Collaboration forms the building blocks of business, but most companies can admit that they sometimes struggle when it comes to communication with both employees, customers and subcontractors.
Each business will have their own way of managing operatives - whether it be traditional paperwork systems, digitised management or a combination. But when it comes to liaising with clients and subcontractors, communication is broken further still. One piece of information may come in through an email, one via whatsapp and another - perhaps the worst of all - scribbled on a piece of paper.
Information is spread across many disparate sources in the workplace; the result being that communication is a clunky and laborious process for everyone. This is a massive issue for the Trades sector in particular as work is often subcontracted out to other companies. And if communication between all these entities is inefficient, then it stands to reason that the industry is suffering.
But there is a better way to team up with other companies whilst maintaining control of your work and providing the best levels of customer service. So, how can you maintain quality, improve your company’s relationships and build your network?
Case Study: DMS Ashbourne and How They Use Okappy
DMS Ashbourne, a drainage, light plumbing and maintenance company, use Okappy - a new communications and collaborations platform to manage their day-to-day work. Okappy is based on the Market Network model; combining the benefits of a social network and a marketplace. Before using Okappy, DMS managed their jobs using a multitude of different communications tools, which they found to be chaotic and inefficient. With Okappy they can issue jobs to their remote workers from the office. Everyone knows where they are and what they’re doing - making things a lot easier.
Using Okappy to Collaborate With Subcontractors and Industry Stakeholders
Information is disseminated in real-time to all stakeholders. Their clients can receive information immediately, instead of waiting for emails to come through days later. Convert Water and Crystal DMS are two subcontractors of DMS Ashbourne who are also connected via the Okappy platform. Having one system that works for external and internal communications has transformed how they work together.
“I notice a big difference with the quality of the jobs we perform with subbies who are on the system compared to the jobs done by subbies who aren’t on Okappy. Everything is a lot more seamless and we feel the work we deliver is to a higher quality.” - Calum Hoad, Operations Manager.
When DMS Ashbourne work with subcontractors using Okappy, they can instantly upload a job for them and get notified once the job is on their calendar. Not only this, they can see when the subcontractor is on site and the work has been completed. Reports, emails and other documents can also be sent through the platform. This reduces the back and forth, and ensures the subcontractor can clarify information there and then, as opposed to waiting for emails to be read or job sheets to be returned.
“Okappy has helped us consolidate our relationships with our customers and subcontractors. It is really helping us grow our business and offer the best experience to our customers.” - Kelvin Hoad, Director of DMS Ashbourne.
Since transferring their communications and job management over to Okappy, DMS Ashbourne quickly noticed that they had more time on their hands to develop other areas of their business. It has saved at least 1 ½ hours per day of paperwork for each engineer.
“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. We receive better descriptions of the job with the smartphone app. You can add photos and people can type faster than they can write these days anyways.” - Jane, Office Manager at DMS.
Sorting out the job sheets and invoices has gone from taking up to a day a week to an hour a week. This has allowed them to deliver jobs to a professional standard at every level and spend time securing more work.
“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.
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