Lloyd's Construction Services has provided demolition, excavation and waste management services to the construction industry throughout Minnesota for more than 20 years.
Family owned and operated, Lloyd's has a reputation for high safety standards, reliability, hard work and efficiency. The idea to implement a mobile field service management solution first came about when the company was contacted by Salesforce.com.
Alli Lloyd, Webmaster & Mobile Coordinator at Lloyd's, says that although the construction company was interested in the gains discussed with a CRM solution, Salesforce.com "was incompatible with our internal MAS 90 accounting system."
By then, the wheels had started turning, and the construction company began shopping for a solution that would integrate with its current operations.
While Sage MAS 90 met most of Lloyd's in-office needs, its mobile workforce relied heavily on paper forms and frequent calls to dispatch for directions and work orders. In the waste management division alone, the company's 13 drivers delivered more than 100 waste containers to construction sites and homeowners every day. Alli Lloyd was certain that, with a more efficient system, the company could cut costs and possibly even increase productivity.
Alli Lloyd describes the previous system like this: At the beginning of each day, dispatch would print a spreadsheet of the day's work orders from the accounting system; drivers would come to the office in the morning and wait for their first job assignments. As calls came in during the day our dispatcher would call drivers until he found one closest to the area and assign him the new job. Drivers would have to pull off the road to write down directions and site info; drivers also had to take notes about each job as they finished, calling dispatch with questions and to let him know as jobs were completed.
When drivers returned at the end of each day to turn in handwritten paperwork, the billing department and dispatch would then have to input the information back into MAS 90. This system amounted to hours of wasted productivity while drivers waited for work orders, dispatch placed and received countless phone calls, and office staff deciphered handwritten notes from drivers.
During its search for a mobile solution compatible with MAS 90, the company came across Gearworks' etrace location-based mobile workforce management solution.
Etrace integrated easily with Lloyd's back-end system and it also was easy to deploy on handsets on the Sprint Nextel network. Alli Lloyd says that the company relies on Sprint Nextel's Direct Connect push-to-talk service to keep communication costs low while enabling all of its field operators to stay in easy contact.
With etrace, Lloyd's found more ways to keep costs down while improving on its already efficient reputation.
Jobs created within the MAS 90 system are automatically distributed to field workers in its roll-off or waste management division. Drivers receive specific job information and turn-by-turn driving directions to sites on their Blackberry 7520s.
After the drop-off or pick-up service is completed, etrace prompts Lloyd's drivers to close out the job on their mobile devices. This info flows back to the office through etrace and directly into the MAS 90 system, eliminating hours of data entry and increasing turnaround time for job processing and, more importantly, invoicing.
etrace also helps Lloyd's track employee clock-in and clock-out times, mileage and fuel costs, unscheduled stops and truck maintenance. The solution even sends alerts to management when drivers are speeding.
"Cutting down on speeding tickets and improving the company's record for safe driving, has been really good for us," says Alli Lloyd. "The many ways in which we have been able to use GPS to improve not only routing and logistics, but also to cut back on unscheduled stops and improve safe driving practices has been a surprise benefit of the solution."
Though Alli says it's hard in today's economy to really pinpoint how much the company is saving with the solution, initial estimates put the numbers around $100,000 a year. Since its initial implementation, Lloyd's has continued rolling the solution out to other departments.
Currently, foremen on construction and excavation jobs use etrace to manage employee work hours and cross-reference mileage and fuel costs to the office expense reports. Alli says the company is also looking to add safety forms to the solution for foreman, equipment tracking capabilities and trucking sheets so that its roll-off division is better integrated with its other departments.
Lloyd's is also switching from Blackberry 7520s to Sanyo Pro 7000 handsets for its roll-off division, noting that he expects the handsets to be more durable and help keep equipment costs down.
"Gearworks has been really helpful to us in our efforts to expand the solution," says Alli Lloyd. "Anytime we want to add a function they are very clear about how much it will cost and if it will really save time for users in the field."
Saving time can equal saving money, as businesses like Lloyd's look to increase productivity while keeping their costs down in a tough economy.