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Growing pains, when things take off but your systems can't keep up.

Posted by Paul Tyrrell on 13/02/18 13:41

 

 

We spoke last week of hitting the Growth Ceiling, but what if you have the opposite problem?  Growing too fast that cracks are starting to form!

Growth is excellent but it can come with some risk. Do you have the resources to keep up, do you have the systems in place to ensure the quality is maintained and the profit margins are maintained.

Importantly, regardless of what tool you use, as you start smashing growth you want to check your systems and job management software will scale with you :)  

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These are some of the key questions you should be asking yourself:

  1. How is growth impacting (scheduling, customer satisfaction, Invoice accuracy, are the team are following your guidelines, are you invoicing all the things you need to invoice?)
  2. How do you Schedule these jobs?
    1. Simple Jobs
    2. Long running jobs
    3. Runsheet emergency jobs
    4. Projects with all info in one place
  3. How do you keep track of a customer's assets.
  4. How do you track your team's timesheets.

 

Let us help your business prepare for Growth and Scale efficiently.   Click Here for Free 14 day Trial  We can systemise your Job Management  workflows for Growth

 

Let's follow the story of Paul (Our Product Specialist) and Britney (from the office of a growing Plumbing business).

Paul here, from FieldInsight.
 
Customer.
Thanks for calling. I'm just having massive issues - we are growing fast, and we now need to solve more complex scheduling, and project management and asset tracking problems.
 
Paul
It sounds like your business is taking off. It's awesome though, that's awesome!
Exactly.
We're up to 20 guys so I guess this is where the problems are rising because ...
I'm gonna need to add a heap of new guys on the system but I wanted to check if FieldInsight can help us in this next step...
 
Paul 
So, we've been working quietly away with some large air conditioning guys, which do 18 month projects ...
Customer 
That's what we need!
 
Paul
They do big projects and they want costing for those projects, they want all their jobs accessible under one project, they want to be able to add variations, they want to do a quote for a project, they want to see the profitability midway through a project.
Customer: 
I want to start doing timesheets because I'm chasing time sheets every *&^% Wednesday night and I'm losing my head.
But, they can do all that on your system, can't they?
 
Paul
Exactly, exactly.
Customer:
I've got a qualified to fill in the apprentices time sheets as well, I could do that.
 
Paul 
Yep.
Customer:
Okay, good, so now this project thing, how does that work and how different is it, and what do I differently.
 
Paul
So, there is two parts to it, you will need some training and configuration to do that and get that set up so its running smoothly for you.
How you set up your project, add a job to your project, then you might have another job you want to add to that project, add variations. Then add a quote workflow cause you'll actually want to add the quote and approve the quote on the project.
 
Then you want a statement summary to tell you how many invoices there are pending, all that sort of stuff to ensure you are tracking the job profitability.
Customer:
Exactly.  That's what we need.
 
Paul
And if the guys are putting materials/parts in you can captures those cost in here. That translates to how profitable the jobs are.
At any point in time you can say "look this is how many invoices I've got outstanding, this is how much money I'm making" So that's all in the one place as well.
Customer:
See that's exactly what we need; I was worried cause someone else in the office started looking at other programs and I'm just like " let me just call them and check if I can get it to work because otherwise ... I don't want to change because then its a nightmare and I've got three thousand jobs in there at the moment and its too much work!"
 
Paul
Glad you checked first, that would be a huge waste of your time and could cost you thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
We can definitely get you set up and cover all the project management activities you want.  We also have Inventory and Asset Management that you probably need as well?
Customer: 
Fantastic, so that can be done, that's another thing I can check off. I've got a list here that they've given me. What was the next thing that they wanted to know? We're now setting up our factory, so we just do that through inventory don't we?
 
Paul 
Yep.
We have an import service where we can import a spreadsheet and we'll load it up for you whenever you want. You can do that every quarter, you can do that every month, or you can do whatever.
Customer: 
That's what I've done, I've just started playing with it, so when I look at it it says, 40mil female connector. I know I've got one of them in stock, but then it says "order stock, minus one". So, what does that mean?
 
Paul
There's a minimum stock value in there, so if you say " I always want to make sure I have at least one, you put minimum stock at one."
Customer:
Oh, cause I've got zero in there as my minimum stock.
 
Paul 
So minimum stock zero is saying " Well you want zero so you're minus one, you've got to get rid of stock to get zero."
Customer:
Okay, that's fine. Yep, Fantastic.
Fantastic, that's what I needed. I'm trying to set that up myself. Excellent.
  
Paul
We can help, lets get the first training booked in next week so you have plenty of time to get settled.
Customer:
Okay
 
Paul 
Now the ongoing job management, there's two workflows we've got.
- You can set a job which recurs every day and goes on for a year.
- Or you can just leave it ongoing / recurring because sometimes you don't know when a project is going to end. So you can just schedule an ongoing job for that.
Customer:
Which is perfect.
 
Paul 
And then you can add and remove guys to that job as you go through day by day ... Often planned a week ahead or a couple days ahead.
You can add and remove those guys in there. We have a job service which is called "return every day". So, there's another one called "ongoing" ... But I think you probably want job notice per day, you want to know what's happening on every day, yeah?
Customer:
Yes, I do like that.
 
Paul
So, there's some jobs which are more time, which might be a three day job. And the whole job might be effectively in progress for three days and then done at the end of three days.
We would call that an ongoing job.
And that just has one setup. So its ongoing, so you'd like to schedule the guys so they're there for three days and when they're finished they flag it as completed.
Even though it's over multiple days, its treated like one job. Yeah?
Customer:
Yep, Fantastic.
 
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* Customer Happiness

* Quality Service Delivery

* Increasing Profit

 

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