Picture Perfect Performance – Using Photos in Frontline Operations

Brian Carpizo

June 14, 2021

Photo documentation is becoming standard practice in frontline operations. And for a good reason. The “proof is in the pudding,” and a “picture is worth a thousand words” – photos provide a visual version of the truth. Photos explain and provide historical records of what happened in the physical world. They provide context and backup for the spoken or written word.

Managers overseeing frontline operations can’t be everywhere, and their days filled with many responsibilities. The proof provided by photos helps managers stay on top of what is happening in the field. And a 1 second snap of a photo saves staff time – it explains things quickly and without the effort of writing about it. Images also are valuable to explain a labeled condition – for example; this is what “good” or “bad” looks like.

All mobile phones and tablets have built-in cameras. In addition to snapping photos for casual personal use, these features can be helpful for businesses with physical operations. Let’s look at some examples of job categories where photo documentation serves vital purposes.

3 Fundamental Reasons for Frontline Ops Photos

  1. History – inform others of what exactly things looked like at the time.
  2. Storytelling – explain something without bias or non-conclusive words
  3. Templates – show a visual guide of what things should (or not) look like


Some Examples of the Value of Photos

  1. A property management company taking photos of a snow-cleared walkway. What if there was a customer complaint or, worse, a slip and fall? How could the matter be quickly settled without proof?
  2. A civil engineering firm documenting the progress of a construction project. Without pictures, the descriptions of progression can be misconstrued or left ambiguous. A series of pictures over many days shows the timeline of progress.
  3. A manufacturing company taking pictures of a product before shipping to prove the condition if damage occurs while handling. If there are no before shipment photos, how can companies prove damage from transit?
  4. A restaurant area manager showing staff photos of good to-go packaging presentation. “It should look exactly like this going out.”

The Role of Business Apps - Making it Seamless and Useful

Just as consumer photo-sharing apps make it more functional & easy to share personal pictures, business apps facilitate the utility of photos for frontline operations. Let’s face it – taking photos on a phone or tablet, then going into your camera roll and uploading it to Dropbox or emailing it to yourself isn’t a great solution.

A business app for using photos in frontline operations should do the following:

  • Allow taking photos to go directly to the app vs. the takers’ photo roll
  • Capture and index metadata (location, date/time)
  • Provide proper context (e.g. in an inspection task, take a photo of the item being checked)
  • Automatically upload in the right spot for distribution, reporting, and sharing

You Guessed It - We Offer This

Documenting work completed in some manner reassures customers, employers, and others to know that jobs are completed on time and that the work done was satisfactory. Of course, words work, but whether a company constructs buildings or operates a chain of restaurants, the proof is in the pudding – you get the picture.

You are probably already thinking of ways your business can benefit from photo documentation of frontline operations by verifying job completion and measuring the level of performance. The TrustPlace software supports this feature on our mobile and tablet app. Contact us to discuss how to gain a clear picture of how your operations are performing. {end_of_puns.}

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