We have been contacted by a lift installation company stressing that they had 90 subcontractors and was struggling to keep a track of locating their engineers and the hours of work they were putting in. They had more than 10 active sites and sometimes engineers will go to different sites. Most sites were construction sites and which meant in most cases there was no internet or even electric. Furthermore, some engineers had agreed on a set price for the installation and will invoice for % of the job and some engineers get paid by the hour which they will complete a timesheet explaining which sites they have visited, time of arrival and finish time. All of this generated a lot of emails and paperwork for the engineers and the accounts department, where each month they would receive 90 invoices and they all demanded payment asap which gave accounts team a little time to check the details of the timesheets and invoices. On top of it, the company also sold some of the tools which engineers purchased and they had to pay for them at the end of each month. In most cases, the engineers would leave notes for the accounts department outlining what tools they took.
WebApps4u came up with the idea of developing a web application where engineers could sign in to work then select the site they are at. We wanted to make the web application user-friendly for the engineers so they would choose a site then click on "login to work" but we recorded the altitude and latitude of the phone on the database so we knew where they were when the button was clicked. The office staff could load the day's activity and see who is where on a spreadsheet-like layout. They could further click on the location of the engineer to view on the map to locate where the engineer is. The engineer could not sign in to the app anywhere else or even the same place the next day if they hadn't logged out. If they forgot to log out they would have to call the office team and explain, which then the web application allowed the office staff to edit the leaving time. The engineers could also browse through all the tools they need via the web application then place the order where office staff would receive an email and prepare the order to be picked up. This allowed engineers to get organised and even start adding items to their list while on site. Of course, they could also add more to their list whilst in the office.
The engineers loved the fact that they could select the invoice section where they could either click on a new invoice which auto-populated all the information including how much the job was agreed for and they could simply enter the % they were going to charge or continue invoicing the job that they partly invoiced previously. If they were charging hourly the engineers could select the weeks that they haven't already invoiced and generated the invoice from their timesheet. This was also very handy as some engineers invoiced every 5 weeks and some every 2 weeks, and some engineers mostly 4 weeks. Besides this, the invoice also added all the tools bought.
Office team marked each invoice after making payments via dropdown menu saying Paid / Not Paid / Partly paid with a reason. Engineers didn't have to call up to ask if they got paid, they could simply login to the web app to check if NOT PAID has been changed to PAID :)
The average hourly rate was £90 for lift engineers at the time and if they were leaving work 1 hour early every day this web app would have saved the company nearly £2000 just on the payroll. The amount of time saved for the accounts department was priceless. They used to dread the end of each month. The engineers no longer had to go through their dairy to create their invoices for the whole month which saved them hours. Overall things were running much more smoothly and took a lot of stressful workloads out for the admin team.