About the Client
Drainflow is a drainage and plumbing company based in Victoria. They are a quality drainage company that inspect and, if necessary, make repairs and jetting to the pipes in new construction after concrete has been laid, however they’ve also incorporated scheduling software and workforce management technology into their business to stand out in their industry. One of their biggest requests is for CCTV inspections, where they’ll insert a camera into a pipe to quickly source a blockage to be repaired or jetted.They’ve been in business for 3 years, and have grown their team to over 10 employees, and still growing at an extremely rapid rate. They receive a large volume of new construction requests through volume house builders and service over 300 jobs a month for these builders as well as individual clients.
When Drainflow approached us, they were having issues with their scheduling process. Because they work on so many new construction projects, Google Maps isn’t always reliable. Streets are often not yet updated in Google’s systems and addresses often don’t even register as locations. Drainflow’s in-house solution was just a band-aid. Initially, the scheduling had to get done manually with a Melways. The owner was spending approximately 3 hours manually scheduling 20-30 jobs for the next day, every single night. He would pull up the list of jobs for the next day, look up the addresses on Melways, and plan out the routes between jobs manually before assigning them to technicians.
Clearly, there was a better use for his time.
Our goal was not to reduce the amount of time spent on the scheduling process, but to automate it altogether. 15-20 hours per week is nothing to sneeze at, and we knew we could eliminate a majority of the manual steps without removing the company’s ability to make quality control decisions. It was important to provide flexibility, so the owner or administrative team could make strategy choices about which technicians would handle specific jobs.
We started by walking through the scheduling process from start to finish with Drainflow. We wanted to understand what it was like to complete the process ourselves, so we could develop a system that would handle it robustly. We also realized we needed to work with the volume builders data direct without having any control over their system. This was implemented with a direct integration with JobFile.
In reviewing Drainflow’s manual processes, we recognized additional ways to optimize their workflow and diminish the amount of time spent on repeated actions. In addition to enhancing their scheduling process, we set out to create a custom web application that would allow Drainflow to manage jobs, schedule technicians, produce real-time reports, and integrate with Xero, their invoicing and accounting software.
Implementing the Scheduling Software Solution
- Automatically pull in data from client’s portal to display incoming jobs that need to be schedule
- Their clients use a system called JobFile – which we have a direct integration with
- We created an API integration in order to pull that content down every 5 minutes
- It grabs all jobs and tasks from Job File to Drainflow’s system
- We sanitize that data to be sure it fits into Drainflow’s workflow
- Drainflow can view the task list including all relevant details like job type, client, planned date
- Drainflow can then accept the task which notifies their client in real time
- A job is an address and a task is what Drainflow needs to do there
- Since they know the new construction suburbs really well, they can view each job address individually and place the marker in the correct location even though it’s not yet recognized by Google Maps, this way the technicians know where to go.
- They assign a region and verify the rest of the job information
- Drainflow changes view from task list to run sheet to begin scheduling
- The planned tasks shows jobs that have been accepted by Drainflow but not yet scheduled
- Admin can also create jobs within the system for individual clients
- The technicians are also listed, so the business owner simply clicks a job and drags it to the relevant technician’s schedule
- The technicians can also access the platform on the go as we made it mobile friendly
- At the end of each task or at the end of their day, they simply login and add the date as well as any job notes to mark the task as complete
- Admin can verify all details for quality assurance and then confirm it as complete
- This process notifies their client in real time via API that the task has been completed
- Admin can then easily invoice for each task
- The invoice display includes a default value that can easily be edited, so the admin only need to hit ‘create invoice’ and the details are seamlessly integrated with Xero, their accounting system
- We also developed an inspection report generation tool, so Drainflow can easily provide monthly reports to their clients as well as for internal purposes (complete with awesome pie charts)
- The other report feature, Job Summary provides a breakdown of trends in recent orders such as % of jobs in each region or types of tasks
Workforce Management Software Results
The business owner no longer spends hours on managing and scheduling jobs. In fact, his team generally only spends 5-10 minutes per day, and then they get back to doing what they do best. That’s a change of 95%, meaning Drainflow has an additional 60-85 hours every month to spend on running their business and growing their team, knowing that their workflows are working for them.
We are constantly evolving the portal. There’s a simple process we follow. We often catch up with the team at Drainflow to understand their issues, what’s time consuming, and then prioritise the the solution to get implemented. Unlike other SaaS applications where you’re restricted by when the companies decides what features to roll out, and when, our platform empowers Drainflow to customise their portal to suit their needs at the time. Through technology, they’re able to focus on giving the best reliable service for their customers.