“We had eight field engineers when we implemented simPRO, and we now have 21. We’re able to manage the increased amount of work without needing to increase our office staff.”
Rebecca Baffrey, Enhanced Electrical
Sparks, Nevada, US
Since 2012, Enhanced Electrical has been providing residential, commercial and industrial electrical services to customers in the Reno and Sparks areas of Nevada. From simple jobs such as replacing an electrical outlet in a home to designing major electrical builds in an industrial complex, Enhanced Electrical is known for exceeding their customers’ needs.
Rebecca Baffrey, Co-Owner of Enhanced Electrical, primarily focuses her time on business development and human resources. She manages growth opportunities for the company, implements new processes, and wears multiple hats to keep operations running smoothly.
Rebecca shares what life was like before their business found simPRO, and the benefits they’ve seen since becoming a simPRO customer in September of 2019.
Inefficient paper-based processes
Before discovering simPRO, Enhanced Electrical used a combination of whiteboards, software applications, and paper and pencil to manage operations. “Absolutely overwhelming is the best way to describe it,” Rebecca said.
“We didn’t have processes for recording detailed job notes, so it was really difficult for myself and our office manager to know what was going on with each job and when things were ready to be invoiced. It was a painful process.”
Another challenging manual process for Enhanced Electrical was billing.
“Sometimes we’ll have customers that say, ‘I don’t need a bid. Just do time and materials.’ But if we’re on site for a week, then we’d have multiple pages of write ups and everything had to be manually calculated,” Rebecca said. “And then of course we struggled to keep up with receipts and how much we paid for certain materials, especially those materials that weren’t on our price sheet. So, it came to the point where we knew we were leaving money on the table and we weren’t billing for everything.”
Finding the right software system
It was clear to Rebecca that the business needed a new way to manage operations.
“We really wanted a system that could better manage our schedule for both the office and the engineers. We were specifically focused on the service side of our business and finding software that could help with invoicing,” Rebecca said. “Once we started looking at software, we entertained the option of moving our entire business to a software system and not just the service side.”
Rebecca’s background in software engineering provided a unique perspective when it came to researching field service management software.
“I knew we needed a software system that was very intuitive and easy-to-use after set up. I also wanted a system that had the proper guardrails to prevent user errors,” Rebecca said.
“We trialled two platforms before finding simPRO, and with one of the platforms the major issue was that if an error occurred, you had no idea what you did wrong. When I found simPRO I saw that there were user controls in place that could limit certain user errors and keep things controlled by management. So that helped determine that simPRO was the right fit for us in addition to it having the capabilities we needed.”
Increased visibility and real-time data
“From my perspective, having visibility into every job and the ability to see my engineers’ notes on demand has been extremely helpful,” Rebecca said. “Now with simPRO,
I know what is going on with each job without needing additional phone conversations. Having that real-time data is huge.”
Increased visibility into materials data has also been extremely helpful for Enhanced Electrical.
“Now, we’re in the position where our engineers can collect payment immediately on service calls and the billing is accurate,” Rebecca explained. “Before, the engineers could calculate and collect payment using paper and pen, but the amount wouldn’t always be accurate. They might forget to bill for certain materials. With simPRO, all of the materials are entered right then and there, and it has made our billing a lot more accurate. It’s a huge benefit for us and it’s easy for our engineers.”
Attaching images to a job in simPRO adds an extra layer of visibility as well.
“We actually attach our warehouse and wholesale house receipts and any order receipts to the job,” Rebecca said. “This allows our engineers to know exactly what we paid for all materials so when they are completing their work orders at the end of the day, they can accurately bill out for all materials.”
Simplified invoicing processes
Generating invoices and tracking invoice status is now much easier for Enhanced Electrical thanks to simPRO.
“Before we started using simPRO, it would take us about four to six weeks to generate an invoice for a job,” Rebecca said. “This was due to our limited office staff available to do the manual calculations for the quantity of work we had going on.”
With simPRO, the business can generate invoices much faster with the same amount of office staff.
“Our invoices now go out within a few days,” Rebecca said. “And, not only are we able to invoice faster, but we are also able to get paid faster. Our invoices are getting paid within 30 days where previously it would take 60-90 days for us to get paid.”
Invoicing has also improved on the project side of the business.
“We have reminders in simPRO to tell us when our monthly billing is due for our projects. We have tasks managing those reminders and within the tasks, we can see any necessary actions in order to have the payment executed,” Rebecca said. “So we’re getting paid for projects in a much more timely manner.”
“Our man hours spent invoicing have significantly decreased as well,” Rebecca said. “Before simPRO we spent about 25 to 30 hours a week working on invoicing. Now, I would say we spend maybe five to ten hours a week.”
Business growth and increased profitability
“Another incredible benefit with simPRO is that we have been able to see profits and loss by job more clearly,” Rebecca said. “We can see in real time where our jobs stand in terms of original estimated hours against actual hours. This has helped us make huge improvements and ensure that our jobs are significantly more profitable. We’ve spent time in simPRO to learn from our actuals on projects, and we’ve been able to make adjustments in our bidding process due to the detail available to us in simPRO.”
Before simPRO, Enhanced Electrical was using their accounting platform for job costing. However, they didn’t have access to the same level of detail that they now have in simPRO.
“Today, we can break things down in cost centers in simPRO, and we’ve been able to really learn from that process. Our jobs are much more profitable now,” Rebecca said.
simPRO has not only helped the business to increase their profits, but they’ve also been able to grow and scale.
“The difference that simPRO has made in terms of our ability to run our company on a smaller staff is incredible,” Rebecca said. “We had eight engineers when we implemented simPRO, and we now have 21. We’re able to manage the increased amount of work without needing to increase our office staff.”
Word of advice?
Your investment in simPRO pays for itself
“Make the investment in simPRO, and you will find that it pays for itself hands down. We were at the position where we thought we needed to hire two more office staff to manage the growth of our company. However, by implementing simPRO and seeing major process improvements, we found that we didn’t need to hire those two additional people,” Rebecca says. “Our engineers are getting work done faster and our estimators are bidding more accurately. So there’s proof in the fact that simPRO pays for itself.”
“The only other advice I would offer is to be patient during the implementation process,” Rebecca says. “It can be overwhelming to start a new system, but if you can be patient you’ll be where we are today which is very happy and so grateful that we have simPRO to manage our business.”
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