- Posted by Fayez Moussa
- On 21/08/2020
Job scheduling, while an important aspect of running a trades business, is a painful process for Aussie managers. Without the right systems, they can spend hours manually putting together an optimal schedule that works for all tradies. Operational managers have to factor things like the employee’s availability, skill set, and location. Then, they’ll have to do it all over again by the end of the week.
However, as with everything done manually, scheduling jobs can be prone to mistakes. Operational managers may set unrealistic times, not set enough breaks for tradies, or overlook certain requirements for a job. This causes a mess of disorganised appointments that no tradie can keep up with, resulting in unhappy customers and lower profitability.
WorkBuddy’s runsheet capabilities enhance job scheduling and ensure your tradies are always at the right place, at the right time. Here are the ways it helps you do just that.
When you receive a service request, WorkBuddy automatically creates a work order that you can then assign to a tradie. From there, managers can search through their employee roster for a tradie who is best suited to the job.
If you need a tradie to install an air conditioning unit, for example, you can enter the necessary skills and qualifications required (e.g., Certificate III Air Conditioning) into the search query. WorkBuddy also records useful information that helps with dispatching, such as tradie service hours, open time slots, and familiarity with the customer.
Once you’ve found the right trades person, you can schedule a week’s worth of work orders with drag-and-drop ease. Tradies can then view their schedules on the WorkBuddy mobile app, saving them a trip to the dispatch desk.
In addition to scheduling the right trades person for the job, you must make sure they get to the jobsite on time. This may seem as straightforward as giving them an address and an appointment time, but it’s hardly that simple.
Some routes may be closed due to roadwork and, depending on the time, tradies may experience more traffic in certain areas. Tradies also have more than one appointment in vastly different locations all in one day. You can’t expect workers to travel all the way to Hornsby during peak hour if they’ve just finished a job in Cronulla. Other tradies may even need to pick up specific equipment and parts in headquarters, which unfortunately means more time on the road.
WorkBuddy addresses these issues with built-in route optimisation features. Dispatchers can look at each tradies’ schedule and check the distances between jobs. This allows them to schedule appointments in an order that’s based on the closest routes, rather than the next available time slot.
What’s more, WorkBuddy integrates with leading navigation apps like Google and Apple Maps that use real-time data to find the fastest and least congested routes. This way, tradies can make their appointments on time, service more clients in a day, and spend less fuel doing so.
The operational dashboards in WorkBuddy give you a comprehensive overview of everyone’s ongoing tasks. It allows you to chart the specific tasks of each job as robust checklists, so teams can track and update their progress in real time.
For instance, you can break a kitchen renovation into distinct workflows like sourcing materials, demolishing, installing pipe connections and electricals, preparing subfloors, and so on. You can even lay out risk assessment and compliance procedures in accordance with Safe Work Method Statements for the job allocated. If tradies complete key tasks and safety checks, they can simply tick the item off their checklist, which instantly updates the operational dashboard.
This form of active progress tracking provides valuable insights that help you make smarter managerial decisions. When you can see certain tasks take a lot of time to complete, you can optimise processes for your team. This may include better workflow planning, assigning more tradies to a task, or procuring new equipment to save time. By improving upon your current processes, you empower tradies to finish jobs faster, so they can service the next client without any delays.
Another nifty WorkBuddy feature is its technician portals where tradies can check their schedules and report on their progress. The portal provides a user-friendly way for tradies to document work progression through photos, videos, and time-stamped notes. This data is fed directly into your operational dashboards where you keep an eye on assigned jobs and anticipate potential delays.
The technician portal also serves as a communication channel for on-site teams and managers. It lets you set appointment reminders and material requirements, so tradies show up to the jobsite at the right time with the right tools. You can provide job-specific safety instructions to prevent workplace incidents that may cause delays and missed appointments. It even has instant messaging capabilities that let tradies inform managers if they’re unable to make a service call, so you can warn clients ahead of time.
These all contribute to more efficient working processes and ensure your tradies are always on track no matter what job they’re assigned.
Believe it or not, these features are merely a small glimpse of what WorkBuddy is capable of. Not only does it have advanced job scheduling, it also optimises the many processes involved in job quoting, invoicing, compliance, and so much more. To learn the full extent of how WorkBuddy augments your business, schedule a free demo with us today.