Shines Environmental were operating on a number of siloed digital systems. For example, works were being planned using Excel spreadsheets while mobile devices were being used to evidence work progress using photographs that would then be sent back to the office using various means. While working on the whole, the business wanted a system that would bring these various processes together and facilitate access to high quality data and job information, both on-site and in the office.
A key improvement the team sought to make was having more control when enforcing compliance. A major goal was making photographic evidence a mandatory part of form submission, tagging them back to the relevant job and operative. It was also crucial that the office could access more granular data on job progress and enforce specific task completion.
Initially, Shines Environmental commissioned and trialled a completely bespoke field management solution, built from the ground up for their needs. Unfortunately, the endeavour fell short of their expectations. This prompted the team to turn their sights to a tried-and-true off-the-shelf alternative that had an established community of users and proven success within the landscaping industry.
Re-flow’s fully integrated set of powerful features enables businesses to centralise all major operational processes. Planning becomes more detailed and streamlined; users can create jobs and attach comprehensive notes, exact locations with support for Google Maps, what3words, and GPS, as well as all PDF files, including technical drawings and site plans. Events and tasks can then be scheduled against a job, with the ability to assign individual operatives or teams, as well as assets from the system’s records. Common events, such as site visits, can be set to automatically re-schedule on a recurring basis, freeing up even more time from repetitive administrative tasks.
Once events or tasks are created, dashboard users can enforce a specific order for completion, as well as assigning relevant work forms. Where specific evidence or data is needed, users can customize one of 40 base forms that come packaged with the system or create their own from scratch using our intuitive block-based form builder. For example, photographic evidence can be made mandatory on all submitted forms, which can be detailed using Re-flow’s built-in annotation and drawing tools. Forms and photos alike are tagged with time, date, location and a unique digital signature that ties back to the operative and the job they’re assigned to. This functionality can even be used to track the location of users and assets in the field.
Once submitted, all data from the field is instantly communicated back to the office, providing administrative staff a granular, live overview of job progress. Automated workflows can streamline these processes even further – submitted data can trigger updates to job progress, as well as altering the status of assets in the system’s records. Not only does this automatically build robust audit trails as a job progresses, it also gives users the ability to easily collate high-quality data in exportable reports that can keep colleagues, clients and key stakeholders in the know.
Having found that Re-flow ticks their specifications, Shines Environmental adopted the system and rolled it out throughout their business. The software has given administrative teams total control over job planning and operative deployment while providing a complete history of all works. The business has taken their digital transformation beyond their initial requirements, seeing additional benefits
to processes such as health and safety data capture and plant, vehicle and equipment auditing. Even with limited usage, these changes have brought an 80% increase in auditability, and a 20% improvement in health and safety management as a result.
Adopting the system has also brought benefits to communication and productivity. Rather than waiting around for instructions and paper job sheets in the morning, operatives can simply retrieve their work device and review all the information they’ll need to complete works safely and efficiently. With detailed, digital job information, access to a central knowledge base and the ability to instantly receive messages through the app, operatives can stay up to date and informed. Not only have these changes almost completely eliminated the need for paperwork in the business, they’ve also increased available time by 25% and cross-team communication by 60%.
Improved communication also means administrative staff can better track and enforce compliance. With Re-flow, operatives can easily capture and submit site photos against their current job, which creates an automatic record of progress that can be referred to at a later date. This has had a knock-on effect on asset management and vehicle tracking, which naturally becomes easier with better compliance and high quality, real-time data.
I would recommend Re-Flow to other Landscaping and Fencing companies as I feel it gives you the ability to bring a number of processes into one piece of software, allowing total control from the office and great amounts of data in the field. Staff have adopted it well and we're excited to use more and more of the system.
Shines Environmental now joins a community of over 200 business nationwide who have embraced the digital age and transformed their operational processes, ensuring sustainable growth for years to come. Streamlining tedious administrative processes, mastering HSE management and increasing job turnaround. All this, and more, can be achieved with Re-flow’s field management software for landscaping.