Case Study: Custom App for Donnelly Electric

Executive Summary

As Donnelly Electric grew, their old way of using paper to track the status of electrical projects, customer information, billable time, and job costs, was not cutting it anymore. After determining that off-the-shelf contractor apps were too complicated and expensive, Donnelly Electric turned to the software developers at Paperwork Pros to build a custom app to completely digitize Donnelly Electric’s paper processes. Through close collaboration with its customer and with use of the Google AppSheet no-code development platform, Paperwork Pros was able to deliver the perfect app to Donnelly Electric in less than three weeks while staying on budget.

The Challenge

Composed of two primary individuals, the father and son team at Donnelly Electric recognized that as their business grew, information about jobs and customers was not always being shared between the partners. Since both men work remotely and have their own projects, neither was completely aware of the status of the other’s jobs. Without a consistent clearing house of information, the company risked falling behind on the projects and in their ability to manage their finances.

The Solution

Donnelly Electric worked with Paperwork Pros to develop a simple, yet comprehensive application that would be a single source to record job status (Pending, Scheduled, In Progress, and Completed), manpower resourcing and customer communications. The application would help Taylor and his father keep track of what jobs to schedule and provide manpower for. Mostly importantly, it would give the company a 24/7 resource of shared information on every job so they can track, manage and optimize each project.

The Process

Taylor Donnelly and Paperwork Pros conducted an initial project assessment Zoom call to help identify challenges, problems and issues that the application needed to solve. The team used the feedback provided to clarify the issues Taylor faced and to brainstorm ideas on how their application could help solve these problems while being easy to use.

“Within the first Zoom call, Paperwork Pros had grasped what I was looking for and they had ideas for what the app could do beyond what I had imagined” said Taylor Donnelly. “They took what I was thinking and were able to expand on it to make it a lot more than I was initially expecting.”

Throughout the application development process, Paperwork Pros worked directly with Taylor to customize the application based on his feedback. That constant exchange of ideas and information allowed the team to focus on execution towards a clear and defined goal.

“Our software development process depends completely on the input we receive from our customers” said Paperwork Pros CEO, Ron Mouw. “Taylor and Donnelly Electric were tremendous partners because they were very open about the challenges the company faced and how they hoped to solve them.”

The Result

To build the Donnelly Electric app, Paperwork Pros leveraged the power of the no-code software development platform Google AppSheet, which is part of Google Cloud. AppSheet is a powerful platform to create applications using a wide variety of data sources including Google Drive, DropBox and Office 365. To date, there have been over 2,000,000 software applications created with AppSheet.

“Paperwork Pros took this little idea we had and were able to make it much better for us” said Taylor Donnelly. “It’s helping us have better relationships with our customers and a little less stress in terms of keeping track of our work. We’re able to see our numbers better and be more efficient. We’re getting back to customers sooner and we’re getting more jobs because of that.”

“Our app helps us keep track of our jobs, schedule them and get in touch with people more often. We’re definitely operating more efficiently” said Donnelly. “The time sheet tracking has helped to streamline our processes. It’s the baseline for keeping track of the money in and the money out.”

Project Details

  • The app allows Donnelly Electric team members to easily communicate with customers by phone call, email or SMS text message.
  • The app shows a Google Map with the location of every Donnelly Electric customer.  This helps Donnelly Electric schedule service visits for customers that are near to each other.
  • Team members can click a link to access information on all pending jobs and scheduled jobs. Each project record contains the scheduled completion date as well as the material cost and the total amount billed to the customer.
  • Electricians can add individual tasks completed on the job-site to each job record to provide an on-going accounting on what’s been done and what they are currently working on.
  • The app allows electricians to capture and store important images for each customer such as their electrical panel.  This helps Donnelly Electric bring the correct materials when they go on customer service calls.
  • The app automatically emails a dynamically-generated report once a week that contains a summary of activities for the previous week.
  • Utilizes AppSheet (Google App Sheet) per user licenses for the team members.

 

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