Labor scheduling was inefficient.
The day typically starts for Martin Mechanical, Inc.’s field crews at 7 a.m.; but Seth Rogers’ phone would often ring 15 minutes before the clock had officially started.
The project manager and manpower supervisor for the electrical contractor based out of Kansas City, Missouri, would spend his morning answering a flurry of emails and phone calls to make sure each of the ongoing projects was staffed properly.
“Scheduling manpower sounds easy, but it isn’t,” Rogers says of the hours he would spend on his phone shifting personnel and coordinating teams in the field.
The office needed more information about the field.
Martin Mechanical’s labor force has a wide skill set with expertise in plumbing and pipe fitting. The company employs 40 people in the field, split between divisions that work on new projects and technicians responding to service calls.
And Martin Mechanical, like many small companies, relies on an administrative staff for labor scheduling. The challenge was that the administrative team didn’t always have field or industry experience and there wasn’t an efficient way for them to find out details about the skills and equipment for the available pool of employees.
Martin Mechanical needed a central place where schedulers could easily access the information relevant to assigning people in the field.
Integrating LaborChart with ComputerEase
Martin Mechanical had been tracking projects in Excel and using ComputerEase for accounting. The two systems lived separately; there was no way to realize efficiencies in scheduling. Martin Mechanical integrated LaborChart with ComputerEase and was able to automatically pull in project information, job costing and the relevant skills and certifications of its workforce.
“Excel isn’t efficient for scheduling labor,” Rogers says. “Laborchart made scheduling easy and functional.”
Single Focal Point
By giving managers in the field and dispatchers in the office access to the dashboard, the entire team was able to work from the same information in real-time. As a small staff without a dedicated labor person, Martin Mechanical was able to spread the duties across multiple people. Without making Rogers or another member of senior management the focus, the project dashboard empowered team members to collectively work on labor scheduling.
“All the information is in one place and it’s easier to navigate. This helps everybody in our company,” Rogers says.
When Rogers gets project requests, he instantly has the answer for what he needs rather than having to hunt for information in Excel. What once took six phone calls or three emails is now available at the click of a button.
“LaborChart makes so much sense. It makes my life easier. I’m not trying to chase anybody down with emails and phone calls,” Rogers says.
More Accurate Estimating
Rogers relies on LaborChart for estimating projects. He can pull up historical data, track the current spend on a project and understand the true cost of adding labor to the bottom line.
“If you’ve got to move people at the start of a job, then you’re in a hole before from the start. With LaborChart, we’ve got the right labor mix at the start of a project,” Rogers says.