There are many out there that work as casual techs in a variety of venues. So one of the things that they will come up against is remembering how each venue operates, where gear is stored, and what plugs in where – to name a few. Trying to remember everything is certainly going to stress your brain. So what can a venue do to make things easier and safer? One of the vital things is to have at hand a set of standard operating procedures. This document can have a variety of information in it that will make anyone working there job much easier.
So what should be in this document? Copies of the venue plan, lighting plan, patching charts etc., procedures on rigging, use of EWP’s, ladders. Location plan on positions of switches, distribution boards. Copies of equipment manuals, emergency contact numbers also could be very helpful. With this sort of document the technician will be able to look up something if they are not sure. all it requires is sometime in putting the document together and then maintaining it if things change. You also keep your safe work procedures in here as well.
Another thing that is helpful is the simple act of labelling patch points etc., I have worked in venues where patch points are not always labelled and you need to guess what the patch is. This applies to audio and lighting. nothing worse than being presented with a choice to plug your foldback into but not sure what circuit it is – foldback 1 or 2, so there fore a trip back to the desk to test and therefore wasted client time. The concept of labelling needs to be followed religiously. If you make a temporary cable loom, label both ends. If your lighting patchbay consists of dozens of extension cables label them and then near the patchbay have a plan of where they go. another useful approach is to have copies of the patch near the dimmers, copies should also be near the patch system if they are remote from the dimmers. Even having copies of the plans and patch near lighting bars etc can speed up a technicians work process and act as a reminder when they are resetting after a long day.
So any documentation to help your technicians, casual or otherwise, can improve customer service and potentially speed up the more mundane processes.