A large and expanding business, already a long term Synergy user, was struggling due to using a mixture of manual systems, various software products including some custom built web applications, and of course Synergy as the mainstay of their business. Not only was time an issue whilst trying to use so many separate products together, but there were training issues as well and some of the web products simply did not work at all so it was impossible to work efficiently. In addition, and this was a key identifier, there was no integrated way to handle Landlord’s Gas Safe certification and appliance service reminders.
These problems meant that the owners of the business were spending very large amounts of time performing manual processes because the staff were not able to fit those into their work schedules. As a result some of the processes such as reminder notices simply did not get done.
Already delighted with the Synergy Accounts product which had revolutionised their business since they took it on, it was an obvious step to expand their Synergy installation to suit their new requirements. Some of their suppliers already used Synergy and benefitted greatly from using the Mail and SMS modules as well as the various types of reminder that the system can automatically generate, and moving to allow the Customers and properties already being dealt with in Synergy to be associated directly with Appliances would allow functionality that they had been unable to obtain previously. In particular, the ability to automatically send Gas Safe and Service reminders complete with detailed information about the products concerned to whoever was the responsible party was a key requirement.
To deal with the specific business management requirements it was decided that a specialist Plumbing and Heating Module should be created and that this should be used to provide the required functionality. A specification was drawn up, and it was agreed that the module would be created and its features added in gradually over a period of time to enable staff to get used to the idea and to be able to prove each part of the solution as it was introduced.
The initial starting point was to ensure that Appliances and their properties (Make, Model, Fuel, Type, Serial Number etc.) could be correctly stored and maintained as well as being linked to customers.
A job sheet document was created that could be automatically populated with the necessary information to give the mechanics something to work from, and the business was able to start generating job sheets and processing them after they were returned by the mechanics upon completion of their assigned tasks along with notes of the labour and materials costs involved.
The standard abilities of Synergy allow the job sheet to be turned into a Sales Invoice or Point of Sale transaction as appropriate, ensuring that management information was readily available to the team when required.
The additional features required by the business are being introduced in stages in the order of their importance and urgency to the business, allowing them to get used to the changes in a steady fashion without overloading the capacity of the staff to learn and ensuring that they are motivated by the positive results as they see their jobs becoming easier. Already other vertical market customers in the plumbing and heating industry are starting to use the product leading to benefit to all concerned.
Ongoing training of the management team in the features they have requested have helped them to confirm that they are achieving the desired results, and the payback in their being able to allocate more tasks to alternative staff is already starting to pay huge dividends, including:
Another solution provided for an issue the customer was experiencing is the SMS Module which allows Gas Safe Certificate and service reminders to be automatically sent as text messages. In addition it allows individual texts to be sent whenever required, and if the management decide to do so to allow them to engage in other opt-in text marketing to their customer base to notify them of new products an services, special offers, and so on. This in combination with other product features allows the management to give their customers a choice of ways to receive their reminders and notifications: post, email, or SMS text message, or indeed any combination of those if the customer prefers, yet it can all happen automatically if that is the preference of the garage management.
These modules and the vertical market needs that they address are part of an ongoing process that will see continuing improvements with the business seeing real benefits with each coming month. Watch this space to read about the ongoing progress of the project.
If you are in the Plumbing and Heating industry and would like more information on how your business can benefit from the use of Synergy and the dedicated Plumbing and Heating Module please contact us