Is your trades business working to the best of its capabilities? Have youconsidered how technology can improve your productivity? There is always a dilemma as to where to focus and what is more important to spend time and money on. This article will show a real life case study where technology helps to improve and grow the business by using mobile apps.
It is based on one of Sydney's mobile app development company Kite Union's clients who started applying mobile technology in their business. It is a professional air conditioning installation company called Frozone Air (frozoneair.com.au, p: 1300 558 322). Frozone Air installs Split Systems, Multi Split Systems and Ducted Systems air conditioning units for private customers. Issues first arose when they calculated the time taken to generate quotations and identified a lot of wasted time. They also noted the following:
- More time wastage when the data was transferred to their online system from the completed paper forms, including mistakes made during the transfer of data
- Difficulty to specify exact instructions in the quotations which resulted in additional queries from the installers - additional time wastage
- Quotation generation was time consuming and generating sample pictures for quotations, showing a unit installed on a wall, for example, was almost impossible because of lack of Adobe Photoshop skills and facilities.
Frozone Air identified that the software development of a mobile app would resolve these issues. The following solution took into consideration all the identified problems:
- Pre-programmed forms where all the data is selected from predefined lists, reducing data entry. Every field of the form contains a section which allows data to be entered.
- A design tool was created for capturing photographs and allowing the user to place different air conditioning units very specifically on the photo, minimising the chance of installation error or misunderstanding from written instructions
- PDF quotation forms can now be generated within the mobile application, cancelling out any time in the office taken to prepare quotations. This has also allowed customers to make a decision on the spot or after the Frozone Air quotation is received.
The project cost has been covered by both direct and indirect benefits of the mobile application.
Direct benefits: Reduction of labour hours; Saving quotation production time on each job; Removing data collection mistakes.
Indirect benefits: Marketing tool; Visual tool for clients; Implementing new technology for the business; Increase company revenue.
To summarise, in this case, this type of mobile application has become a powerful tool for this trades business to increase its productivity, to minimise labour costs and time wastage, to produce professional and detailed quotations when face-to-face with the client and to be able to discuss and negotiate installation variants. Mobile apps for SMEs are necessary tools to optimise business from many different angles.