Regular training turns users into champions
More from Dave Hawkins
Investing in staff training can reap enormous benefits for any business in more ways than one. Hawkins On Fire show how it’s done by continually up-skilling staff in the software they use every day.
It was back in 2009 that owner of Hawkins On Fire (HOF) Dave Hawkins realised he needed some help in the office. Eunice Webb was hired. With an organisational mind and an Accounting background she was the ideal addition to the team.
Eunice made a huge difference to efficiency in the office but it soon became apparent that a robust software package was required to consolidate and solidify operations, Eunice stepped up to become the simPRO champion.
“simPRO is my baby.”
- Eunice Webb. Office Manager/simPRO Champion. HOF.
Support & training - the deciding factor
In the lead up to purchasing simPRO Dave had done a load of research. Once the decision had been narrowed down, Dave consulted Eunice regarding simPRO, she had one primary concern: “What’s the training and support like?”.
Eunice has used large scale software in the past but because there hadn't been enough training, the staff didn’t enjoy using it at all and therefore were never able to fully realise the benefit.
Dave and Eunice discovered the huge range of training and support options available, along with the fact that all the other Fire companies they’d asked were also using simPRO, it was clearly the best choice.
Annual follow-up training
Every year Dave schedules staff for simPRO Training. A simPRO Trainer is brought in to ensure that everyone is getting the most from the software investment.
All staff have access to the training. The field technicians are taken off the road for half a day to both refresh their knowledge and ensure they’re making the most of the updates. Something that’s been particularly beneficial is the ability to consult with a trainer on best practice.
The staff are able to explain what the required outcome is and together with the trainer, find the most efficient way forward.
On a more incremental scale, with every update announcement from simPRO throughout the year, Dave requests that each manager report how the new features can benefit the business.
Effectively managing labour well ahead of schedule
simPRO’s powerful scheduling engine helps office staff and management to determine if they have enough labour scheduled ahead for approved service work, enough staff scheduled to fulfil compliance requirements and more.
“Basically our business is selling labour. If we’re not getting the labour right, that has a critical impact on our profit and loss
- Dave Hawkins, Director. HOF.
Clever stock management
HOF have developed a great stock management system so that field staff can keep their vans stocked without having to spend time looking for stock in the warehouse.
- A row of boxes reside in the warehouse, 1 for each van marked with their registration number
- Using Connect, staff in the field record what stock has been used from their van on each job
- Using Enterprise, office staff can track what stock has been used and replenish the box for the respective van
- When field staff are near the office they drop in and take anything from their van’s box to restock their van.
Granular reporting extracts the detail
Chris Honey is the General Manager at HOF. Chris uses detailed reports to identify strategic modifications that can be made in order to increase margins and streamline the business.
“There are more reports than I could possibly use, that’s the truth of it”
- Chris Honey, General Manager. HOF.
Chris knows how to break down reports into granular detail. For example: he uses simPRO reports to determine whether a specific client is profitable, and if not, is it a particular site that’s not profitable, and if not, is it a particular activity that’s not profitable etc.
Now that the office is running smoothly
Dave likes to spend his downtime on the family farm riding Trials bikes and competing on weekends. The work has been done, staff are happy, weekends are his.
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Hawkins On Fire - Fire Protection Services is a locally owned business located in Lismore, Northern Rivers NSW. It was established in 2004 by David and Kathy Hawkins. During this time, Hawkins On Fire has grown to be the premier fire protection business on the North Coast.