To develop a suite of web and phone based applications to streamline the day to day running of the business. The systems needed to be easy to use and ‘builder proof’ and also provide real value to management.
Fortunately, Andy Noble, the owner of Westoaks had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve in terms of monitoring estimates, jobs, materials and resources.
The final solution has a range of features:
The estimating tool allows a project manager to create an estimate by selecting both labour and materials. Tasks from existing estimates can be referenced making the process efficient, accurate and consistent. Average times and costs are updated each time an estimate is validated.
Once a job has started the progress is monitored and updated via a progress schedule. Additional tasks and materials can be added at any time to make sure they are accounted for at the point of invoicing. An overview feature allows close monitoring of job progress and indicates resources required to complete the job.
When purchasing materials for a job a PO number is produced at point of sale using a mobile application that talks to the online database via a text message service when mobile data is unavailable. This serves as both a security measure by tracking whose phone raises the PO and assigns the cost to the job for invoicing.
The stock management system allows mobile users to check whether an item or equipment they need for a job is available from internal stock prior to purchasing/hiring it. Items that are available can then be reserved and these lists are automatically sent to the warehouse so the items can be picked ready for collection. This cuts down on the purchasing of common items from trade counters at premium prices. Management reporting gives an overview of current stock levels and demand for items to assist with the ordering of items.
A Gantt chart style timeline feature shows an estimate of how long both in progress and confirmed jobs will take based on the number of people assigned to it. Data is taken from the job progress schedule and timekeeper entries for each job. A sandbox version of this chart is available so administrators can tweak the number of people on jobs to see how it would affect the completion dates.
The system has been a huge success and has cut down on the time required to manage jobs and staff. More accurate estimating and a real time view of stock and average costs mean jobs are managed efficiently and are more profitable.
“I have been delighted with the high level of technical expertise and "future proofing" engineered into the development of our system.
In addition the cooperation and understanding shown in providing ‘simple user interfaces’ for the different levels of ability in our organisation has been much appreciated.
As a result the system has returned substantial efficiencies at all levels for our business. Our company has also been complimented as one of the most advanced I.T equipped building contractors for our size in the south east. We are extremely proud of that!
I can highly recommend BioMedical's services for inception and development of any bespoke software large or small.”