Coldstores Limited is the market leading British manufacturer of cold rooms and has been operating out of its factory in King’s Lynn, Norfolk since 1968! They also operate internationally installing cold rooms across Europe and further afield. They supply refrigeration equipment to a variety of markets including restaurants, hotels, sporting venues, government run facilities and more.

We spoke to Adam Daniels, Installation Manager at Foster Coldstores to find out how they’re using Okappy. 

Why did you start using Okappy?  

Basically, we needed something that was going to streamline and tidy up our way of working. When we do installations, we have installation reports which involve getting photographs of bits of paper and signed sheets. But it wasn’t electronic, and it wasn’t how it should be. The approach to our systems needed to be made more professional. We went to a couple of different companies and chose Okappy as the best option that suited our business.

What made you choose to go with us?

The way we could essentially design our own forms in our own formats. A few of the others didn’t really give us that option. As well as that it was also due to pricing and how it worked within our business, and the subcontractors that we use. Everybody has a mobile phone or smartphone these days. So the app works an absolute treat with how we operate the business and work with our subcontractors.

How do you use the Okappy system with your workforce ?

We have our admin staff logged on and all are able to connect to our subcontractors on the system. The subcontractors don’t have the same level of access that we have in the office to view the forms – they just have the ability to fill it in and send it back. We see that number of people using Okappy growing as we add more forms. It’s getting positive feedback from the installation teams and everybody that’s using it within the office.

What’s the main difference before and after using the system?

It’s basically tidied up how we work. There’s real-time information in terms of when installations are complete. Previously, we would have a paper form that was signed and filled in, and then it would be issued back to the office either by scanning it in through a printer or photographing it in. Obviously, not everybody’s handwriting is legible, especially over a photo. Basically, what Okappy has done is given us a clearer picture of the installations.

When we run an audit, have a customer come to us for any service problem or any Installation Information, the actual form that we have is a lot more professional. We feel confident they’re not going to look at it and go, “What’s this? This doesn’t make any sense to me, this could have been done by anybody!” It’s really tidied up what we do, basically.

How has Okappy helped save time?

To estimate, it would be difficult, but what it has done is definitely save time where the finances are concerned. It’s saved time for various departments.

For example, the finance department now uses the Okappy system as reference for completed jobs. Before, they would phone a supervisor to find out when a job was finished and what the status of the job is, and from there work out the percentage of completion for invoicing and for paying off invoices to the subcontractors. But the information on Okappy reduces these types of phone calls and reduces errors in the process. The time saved from not having to phone people up is massive. 
It’s also saved the office time. Especially due to keeping a real-time log of installations – how they’re progressing and when they’re likely to finish. And it’s now become a lot more streamlined for the guys on site due to using the app, and not having to return to the office as much. 

How do you use Okappy Portal+ to collaborate with the network?

We love the networked element of Okappy Portal+. It means that the system doesn’t just work in-house, but also externally along the whole chain of work. This is especially useful in streamlining the way in which we work with our many subcontractors. It’s not only streamlined the operations, but it’s also improved our professional relationship with them. 

The job is generated in the office, the individual installation is generated in the office, it goes into a file and then we have basically a labour book. The job is obviously given an allocated installation date. Once that job is allocated to a labour slot, the individual or team doing the installing is then issued the Okappy link to the job. It’s initially done via our admin team in the installations department, they generate it. In the near future, this process will be a lot more automated. 

How have you adapted to challenges presented by Covid-19? 

Going digital has meant that we’ve had a lot less contact with customers. Whereas before, you would always run through the installation completion file or commissioning sheet with the customer. As it is now, all this can be done away from site. It can then be digitally issued to the installation team on site. We have less face-to-face interactions which has improved the safety of our workforce.

We have a better file management and better information within the actual individual job files. Basically, it’s just tidied up everything we have.

What’s your favourite feature?

The only thing that we have found super useful is the radar. It’s really, really good because if you have a phone call from a customer, you can get them some real-time information as to where the individual service engineer, technician or installation team is.

Ready to make your life easier with Okappy? 

Check out our free trial or request a demo to see Okappy in action!

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