This Austin, Texas-based building science consulting and testing company had the very real problem of having to sift through a mountain of notes and emails to find relevant information on their clients and projects. The company’s original setup was an eclectic mix of G Suite like Mail, Docs, and Calendar, QuickBooks, the online file-sharing site Box.com, and a huge helping of traditional paper-based project proposals, invoices, and service catalogs.
The first phase of a project for the company typically started with a client meeting, either face to face or over the phone. This is followed by a PDF proposal that includes price points, services, workflow, and billing targets. This PDF is then kept in the cloud on Box.com and is used as the main project management document and reference point as the project proceeds. Every now and then it’s supplemented with notes written on paper, emails, and new or updated paper plans.
The company had no way of marking the document up with constant updates and linking it directly to invoicing, much less keep a comprehensive and easy-to-search database of client information and history. Tracking down clients with delinquent accounts and getting them to pay up was becoming a real chore that involved digging through QuickBooks, emails, and stacks of paperwork for contact and account details that sometimes even ended up as obsolete.
While the company’s workflow was workable, it was definitely far from efficient. Some details can easily be overlooked or lost when you have a scattered and haphazardly arranged set of important files and info. The company acknowledged this deficiency and set out to search for a better solution to both project and client management.
THE WORK[etc] SOLUTION
Each project the company undertakes has a specified number of steps involved. Each step, or sub-project, has its own set of targets and deliverables.
Here’s a rough outline of the first few steps:
- Initial client meeting
- Initial design studies (CAD, sketches) for project proposal and pricing
- Collecting building specs
- Make amendments to initial proposed design as needed
WORK[etc]’s custom project entries are an efficient and well-organized solution to the company’s project management woes. Every custom project entry can be further customized to show a framework of nested sub-projects. It’s a simple matter of updating these sub-projects so you always know where you currently stand on any given project. Furthermore, WORK[etc]’s custom fields lets users set additional details, budget quotes, and milestone billing prices for the entire project.
You can also manage permissions to control access to different parts of the project module. If you need person-specific document approvals such as permits before you can proceed to the next step, you can set it so that the signatory or whoever is in charge of getting the permit is the only person who can update the project in order to move forward. That way you can make sure that every step is thoroughly completed before moving on to the next one.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Project management is just one half of the problem. As the company was still largely paper-based, it was hard to keep records of client activity history. WORK[etc] solves that conundrum by presenting users with a centralized client list and activity history page that keeps track of every interaction you have had with your clients.
The centralized client list’s powerful search and sorting functions ensure efficiency; if a client contacts you, it only takes a few keystrokes and mouse clicks to bring up a complete record of everything you’ve ever done with them. Quotes, invoices, communications, projects — the whole nine yards. Any quotes and invoices you create and issue are also automatically tied to your clients’ activity history, making it easier to follow up on outstanding or overdue bills.
This building science company also handles remote, on-site projects from time to time, so it’s important for their agents to be able to access or gather information regarding a client or project while they’re outside the office. WORK[etc] lets you and your entire team access your contact list anytime, anywhere anywhere, by simply looking up details in WORK[etc]’s iPhone or Android apps.
EASY APP INTEGRATION AND DATA MIGRATION
We’ve mentioned before that the company already had some aspects of its business in the cloud. They used Box.com for file storage and sharing, Gmail for emails, Google Docs for documents, Calendar for meetings and keeping track of contacts, and QuickBooks for accounting and invoices. WORK[etc] has integrated support for all of these separate apps – and then some.
- Sync your Gmail and Google Contacts accounts with the platform to start populating your client list and activity history.
- Turn any email into a support ticket, sales lead, or project update with WORK[etc]’s Gmail Gadget.
- Sync important calendar events between Google Calendar, WORK[etc], your mobile device and even your team.
- Sync billable details, including contact entries, between WORK[etc] and Quickbooks and do your invoicing through WORK[etc] or on Quickbooks itself.
- Access, attach, and check all your Box.com files and documents directly inside WORK[etc].
By using [WORK]etc as an all-in-one CRM and project management solution, the company streamlines its workflow and becomes better able to keep track of clients and projects. Company efficiency and productivity are increased as it cuts down on the need to wade through unorganized notes and paperwork. In effect, the company can allot more time and resources to finishing current projects and drumming up new ones for possible expansion and scaling up in the future.
Since every interaction the company and its members have with their clients are meticulously recorded on WORK[etc], billing and collection of overdue fees become a cinch. When it’s time for company assessments, WORK[etc] helps takes the guesswork out of analytics thanks to the platform’s ability to automatically generate reports, metrics, and detailed overviews of your entire company’s leads and projects based entirely on the data you put into the system.
To find an integrated client and project management solution that would allow them to access all client and project information they needed quickly and easily.
Integrate G Suite, Box, and Quickbooks to populate WORK[etc]’s activity history page and use custom project entries to turn the platform into an all-in-one cloud-based project management and CRM solution
Increased efficiency and overall company productivity.
What This Means for your Construction Firm
WORK[etc] is not just any CRM. Its flexibility and customizability help it adapt to most company CRM needs — and then some. It consolidates all of the contact, project, and sales details that your construction firm accumulates in a streamlined and efficient online platform. Try it out for yourself now with our free 14-day demo.