When we opened our café in 1990, we focused more on the pancakes and eggs than on the formalities. We didn’t keep many records and since there were only a handful of us working, finding records was easy. Since folks seemed to love our breakfasts and lunches, we kept going. Our coffee kept our clients humming and soon they asked us to move into an office building closer to the courthouse. That year, we got a new location, new accountant and a new loan all at the same time. I moved from flipping my magical pancakes and brewing strong but never bitter coffee into keeping tabs on more and more paperwork. We brought in office staff and hired an accountant to help us keep up too. We followed our accountant’s advice about what to retain and what to keep as best as we could and picked up more and more employees. Our employees loved working for us because we weren’t “desk work” – they could thrive in an environment where they were interacting with people, not paper.
Well, 28 years later we now have five bustling locations, a space to roast our own coffee and bake our muffins and we couldn’t be happier. But that paperwork still drives us crazy. We have had a few café managers turnover lately, and each had their own system of organizing paperwork and documents. In just one year, that means we might have documents subject to seven different “systems.” When our employees have an injury, finding the documents we need can be a total nightmare. Getting employees to understand how to keep and store those documents was a whole other story.
When our coffee roaster suffered a burn that required a trip to the emergency department in the same month that one of our cooks cut her hand slicing bacon, we could tell that the document situation wasn’t working at all. With various papers from various places, we could barely keep up with it. And forget about using any of that information to create trainings for other workers. How could we do that if we couldn’t pull all of it together?
In the past, we tried using email systems and various web platforms to keep copies of doctor visits but ran into the same problem as before, so many different “systems” based on each managers’ method of organizing. Our attorney was frustrated, our adjuster was exasperated, and we knew we needed something so that we wouldn’t beat up employees who were great at managing waiters and cooks for being bad at valuing people over paper. When we tried searching for systems outside of web based storage, like Drop Box and Google Docs, we quickly ran into the people over paper problem again. Our managers would spend more time setting up the systems and less time managing and coaching their employees.
With ModWatch, we can report the injury directly into our system. We can update one easy to find file with notes from managers, coworker witnesses and details on doctors appointments. We can share documents with our attorney and our adjuster with a click of a mouse. And nothing gets lost. No matter who or where a document (or manager) might be, we have one easy way to store and organize our workers’ compensation documents. And importantly, we can use that information to keep training our employees and prevent future injuries! Now our managers can focus on people, and I have more time to get into the kitchen too.