App-solutely No More Headaches
Late Summer 2019 - Efficiency and reliability are paramount for any successful business. Imagine being able to seamlessly take care of your daily operations with the push of a button. Fortunately, there is an app in development that can do just that.
The contractor landscape has now changed for good. Regulatory and safety requirements have changed the business. More information is requested for quality control bodies. Customers are less patient for information. Pricing has become much tighter and knowing your margins can make the difference between getting the work and keeping your business healthy or harming your business, and it is often believed that information is key to success. With modern technology, it has become easier and more affordable to manage that information with greater control.
Managing costs and maintaining quality record keeping are vital to the success of any spray foam business. Without these attributes, you are taking risk and/or doing the math on paper to try and confirm if you are making money. Saving time is very important in designing an efficient workflow. SPF businesses took handwritten work orders and input them into a system. This process assisted with any calculations and saved time, but the duplication was an administrative burden. It was this burden that ultimately led to the decision that it was time to move forward with a fully automated process. An app was developed that handles the work order workflow process. This technology also manages many other related items and the plan is to expand on these features to help contractors manage what matters to a business.
What does this app do you might ask? Well, the developers were careful in their planning to not duplicate features from other common software and apps that already exist and are specialized to their functionality. For example, this app does not get into CRM, estimating, and accounting features. This would increase the price of development and likely overlap features from current systems. The long-term vision was to hopefully make this program available to others, therefore keeping it specific would help it fit into more businesses’ operations.
The app handles work orders as well as it can and as detailed as was considered helpful. It was essential to have a web-based portion for administrators and managers, as well as an app for the installers. Passing of information is seamless and there is no need to physically hand over the work orders. Essential costing configurations, such as building your fleet and costing your trucks for travel purposes, and your materials and manpower, is included. The materials section is very detailed. You can put in yield thresholds. This is an alarm for the range of typical yields to warn installers and create a visual reminder that the yield is out of range. You can also get into the exact volume of your sets and ensure you are calculating the last drop of material in your costing information. No more rounding up or down. Every drop accounted for.
Work orders can be built to be as detailed as you want. Most businesses believe that an accurate estimation is important. This app can take line items of a quote and detail them to the crews to confirm exact board footage information, application descriptions, thicknesses, and sizes. Pricing is kept private by user privileges that can be set. The program will tally the sizes of the same material and confirm how many board feet the job is and can offer immediate feedback on yield in the field.
For regulatory needs, the program can cost all data points such as equipment settings, batch numbers, drum temperatures, substrate and environmental conditions, density tests and many more. Custom forms will soon be added in the future, the first of which to be hazard assessments but can also include custom quality control checklists for those very large jobs that require further controls. Once this is all filled out on site with the mobile app, the program checks to ensure the installer is not missing any key fields. If so, the program has a set of rules that must be met and will notify the installer of these missing fields before allowing them to complete the work order. This process, in the past, was often a time-waster when handwritten work orders would be turned in with missing information causing administrators to go back after the fact to fill in the necessary data. This control process, via the app, speeds up the billing cycles and ensures the administrative teams have what they need to process the work order.
From there, the administrators or management are able to approve the work order. This process is typically related to confirming the pricing and that all data lines up with material usage and margins/budgets have been met. If not, this level of detail can immediately be applied to getting the installers on track or trigger the need for further investigation. This approval process can trigger the work order into different statuses confirming that it has been completed, now approved, and finally invoiced.
This new app for SPF businesses facilitates the work order process, while not duplicating features from already existing software and apps.
There is also an export feature that can be tuned to display a printout for those wanting to transition into a system like this but keep a paper record as well. Also important to note,the system includes a quality assurance report that can be exported and ready to go directly to the quality control regulators. In Canada, it is required to send records to the governing bodies of each installation; these are often referred to as daily work records. The data they require can automatically be pulled out of a work record. No duplication of information needed. The crews only fill out one form!
Forthcoming, the developers are planning to add more features that are important to a spray foam business. In this day and age, it is often beneficial to let technology work for you. This software is not yet available to the public, but it is expected to be soon. The current availability of software like this does not connect the regulatory requirements with what is important to the contractor, such as instructional, costing, and automation of information.
It’s time to work smarter, not harder. Allow technology to remove the hassle of handling your work orders. Before you know it, you will be saving time and money simply by downloading this app.
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