“The results of implementing the calendar have been overwhelmingly positive. Everybody benefits from “real time” scheduling allowing us to see down to the nth degree what resources are available for any project at any time. The calendar solved the lack of visibility issues we were having.”
– Jimmie Wolfe, Director of Field Operations, Gable
Gable provides visual solutions that attract, engage and direct people to properties, buildings, places, and spaces through the integration of architectural and graphic elements that include signs, digital displays, audiovisual, media and lighting. Its custom signage that is manufactured in-house requires a complex production and installation schedule. However, when it came to scheduling projects, there wasn’t much visibility across the company and rapid decision-making was challenging. When spreadsheets weren’t cutting it, the aACE+ DayBack calendar integration saved the day by allowing users to see exactly what their day, their week, or their month looks like.
CHALLENGES & aACE SOLUTIONS
As the last link in the chain from order to delivery, the Installation team is responsible for delivering an order to the customer exactly how they want it – and when they want it. Director of Field Operations Jimmie Wolfe and his crews kept track of which orders were assigned to which resources using spreadsheets saved on a shared drive. These were cumbersome to access and time-consuming to keep updated. The aACE+ DayBack calendar now gives them up-to-the-minute visibility into what resources are scheduled where, allowing them to plan installations quickly and accurately.
Under the previous system, Jimmie sometimes wouldn’t know an order was coming until a physical copy arrived in his office. At that point, he would manually enter it into a spreadsheet, prioritize and filter the spreadsheet, and then go back and manually remove the order once it was done. With up to a dozen work orders coming in each day, this was a burdensome task. And if the spreadsheets weren’t up to date, Jimmie or a member of his team would have to physically track down colleagues to find out what resources were and weren’t available. With aACE+ DayBack he can see an order coming as soon as it’s entered into the system and know precisely what resources are available to fulfill it, giving him more time to plan ahead.
When a customer places an order, they typically like to know when it’s going to arrive. That sounds like a simple question, but under Gable’s previous scheduling system they often had no simple answer. Sales representatives in the field would have to call the office to find out whether an installation crew was available on the customer’s preferred date. And as orders moved from team to team, project managers had no way to easily track which step of the process they were in. aACE+ DayBack allows sales reps to give customers an immediate answer about when their order will be installed. And if a customer has questions about their order while it’s underway, project managers can see where in the fulfillment process it is and connect them with the relevant team.
The aACE+ DayBack calendar updates when a change is made to an order, giving users an immediate and accurate view into their own schedule and those of other teams. “It’s pretty important for our account managers and our project managers to be able to see in real time what we’re doing today, what we’re doing tomorrow, or what just got completed,” Jimmie tells us. “The calendar is a window for the company to see exactly what was going on at any given time.”
Drag ‘n’ Drop Scheduling
With aACE+ DayBack, users no longer have to schedule sections of time just to manage their schedule. Now users can rearrange their calendars in seconds simply by dragging and dropping events from one date or resource to another. The calendar automatically updates the associated order record, making rescheduling as easy as clicking a button. This user-friendly system has been a big crowd-pleaser, especially among employees who were familiar with the previous system. Says Jimmie, “Everybody who’s used this tool is ecstatic over it.”
Custom Resources by Department
Gable has currently rolled the calendar out to three teams, each with their own unique needs. Typically, a calendar has one static list of resources for the company, with users able to drag and drop events onto that shared list. Because Gable has different resources in each team, they worked with the aACE team on a custom solution allowing them to set a different resource list for each team that’s using the calendar. “It’s a nice feature to open up specific calendars on-the-fly for a specific team, see the resources, and set the schedule. That was a great addition,” Jimmie says.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Here’s what Gable’s Director of Field Operations, Jimmie Wolfe, has to say about the calendar:
“It’s much easier for people to get the information they need when they need it. There is less time spent on admin tasks, and less walking around the building trying to get updates. Now you can just log into the module and see exactly what’s happening. It’s a huge time-saver, really.
“Any business that uses a scheduling system should look into the aACE+ DayBack calendar. This aACE module can be tweaked to conform to different situations. For anybody that currently uses a calendar in their day-to-day operations, this module would obviously be helpful.
“So far there’s been an overwhelmingly positive response from everybody at Gable that has seen and used the calendar. They want to see more of it right now, so we’re in the process of spreading this through the rest of the company. Eventually we want to roll out our customized calendar to each of the half-dozen teams that can use it. In the teams that keep workflow schedules, it’s a must-have. And it improves each time we roll it out, so the next team is getting a better, more user-friendly product each time we set it up!”