Last week, I was talking to an excavation contractor based in the Sydney area. He has a team of thirty, plus trucks and heavy equipment and needed better control and reporting on his jobs. He is the first to admit he knows stuff-all about computers, but he knew what he needed could be done with some new systems.
So, he signed off on around eighteen grand over twelve months, to implement a cloud-based workflow system. He knew implementation would be a bit bumpy, there were many gaps in his previous processes, but his managers got stuck in and were working closely with the software supplier. Then he did something that absolutely summed up his vision and commitment to win.
He withdrew twenty grand in cash and gave a bonus to each of his operators. He said, we often talk about performance bonuses and Christmas is coming up so, as I gave each of them their bonus, I also told them that our company is now committed to automated workflow. “Take this bonus and learn how to use the new system, because next year it will be the only way you can log your hours and operate on our sites.”
He didn’t have to do that, but he wanted to make his commitment clear. He knew what he was asking, was well within his team’s technical skill range. Watching the boys at lunch, they’re browsing the odds for the second at Randwick, searching for some custom trim for the ute, texting a selfie, snapchatting, facebooking, planning their weekend, or just reading the paper – all on their mobile phones.
A good system will have simple buttons that match the role. Open the job, hit start, follow the safety check, search and add materials, hit stop, go on your break. It isn’t rocket surgery, but little notes on paper during the day is easier, right? Easier for who? It isn’t about whether the input is easier, it is about what automated systems deliver across the whole business.
I used to have a magnet on my filing cabinet that said something like: Another Day Ends . . . . All targets met, All systems working, All customers satisfied, All staff eager and enthusiastic . . . . All pigs fed and ready to fly!
It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Today however, business owners are going to bed each night, knowing everything has been captured, recorded, filed and reported. Imagine ending each day knowing that payroll is done, receipts are entered and filed, all WHS checklists are archived and all jobs are on track – or if they’re not, the client has been updated on the variance. Pigs might fly? Perhaps not!