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The Unconventional Guide to Work

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User Story: Detail Connect Limited use WorkflowMax to keep them ahead of the technology curve.

Here on the WorkflowMax blog, we love to feature businesses who are using WorkflowMax to manage their projects and improve workflows. We get a company to walk us through their workflow process and explain how they use different features. Every company is different, and every firm has different methods and processes for managing their projects. Our hope is that by taking a look at what others do, you can gain an understanding of WorkflowMax could work for your business.

This week, we’re talking to Luke Fahey, of Detail Connect Limited – a firm based in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, here in New Zealand. Detail Connect produce shop drawings for steel fabricators across the country, and have over 30 years experience in the industry. Welcome Luke!

Tell us about your company. Who are you, and what do you do?

Luke: Detail Connect Limited provide structural steel detailing and BIM modelling and coordination services for shop drawings in the steel fabrication sector. We offer a specialist service in 3D modeling and production of 2D deliverables for pricing, ordering, manufacture and erection of any structure big or small.

I’ve spent ten years working in the steel detailing industry in NZ and abroad. I moved to the Bay of Plenty in 2010, and identified a shortage of skilled NZ steel detailers, particularly with experience in Tekla Structures, which I’ve worked on extensively. We formed the company in 2012 to combat this shortage, and we’ve been going strong ever since.

What kind of clients do you work with?

Luke: Mainly steel fabricators, engineers, designers, and building contractors.

What challenges were you facing when it came to your workflow?

Luke: I was looking for an affordable system that was scalable and easy for the team to pick up. We needed a system to manage time, job numbers and information for projects in a one-stop location.

What was the most important factor to you when choosing project management software?

Luke: We needed software that could adapt to suit our business as we changed, grew and adopted new systems. I’m pretty enthusiastic on keeping up with the latest changes in technology, and I’m always seeking new and innovative programmes, apps and software to apply to the industry.

I wanted to make my job as efficient as possible, and WorkflowMax has definitely provided us a tool to do that.

Apart from WorkflowMax, do you use any other software tools to manage your business?

Luke: Yes. We use Office, Tekla Structures (our CAD software), Thunderbird, Draftsight, Open Office, Dropbox, Foxit, adobe, Chrome, Bluebeam, pdfcreator, sketchup + others.

Walk us through the life of a project at your company, from beginning to end. What are the steps in the process and how do you use WorkflowMax or other software at each step?

Luke: It’s all pretty standard, really. First, we receive a job inquiry, and we send out a quote for that in WorkflowMax. When the client accepts the job, we turn it into a job in WorkflowMax.

Now we hand the job off to the appropriate person, and works commence. We track all timesheets against the various tasks relating to each job. During this phase, all communication with clients and other consultants to coordinate the design is done via email raised from WFM – this enables us to cc the auto filing in the collaboration manager, keeping all our correspondence tied with the job.

We’ll then issue for approval via WorkflowMax email all the final adjustments & drawings/files issued for construction. Once the client signs off on the drawings, the whole process is completed in Tekla Structures 3D Modeling and detailing software.

We do all our invoicing in WFM, and push the data through to MYOB Business essentials. As of April 1st, we’re switching to Xero.

What kind of reports are you creating with WorkflowMax?

Luke: We’re using mostly custom reports to look at time spent on different jobs. We also export job history (time and other manual input variables) to generate spreadsheets for use in future project estimation for certain types of jobs. We’ve been talking to the WorkflowMax support team about some of the teething problems we’ve had, and we’re looking forward to the improvements planned for this feature!

What do you love most about WorkflowMax?

Luke: I love being able to see exactly what progress has been made on a job in real time, so I can  advise clients of expected delivery dates based on updated milestones.

Thanks Luke for talking to us about how you use WorkflowMax! If you’re running a company using WorkflowMax and want to talk workflow with us, then drop us an email at steff.green@xero.com and we can interview you for User Stories.