Sophisticated quotation app for national cleaning company
BESPOKE CLOUD-BASED APP TO DRIVE CONSISTENCY AND EFFICIENCY ACROSS A NATIONAL SERVICE NETWORK
The Client Challange
Spotless Commercial Cleaning operates a network of commercial cleaning services across the UK. It employs over 1400 people providing professional services to industrial, office, retail, government, education and hospitality and leisure premises. They wanted to develop a single, quotation tool that could provide up-to-date estimates for contracts that would ensure that proposals were consistent, competitive and efficient to deliver.
Margins are tight in this industry and individual requirements are often very specific, so it was important that the tool could handle complexity and deliver the correct margin on every aspect of the services being provided.
The bespoke nature of quotations for specific commercial premises was challenging for salespeople drawing up quotations who found it was occupying a significant proportion of their working day. This was impacting the time they had to prospect for new business and limiting growth.
The client wanted a tool that was user-friendly for sales teams and capable of generating professional, branded estimates in real time . Available SCADA
By working closely with the client to understand the complexities of their current quoting procedures and charging structures, we developed a clear picture of what was required.
We realised that the most efficient way to achieve their goals would be a bespoke, cloud-based, app that would allow sales people to input the information on whatever device they were using at the premises they were quoting on.
The app would prompt them through the quotation process, ensuring details such as numbers of staff working at the premises, its location, areas of the building covered by the contract to ensure that all the key parameters affecting the quote were included. It also allowed for add-on services and supplies to be added to the quote with up-to-date margins automatically built-in.
We developed the new cloud-based app using Laravel with an easy-to-use interface designed in line with the Spotless brand.
This can be accessed on mobile, tablet or computer and allowed sales staff to build quotes as they were surveying the relevant commercial premises.
At every stage of the process, margins were built in and these can be revealed to the client so they could fully understand the charging structure.
The app allowed central sales teams to monitor the process of quotes as they were being created and for professional proposals to be issued directly to clients once all the required procedures had been completed.
The client described the new tool as “a game changer”.
It slashed the amount of time required to assemble a quote and enabled sales teams to improve productivity and provide their clients and prospects with quotations much more quickly.
The tool helped sales teams to produce quotes that were highly competitive without cutting margins to the quick helping to drive up new business while maintaining profitability.
Sales staff reported that the tool was far easier to use than the system they had used in the past and allowed them to work more flexibly and effectively.
It facilitated centralised control of margins, the ability to adjust these at short notice when necessary and clearer visibility and overview of sales activities on the ground.
The tool also prompted estimators to offer a wide range of supply items, such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser etc., within the estimate, which helped improve the profitability of contracts still further.
Event management web app
IMPROVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT, BUDGETING AND REPORTING CAPABILITIES
The Client Challange
The client is a highly creative and successful business events specialist. They deliver innovative business conferences and exhibitions to awards ceremonies and launches both within the UK and internationally. Consequently, every project is bespoke with a wide range of variables across multiple locations. Keeping track of each individual projects was a real challenge.
They did have event management software but it couldn’t do everything they wanted and they were having to operate it in tandem with spreadsheets.
The client wanted to be able to segment projects down fully so they could accurately establish the profitability of each individual event. They wanted a system that would allow them to bring all their activities and reporting onto a single platform to avoid inputting data multiple times.
Accruals are a major factor in the sector as most events are paid for in advance and the client wanted to ensure these were fully managed as part of their new system.
And, finally, they wanted a system that would allow them to have real-time visibility of planned revenue, actual revenues and profit. The industry’s professional body has set standards for margins which differ for in-house time and third party costs so the new system had to take account of this.
To establish exactly where they felt their reporting needed improvement, we engaged with key stakeholders. Over the course of three weeks we worked closely with them, unpicking the existing systems to identify precisely where the problems lay. A key part of this preparation process was recognising the many strengths of the old system.
We were then able to build a web app that delivered all that they liked about the old system but added new reporting functionality and created a single platform that worked seamlessly with their Xero accounting system.
It allowed them to track revenues against specific events and we developed functions that allowed their workforce to record timesheets when they were working in the field (quite literally, at some outdoor events).
Because the app connected directly to their accounting system, time and expenses could be logged as they were incurred and linked to specific events.
To streamline reporting still further, we created a dashboard that could report in real time on planned and actual revenues and gave a clearer picture of profits, taking full account of accruals.
The web app significantly improved reporting, enabling clearer management oversight of KPIs, finances and time at a much more granular level than before. This allowed the leadership team to identify those events where profitability was being compromised and make adjustments to address weaknesses and improve future efficiencies.
Reducing the need to transfer data across systems and spreadsheets greatly reduced admin times and increased the accuracy and speed of reporting, keeping the management team on top of events as they were happening.
By moving from Excel, the system allowed greater control of user permissions so information was only seen by those authorised to do so.
The client was delighted that we succeeded in ironing out their reporting issues and, by working in close partnership with their accountant, we had fully retained the strengths of the system we replaced.
Bespoke Meal Delivery Web Application
Mobile friendly web app reduced overheads by 80hrs per week
A healthy bespoke meal prep company, with a rapidly growing business in London, the team was creaking under the volume of manual administration in spreadsheets, emails, and Word documents. They needed to reduce their administration burden to make the business scalable.
The team had limited availabilty to work on the project due to overwhelm as a result of manual customer management and back office administration processes taking up all their time.
Our objective was to automate as many tasks as possible including customer communications, creating customer eating plans, producing food labels and information sheets and planning ingredient orders, kitchen prep sheets and compiling delivery information.
Because of the pressing administrative burden and the complexity of the end requirements we took a two phased approach, to relieve pressure from the team immediately before implementing a long term solution.
We began by automating many of their existing processes using VBA in Microsoft Excel. This reduced administration by about 40 hours per week and freed up the operational team’s time and resources to work on the next phase.
Next we replaced spreadsheets entirely with a mobile friendly web app on our Laravel based framework, that made it easier for customers to pay by card for their services (using Stripe API), reduced administration and kitchen overheads by a further 40-60 hours per week, and reduced food wastage by around 50%.
Streamlined processes put the business in a position to franchise and scale.
Web App for Fencing Manufacturer
Touch friendly task management for workshop ‘tough pads’
A bespoke fencing manufacturer wanted a better overview of business performance, reduction in manual administration processes.
The client had tried and tested sales techniques and proven quality ways of working, however growth meant that producing and managing sales quotations, workshop job sheets, and customer invoices had become time consuming and frustrating.
The team wanted to try automating their existing processes in small chunks of development, with the each successful implementation returning savings that would fund the next stage.
We began with a recipe-based sales quotation system with a workflow designed to match their own.
Instant margin calculations supported effective sales negotiations, improving conversion rates. Automated job sheet production meant that the workshop team had a clear list of tasks from the moment a sale was confirmed.
As the company continued to grow and benefit from the system we added further modules for:
- sales CRM and revenue projection;
- stock inventory planning;
- Xero accounting software integration by API;
- touch pad friendly task management for the workshop;
- intelligent delivery planning using Google maps API;
- work scheduling modules to save on delivery costs.