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Free Your Fridays with Re-flow Productivity Tools

Companies in the highways, civils, landscaping and infrastructure sectors are losing more than 20% of the work week on activities that can be automated.

Find out the top five things you can do to improve your productivity and free your Fridays with Re-flow!

Our Managing Director, Mike Saunders was interviewed by the Editor of Highways Magazine, Dom Browne, watch it here.

Is productivity in highways, civils, landscaping and infrastructure really that much of an issue?

It’s estimated that over 40% of employees spend at least 25% of their week on data entry and more specifically, a study into the working day of construction operatives found that on average almost 13% of the working day is lost to waiting around or having work interrupted.

When you think about the amount of time spent dealing with admin, waiting for information and instructions or having to correct work that’s not following a process, your week is consumed by time stealing activities that you could easily avoid.

What could you do for your company with an extra day in the working week?

We’re not suggesting that people actually take Fridays off, but with the time saved through letting an optimised digital solution take over the time sucking tasks, you can use the time to focus on something better.

By freeing up time with Re-flow, everyone gets a chance to make better decisions, with more planning and creating a positive feedback loop. Freeing this time can give:

  • Your business leaders more time to focus on what’s next
  • Your operatives more time to complete work
  • Everyone time to catch up so you’re not firefighting or always on the back foot.

Our cost calculator has shown that even for a team of 10 operatives and one admin, the financial cost to a business through the inefficiencies and lost time of using a paper intensive system amounts to £80k a year. You could easily halve this with a digital workflow system.

The need for mobile working technology in the highways sector has been sped up significantly due to Covid restrictions, and people have found that it’s not as scary or painful to make a digital transformation as they thought.

The top five things you can do to improve your productivity and free your fridays with Re-flow!

1. Automate your forms

The process of passing around paper is one of the biggest time drains on a company. Getting it distributed to the right people and places, passing it from person to person, digging it out of the van, driving to the office to hand it over and then having it typed up and filed, is arduous.

Using a digital system for your forms management can be as in depth as you need it to be. It can be as simple as ensuring everyone gets their timesheets updated immediately, so workers aren’t being chased up or summonsed to the office, or it can form complete process workflows, such as what Re-flow can now do with our latest release.

You can now create a workflow for your forms through the transfer ownership feature. This allows you to assign users to a form and set;

  • When in the work process they need to complete it
  • What they need to fill in
  • Who needs to sign it off
  • Where the form gets sent next
  • If the form needs to be passed back for amends

Going digital means that office teams can ramp up the speed and efficiency of getting information to field workers, so as well as forms, managers can share schedules, task lists, maps and diagrams with operatives instantly on their Re-flow smartphone app with time, location and signature stamped audit trails.

Client feedback has evidenced that Re-flow halved the number of job sheets they write every day, which means they spend their Fridays exploring other aspects of work, such as chasing new business.

Another client has told us that the biggest gain they’ve felt has been the overall efficiency in the office, with a 70%, reduction in time spent producing paperwork.

2. Speed up the exchange of data

Sometimes it’s the lack of direction, not lack of time, that’s the biggest problem for companies. So if you have your day premapped, you can just get on and do what needs to be done. The plan is what, the schedule is when, but you need both to get things done and that’s what Re-flow gives you.

Using the app on site, staff are able to instantly access the jobs and tasks workflows, with all the necessary checks and signoffs, alongside a digital alternative to forms that only pulls out the directly relevant information.

One of our clients told us that since their mobile workforce embraced the Re-flow technology and started using it for all project documentation, everything is now saved in one location, cutting the paperwork in half.

It’s not just the time saving with process management, there’s also the stress factors involved in digging out your van or ransacking your desk trying to find missing paperwork. 35% of people get stressed about this at work and it’s not necessary.

At the other end of the process, Re-flow means that the field staff and contractors can submit the information straightaway, so the office gets the information quicker and they can invoice customers faster, resulting in more rapid payments.

3. Reduce Your Downtime

We all get 24 hours in our day, so what you do with that time is what sets you apart from your competitors. If you can speed up how you work, you stay ahead of everyone else.

A major study into the construction and infrastructure sector found that on average, site workers spend 10% of their working time waiting for instructions and an additional 4% of site time is wasted with stock/plant mismanagement or redoing work that was badly communicated in the first place.

With Re-flow you get the whole job downloaded onto your smartphone, so all the instructions you need to get on with the job is already in your pocket.

Soon after one of our larger highways clients went live, they told us that with Re-flow, the crews have access to all paperwork, including the site drawings, so if the site manager is dealing with clients, they are able to start working because they can already see what preparation is required and be ready to install the work.

4. Have ‘eyes on’ the progress

60% of people in the UK now carry their smartphones with them at work and this number is increasing every year. This means that everyone has the required technology in their pocket to give real time information on their progress. Using this functionality means that information bottlenecks and silos can be broken down to make processes and workflows move freely and frictionless.

Feedback from a health and safety leader showed us how much easier this has made their job. Now, their safety tour paperwork is returned on a consistent and timely basis, because operatives can complete and send the information straight away from their devices, instead of waiting until the end of the month. This means they no longer have to chase people up and if there are any changes to make, they know about it in real time.

5. Preemptive issue management

Finally, using a digital tool to head off potential issues that could cause work to grind to a halt is a top way to free your Fridays. If you’re able to monitor what’s happening across the project using reports, or see the progress of each stage of a job through shared photos and notes, then you can act on mistakes or foresee a potential problems and deal with it before it happens. It also means that every employee can take responsibility for getting their work signed off, rather than one person having to be everywhere, all the time.

One of our clients told us that before Re-flow, one person was responsible for checking each bit of kit, but now the system has empowered each employee to take ownership of their individual jobs.

Another large contractor found their Defect reporting increased by 90%, which enabled them to spot small problems identified by their defect sheets before they become big expensive problems.

By taking a proactive approach to issue management and sharing responsibility across the whole team, you can avoid many of the roadblocks that can bring a project to a halt.

Want to free your Fridays and start your business digital transformation today? Begin the conversation today and call one of our software specialists, or request a live demo!