Mint Floors and Shutters saves 6 hours of management time every week and ensures fair pay with Deputy
At a glance
- Saves managers 6 hours/week
- Full integration with Xero streamlines billing
- Improves job reports per site with custom timesheet fields
Jon Holst is as enthusiastic about the customer experience as the floors his business has been supplying them to walk on since 2001.
“We’re committed to delivering the best result possible,” says Holst. “It’s about understanding each customer’s needs and providing great service right from the start, through to the finish. We do this by combining the best quality products, tradesmen and dedicated project management.”
It often starts with a visit to Mint’s public showroom in Caringbah to get expert advice on choosing the most suitable materials for each location. Customers can explore a huge range of quality materials in situ, including imported laminates and Mint’s own engineered oak floating floors.
Next, Mint’s project management team handles the important logistics of bringing each customer’s dreams to reality, ensuring the process runs smoothly throughout.
The firm employs specialist master installers and carpenters to ensure its products look as good in their new homes as they did in the showroom – and recent wins at the annual Australian Timber Flooring Association awards are testament to Mint’s commitment to quality.
"We combine the best flooring, tradesmen and project management team to provide a quality finish to every home."
Business in the building industry make (or break) their reputations by the quality of the overall customer experience. Of course, customers want an end result they can happily live with for several years. They also want the process to run smoothly, preferably on time and on budget.
Tradespeople themselves build their reputations on their skills, reliability and integrity, though some of them aren’t particularly great at mundane tasks such as recording accurate time sheets and delivering up-to-date progress reports – data that is essential for their managers to stay on top of their project budgets and ETAs.
“Project managers ensure everyone has the information, knowledge and materials they need to deliver a quality finish,” explains Holst. “When you have a lot of tradesmen and apprentices going out to multiple sites every day, you want the same professionalism across the team. We had some issues with our old manual (hand written) timesheets a couple of years ago, because we got the same answer from every single person – they’d say “I worked 7am-3pm” – and that’s not fair on the hard workers.”
Holst appreciates the ethos of ‘fair pay for fair work’, having toiled hard throughout his career from apprentice to master of his trade. As a business owner he wants to ensure his employees are correctly paid for every hour they work – while some tradies are comfortable with ‘guesstimates’ on hours, he’s not.
So he looked for a simple solution to an age-old problem.
“I did a lot of searching online to find a way to help everyone from the apprentice to the most experienced tradesman quickly and accurately do their timesheets,” recalls Holst. “The instructional videos and reviews I found were saying that Deputy was the best one. It works with Xero, which we already had for accounting, and I like that it’s a local company. We had a crack with the free trial and decided to keep using it.”
"The nature of the building industry is it’s hard to know what's going to get done today and what needs to be done tomorrow."
Deputy quickly solved one of Holst’s long-running project management questions: exactly how much time is worked by each employee on each job?
Now that all employees have the Deputy app on their mobiles, Mint’s managers have more accurate timesheet data they need for budgeting – and ensuring fair pay for fair work.
Deputy’s data confirmed something Holt already knew: some of his most experienced and loyal tradespeople had been underestimating their hours, starting a bit earlier and finishing a bit later to get more done in a day, and some contractors had been ‘fudging’ their hours.
“The people that have always been hardworking, turning up early and doing longer days, love it,” he reports. “It’ is definitely a more efficient and fairer system, so we can reward the hardworking people. The few lazy people that didn’t like, you don’t want them.”
The building industry is a heated market and most employees get paid well above award, so Deputy’s full integration with Xero and pay bracket tracking delivers big benefits.
“On Thursdays, we used to spend all day chasing timesheets and manually working it out,” says Holst. “Now we’ve set up each employee’s hourly rate and penalties it definitely saves us a lot of time on the admin side of things. After the time sheets are approved we export them into Xero for paying and we can track total costs per job.”
Due to the nature of work the industry across multiple building projects, rosters are set every evening for the next day. Now that task only takes managers 15-20 minutes in Deputy and each employee is automatically sent a notification via the app about their tasks and the times and places they need to work.
Deputy customised the timesheets for Mint with fields to capture progress on each job; and the ‘stop/start’ shift feature helps track work hours from one job to the next.
“We can keep on top of each person’s time for each customer, because sometimes they forget to do that,” concludes Holst. “We track costs allocated to each shift and a weekly total for each job. It gives us more time for managing projects and looking after customers. And it relieves the stress of Thursday – getting timesheets together to do payroll, that’s gone away.”
"Deputy helps us knock over the admin for timesheets and accounting in about 2 hours every Thursday – it used to take us 8!"