Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016, and has been updated to reflect the new features of MyTaskit.
Since the recession of 2008 to 2009, the recreational marine industry has seen single-digit percentage growth year over year. However, like the broad U.S. economy, hiring has not increased to match this growth.
Dealers and boatyards are doing more with less to ensure that they are prepared for the next downturn. The best strategy to ensure that your team is maximizing their potential is to continually optimize and refine the “3 Ps:” your people, processes, and products. If you’re confident about your workforce and the services they’re helping you offer, it’s time to turn your attention to the way you work.
Free mobile apps can improve communication at your company, but they don’t allow for task organization or back-office collaboration. Read on to discover first hand how a purpose-built solution is the ideal way to perfect your service processes in the marine industry.
Introducing a Service Coordination Platform
In an ideal world, your service managers would create a schedule for the week, allocating each time slot on the calendar to a specific task. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that can wreck a well-designed schedule before lunch.
Your service managers and foremen need a way to quickly prioritize and dispatch tasks. At the same time, their field workers need to be alerted whenever a scheduling change takes place at the dealership or at the boatyard – which is always bound to happen.
With our service coordination platform, MyTaskit Pro, your service managers and field workers can view the open tasks for the whole boatyard on any computer or mobile device with a web browser. But how exactly does this software work to improve your processes through more efficient communication and collaboration?
Get the Full Picture
MyTaskit Pro gives your service managers all the information they need in one centralized location, as you can see in the screenshot of the Task Grid below:
In this example, your service manager would see that the “Gen. Maintenance” job for the boat “Hail Mary” is promised to the customer on 08/15/2018. The total estimated hours for this job are 8.55 hours. The promise dates on the other jobs are further out, and your service manager wants to assign and schedule this job as soon as possible. Your manager can easily click on the “+5 Tasks” in the Task Code column to expand the view for more details.
The screenshot below shows that your service manager has scrolled further out on the grid and can see that there are no field workers assigned to the first task in the list, labeled “Breaker Fuse R&R.” From here, your manager can click on the space in the Assigned Users column for the task and select a field worker:
Your service manager then has the option to click on the Scheduled Hours column for the task and add the task to the worker’s schedule using Est. Hours as a guide. Your manager can see the entire schedule for the Assigned User named “Drew Patson” and the work he has already been assigned to decide where this task will fit into his availability. MyTaskit makes scheduling quick and easy by allowing your service manager to drag and drop assigned tasks to different days, and edit tasks on the schedule to reassign the work if need be.
At this point, your service manager can click on the work description of the task in the grid and navigate to the Task Manager. Here, they can view more details about the task they selected including any attached photos, videos, or voice recordings, and important notes on things the assigned field workers should pay special attention to:
Assign Top-Priority Work Easily
Once the field worker has been assigned the task in MyTaskit Pro, your service manager can use the Priority Grid to prioritize the worker’s tasks. The Priority Grid is an excellent alternative to scheduling if the nature of your business doesn’t allow tasks to be tied to specific dates, but requires you to be able to order tasks based on importance. The screenshot below shows the task priorities for the field worker named “Seth Adams:”
In the example below, the field worker is using the MyTaskit Mobile App on their smartphone to access their assigned tasks. When the tasks are assigned or prioritized (or re-prioritized), this will be communicated immediately with an email and text message shown below:
All the field worker has to do is log into the native MyTaskit Mobile App and view their assigned Tasks in the “prioritized” filter as you can see in the screenshot below:
Alternatively, if the Tasks assigned to the worker are scheduled on specific days, they can also easily reach and view their daily schedule of work in the Mobile App and even change the date to look ahead at what’s coming up in the next week or month:
Empower Your Field Workers
When your field worker is ready to get to work on a task, they can swipe left on the Task to reveal the options drawer. Tapping on the “Status” button will let them change the Task status to “In Progress”. Tasks are color coordinated to keep things simple and streamlined:
MyTaskit Pro allows your field workers to do much more than simply review the documents that your service manager or customer has uploaded to the task – they can also upload their own items as they go.
Your field worker can add more documents and even photos or videos to further illustrate the nature of the issue being worked on. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, this media can remove any ambiguity of some repair jobs. Your field worker also has the opportunity to add any expenses and upload receipts for purchases they made while on the job.
Messaging on Tasks is another communication option and can be typed or recorded using the built-in speech to text recognition available on all Apple, Android and Microsoft devices. The screenshot below shows a field worker recording a message spoken into an iPhone:
Once saved, the message is then synced to the Task and is available for the assigned manager and other workers to see. Best of all, the worker will get a notification whenever someone responds to their message and they will be kept up-to-date throughout the life of the Task.
Say Goodbye to Double Entry
Like most dealerships and boatyards, you may be guilty of using one particularly time-consuming process – the manual entry of time cards.
Your field workers probably track the time they work on a specific job using some form of timesheet. The form may be created in Word or Excel, and simply provides the field worker with a place to write down the name of the job, the hours worked, and a description of what was done. Here’s an example:
These timesheets are then entered into your dealer management or back-office accounting system for billing purposes. You will probably find that it takes your administration staff anywhere from 1 to 4 hours per day to enter in your employees’ timesheets. This process isn’t only inefficient, it also increases the chance of data entry errors.
MyTaskit Pro can solve this problem by allowing your field workers to enter their labor hours and comments on the tasks assigned to them. This information can also be synced with your company’s operations software, so that the time goes right on the work order.
In the MyTaskit Mobile App field workers can easily swipe left on a Task to reveal the options drawer again and this time select the “Labor” option. They will be presented with a Labor Entry screen where they can enter their own working time manually through a start-and-stop timer. If this workflow isn’t efficient for your field worker, they can also enter a simple start time and stop time range. You can see the options in the screenshot below:
Your service manager can make any adjustments to the time entries that your field worker has submitted before they are transferred to the actual work order. The screenshot below shows the time entry and comment that was entered by the field worker into the actual work order:
Sometimes an integrated system is what you need as a dealership or boatyard to maximize the efficiency of your workforce and drive additional profits to your bottom line.
Schedule a demo of MyTaskit Pro to see how communication and collaboration could improve at your unique marine business.