“We got in touch with Propeller and after our demo we were blown away. It was exactly what we were looking for.”
Vic Wheeler, Operations Manager, Gregor Heating
Gregor Heating, specialists in domestic boiler installations, was established over 35 years ago. Experts in plumbing and heating services, more than 80 engineers install over 3,000 boilers a year as well as renewable technologies including heat pumps, solar thermal and PV to households in and around Bath and Bristol. It has a well-deserved reputation for delivering excellent work and exceeding customer expectations.
By 2015, with an increasing customer base including social landlords, Gregor discovered that the limitations of their existing job management system were a significant barrier to ongoing development.
Previously running a combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with manual paper-based systems to fill in the gaps, Operations Manager Vic Wheeler explains the problems that this was causing.
“Our business model is based on growth and over the years we have enjoyed a healthy expansion of the business through Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas. We got to a point where we just couldn’t expand any further as it was too far for engineers to travel to drop off paperwork.”
With over 3,500 private customers as well as a number of housing associations, paper-based job management was becoming unmanageable due to sheer volume. What’s more, the requirement for manual updates was impacting on timeframes, resulting in two-week lead times between job completion to customers receiving their certificates, and subsequent invoicing delays.
Time was also being wasted by engineers in travelling to and from the office to retrieve and return paperwork. As Vic says, “engineers in the office are a dead cost.”
Gregor realised that electronic document management could solve a number of issues and began the search to find a suitable system. Following a recommendation in a Facebook group for Gas Engineers, Vic contacted Propeller to arrange a demo.
Following in-depth consultation to understand Gregor’s specific needs and requirements, Propeller’s development team scoped out, created and implemented APIs to integrate Gregor’s existing CRM with Propeller to provide fully remote and mobile job management alongside.
“We are very impressed with the way that Propeller’s system has been adapted to tightly integrate with our CRM system”, says Vic. “We raise the job on the CRM system and it instantly appears on the Propeller app.”
Made instantly aware of new jobs through software on tablet or iPads, engineers can then complete the job, produce certificates and even upload photos. As soon as the job is closed, all of this information updates back into the CRM system, giving the admin team instant access to all documents and certificates, and the all-clear to raise an invoice.
The immediate impact of the integration was clear in a number of ways says Vic. “For our engineers out on the road, they have easily been able to save hours every week. They no longer have to come into the office to sort our paperwork, and they can fill out documents and certificates so much more quickly.”
“We can now have live updates on jobs and complete jobs quicker meaning we can invoice faster, meaning we get paid faster. And it used to take two weeks for us to get documents to clients after finishing a job – now it takes two days which has been a massive efficiency jump.”
Importantly, by adopting Propeller, Gregor Heating was able to win a new social housing contract in Devon, which wouldn’t otherwise have been achievable. “By using Propeller, we’ve been able to clearly demonstrate efficiency and reliability, especially for the all-important areas of compliance. Moving to Propeller has enabled us to grow the business into new regions, new sector and really drive efficiency.”