Whether you’re currently using paper records or frustrated with your current fire/EMS software, switching to a new records management system (RMS) is a big decision that can have a huge impact on your entire agency. To help you get started with the process, we’ve put together a list of the five things (“The 5 Cs”) that you should consider before making the switch.
The 5 Cs to Consider Before Switching to a New RMS:
When making such a big change in your department, communication is key. The reasons for switching to another RMS or coming off of paper should be explained so you that you have buy-in throughout the organization. This will help make the transition a smooth process.
Consider your department’s culture when thinking about what will be necessary to make the transition as seamless as possible. Does your department embrace or resist change? How will you overcome any resistance?
Does your department have the necessary hardware? In order for software to function properly, your agency will need to make sure it has the correct infrastructure in place. Emergency Reporting is considered “software as a service” or SaaS. With this option, the vendor manages the software, data storage, and any system updates, and the customer accesses the system through a web connection. This is often a much more reliable and cost-effective solution for agencies who lack the time and/or IT personnel to manage a secure in-house system. Most importantly, SaaS vendors use the cloud for data backup and security. They provide physically isolated data centers and protected networks. These are separate from general networks and are maintained to prevent unwanted communications and block unauthorized users, making them inherently safer.
Before implementing an RMS, you’ll need to take a look at your internet connectivity. How strong is your connection in the stations, admin, and in the community when crews are on calls or out and about? If it needs improvement, you’ll want to look into options for boosting your Wi-Fi and obtaining a high-performance mobile router solution.
Switching to a new RMS will require a team of a few designated people within your organization to work on setting up the account and importing your existing records, if available. You’ll need to identify key personnel, regardless of rank, that are capable with helping to make the implementation of the RMS be successful across the organization.
If you can address these 5 Cs – Communication, Culture, Components, Connectivity, and Capability – before making the switch to a new RMS, you’ll help ensure that the process is a smooth and painless one.
If you haven’t already, testing out software is an important first step in considering a switch. You can give Emergency Reporting’s RMS a test drive today by signing up for a no-obligation free trial.