How a change in process helped grow a family-owned electric company
Electrical contractor | Peoria, az
UK Electric is a family-owned electrical company based in Peoria, Arizona. Their services include commercial TI and maintenance, LED retrofits, full store retrofits and remodels for grocery stores, and more. They believe in keeping the customer first and providing great value, while ensuring the safety of all of their employees on the job site.
The Knowify Interface – it’s very intuitive, making it easy to train my team and find whatever I’m looking for.
- Manage service work and contract jobs on one platform
- Easily understand bid status
- Eliminate paperwork to save time on administrative tasks
- QuickBooks integration
- Budget & Proposal templates in Plan-and-Track
- Time Tracking
Writing the next chapter in a family story
When Nathan Kohatsu took the leading role at his family-owned electrical company, UK Electric, he inherited a well-established and successful business. However, as is the case with any longstanding business there were plenty of outdated processes in place. These processes had worked well at one point in time, but as the company grew and modernized, they weren’t as effective. After acquiring another company and doubling their headcount, Nathan knew that hand-written time sheets, texted schedules, and a filing cabinet with project plans weren’t efficient enough for his family’s quickly growing business. In need of a centralized, easy to use project management platform which could sync with QuickBooks, Nathan turned to Knowify.
Out with the old and in with the new
Along with acquiring a new company, Nathan and UK electric inherited a lot of process – the acquired company had done things slightly differently than Nathan’s existing company. Schedules were written on a whiteboard in the office, and pictures of the whiteboard were texted to employees to keep them in the loop. Time sheets were hand-written, and needed to be turned in manually. Project info was kept in a filing cabinet, which meant rifling through a stack of paperwork whenever the team wanted to check something. Perhaps most frustrating, to update UK Electric’s time tracking solution they had to kick everyone out of their project management tool.
On their own each of these processes was somewhat annoying and time-consuming. Altogether, they led to miscommunication, hours of time wasted, and a lack of visibility into how the business was performing. This meant Nathan had to be extremely hands-on with small details of most jobs, acting as a pseudo project manager in addition to running the business.
On top of all that manual process, Nathan had another challenge – half of his team worked on contract jobs and the other half performed service work. These teams worked at different times of day, with very different clients, and had unique workflows. As he searched for software to make the team more efficient, Nathan kept running into the same issue. None of the solutions he evaluated were flexible enough to meet his specific needs. Their pricing was tied to a specific number of locations, they had difficult to use interfaces, or they couldn’t accommodate contract and service work in the same platform.
Achieving confident, continued growth
Once Nathan found Knowify, orchestrating complex work and building a more efficient business became much easier. It was simple to get his whole team up and running on the platform – even those who had worked in the previous process for a long time. Because of this, Nathan’s team was able to work in a more agile way, saving time, and reducing labor costs for the company. Estimators were able to submit bids on retrofits for grocery stores quickly by leveraging templates from previous, similar jobs. Project managers could now access the details of a job while on-the-go and keep everyone else in the loop. Things like understanding where the team stood against timeline and budget, processing change orders, or submitting expenses became intuitive and painless.
With his team able to handle project details more effectively, Nathan was able to confidently hand off work to project managers. He used the time saved to drill-down into reporting so he could better understand his business and optimize profit on every job he won.
Knowify’s purchase order system provides UK Electric with a cloud-based record of who purchased material and at what price vs when accounts payable gets the actual invoice. Prior to Knowify, Nathan would do P&L review once a quarter with estimators, and they might not have any idea of how material costs had changed since the last review. Now, if the price of wire goes up $1/foot, Nathan’s team can quickly adapt to consider that in their estimates, saving thousands of dollars on a given job.
A seamless integration with QuickBooks means Nathan now keeps his project management separate from his books. Project managers no longer need to log in to QuickBooks to see the current cost of a job, or how much is left in their budget. As an added bonus, UK Electric’s bookkeeper now gets accurate, timely information from Knowify and QuickBooks, so handling payables and payroll is easier than ever.
Nathan’s story is proof that change doesn’t need to be painful. By automating and simplifying repeatable parts of his team’s workflow, UK Electric saved time and money, and is earning higher margins on every job. His team is better informed and is collecting data that helps Nathan focus his time on the most important areas of his business. With a deep understanding of what factors are affecting project execution and business finances, Nathan can confidently take action to drive UK Electric’s impressive, continued growth.
There’s an easier way to grow your business
You’re one click away from achieving the same efficient growth that Nathan and UK Electric were able to reach. Try out Knowify free for 14 days, and start growing your business with confidence.