At Klapprodt Pools, our 25 employees design and build up to 120 pools a year, maintain 200 pools weekly, and make an additional 150 to 200 service calls each month. We serve the Dallas/Fort Worth area and, over the years, we’ve earned a reputation for gorgeous pools and exceptional service. But our business, while small, is relatively complex. And our technology was really holding us back.
We’re in a high-touch business that depends on details and logistics, and it’s not always easy to keep track. Ultimately, a pool is a luxury and our job is to thrill our customers. This means we have to be synchronized, extremely productive, and aware of even the tiniest details of each customer’s unique job.
Employees are on the go every day, designing new pools, or driving around the metro area for routine maintenance calls. We live and die by coordination and need to keep everyone on the same page with current, accurate information that is accessible anywhere, anytime.
Yet, our previous technology set-up made it tough to achieve a high level of efficiency and business automation. Like many small to medium-sized businesses, we’ve grown organically, and had a bunch of single-purpose IT systems supporting the business.
For years, we were using multiple systems across the company for lead management, construction, service, and billing, which meant multiple entries and having to go to multiple locations to get information. Adding to the pain in terms of technology costs, our sales management system was an outsourced service, resulting in a fairly hefty recurring monthly payment.
In solving our problem, we made four key decisions:
- Take a clean-sweep approach. Our multiple, ad hoc IT systems isolated our data – a problem that would only continue to get worse (and more expensive) as we grew. It was now or never.
- Focus on making our data available anywhere, anytime – to eliminate steps, save time, reduce data errors, improve collaboration, and boost employee productivity.
- Get rid of paper (the enemy!) wherever we could.
- Avoid reinventing the wheel. Take advantage of off-the shelf software that was simple, affordable, and able to solve the bulk of our needs with some customization.
To optimize customer service while improving efficiency and profitability, we worked with developerPool Pro Office to help us build a custom solution to meet our exact needs. Our end-to-end business automation solution runs on Mac, Windows, and iPads using FileMaker software.
Our custom-built solution integrates all the company’s business processes, from design through to maintenance. It puts all customer information (pool design, invoicing, location, and maintenance) in a single location.
Today, the sales team uses this solution as a lead management tool for keeping records of appointments and communication throughout the entire sales process. When a job is sold, the customer information and construction plans are passed to our construction team, which uses this solution for scheduling and communication with the customer and subcontractors. When a job is complete, it’s added to our database for future service and warranty work. Our service team uses this database for all warranty and service work. Schedulers use built-in maps within the solution to plan routes efficiently, while our technicians use iPads to access their work orders in the field and update records. They can even invoice customers while on the job.
We support so many different types of services over a big metro area that management previously had a hard time staying in tune from time to time. Not anymore. With this solution, we can gather data in real time, remotely if need be, and analyze it using powerful reporting tools.
Based solely on the savings from the recurring payments that are no longer being made on our outsourced lead and service management systems – a small fraction of what I’d estimate as the full ROI – thesolution paid for itself in a few months. We’re already saving tens of thousands annually. But most important, customer satisfaction, the performance indicator we care about most, has soared.