Reduce overhead and eliminate duplication of work
Think about how many man hours are completely wasted in your company. In a typical scenario, an estimator or sales person:
- jots notes on paper in the field;
- enters info into a spreadsheet at the office; and
- creates a proposal in Microsoft Word or another software package.
Then, if the job is sold, he disseminates various components of the job info to the Project Manager, Purchasing, Scheduler/Dispatcher, and Accounting. Your field crew then:
- ideally, keeps track of actual quantities/volumes of materials used, probably on paper;
- records man-hours worked; and
- submits their information to Accounting, where it’s all entered into QuickBooks or some other accounting system.
Throughout the process, the same information is handled four, five, or six times, causing major inefficiencies and driving up overhead. This multiple handling of information also greatly increases the likelihood of billing errors.
Asset eliminates this needless duplication of work, allowing all members of the team to work from the same system, in real time. As a result, many Asset users are able to eliminate multiple administrative positions from their staff, greatly reducing overhead.
Which of your marketing efforts are successful and which are wasting money? Can you accurately track every sales lead to find out?
How many employees will you need next season? Or next month? Or next week? Can you accurately analyze your sales pipeline to project necessary man-hours?
Can you track the profitability of each department in your company to make necessary changes to either increase their individual profit margins or eliminate low-margin activities and redirect resources to more profitable divisions? Do you know exactly which jobs or projects made money?
Many growing companies don’t know the answers to these questions. It simply takes too long to get the answers and most of their company data are not in the proper format to even get the answers.
Asset provides you, the business owner, with an up-to-the-minute dashboard on the health of your business, so you can make informed decisions in real time, before it’s too late and opportunities have passed you by.
Eliminate missed billing
Your crew has just finished re-grading Mrs. Anderson’s back yard and installing the brick-paver patio when she asks them to remove the storm debris from the drainage ditch abutting her front yard. They happily oblige, because it takes the three-man crew only 15 minutes, and Mrs. Anderson has been very nice during the remainder of the project. Before they return to the shop, they take a 15-minute detour to dispose of the debris, adding the $20 disposal fee to your company’s tab at the dump. You just incurred 1.5 man-hours and $20 of expenses. Will you ever get the revenue to offset it? Will the crew leader submit the extra charges to Accounting? Maybe, maybe not.
Worse yet, how many times has a smaller piece of equipment been specified (and therefore, estimated in the price), yet conditions actually call for a much larger, more expensive piece of equipment? It happens all the time. But does the customer get charged when the larger equipment is brought to the site? Maybe, maybe not.
Asset helps you eliminate missed billings, whether they’re caused by urgent situations, change orders, or repetitive contracts for recurring work by making the entire process easy for everyone involved, from the company controller to the field crew. With CREWtek, our innovative application that loads directly onto hand-held computers or PDAs, your crew can communicate directly with the rest of the system, in real time, to enter actual quantities and man-hours used for every task. Eliminating missed or under-charged billings leads to increased revenue and greater profitability per job.
“Hey Bob, what’s our day rate for the vibratory-plate compactor?”
“$15 per day.”
“I don’t know – that’s just what we’ve always charged.”
This is how job costing is done in many companies; line items are transferred from one proposal to the next without much time to think about where that price came from. In the case of the compactor, it might have been paid off long ago, so the $25 per day seems like pure profit, but what about the cost to maintain it, store it each night in a secure shed or garage, fuel it each day, etc.? Worse yet, what happens if it breaks down in the middle of a job and you need to rent one from the rental center for $58 per day? You will quickly see that you’re leaving money on the table at $15 per day, and you could actually charge, for example, $45 per day without the customer ever raising an eyebrow.
This is but one simple example of how you can increase revenue with Asset. Imagine what happens when you multiply this across all areas of your business. How else can Asset increase revenue?
- By freeing up key people to do what they do best, minimizing their unproductive time.
- By providing better tracking of expenses, human resources, equipment, materials, etc.
- By enabling better estimating and consistent bidding among each of your sales people or estimators – no more leaving money on the table.
Respond quickly to customers’ needs
It’s always worst during the busy season. A prospective customer calls for information, but the boss is out checking on a job that has some problems. By the time he resolves the issues and gets back to the office, there are three more “fires” that need to be put out. It might be the next day, or even two days later, before he gets back to the prospect, but then it’s too late: “We went with someone else”. By standardizing the proposal process through Asset, someone else could have helped the prospect. Even if the staff had to wait for the boss to sign off on the final proposal, at least the prospect would have been engaged by the company in the interim, with the staff collecting information about the job and completing relevant checklists to build the proposal.
As opposed to reactive selling in the example above, proactive selling, or anticipating your customer’s needs before they ask, is a great way to grow your business. With Asset’s built-in customer relationship manager (CRM), you can easily keep track of recommended annual preventative and maintenance schedules for each customer. You can then communicate with them in any number of ways – by calling, sending a post card, or emailing them through the built-in email package. With proactive approaches, you will reduce the opportunity for your competitors to steal your customers.