Without a Centralized Enterprise System of Record for your Photos, a Warehouse manager cannot show compelling proof that his team did their job right.
When there is a Change, there is Resistance, but it is worth it
A system of record is a very important information repository that not only stores a specific information in a well-organized manner that is easy to retrieve and share by any authorized personnel of the organization but also serves as an authoritative source of fact.
Our actions and decisions are only as good as the data we use to act upon them. That being true, when designing complicated systems, the integrity of the data set involved becomes enormously important. Obviously, the data that resides in a system should be accurate. However, it also needs to have integrity, which means consistent and not unnecessarily redundant.
A good data set is invaluable. Done well, it puts all of the data elements in one place, making it easy to share, analyze, extrapolate, and use. Which system owns the data is potentially even more important. If you want to fundamentally alter the data based on business rule or a business logic, then it should be done in the system that owns the data, so it’s critical to track the lifecycle of the data entity and to refer users to the primary system for specific data.
Capture the conditions of the loads you ship and share it with your customer through automated email's. Take photos of every product, pallet, and truck along with the packaging conditions such as shrink wrapping, addition of dunnage bags, stretch wrapping, etc., and win the trust of your customers.
Avoid Costly Freight Claims, Chargebacks, and Concealed Shortages and Damages with the Centralized Photo Documentation Solution - LoadProof
The photos that you take in your warehouse are critical Enterprise data. Enterprise data should not be stored in an employee’s smart phone or in an employee’s email inbox or in an employee’s computer. Important enterprise data should be rightfully organized in a centralized enterprise system of record should be stored in sophisticated high available systems with backups that are highly secure and can be recovered in no time in case of a disaster
According to Bain Capital’s Ajay Agarwal, A solution is considered a system of record if,
- it runs a mission-critical business process
- it stores proprietary business data
- large portions of the employee population interact with it daily or weekly
- its outputs form the foundation for important business decisions
- it codifies solutions that are “inside the heads of human beings”
- it learns and improves over time
For example, a Purchase Order is a very important record because it is a legally binding document. Once it is issued from one party to another party, typically a customer to a vendor or a buyer to seller, the vendor or seller gets to work procuring raw materials, investing in making the finished goods that needs to be shipped to the customer on time, based on the guarantee of the payment signified by the issue of the purchase order. The vendor or the seller carries out all the activities so the finished goods can be shipped on time to the customer or the buyer. And such Purchase orders are critical piece of information that are needed to run any organization effectively.
Another example is, Sales Order (SO) information is always owned by an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, since that is where all the aspects of the order are handled and tracked throughout the lifecycle of the sale. That same sales order might be downloaded to a warehouse management system (WMS) for fulfillment. The WMS will use the order information to fulfill the order, to optimize the fulfillment process, for packaging instructions, for shipping instructions and much more. However, the WMS system should only be allowed to look up information from the SO data for Order Fulfillment purposes, while changes to the SO data should be done in the ERP. Also keep in mind the system of record that owns that specific entity tracks the different statuses of the entity during the entire life cycle of the entity to accurately provide the latest status. Not all entities have statuses, as some entities are strictly for informational purposes only, for example the special instructions that are associated with an order are instructions to be followed while shipping the order and they don’t have a life cycle nor different status to them.
Similarly, photos are important piece of information that come handy for the following situations
- When there is a damage that occurred on an expensive merchandise that was shipped through a carrier from a shipper’s warehouse to a customer, and let us say this carrier insured this move, now the insurance company needs proof to show that the product indeed was shipped in pristine condition from the shipper’s warehouse, in this situation the pictures that unequivocally represent the pristine condition of the product, when the shipment departed the origin are invaluable
- When there is a lawsuit due to a conflict between a buyer and seller
- When there is a defect in merchandise that was received by a buyer and that has caused a considerable pain for the buyer
It is very important to have a system that owns the lifecycle of the data set to create a single source of truth. Also maintaining a single, simple architecture eases integration into other systems.
Can I use the Photos and Videos as evidence in court for or against a lawsuit?
Photo and video evidence can be extremely effective in legal proceedings. Potential evidence is everywhere and readily available with the proliferation of surveillance cameras and smartphones in everyone’s pockets. With this availability, every legal claim seems to incorporate photos or video. But is photo and video evidence always admissible in court? What are the pitfalls to be aware of when using such evidence?1
In order for photo and video evidence to be admissible in court it must meet two basic requirements: relevance and authenticity. In order for evidence to be relevant it must have probative value. In other words, it must either support or undermine the truth of any point at issue in the legal proceedings.
In order for evidence to be authenticated, it must accurately represent its subject as related to the legal claim. For example, a photo or video used as evidence in an accident case must truthfully represent the conditions of the road at the time and date of the accident.
While photos and videos may seem like concrete, immutable representations of reality, the fact is that this evidence can be manipulated in order to skew that reality. Lighting, position, perception, filters and editing can be strategically used to misrepresent the facts. Attorneys know this and will use objection tactics to claim that the evidence should be inadmissible. The following are some of the most common objections to photo and video evidence:
- Undue Prejudice: An attorney can argue that the photo or video evidence is not a reasonable representation of its subject and may result in undue prejudice.
- Hearsay: If there is no witness present who can be cross-examined, an attorney can argue that the substance of the photo or video evidence is hearsay.
- The Best Evidence Rule: If the photo or video is secondary evidence (a copy or facsimile), an attorney can argue that the original copy is superior evidence.
- Lack of Foundation: When visibility, the time of day, the weather or some other factor is at issue in the litigation, an attorney can question a substantial similarity between the occurrence in question and the photo or video evidence.
Photos and videos can serve as valuable evidence in litigation proceedings. In order to ensure that such evidence is admissible in court, it is important to establish a formal policy and or a system for the collection and preservation of the evidence, to adhere to the requirements of relevance and authenticity and to prepare for the objection tactics of the opposition.
Why the CCTV Video-based photo documentation system you have today is a nightmare to deal with?
Even though video seems much cooler documentation to have as proof, it is just not very practical when the time comes to retrieval of the data. We have customers and prospects that are switching from their CCTV video camera-based system to our LoadProof system. The most painful thing with the video-based camera system is that, the warehouse manager has to sit and watch hours and hours of video just to get that exact shot where that specific pallet is being loaded. Whereas with the LoadProof system, each individual pallet is captured as part of the Load Verification process, it is much easier to get to the photos for a specific pallet, from the list of all the photos that are available in the system. And this means you are not wasting hours and hours of time watching the video, instead you are very quickly performing the steps below to retrieve the photo you need
- Input the date range with From date and To date
- Hit enter to get a list of all the photos for that date range
- The end user could increase the # of loads displayed per page to 100 so quickly navigate to that page that has that specific load
- After identifying that specific load, drill down into the Load
- From there the end user can take a PDF of that entire load – meaning all the photos that belong to that load or
- Take the photo of that one particular pallet from that load and share that alone in an email.
With this approach, the retrieval is done in seconds or minutes instead of spending hours watching the entire video.