Any project manager worth his or her salt knows that communication is key to a successful project. And in today’s world, “communication” usually means email.
HOCOA San Diego has built a name for itself as something of a concierge service for homeowners looking for home improvement professionals.
Their services go beyond matching up, say, a homeowner having plumbing problems and a licensed plumber. They also make regular follow-ups regarding the project, which according to Sam is rare on the residential level.
These follow-ups, plus the fact that they communicate with both the homeowner and the contractor, means HOCOA San Diego regularly receives a ton of project-critical emails.
Unfortunately for owner Sam Goodwin, their old system wasn’t quite able to handle all of those updates efficiently.
Here’s how they managed to save hundreds of work hours simply by switching to WORKetc.
Disconnected and Disorganized
HOCOA San DIego’s biggest bottleneck was that their old system wasn’t cloud-based. It couldn’t connect to any other apps that the company used. Not even email.
“We used to use Filemaker Pro,” Sam relates. “It was very customizable and starting a project took only a minute, but doing the follow up and required logging of feedback and progress took much longer.”
Whenever contractors and homeowners would email the company back with updates, Sam had to remember to add them in manually because the project wouldn’t be updated automatically.
And the kicker? They could only update projects using one specific computer.
“I and another admin had to log onto the one computer that had our old system if we wanted to update any records,” Sam laments.
“For every project-related email that hit our inbox,” Sam explains, “we used to have to open it, copy the info there, dig around to find the appropriate project on our system, and put the info we copied in the notes section.”
And if he was ever out on the road when an email comes in? “I would have to send myself an email or text message so I could remember to do it once I got back in the office,” he says.
Not only did manually updating records lead to a lot of duplication and unnecessary replication of data, it also meant Sam and his fellow admin had to spend an average of 10 minutes just attaching emails to and updating a project.
Now, 10 minutes might not seem like a long time, but it adds up — especially when you have 125 projects running on any given month like HOCOA San Diego.
That’s almost 21 hours per month spent only on updating projects; 31 8-hour workdays per year that could be better spent on growing the business further.
Automated, Streamlined Process
Since switching to WORKetc, Sam has noticed a drastic decline in the unnecessary redundancy of constantly logging and updating information.
“It’s still just me and my fellow admin who are managing and updating the projects,” says Sam.
“Even though we still get a lot of emails from partners and members when we ask for project updates, we don’t have to waste so much time just manually adding those to the system.
“With WORKetc, we can have all those feedback and update emails go right into the project.”
And if they ever need to review anything, all related emails are right there on the project activity stream, a running record of everything from the first request a client sent to HOCOA San Diego up to the most recent feedback on their latest project.
Sam further adds that aside from making tracking communication easier and more efficient, WORKetc has also sped up their customer outreach process.
“We’re able to email a pre-populated template to our contractors and homeowners,” he adds. “We don’t have to write the same email over and over again.”
Time and Money Saved
According to Sam, WORKetc has let them cut the time spent updating projects from 10 minutes per project down to just 3 minutes.
By saving 7 minutes of admin time for each of the company’s 125 monthly projects, they’re able to save up to 175 hours per year.
That’s equivalent to gaining an extra 22 8-hour workdays per year — enough time to squeeze in about a month’s worth of additional projects for Sam and his team to focus on.
And with each completed project worth roughly $150, all that time saved could translate to over $18,000 in extra annual revenue — extra revenue made possible simply by switching to an integrated and complete business management app.