Improving Quality of Life With Okappy!
Maclin Pumps Case Study
Maclin Pumps Ltd has been established in Sussex for over 30 years providing a wide variety of specialist services to the pumping industry and domestic users. They provide services as installers, sub-contractors or main contractors, offering a total service package and using only products from top quality manufacturers. All Maclin Pumps engineers are fully trained and hold certificates for Confined Space Entry, CSCS, Personal Track Safety, LUL, STP - British Waterways, Manual Handling and Abrasive Wheel. As the company expanded, one of the directors, Mark Robson, wanted to streamline their operations and increase visibility over what was being done.
It was also a chance for Mark to free up time to concentrate on growing the business. In order to do this, he wanted to streamline their processes, get rid of paperwork and ensure all his information was in one place, easily accessible from wherever he was and updated in real time. Before using Okappy, Maclin Pumps subscribed to an American workflow software package. Unfortunately, it was difficult to use, complex and inflexible.
“It didn’t fit our business needs and if we wanted to change anything or add an extra template, it would always involve extra costs. The pricing just wasn’t clear at the start” said Mark.
Why did Maclin Pumps choose Okappy?
Mark wanted an application that would allow him to allocate jobs to his engineers and then see the status of the jobs as they’re updated in the field on the engineer’s mobile telephone. This would allow Maclin Pumps to save money on IT, stationery and admin costs. More importantly, it would free up Mark’s time to grow the business and help him better manage their workload. This was particularly important as Mark was preparing to go on holiday and was concerned that being out of the country would make it harder to manage the workload, jobs would be left unattended and he’d come back to a nightmare scenario.
“It frees up our time and allows us to either focus on growing the business or spend more time with our kids. To sum up, Okappy is simple, flexible and it improves our quality of life."
How are Maclin Pumps using Okappy to streamline their business and reduce costs?
Typically, at Maclin, a job comes in by phone or email and it's immediately logged onto the system by the office staff. Once on the system, Mark can check the job details and assign them to the relevant engineer. The latter will receive an alert on his mobile phone or tablet and as soon as the job is viewed, its status is updated in real-time along with any additional job updates, right through until the job is marked as completed. The details of the work undertaken are available to the office staff straight away. No more chasing paperwork, and no more delays with invoices.
“We can see what is going on with each job at a glance,” says Mark, Director of Maclin Pumps. “We get job information back straight away but I always have the option to change it if I need to.”
"Okappy works from when the job is first entered into the system through to invoicing," says Jackie, Director of Maclin Pumps. She continues, "Having everything in one system makes my life so much easier. In the past, information would be scribbled on lots of post-it notes and I’d have to manually enter the invoices into Sage. I often had to go back and ask what was done for a specific job especially if I couldn't read Mark’s handwriting. This took a lot of time for us both, and it also meant that invoices might get delayed.”
Delayed invoicing can be a particular problem if a customer hasn’t paid an outstanding invoice but they are asking for new jobs to be done. With Okappy, you can see the outstanding amount of a particular client when you book the next job for them. This way, you would be aware of the situation and could ask for payment before going ahead with further work.
“Ease of use is pretty good, both for me and for my engineers,” said Mark. “Okappy has saved me from continuously ringing up my guys for updates. Now they can focus on their job without worrying about calls from the boss. I simply log in and monitor what’s going on. When I click into a completed job, I can immediately see what work has been carried out by looking at the attached pictures and customer signature. I no longer have to chase my guys to find out what happened or if they filled their job sheets. Even better, once a job is complete, I’m able to send the job sheet to my customers straight away."
In addition, as Maclin Pumps have different types of jobs eg. maintenance, installation, Okappy allows them to select different job templates depending on the job's requirements. Some of their bigger customers, however, demand to use their own job sheets. Okappy enables Maclin Pumps to do so by mirroring their customer's job sheets, logo included.
Once the job is set to complete, Mark checks what work has been done and makes any changes required. He then raises the invoice which automatically archives the job. Jackie can then log on to Okappy to view all her invoices. She can check them, email them from Okappy and export them to Sage. Jackie doesn't have to hunt for post-it notes anymore, deal with scraps of paper or check with Mark to find out what work has been carried out. Any completed jobs that have not had an invoice raised against them will still be available to be viewed at a glance on the main Jobs dashboard.
How has this benefited Maclin Pumps?
Maclin Pumps gained a lot more visibility and control over the work they do. Information is updated in real-time and is instantly available back in the office. The process can be easily segregated with Mark responsible for managing the jobs and Jackie the invoicing. This means fewer mistakes, less chasing for information and much quicker invoicing.
“It frees up our time and allows us to either focus on growing the business or spending more time with our kids,” says Jackie. “To sum up, Okappy is simple, flexible and it improves our quality of life.”