Put your work flow system to work

By October 19, 2015September 10th, 2018Business Planning & Strategy, Generate, Start ups, Technology


In his last post, Ben advocated the use of job management systems for service based companies. It’s good advice; there are plenty of low cost, cloud based systems which can tackle this and take the pain out of time-sheeting.

The next question is… what are you doing with all this information? And the one after that is… how are you using it to make your business more profitable?

Let’s say you’ve got your work flow system in place and it’s running smoothly. If you’re not careful, you might fall into a common trap for small businesses: the jobs now run smoothly, but you don’t look at the data your system’s collecting.

This bit’s crucial. The data flows into a series of management reports which are usually available within a few clicks. If you’re not accessing them, think about clearing some time in your diary to familiarise yourself with the system. Learn about the reports it can offer and how to generate them. Get stuck into it.

Once you’ve done that, here are a few key figures you can track:

Profitability per job

A service company’s profitability is made up of a string of profitable jobs. If you’re losing money on individual jobs, you’re going backwards.

Quote accuracy

As long as you’re recording your original quote for work, you can check at the end of the job to see how close or not you were. This helps you improve your ability to assess and plan from the start of the jobs.

Time taken to complete jobs

Measure it in days or weeks, whatever suits, but your aim is to get this down.

Proposal success rate

What’s your strike rate for winning work? Recording your leads in your job management system is the first step to improving this.

Jobs per client & profit per client segment

You’ll be able to quantify your key clients, sure, but more importantly, who haven’t you heard from in a while? What client segments should you be building up? Who should you be marketing to more?

There are plenty more, and you’ll pick out the ones which are most meaningful to your business. But only if you start putting that work flow system to work. Need help? Give us a call. We live and breathe this stuff.