Starting out as a one-man-band just five years ago, Richard Rowe’s Victoria-based engineering firm, Rotaret Hydraulic Engineering, has steadily grown to a team of seven in a few short years – and is showing no signs of slowing. “The first 12 months I was basically by myself, I didn’t expect to grow – but we found a very large market out there, so we rapidly expanded and we are still expanding now.”
Richard needed to find a versatile workflow and project management solution that was going to keep up with the growth of his business, as well as reduce the pressure on his administration time – that’s when he discovered WorkflowMax.
While Richard had always been big on keeping accurate records, his existing system of spreadsheets became outdated and cumbersome as his team grew.
He needed software that made it simple to track not just time and labour but also products, and after trying several Xero add-ons, he found none that matched WorkflowMax’s job tracking functionality. “Because we buy a lot of our supplies for specific jobs we want to have trackability on them – who we bought them from and what project they were for. I found that functionality to be the best in WorkflowMax”, he explains.
The quoting functionality of WorkflowMax makes it easy for Richard’s clients to get a clear picture of project costs, particularly for those clients who want to see a blow-by-blow breakdown of what they’ll be receiving. “When I quote on a job I can easily separate out tasks and the number of hours each will take. Everything is black and white for the customer”, says Richard.
As Richard’s team grew, so did the range of skills and services he could offer. Richard realised he needed a simple way to assign tasks to the right person on his team. “We use WorkflowMax as a job planning tool. I pinpoint who is going to work on what – which is really good because the guys have different skillsets – and I direct the jobs to the best person”, he explains.
Richard admits he was spending “way too many hours” managing his business, which was chipping in to valuable time at home with his family. He estimates he was spending at least two to three hours a day just on job sheet management and quoting. WorkflowMax has allowed him to reclaim those administration and paperwork hours, and instead spend his time with those who matter most.
“I find that I don’t spend anywhere near as much time at work. I can go home and sit down on the couch with the kids, and I can still send an invoice.”, he explains, “I’m still spending time with family, but I’m also able to quickly do bits and pieces if I need to.”
Before WorkflowMax, Rotaret were weeks behind with their invoicing, with no check on what money was going out or coming in. WorkflowMax has now made invoicing easy for Richard and his administration team, while also improving their cashflow by 10%. He says, “When we go out and do a job – for example, hoisting up some beams on a machine – we can email them the invoice for the job before we even leave their office, which also means we get paid faster and improve our cashflow – key for any business owner.”
Timesheets are also no longer the administration headache they once were – Rotaret employees have even found a way to combine timesheeting with socialising. “The boys do their timesheets wherever they are, either on the job or at home after hours. I’ve got a couple of guys who sit down with a beer at the end of the day and do their timesheets”.
Richard believes one of the biggest advantages of using WorkflowMax is being able to access and update client information while out on-site, something that can give his firm a competitive edge in the industry. “In our field, we find WorkflowMax so good because it’s so mobile. All my guys have smartphones or tablets, so we can be on site and look at the customer’s history. If we’ve done a job for them before, we can just jump straight on WorkflowMax and pick that information up”.
It also means he can keep on top of projects without spending long days at the office managing jobs. “I’m usually asked to organise a lot of parts while I’m out on the job. I might be an hour from the workshop dealing with a machine but I can quickly jump on the tablet, create and email purchase orders, allocate people to the job the next day, and more. I know it’ll get done as everybody’s been notified, and everybody knows what’s happening.”