Small Business SolutionsBig Step Forward
Twice every month, building operators at a property management company got bogged down filling out computer spreadsheets to track their billable hours. Now they have time to work on developing small business solutions.
As you grow, the old ways of doing things can slow you down. The building operators needed a new method of small business solutions.
Company Size: 20 – 30
The building operators were juggling a diverse set of tasks within the property management business. They were monitoring facility maintenance and maintaining good tenant relations, while responding to many unexpected issues, including emergency situations. They spent most of their day running between boiler rooms and rooftops. Logging their time through a complicated and inefficient computer spreadsheet was taking them from important tasks, to the detriment of the building and its tenants.They needed to develop new small business solutions.
The Challenge and Approach
To identify the small business solutions, we spoke with representatives of all of the departments within the organization. We uncovered a number of challenges that were hampering the efficiency of their day-to-day work. As we were an outside party, it was easier for employees to speak candidly with us about a wide variety of issues. We brought a number of situations to light that were unknown to management. The building managers identified the Excel spreadsheet as complicated and prone to error. This was something building management hadn’t known about. They agreed that it was more than ironic to be spending hours filling out a spreadsheet to track hours, and this became a focus for change.
The property management company needed a more robust, comprehensive and cost-effective way to track employee time. The new program had to be easy to set up, easy to use, and effective in helping building operators and their managers manage their work time. We looked at the requirements of the building operators. Many noted that they were always on the go and didn’t have time to sit down at a desk to fill out paperwork. We looked at a number of mobile applications and tested several of the most popular. We had a manager, a building operator, and an outside party look at each application and document the positives and negatives of each platform. We built a comprehensive study from this research for review and recommended the most effective solution.
When all parties agreed on the solution, we drafted a process document, explaining how to implement the app, and how building operators could use it. The app was rolled out to each team and each member trained on its use. Everyone was encouraged to note any issues they had with the
Building operators are now able to log their time through their mobile application, with just a few clicks on their device, as needed. This freed up time coming in to fill out weekly timesheets, and it freed up administrative staff from having to follow-up. Supervisors were able to review and approve the operators’ hours through their own mobile devices. Post-implementation problems were identified and fixed quickly, and management reported that 45 hours per month previously spent doing data entry were saved.
% of Staff Fully On board
Hours Saved in Data Entry
Net Cost Savings
“We had no idea how much time we were spending on the back and forth of this document. Not to mention how unhappy some of the operators were for having to stop what we hired them for, to fiddle with spreadsheets. This small business solution has saved us both money and time – and increased our employee satisfaction.”
– Enzo D. Operations Supervisor