A paper office going digital

Coastline Electrical & Plumbing Ltd. is a small business doing big work in Nanaimo BC since 2002. We connected with the team to overhaul an outdated internal process and digitize the company workflow.

About This Project

Originally, we intended to meet with Grant Crabtree, owner-director of Coastline Electrical, to discuss updating their website. It quickly became clear that Grant did not have time to invest in a web presence, and the reason he didn’t was due to a paper-reliant office that presented redundancies and inefficiencies in workflows, project management, and internal and external communications and sales. We decided to address Grant’s need as a business owner, rather than the need we initially saw from a marketing perspective.

Our Services

  • Technical research & implementation of cloud services
  • Integration of third-party applications
  • Training Staff on new systems & internal processes

The Challenges

  • Their business was being run off-line and reliant on paper processes
  • There were no structures in place for internal company filing systems, customer management systems, or project management procedures
  • Too many redundancies in workflow made it hard for Grant and his team to work efficiently
  • Reliance on Grant to be physically present for meetings, reviews, and approvals spread his time too thin to focus on big-picture executive tasks
  • Team members needed to leave the job site to get paperwork and find Grant for approval on any work order changes

Technical Spec

Due to the outdated, paper-reliant system, digitizing the office was a huge job. We were lucky that Grant was completely onboard once we worked through the research phase to determine the best digital solutions for his company. He put his trust in us and let us do what we needed in the office to set the company up with an online organizational structure that would work for them now, as well as down the road when it would be easy for them to build on to what we created.

We moved thousands of pieces of paper into folder structures, and invoice systems, client projects past and present, notes on jobs, setting up reminders on CRM for any required or optional followups. We installed Office 356 and OneDrive for file storage and sharing and then set all team members up with the SharePoint app, to be able to work efficiently and effectively while on the go.

We used HubSpot as the CRM system, to keep all clients, vendors, and supplier lists housed in folder structures for easy access and additional communications as needed. Now, team members can reach out to a client or order parts from a supplier as needed, allowing for more autonomy. Grant is also able to share info out to multiple team members at once, and provide on-the-go approvals for any work order changes.

How We
Made a difference

Once the new online structures were installed and integrated into the office and made available on the team’s mobile devices, Alpha initiated training sessions at the Coastline office to get everyone up to speed on the new procedures. Since the digital integrations, we’re pleased to know that Grant couldn’t be happier.

“It’s been simple, and easy,” says Grant of the process. “And that’s what I’d say for any busy contractor afraid of making the jump because their time is so valuable. Alpha made my life easier.”