User Stories is a regular column here on the WorkflowMax blog. Here, we get a company to walk us through their workflow process. Every company is different, and every firm has different methods and processes for managing their projects. Our hope is that by studying what others do, you can find techniques to improve your own workflow.
Today we talk to Kyle Probert, director of APT Training, a company that offers specialist hydraulics training courses in New South Wales, Australia.
Tell us about your company:
We are a specialist hydraulic training provider and engineer documentation company. We work mainly with either equipment manufacturers or mining companies.
What tools do you use to manage your engineering firm?
We implemented Xero at the same time as we implemented WorkflowMax. We were looking at changing our accounting software and we came across Xero. I guess that sparked some interest and probably the reason we made the plunge to change both systems at the same time was the direct integration of the two systems.
We’re also using Spotlight Reporting. We’re using that for our directors’ and shareholders’ meetings reports and to give us an overview or an insight on the whole business. And now that that integrates with WorkflowMax, that’s made a pretty big difference as well. Our end-of-month reports are very quick and easy to create now with that integration.
What challenges were you facing when it came to your workflow?
Probably the first one was recording billable time and making sure that we were actually invoicing the time that we should be invoicing. Originally we were basically creating quotes based on what we thought the work would be worth. We didn’t really measure how we were going against those quotes. We had no real visibility.
We were probably spending around two days a week on data entries for the invoicing and quoting and collaborating that data. Now after going to WorkflowMax we’re down to about half a day.
Walk us through the life of a project:
We are using WorkflowMax as the hub of our business - a central point for all our job related information. We start with lead manager where we are documenting all our prospects and contact with them. We then develop quotes from here. The key saving for us at this point is the ability to create a quote accurately which then turns into a job with tasks and costs. The tasks can be quickly assigned to a staff member and costs can quickly be organised using purchase orders.
Once we’ve got the job up and running and we’ve assigned our staff, we try to review that on a regular basis. We generally like to leave it in the hands of our guys to keep an eye how they’re going versus what has been quoted. This means the staff can self-manage their productivity as they can see the billable vs non-billable time.
For our customers, traceability in timesheets is a key difference. The timetracker adds credibility as it is real time recorded, not block entries made by staff.
What do you love most about WorkflowMax?
The accessibility. Being able to streamline that workflow process into one place and the credibility it gives us to back our time recording.
The change to WorkflowMax and Xero has halved our accounts admin time – a saving of approximately 10 hours per week! This has allowed us to focus this time into marketing and business development – further amplifying the savings. Moving to cloud based job and accounting software has given our staff more flexibility in where they work – there’s no need to be at the office now.
Thanks Kyle! If you’re running a company using WorkflowMax and want to talk workflow with us, then drop me a line at email@example.com and we can interview you for User Stories.