Job Tracking Cuts Turnaround Time by 50%

Unknown Metrics Hinder Targets

We had a client who performed corrosion inspections for oil and gas companies.  They ensure that equipment is safe, and can identify problems before they happen.

They had a goal to complete jobs within 45 days.  That would put them well ahead of their competitors, who generally took anywhere from 90 to 180 days.  The problem was they weren’t quite sure what their average turnaround time was.

Their best guess was 90 days.

The paperwork for their jobs was put in a pile, and the oldest jobs would usually be at the bottom.  Everything was done in order from the bottom up, but sometimes things would get shuffled around and jobs would lose their place.

They couldn’t get a handle on what was outstanding and how old the jobs were without a lot of manual paper sorting.  They didn’t have a way to track turnaround time either.

First Attempts

The first solution was to enter everything in a spreadsheet.  That didn’t work because multiple people would do updates as they started on jobs and reached specific milestones.

There were multiple copies of the spreadsheet, all with different entries, and no reliable master copy.  It was a lot of extra work to merge all the various copies of the spreadsheet.

They knew a centralized database to collect all their data was the only real solution.

They tried to build their own first, but quickly realized it would take more than some basic technical knowledge to do it right.

The existing commercially available solutions would do some of what they wanted, but they really wanted a tool their competitors wouldn’t have, and couldn’t copy.

They chose me to build a custom job tracking system.  That would give them the competitive edge they wanted.

Building a Job Tracking System

I analyzed how they worked and what they wanted to accomplish, and designed a database system that would help them reach their goals and grow with the business.

Every employee had access to the system, and every stage of every job was recorded as it was started.

They could view reports showing outstanding jobs and turnaround times.  They knew which jobs were late and needed immediate attention, and could prioritize their work.

It only took a few months to get their average turnaround time down to 45 days using this new system.

Side Benefits

Now they have some of the best turnaround times in their industry with this new software.  It is also a successful sales presentation tool.

They use their software to demonstrate their job tracking capabilities, and show prospective clients how they are able to keep them up to date on job progress.

They answer inquiries about job status and historical jobs instantly when asked, because all the data is right there on the screen.  Their competitors take hours or days to find the same answers as they search through paperwork to figure it out.

Many of their clients have made them a top vendor.  When they have available time and manpower, the jobs go to them.

They took the time to build a job tracking system that showed their clients they care about the quality and timeliness of their work, and it’s paying off.


If you are interested in building a system that can do the same for you, contact us to see how we can help.

About the Author Phillip Theriault

I am a computer programmer specializing in building database software with ASP.NET MVC, C#, and SQL Server.

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