Business Pilot isn’t only about sales and finance. It also allows you to manage installations more effectively through better process, as Dan Moynihan, Projects Manager, Thames Valley Windows explains.
How much time do installation companies lose each year in delays caused by turning up to jobs without full visibility about what needs to be done, or missing that critical bit of kit or product to get the job done?
“If you’re working on a new build project, it’s a constantly shifting landscape. Things can change in the time between surveying and doing the job”, says Dan Moynihan, Projects Manager, Thames Valley Windows.
“We use Business Pilot to run through everything and make sure that nothing has changed since we surveyed that will impact on our ability to do the job, and if needs it and we do have to order any additional materials or access equipment, we’ve got that in advance, so when we turn up on site there aren’t any nasty surprises.”
Business Pilot is a powerful CRM and business management tool. It mobilises the power of cloud-based technologies giving installers complete visibility of each and every element of their operation from leads and conversions to job scheduling, cost of installation, service calls, and financial reporting.
Accessible across all devices, from desktop to phone, it supports installers in running their businesses more profitably, integrating with lead generation tools, supplier ordering systems and accountancy software to bring data into one place.
This includes surveying, scheduling, pre-planning and sign-off against installation.
“Order processing will finalise the order in Business Pilot, we then get a schedule that’s normally booked up about six weeks in advance (currently it’s about 10-weeks)”, explains Dan.
“We use it [Business Pilot] as a pre-planning tool. We’ll look at the jobs and make sure everything is ordered correctly, make sure we’re not missing any parts and the survey looks good, or if there’s something we need to follow-up on.
“Business Pilot allows us to upload documents, drawings, images – it allows us to create a full picture of the installation before we get there.
“I can visualise how the job is going to run before we get to site and we can also run through the installations with the teams before they start so they know what they’re walking into. If they have any doubts about the job, we can pre-empt them with what we can pull off Business Pilot.”
He added that Business Pilot’s job scheduling board, which draws down on the 30-years and more of installation expertise of one of its founders, Cherwell Windows Jim Breslin, effectively digitizing it – but with a major upgrade with drag and drop technology – delivered further gains.
“We have 11 fitting teams. The order processing team will provisionally upload jobs onto schedule but finalising them sits with us.
“We’ll assign the team and we’ll also do our best to pre-empt any over runs by extending the timeframe if we think the job needs it, simply by dragging and dropping it. It’s really easy to reassign jobs, the system pulls everything that you need to move a job in the background”, says Dan.
“If we do have an overrun it automatically goes back up to the top of the schedule, so nothing is missed or falls off. Business Pilot keeps everything in front of you it’s there, in the open”, he adds.
He also highlights the advantages delivered by the Business Pilot app. This differs to competitor systems in that it’s a single app solution for the whole installation business from sales through to fitting teams, which then allows installation businesses to turn on or off functionality according to the role performed by its users.
For example, while fitters and sales teams will download and install only a single app, what fitters see will be tuned to their role. The same for the sales team and so on, throughout the organisation, to reflect ‘real-life’ usage.
“If the installers on site and have any queries I’ll meet them there and run through the job on the Business Pilot app on my phone. For example, I can pull up the survey, paperwork and ascertain where there might be an error, or if there is an issue because of something someone else has done?”, Dan says.
“It’s almost like having my computer with me on site. I don’t have to say to them when there is a question, ‘let me go back to the office and I’ll give you a call’, I can do it there and then, easily saving me a couple of hours of chasing and any inconvenience for the customer or the builder as well. It streamlines it.
“The fitters will also use Business Pilot on completion. They’ll walk round, take pictures and the customer will sign-off on the job, digitally on the app at the end.”
Business Pilot is unique in that it’s the only dedicated installer business management tool which has been designed specifically for the Cloud.
Using the same technologies a host of other applications including accountancy software, for example Xero or Quick Books or email and office programmes (Office 365), Business Pilot is accessible from multiple synchronised servers, to deliver ultra-secure and instant access to your data.
This means that unlike other business admin systems, there’s no requirement to VPN in to prove who you are – just a single secure log-in. It also delivers increased resilience with everything backed up on multiple servers, rather than a single iteration of a programme.
“The last CRM was slow, if it crashed it was nightmare!”, says Dan. “Everything on Business Pilot is drag and drop. It takes seconds to upload documents. It’s a little thing individually but it adds up and makes your life a million times easier, it doesn’t slow you down, so you do it.
“That means everyone uploads documents and the complete job history is there as well as the next set of actions.
“We hold everything on there, it’s become my ‘go to’.”