Sycamore Engineering Case Study
Founded in 1960, Sycamore Engineering provides mechanical, electrical, plumbing services and sheet metal fabrication for construction projects. Over the years, their business has grown to also include temperature controls, telecommunications, and MEP design-build services.
RECOGNIZING THE PROBLEM
Sycamore Engineering has been a Jonas partner since 2000. Although they were happy with Jonas’ accounting solution, their needs grew to include job and service operational software. The business needed features such as time-entry from the field along with more robust reporting. This lead Controller Thomas Smith to compare the Jonas platform to other software platforms.
After surveying the competition and considering other software’s capabilities and price points, Smith remained unimpressed with other offerings on the market, and further explored the capabilities of Jonas. Smith quickly realized that Sycamore Engineering wasn’t utilizing Jonas to its full capacity, and since its implementation in 2000, have released additional functionalities and modules that could address the issues they were facing.
From Paper Time Cards to Mobile Entry: Field Time to the Rescue
With 175 technicians and construction workers working within a 90-mile radius, multiple back and forth trips to the office and field were needed to drop off time cards and deliver checks. Rather than completing more service tickets or remaining on job sites, too much time was spent on driving. Hand-written timecards were also prone to human error by technicians, laborers and administrative staff, often delaying the time-entry and payroll processes.
With this in mind, Sycamore Engineering implemented FieldTime, Jonas’ mobile time-entry solution. With FieldTime, Sycamore was able to eliminate hand-written time cards, and allow technicians to enter time from the field through their mobile devices. In addition, because FieldTime integrates with Jonas Payroll Direct Deposit, staff always is paid on time and for the correct amount. This has helped Sycamore Engineering workers in the field eliminate unnecessary trips to the office each night. The adoption of Field Time has reduced drive time by over 100 hours per month across the company’s workforce, decreased fuel costs and increased onsite productivity.
Furthermore, office personnel utilize FieldTime to accurately approve time entries and track labor hours being received by Payroll. When work hours are logged, an automated approval process is triggered, which allows the appropriate personnel to approve or correct time, and push the data to Payroll. From an administrative perspective, FieldTime has helped Sycamore Engineering reduce time entry errors, provide more detailed digital descriptions of work to customers, and speed up payroll processing. With automation in place, office personnel can worry less about administrative tasks, and instead, focus on making sure projects are completed on time and on budget.
Moving from Hand Written to Digital Invoices: eMobile to the Rescue
Prior to implementing eMobile, Jonas’ integrated service management solution, Sycamore Engineering’s Service Department relied on hand-written service tickets and paper invoices. Hand-written errors by technicians and administrative staff sometimes lead to more phone calls, follow ups, and longer billing cycles which negatively impacted cash flow. Furthermore, rather than completing more service tickets, technicians were forced to drive back to the office to deliver time cards for the day. Relying on these time-consuming manual processes and paperwork slowed down the productivity of both technicians and administrative staff.
Now with eMobile, Sycamore Engineering has been able to speed up the billing cycle and provide customers digital timesheets along with their invoices. With eMobile, some technicians are even able to create their own invoices and collect payments via credit card from the field. With the improvements of eMobile the Service Department Dispatcher has more visibility to see specific work orders for each technician, which has helped to reduce manual errors and avoid rework.
From Scheduled Reports to Real-Time Data: EBI to the Rescue
From a reporting perspective, Controller Thomas Smith used Jonas’ legacy report builder, and set timelines each week to run specific reports. Using Jonas’ legacy report builder often took a very long time, and made it difficult to see accurate, real-time information. Sycamore Engineering required more robust reporting for service managers, project managers and warehouse managers, to give them more visibility into each area of the business.
Because of these limitations, Sycamore Engineering implemented Jonas’ newest reporting and business intelligence tool, Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI). With EBI, Smith is able to run what he calls, “action-based reports,” which create visibility for their managers. With EBI, managers can now see job costing and labor against their projects, service managers can see which technicians are on each project and equipment managers can see equipment utilization on each jobsite. With EBI’s dashboards and intuitive reporting, Sycamore Engineering is able to make smart, accurate and cost-conscious decisions in real-time.
Saying Goodbye to Paper: Jonas Document Management to the Rescue
After 2 years of leveraging Jonas Document Management, Sycamore Engineering has been able to eliminate storing paper copies over 2000 accounts payable invoices per month. This has allowed them to free up a 1,000 square foot back storage room, and remodel it to become a new office for project managers and other departments. Their accounting process is now a completely paperless operation, which has saved the business paper and printing costs.
As a long-time Jonas partner, Sycamore Engineering realized the full impact Jonas had on their business since revisiting its capabilities in 2015. As their business evolved through the years, Smith and his team were able to find that Jonas grow with their business and offer the functionalities they required to advance their business to the next level. Expanding their use of Jonas to include modules such as FieldTime, eMobile and EBI have proven to modernize Sycamore Engineering’s operations. With FieldTime and eMobile fully implemented, communication between the office and the field has drastically improved. In addition, by adopting Jonas’ mobile technology, Sycamore Engineering has been able to eliminate manual labor, reduce overhead costs and increase the efficiency of the business overall.