IN THE BEGINNING
...there was much labor, time consuming tasks, and difficulty growing our service oriented business. The more projects we took on and the more employees we hired, the more those tasks became tedious and joyless. As we bought more vehicles, construction equipment, infrastructure equipment and supplies, the more we felt the stress of growth. Rather than focusing on business development and increasing our profit margins, we were spending more time and effort mediating discrepancies in data, discovering more human error, and chasing our proverbial tails. There was plenty of new work to take on and a seemingly unlimited number of available customers, but how to grow without imploding seemed a terrible task. The search for a soluton had begun...
organize multiple work orders each day, many of which were repetetive. We also needed a way to communicate what work orders were to be done by each crew lead and in what order. There was no convenient way to track what services were completed, which inventory was pulled for each job, and whether there were problems in the field. Even tougher was conveying these stats to each customer so they knew what was going on and when work was completed. We also wanted a way to document work with photos and tracking systems, and share that with the customers.
The web application started out as a basic set of automation systems that made work orders far more convenient and easy to track. Customers were returning with great feedback because they were updated on work statuses and they became more patient. Tracking employee hours and vehicle usage was another aspect of tracking that helped us understand where time was spent and when time was being abused. Inventory and storage locations tracking helped indicate where theft and loss was occurring and prevent profit loss. Low inventory warnings helped us order items in a timely fashion, often before they were depleted.
The Estimates systems then developed so we could quickly build a set of services and inventory with different sections and customize the numbers to close the most deals. We started sending Estimates automatically with tracking to know who waas viewing and clicking, and started collecting signatures Online to increase the number of live jobs. This led to an increase in workload and allowed us to expand the company with less effort, supported by more customers and more cashflow. The automation of estimates led to more growth in our Work Orders systems.
We added more editability to Work Orders to manage employee hours, additional services and inventory and other details. Work orders started flowing faster and faster and we then built the Work Order-to-Invoice conversion systems, so finished work orders could be converted automatically into invoices. Being paperless and automatic, days of manual labor were eliminated processing estimates into work orders and then into invoices, all while eliminating human error. These new systems helped us expand the company even more without effort.
Online merchanting integration allowed us to provide customers a way to pay Online the moment their invoices were sent. Far fewer checks and phone calls regarding payments meant less manual labor and time consumed, allowing us to spend more time where it was needed. Payment handling and accounting systems grew and we were able to eliminate other financial software memberships that didn't handle inventory, services, employees etc.
Along the way we integrated more systems to manage employees, employee documentation, payroll hours tracking, sickness & time-off requests, and other features. Vehicle records and vehicle documentation tracking helped employees access registration and other records on the road when requested. Realtime alerts brought expiring registration and out of date documents to view so we could handle renewals prior to expiration, not afterward!
One of our big goals was to create a system that supported litigious defense with documentation, tracking and logs. Some customers agreed to estimates, were friendly during the work phase, but then created ridiculous excuses why they didn't want to pay afterward. Online signatures, work order tracking systems, photographs of completed projects and tracking logs all coalesced into a defense bundle that helped us win every legal battle. It's unfortunate, but some customers are unscrupulous and looking for free stuff. Command Force became a great business defense system that increased our profits while decreasing our workload preparing defense cases.
Command Force is still growing today with a seemingly endless list of options, systems, and automation still growing. Application development is our passion and we invite you to participate in defining what your needs are. What makes us smile is your business thriving with less effort. Good luck, and may the Command Force be with you!
July 11, 2020