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.
Tell us about T3 Group:
T3 Group operates predominantly in Melbourne across three different business areas at the moment. So we have commercial construction and office fit-outs, rubbish removal and commercial property maintenance.
We have an employee base of about 25-30 personnel. I work with T3 Group on a retained basis as their CFO; I help them use data to clarify their strategic direction and boost their business performance. In the case of T3, that’s what we’ve been able to do with WorkflowMax.
What kind of clients do you work with?:
Our main clients are some of the large property holders, commercial property management companies - so, CBRE, Knight Frank, Colliers - as well as aged-care providers such as Anglicare, and some commercial gym operators. It’s quite diverse but those would certainly be the core larger clients.
What tools do you use to manage your firm?
At the moment, aside from WorkflowMax, the only other tool we are using is Xero. We are hoping to connect WorkflowMax through its API onto Google Earth which will allow us to give a 3D plan of the city and see where jobs are in real time.
What challenges were you facing when it came to your workflow?
Eleven months ago, the only thing that could be vaguely understood was total sales to a client, not even a job. In order to understand the cost base and truly drive profit, and link to back to our goals, we needed to be able to break down jobs, and their cost and income. We also needed to be able to give the guys on site and in the office something that could allow them to be far more efficient and far more effective at what they needed to do.
Back then we were three people - now we are 30! If you put your company through that kind of growth, you’re going to have massive growing pains. We have to have really, really good insights over our cashflow going forward, we needed to see cashflow into the future, and WorkflowMax has allowed us to do that.
Walk us through the life of a project:
If we get a new client - let’s say it’s an office fit-out - the first thing we do is go into WorkflowMax, enter the client and then scope the project in there. We create a quote in WorkflowMax, and break it down into parts and relevant suppliers - the vast majority of that information has already been inputted by our set-up partner, Ocius Digital. We allocate the parts, timings, costs, materials and potential large purchase orders.
We then look at where it sits relative to all our active jobs to ensure that if the quote is accepted then we will have the manpower to execute it.
Once the quote is accepted, we turn the quote into a job in WorkflowMax. All our guys have WorkflowMax linked through to their smartphone so they’ll receive a notification of where to be and what to do.
They go out, execute the work, we get invoices and enter them either through Xero or WorkflowMax, and invoice the finished work to the client. There used to be a fairly substantial lag in invoicing - we’d have to wait for our guys on site to let someone in the office know whether or not a job could be invoiced. So it used to be around a 14-day delay from the end of a job to actually invoicing it, that has come down to basically 24 hours.
What do you love most about WorkflowMax?
Accountability. If you can get accurate and timely data you get to the point where you can see accountability across customers, across jobs, across tasks, across staff, across suppliers - everything. And that’s where you can turn that into some really powerful data-driven decisions that will drive the economic engine of the business.
We’re also becoming more organised in terms of our arrival times to jobs. We are doing things far more efficiently. It gives us a real competitive advantage - have you ever had a tradesman say “I’ll be there at 4pm”, and then they just won’t show up, or come the next day? WorkflowMax helps us to not do that. And if you can be the one guy in the industry that shows up on time, has the right gear for a job and doesn’t have to come out again to fix it, then it helps us build a lot more trust.
Thanks David! If you’re running a company using WorkflowMax and want to talk workflow with us, then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can interview you for User Stories.