Dallas Air is a professional air-conditioning services, maintenance and installation company operating across Sydney. The bulk of their staff are on the road, and on-site, and might not see each other, or visit the company’s head office, for weeks on end.
That makes communication and efficient work scheduling between head office and roving technicians a constant challenge.
Founded six years ago, Dallas Air services large corporations such as AMP, the Commonwealth Bank and a host of government departments, and has pride in its professional standards.
However, the growth of the company was placing pressure on the way jobs were scheduled and allocated to their technicians and service engineers moving around customer sites. Administration staff at head office were spending much of their time ensuring the right skilled staff were assigned to specialist jobs, and ensuring staff turned up at customer sites on time.
"Our staff were phoning in to find out where they needed to be next and we were using a lot of paper-based sheets to manage our staff and jobs," said Dallas Air Founder and Director Rodney Jackson.
They went looking for a solution that would solve these problems, and found Deputy.
The time and attendance features, the work scheduling platform, and the task allocation component provided by Deputy changed the way that head office ran daily operations.
The Deputy platform was introduced to head office staff and on the road technicians in a smooth deployment. Training was achieved with no major issues because of the intuitive web interface.
Our staff were phoning in to find out where they needed to be next and we were using a lot of paper-based sheets to manage our staff and jobs
Now, technicians can log into the Deputy platform and let head office know they have arrived at a site. Head office can send specific instructions via the task scheduling module. Time-sheets are done automatically by staff who log into the Deputy platform when they arrive at, and leave a site.
“The big improvement is that they can log on site so we know where they are,” said Jackson. “There has been a massive communications improvement throughout the business. We can distribute business-related information quickly, such as whether someone has left or joined the company. It makes our business efficient.”
Jackson said up to ninety percent of the company’s staff do not see each other on a regular basis, so Deputy is now a key communications platform for the company. He said the impact on team morale and the increase in staff bonding, by having an easy work scheduling system, and efficient communications system, cannot be under-estimated.
Previously the staff didn’t know what was going on, now everyone is much more informed. The head office team, in particular, have seen their daily stress levels reduced.
“The site guys can communicate where and when they have arrived and left site, without occupying valuable administration time,” Jackson said. “Deputy has improved our workflow administration.”
For a company that has up to thirty mobile staff with specialist skills, the task allocation has been greatly improved. Head office can use Deputy to send multiple tasks to them at a particular site, and inform them about deadlines and specific procedures and guidelines. Site maps and other technical documentation can also be sent via the Deputy platform.
“That has been a really big benefit to Dallas Air,” said Jackson. “ The allocation, tracking and setting of task guidelines has resulted in a massive improvement in our workplace procedures.”
Jackson said managers were also able to use Deputy’s journal function to quickly enter notes about employee performance. Senior management can review the notes later, and form an accurate impression of individual staff performance.
"The ease of entering this information and the ability to review the employee performance information is unique to Deputy,” said Jackson.
The clean interface and easy usability of Deputy has helped too, said Jackson. He said some of the older staff found it easy to enter in their timesheet details, and use the task scheduling component. That was crucial, he said, and meant there was no resistance to the new technology.
Overall, Dallas Air is able to run multiple projects with ease, the administration burden has been reduced, and the communication gap vastly improved. It also means that technicians are more readily accountable as tasks are monitored by the Deputy platform.
“The move to adopting the Deputy platform has improved the profitability on our jobs because it closes the remoteness gap,” Jackson said. “We have been able to reduce our project managers on site whilst achieving accountability from everyone who is out on site,” Jackson said. Deputy acts as a monitoring tool to ensure projects are on track, and meeting required deadlines.
Management can assess the real-time costs of shifts, approve shifts, make journal entries against each job, and head office spends less time on the phone speaking to field technicians. Jackson said the project managers can now focus on how each job contributes to the success of the company.
“It has enabled our project managers to be more results-oriented and allowed them to focus on the profitability of a job and how it gets done,” Jackson said. “Before, it was a large administrative burden for the project managers. Deputy has provided us with a massive improvement in communication across the company.”