Let’s face it – in a traditional industry like ours, we can all be a little slow to adopt new technologies and processes. Often, that’s smart, as we’ve been doing what we do for a long time, and we know how to do it well. In some cases, though, switching to a new system is the right move and can make a big difference.
A couple of years ago, we were looking for a way to streamline all of the paperwork that gets processed in the field. From time and attendance cards to job progression tracking, it was all done on paper. Making the leap to a smartphone and table app called Field Manager, we were able to save time, become more efficient and better report on our activities. This was great for us internally, but it also served our customer well – a win-win! Here’s how the Field Manager App has helped to achieve this progress.
1. Personnel Improvements
Instead of handing in and keeping track of paper time and attendance cards each day, our team members working in the field are tracked via the app. Even better, we’ve moved to a more metric-based system with goals and scorecards, which have helped our employees move forward and make improvements. Both the crew and foremen are able to view the scorecards at any time, which everyone likes, and it helps keep everyone on track.
2. Materials Tracking
Gone are the days of hand calculations done on a piece of paper. Now, materials used, like asphalt, pipe and dirt, are all tracked in real time. Instead of having to do calculations at the end of a day or week to measure progress and materials needs, we have it right in front of us at all times. This also makes us more efficient in how we allocate equipment and people to our projects.
3. Instantaneous Progress Report
Running reports of project progress against bid promises used to be a monthly process, so the feedback loop on how we were doing was just too slow. If this was done on a short job, the job could be over before we were able to check in this way. Since we’re now filling out attendance, equipment usage, materials used, job progression data and more in Field Manager, we constantly have a progress report at our fingertips. If the project is showing as green, we’re on track, but if it’s red, we know we need to adjust to get back on schedule or budget.
As an early adopter of this technology, Gray & Son has been ahead of the curve in receiving the benefits the Field Manager App has offered, which we’ve happily passed along to our customers. We’ve seen increased customer satisfaction on both quality and by staying on schedule and budget. It’s also made us more open to and aware of small changes we can make that can really push us forward.