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The ROI of Incident Reports

the ROI of incident reports

Multifamily's Hidden Superhero

You might have loads of fancy amenities, resident portals, and efficient maintenance crews, but something lurks in the shadows, waiting to pounce on your perfect operation: Incidents. What we used to call "accidents" have been relabeled as incidents. Why the change? According to this U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) article:

To many, "accident" suggests an event that was random, and could not have been prevented. Since nearly all worksite fatalities, injuries, and illnesses are preventable, OSHA suggests using the term "incident."

Unfortunately, no matter how much preventative maintenance and proactive measures you put into place as a property manager, incidents happen. The unavoidable reality of incidents is why every multifamily business needs a little-known superhero: the internal incident reporting and tracking system. Let's break down why state-of-the-art incident reporting software, like AppWork's feature-rich module, should be on your radar.

What is Incident Reporting?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's ask ourselves the what and why of incident reporting. According to this OSHA document:

As a responsible employer, you need to react quickly to the incident with a prescribed procedure for finding the root causes and implementing corrective actions. Quick and planned actions will demonstrate your commitment to the safety and health of your workers, and your willingness to improve your safety and health management program to prevent future incidents.

In the multifamily industry, an incident can include anything from a leaky roof causing water damage to a resident slipping on an icy walkway. Incident reporting is a way to catalog what went wrong, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Why Incident Reporting?

There are a plethora of reasons why incident reporting is critical, including but not limited to the following:

  • Preventing future incidents
  • Mitigating risk
  • Saving lives
  • Saving money
  • Improving team morale
  • Enhancing workflows
  • Proving a commitment to health and safety

However, even if you document every incident meticulously if you store your reports in hard copies, you miss out on tracking your incidents. The ability to track issues makes a digital platform crucial for incident reports.

Why Incident Report Tracking?

Prevent Future Incidents
Imagine this: A plumbing mishap hits your facility, and residents are livid. You handle the issue but have no record of what happened. Fast forward a month, and another leak sprouts.

Without tracking, you can't identify if the issue is systemic or just bad luck. A robust incident reporting system provides invaluable data that helps to prevent the same problem from cropping up repeatedly.

Without tracking, you can't identify if the issue is systemic or just bad luck. A robust incident reporting system provides invaluable data that helps to prevent the same problem from cropping up repeatedly.

Mitigate Risk
Legal issues are often a landmine in the multifamily industry. With proper internal incident reporting, you arm yourself with a documented history of what transpired. This documentation can prove to be an invaluable asset when faced with any liability claims. A Harvard Business Review article found that companies maintaining incident logs were better equipped to deal with legal challenges.

Encourage Collaboration
By bringing incident reporting to the cloud, stakeholders can collaborate on documenting and resolving the issue. This enhanced transparency speeds up resolution time. AppWork’s module, for example, lets your team submit, track, and collaborate on incident reports effortlessly.

The Risks of Ignoring Incident Reporting

From the same Harvard Business Review article above, the professors conclude:

Risk management is nonintuitive; it runs counter to many individual and organizational biases[...] Active and cost-effective risk management requires managers to think systematically about the multiple categories of risks they face so they can institute appropriate processes for each. These processes will neutralize their managerial bias of seeing the world as they would like it to be rather than as it actually is or could become.

Even they agree that most people have a natural inclination to avoid risk management. However tempting that may be, every property manager runs the following risks by ignoring the importance of incident reporting.

  1. Financial Losses: The cost of negligence (and lawsuits) can be astronomical.
  2. Damaged Reputation: Bad online reviews make it harder to acquire new residents; in multifamily, your reputation can make or break you.
  3. Inefficient Operations: Without tracking, you won't be able to differentiate between systemic failures and one-off occurrences.

Necessary Features for Incident Reporting Software

Hopefully, you are willing and ready to implement a digital incident report system at your property (or properties). Before running out and grabbing the first software you find, make sure the incident reporting software includes the following features:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: Nobody will use software that is difficult to use. People are already disinclined to manage risk and compliance. That means the incident report software must be easy to use.
  2. Customization: Not all incidents are created equal. Your software should let you tailor your reports accordingly.
  3. Real-Time Notifications: Ensure all stakeholders receive immediate alerts for quick action and follow-up.
  4. Detailed Tracking: What's the point of digital reporting if you can’t keep track? You might as well get a file cabinet instead.
  5. Collaboration Features: Look for software, like AppWork, that facilitates teamwork.

The ROI of Incident Reporting Software

Incident reporting software isn't a cost—it’s an investment. Putting money into top-notch multifamily incident reporting software can save lots of money in the long term. Studies at the Project Management Institute show that organizations can save up to 50% in operational costs when implementing effective risk management practices, including incident reporting.

Think of incident reporting and tracking as the adult chaperone at your community party. If you're looking for an all-in-one solution, look no further than AppWork’s comprehensive incident reporting module. It offers everything from incident submission to tracking and collaboration features. It's time to say goodbye to messy incident management and hello to a new superhero.