Electrical Contractors Go Digital – A Case Study
We wrote a blog way back in 2019 (happy new year!) about how we’ve helped clients looking for help beyond web development services. Business technology is our passion, and we’re always excited for an opportunity to help companies accelerate their growth online any which way we can! Because there’s a multitude of optimizations that enhance sales funnels, internal workflows, accounting processes, team member communications, client communications and more, it can sometimes be hard for business owners to know what will work best for them, and where to start.
Below is a case study featuring local electrical contractors here in Nanaimo who needed extra help outside the box of our digital marketing services. Find out how DJ, the owner and business analyst at Alpha Strategy, ended up working with Grant, owner of Coastline Electrical & Plumbing Ltd, to create unprecedented efficiencies for Coastline’s internal administration.
Prioritizing the Problems
“When I walked into the office it was full of post-it notes, and lists everywhere,” says DJ, who intended to meet with Grant to discuss updating Coastline’s website.
When Grant said he was too busy to put time into enhancing his web presence, DJ literally saw a different opportunity to help. Once the two began to discuss the possibility of moving Coastline’s outdated reliance on paper to cloud-based software programs, which would free up time to take on more business, Grant’s interest tweaked. He was only too aware of the problem at his office. In fact, he’d looked at several different options for digital file sharing, team member tracking and communications, and online project management, but was always turned off by the lack of transparency in terms of what he was buying and how it would work for his business needs.
“Until you try a lot of these cloud-based systems that are made for offices like ours, it’s extremely hard to navigate,” says Grant. “You can only tell if it will work through a 30-day free trial or jumping all in.”
Once DJ took a deep dive into the company’s internal set-up, at Grant’s consent, he quickly focused in on the best opportunity for improvements. “What I noticed the most was the number of repetitive tasks happening,” says DJ. “If team members had to make a work order change, they’d have to physically leave the site and get the paperwork, then track Grant down for approvals.”
DJ and Grant agreed to let Alpha do the legwork, research, and–upon approval–uploading and implementation of the software systems that would be the best fit for Coastline.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“Alpha listened, went back out and returned with solutions,” says Grant. “They brought professionalism and expertise by looking at what we needed and knowing how to get it without breaking the bank.”
Installing the Software: CRM & Project Management Systems
After the research phase of the project, DJ offered Grant the basic Office 365 suite of products with CRM software that allows for customer relationship management, and project management software for easier job tracking. Alpha collected hundreds of pieces of paper on each Coastline job and inputted all the info to overhaul the system with online spreadsheets, forms, and an online folder structure so that each client and project had its own folder with notes, work order sheets and list sheets. Everyone on the team then downloaded the SharePoint app on their phone so they could access a project and its details, info, and associated forms.
“This gave them the additional ability to sell more stuff on the job site,” says DJ, “Since they could now work directly from their phones without having to leave.”
Meanwhile, Grant could now check-in and provide approvals on his computer or phone.
Next, Alpha uploaded Coastline’s entire client list into HubSpot with all vendors, suppliers, and subcontractors. By doing this, anyone on the team could have the HubSpot app and order supplies, touch base with clients, and conduct other business that was previously difficult to manage.
“A really nice feature of CRM software is being able to set-up reminders, so you’re not scrambling,” says DJ. “For example, setting a task to send flowers a month after finishing a renovation. Automating that task helps make it part of the process. You can set follow-ups for three, six and 12 months to stay on top of communications, or re-orders.”
It’s been 10 months since the electrical contractors moved from paper to the cloud, and the difference has been illuminating.
“It took us to the next level,” says Grant. “The biggest change is in the information sharing. A lot of the time when you’re on a paper system, you can only go as far as the piece of paper. Now, I’m keeping my guys informed on decisions by clients or contractors in real-time and not having to relay that info in person. It’s almost been like taking a person out of the step.”
That person is Grant. The business owner says that prior to the new software, everyone always needed to talk to him, and it was immensely time-consuming to be available in person for everyone. Now, he can auto-upload information that everyone can see for themselves, and he can give approvals on the go. “It has freed up my time,” he says. “Everything is easier to manage without the burden of meetings and phone calls.”
DJ is also pleased with the outcome and notes that one of the most important aspects of the change for business owners like Grant, who work such long hours, is the improved quality of life. “These digital tools allow him to work from a cloud-based app on a fishing boat off of Port Renfrew,” he says. “He’s no longer required to physically be in the office to conduct his business.”
Working with Alpha
Once Alpha completed the work of setting everything up, the digital team visited Coastline’s office to provide hands-on training. According to Grant, the process from beginning to end couldn’t have been smoother. “Once it’s set up it’s really user-friendly,” he says. “It’s been simple, and easy, and that’s what I’d say for any busy contractor that’s afraid of making the jump because their time is so valuable, and they don’t want to deal with free trials. Alpha made my life easier.”
Are you interested in seeing what Alpha Strategy can do for you and your business? Connect with us today and tell us what problems you need help solving. Call us at (778) 441-2535 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org