It’s easy to assume that there’s limited opportunity to innovate work patterns in a field like the Water Jetting industry. After all, there’s a relatively unavoidable cycle of appraising jobs, allocating personnel and then receiving confirmation that the task is complete. However, there’s potentially much more to it.
Information at play
Indeed, across the business, there’s a huge amount of information at play. Where are your staff and what are they doing at any given moment? Do they encounter unexpected issues or are they frequently experiencing problems with equipment? Managing operations from a digital platform saves having to double up on paperwork – and everything is synchronised immediately and automatically, wherever you are. This all means that you and your team can cut out the admin and get more work done – and you can accelerate your payment cycles while worrying far less about accounting. There’s also the fact that it’s far easier to waterproof a tablet than it is to do the same to a pile of paperwork…
Being able to track and communicate with workers in the field enables you to manage them far more effectively – directing teams to jobs in their vicinity as they arise, for example, without staff having to return to base to receive new instructions. Equally, operations can be managed from a single base far more effectively than before and without the need for site visits (which further break-up communication between different remote teams and management).
One digital platform
Having a shared digital communication platform, across multiple media types, can make it far easier to assess issues. Incorporating video, for example, can allow managers to actually see progress on jobs as it happens; while being able to view photos allows issues like breakages to be clearly illustrated in a way that might never be possible just with a a written or verbal description. Having this level of visibility can also help to ensure that health and safety rules are being followed consistently; and that best practices are being pursued across the business.
Okappy can do all this and more. Having all the channels combined in a single platform additionally saves the team from having to install and manage a host of different apps or deal with arcane IT tools. After all, if systems are too hard to use, they won’t be; and if they can’t be relied upon, then they’re effectively worse than useless.
And rather than enabling micro-management, this technology actually empowers staff, if used effectively. Increasing transparency means that reasonable targets can be set and problems can be rapidly moved up the chain and addressed.
Reaping the benefits
To see the benefits that this can offer, just look at the Toyota Production System, in which every employee on the line has the authority to halt production if they spot a defect (resulting in far higher quality standards). If staff are consistently allowed to demonstrate their expertise and use their initiative, then they’re likely to be far happier and more productive in the long run.
The Water Jetting industry is a thriving sector and there are plenty of contracts up for grabs. Getting the fundamentals right is critical, though. If you scale up an inefficient system, bringing on more staff to take on more jobs, it will only add to the chaos and an ever-decreasing margin.
This is particularly true when it comes to managing subcontractors, who are likely to be less engaged than the core team and will likely have less incentive to ensure operational efficiency than full-time staff. Employing a raft of subcontractors to complete temporary boosts in demand can hence actually be far less profitable than it should be – unless it’s managed properly.
Okappy allows you to integrate your full business network within a single platform, spanning staff, customers, sub-contractors and other stakeholders. This makes the system far more useful, as absolutely everything is managed from the platform without you having to switch tools to deal with specific staff and departments.
Dropping subcontractors into an existing workflow ensures smooth onboarding and sets them up as a discrete, trackable unit within the larger business. You can then gauge their effectiveness; work to optimise their performance; and ultimately ensure that you only work with the best.
Making sure that you deploy staff as effectively as possible will allow you to keep a tight grip on your overheads and your margins – which you can then factor into your pricing, keeping your firm competitive and bringing in more business. Time to tame the river wild!
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