow for capturing many of these notes. I have seen some small companies not make use of work orders at all. This would make it quite challenging for them to ensure the work was actually completed, the date, and what work was performed.

A review of various ticket tracking and business management tools for small businesses would be a good article, though perhaps beyond the scope of IPVM.


Excellent article as always IPVM.

We use Smarttrade (Smarttrade Essential with Accounting connection and Ultimate remote). This allows us to load jobs in the office (track progress, product inventory against that job, including costings, quoting, measuring what was quote against actual end result (including labour hrs/cost)), interfaces directly with our accounting package- invoices from our accountng package- no double handling, timesheets on our tech's mobile phones- they log live on the hours, parts etc against the job allocated to them and a whole lot more.

We can review each techs hours easily. Can also use the Ultimate remote to track where techs are- we don't have the need to.

We now book/allocate jobs directly to the smarttrade scheduling- creating the job, allocating to a particular tech, booking it to a day/date/time with allocated timeframe- with live update directly to the techs calendar on their phone (via Google Calendar). This means the tech can see what jobs are coming up over any given period, can look back at previous jobs, can click on the job booking and get all the details-who, where, what, job number, order numbers and details etc.

We run 12 techicians off it- it works very very well. Not expensive either.

I have just set up 4 large LCD screens in our office, showing each techs schedule for the upcoming period, so the whole office can see who's doing what, where and when at a glance.

Probably sounds like I work for Smarttrade etc- I don't, the Smarttrade software is the single biggest business improvement we have done in the last 24months.

I use Evernote app for Android. Really useful to take notes on the smartphone and set reminders, also share with someone or just e-mail the notes to you to help compose a more formal report.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on Integrators

RealNetworks Free School Facial Recognition on Aug 03, 2018
The company that created RealPlayer is moving beyond media delivery and into the security space with a new facial recognition platform they have...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...
The Dumb Ones: PSA's Bozeman On Cybersecurity on Jun 15, 2018
The smart ones are the hundred people who flew to Denver and spent $500+ on a 1.5-day conference featuring Dahua as a 'cyber responsible partner',...
Worst Features for Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 07, 2018
4 clear worst features for installing were identified by 140+ integrator respondents to: What feature(s) make a camera hard to install? The...
Top Features For Easy Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 05, 2018
Camera installation is the most fundamental and common task for video security technicians. Because of this, camera manufacturers market their...
Stats: IP Camera Dead On Arrival (DOA) Decline, Near Zero on Jun 01, 2018
New IPVM integrator statistics show that IP camera DoA rates have declined with zero dead on arrival units for many integrators and effectively...
Stats: Upgrading Cameras Far More Common Than Replacing Failed Cameras on May 30, 2018
The old saying "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" does not apply here. New IPVM statistics show that 60% of cameras that are replaced still work but...
Exacq Improving Technical Support, Responding To Integrator Complaints on May 21, 2018
Exacq had been a long-term favorite of integrators, but since their 2014 Tyco acquisition, Exacq has fallen in IPVM integrator studies (though...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Video Analytics Integration Guide on Aug 16, 2018
Video analytics is hot again (at least conceptually) but integrating video analytics with VMSes can be challenging. This is especially significant...
Hikvision IP Camera Critical Vulnerability 2018 Disclosed on Aug 16, 2018
The same day that the US government passed a prohibition on Hikvision cameras, Hikvision disclosed a critical vulnerability for its IP...
ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
Chinese OEM Avycon Gets ADI Push on Aug 15, 2018
Who is Avycon? An American company? A Korean company? A couple of guys relabelling Chinese products? The latter is the best explanation. While...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...
Genetec Stratocast / Comcast 'Motion Insights' Examined on Aug 15, 2018
Comcast recently announced "SmartOffice Motion Insights", an extension to their Genetec OEMed cloud video service (covered by IPVM here). This...
Ban of Dahua and Hikvision Is Now US Gov Law on Aug 13, 2018
The US President has signed the 2019 NDAA into law, banning the use of Dahua and Hikvision (and their OEMs) for the US government, for US...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...
Nortek Sues SDS, Battle Over Unpaid Bill and Cancelled Lines on Aug 13, 2018
Nortek and SDS legal battle continues. As IPVM reported, SDS sued Nortek alleging bribery and antitrust violation. However, Wave fired back at SDS,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact