Featured in Drain Trader Magazine, issue 258. October 2019

Nowadays, digital platforms form the operational foundations for most businesses, but many Drainage companies can admit that the uptake to the digital world has been slow. As a result, broken communication with both employees, customers and subcontractors is holding the industry back and proving a big problem for the smooth-running of day-to-day jobs.

What is stopping companies from digitising?

  • A lack of education on technology and how some of these digital systems work.
  • The risk of losing time during the “getting started” process.
  • The financial risk of investing in a system if it doesn’t work out.
  • A view that the digital switchover is daunting. For many, sticking with what they know seems safer.

How can companies overcome these hurdles?

  • By sourcing the free educational resources including video tutorials, community forums and emails with bite-size tips. If you can’t find them, ask for them.
  • By choosing a system that has good reviews on the “getting started” experience. Ask providers how long switching over to their digital workforce management is expected to take.
  • By understanding that most digital systems pay for themselves, as they enable businesses more time to grow revenue. Looking at past case studies can be really useful in gauging an idea of the business revenue growth of companies before and after they implemented a digital workforce management system.
  • By viewing the digital switchover as a chance to learn a new way of operating that will open doors for your business.

3 companies share their digital switchover story

We spoke to three companies to hear what they had to say about their experiences of implementing a digital workforce management platform called Okappy.

Basement Pumps Ltd

“Many companies are apprehensive about using a new system, but once you make the jump you don’t look back. Okappy is a lot easier than you might think. All our engineers picked it up quickly and easily. It also made their lives easier. You can send the job sheet off and the customer gets the report within seconds of doing so. It’s very simple and quite self explanatory.” - Rick Peacock, Director of Basement Pumps.

“We’re seeing a lot more collaboration in the industry with the use of multiple subcontractors for any one job. Okappy have a networked approach to job management meaning there is less duplication of information between the companies involved in the work. Using a networked system is great as you can add jobs and send them to your subcontractors and view the latest status of the job as it’s updated,” says Rick.

“If you’re a company that values customer satisfaction like we do, then Okappy is great. You can even invite your customers onto the system and let them add and view their jobs themselves. Okappy are happy to offer demonstrations and training to companies who want to understand the latest way of working, and there’s no pressure to commit to anything straight away. They also offer a lot of help and support in different formats, including video tutorials on their YouTube channel, forums and support articles. So you can give yourself a crash course in your own time and in a way that you’re most comfortable with!”

DMS Ashbourne Ltd

“Invoices now go out within minutes, whereas in the past it could take weeks in some cases. Okappy is quick, it’s painless and you can see what everyone is doing. Before, I had to ring people to find out every little detail, but now it’s instant - I’ve got the job sheet the minute the job is finished. I used to struggle to get everything done, but now it’s so easy and I’m out the door when I should be.” - Jane, Office Manager at DMS Ashbourne.

“The system has paid for itself and provided us with more capacity to grow as a business. The quality of what’s going out has improved massively. Customers can see things more clearly and in better detail, especially with the feature of sending photos. Our clients are happier than ever and we’ve received no bad feedback from it - nothing!” - Kelvin Hoad, Director of DMS Ashbourne.

Maclin Pumps Ltd

“Onboarding to Okappy’s digital workforce management has probably saved us about 4 or 5 hours a day! In terms of costs we’ve saved, we’re talking thousands and thousands of pounds just through saving the engineers the journey back to the office. I have so much more time now which I am able to focus on growing the business in other ways.” - Mark Robson, director of Maclin Pumps Ltd.

“I wasn’t very technical or good on computers. The thought of transitioning the company operations to a digital system was daunting at first, but once you saw how simple Okappy was I found it quite easy. It actually gave me some more confidence working with computers. It was quite a simple change over - a lot simpler than expected! I think most people are switching over to digital management systems. However, a lot of them are overcomplicated and daunting to look at, while Okappy was simple and made the transition easier,” says Mark.

“Now I don’t see how the company would function without the Okappy workforce management system. I don’t know how any other maintenance firms will stay alive without a digital management system these days! ”

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Systems like Okappy are enabling businesses to maintain quality, improve intercompany relationships and build upon their network. They are empowering whole industries to move forward in the evolving world of work; transforming the way people do jobs for the better.

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