Depositphotos 95255062 l 2015

Construction Company Addresses Operational Inefficiencies with a Mobile FileMaker Solution

The possibilities for a FileMaker solution are so broad it can be difficult for businesses to visualize how FileMaker can streamline their operations. Understanding how Skeleton Key has already helped organizations address operational inefficiencies with a FileMaker solution may give you a clearer idea of how we can help you next. In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits Helmkamp Construction experienced after partnering with Skeleton Key for a customized FileMaker solution.

The Problem

Helmkamp Construction’s field superintendents had to spend 30 minutes a day entering each employee’s hours on the job site. Some superintendents used pen and paper to track hours and fax them to the home office, while others entered hours into Excel spreadsheets and emailed them. This approach resulted in numerous delays and inconsistencies.

Additionally, superintendents sometimes would enter the wrong job number, phase number, or employee number. The payroll clerk would then have to call superintendents multiple times each week to verify the information on the time sheets. Once all of this was confirmed, the payroll clerk spent roughly 15 hours a week entering the data into accounting software for 80 to 100 employees. As a result, payroll day became a bottleneck as superintendents rushed to get field times to the office so data could be entered into the system and paychecks delivered.

Helmkamp looked at third-party entry solutions to address these inefficiencies, but they were discouraged by high annual fees for each user. That’s when they turned to Skeleton Key and started exploring a FileMaker solution to address these problems cost-effectively.

The Solution

Skeleton Key built a FileMaker solution to help smooth the process of entering work hours in the field. Superintendents access the FileMaker solution and enter time data on iPads protected by rugged cases and connected by Wi-Fi or cellular networks. The solution then works behind the scenes to convert the data into a format that can be used by the company’s payroll team.

Skeleton Key’s team designed the interface to be as intuitive as possible for individuals in the construction industry who may have varying levels of technology experience. The solution is straightforward enough that users can typically get up and running in half an hour or less. Users also have access to customization and management features that allow them to streamline data entry for frequently used items and notes. At the same time, superintendents can only enter and select valid data because it originates from their accounting system.

The Result

After deploying their FileMaker solution, the team at Helmkamp Construction has been able to transform multiple inefficiencies into growth. The solution has virtually eliminated the need for the payroll clerk to call superintendents for clarity. The company also has optimized billing operations because job time data is available to the billing department in real time.

Helmkamp’s FileMaker solution allows superintendents to enter job data in about half the time it used to take. Saving 15 minutes per day at a rate of $65 an hour for 18 superintendents saves the company $293 a day, which translates to $76,180 in cost savings each year. With a FileMaker solution, superintendents are able to use their time to manage jobs and plan work for the next day instead of being bogged down with entering hours manually.

Data entry time for the payroll clerk has been reduced from 15 hours each week to two hours. Because the clerk only has to review information to upload instead of re-keying, this saves $416 a week or $21,632 each year.

The FileMaker solution has also scaled with Helmkamp’s growth. Since deploying their FileMaker solution, the company’s field-deployed construction staff has more than doubled. Even with that growth, Helmkamp hasn’t had to hire additional payroll staff due to their FileMaker solution.

Compared to the annual fees for comparable field time entry systems, the licensing fees for Helmkamp’s FileMaker solution are about 15% to 20% of the cost. Since product licenses are sold for the number of concurrent users rather than for each user, Helmkamp realizes significant savings.

We’re Ready to Help You Next

Interested in exploring how a FileMaker solution can transform the way your team does business? Contact the FileMaker experts at Skeleton Key today. We’ll work with you to pinpoint inefficiencies and develop a solution that propels growth while preparing your team for tomorrow.


How to Drive Productivity With a Workplace Innovation Platform

Boosting workplace productivity is a priority for growth-oriented organizations. Driving productivity begins by giving your team the tools they need, not only to succeed but to continually refine workflows and expand your client base. When motivation isn’t the issue, the next most significant workplace obstacle in today’s business environment is technology.

Whether you’re running a small startup or a corporate enterprise, a workplace innovation platform deployed around your goals and operations is critical to setting your team up for success. With a customized FileMaker solution, your organization can become an industry leader by:

  • Turning goals into actionable plans
  • Optimizing a software platform around your operations
  • Transforming the way your team works at every level
  • Making data-driven business decisions

If that sounds like something your team could benefit from, here are just a few more ways a workplace innovation platform like FileMaker can help you achieve greater prosperity.

Streamlined Project Management

Staying agile in today’s ever-changing business environment means technology should never slow your organization down. By giving your team access to mission-critical data in one place, a workplace innovation platform simplifies the decision-making process. No longer will they have to mine for data or parse through potentially outdated spreadsheets. A FileMaker solution has the power to turn that data into powerful insights with robust report creation tools and dashboards. With a platform like FileMaker, your team can have access to information as it is updated in real time, so you can be confident they’re making optimal decisions.

Because a workplace innovation platform like FileMaker is built around your organizational objectives and workflows, project management becomes as intuitive as you can possibly imagine. A FileMaker solution can be developed and deployed to streamline every stage of project management, no matter what industry you’re in or what your project timelines look like. If your team has become bogged down by increasingly complex project phases, a workplace innovation platform is the first place to turn to refine those processes and help you serve more clients faster than you thought possible.

Centralized Resources

Whether working on accounting, replying to emails, or building reports, having to switch between multiple single-purpose ‘appliance’ applications slows any employee down, ultimately draining productivity. FileMaker can integrate all the programs your team needs in a central interface and incorporate practically any of the digital elements on which you depend. Your team can also connect with online tools like Microsoft Office, WordPress or Salesforce, making FileMaker the perfect all-in-one tool for all your technology platforms.

Room for Creativity and Growth

Have productivity levels become stagnant? That’s likely because your team doesn’t have the tools to turn inefficiencies into opportunities. If your organization has to adapt workflows to a limited software platform, you’re curbing productivity and limiting growth.

The right workplace innovation platform gives your organization room for growth while offering the flexibility to find innovative solutions to ever-changing problems. Instead of finding ways to fit your operations within the constraints of off-the-shelf software, a workplace innovation platform delivers the flexibility your team needs to solve problems creatively and continually hone your processes. A FileMaker solution streamlines communication, integrates real-time data with workflows, and facilitates strategic planning.

At the same time, workplace innovation solutions allow you to scale your technology resources quickly and efficiently. Off-the-shelf software can slow growth as you attempt to scale it around your growth goals. An innovation platform like FileMaker, on the other hand, easily scales with a growing user base so it’s perfectly aligned with your plans and your budget.

Reduced Paper Waste

One of the most significant benefits of adopting a workplace innovation system is it enables your organization to move closer to a paperless future. If your team needs to turn data into insight, one of the least efficient ways of accomplishing that goal is by rifling through stacks of paper to find what they need. Chances are, by the time that information is printed and shared, it’s already outdated anyway. With real-time reporting tools, your organization can be paperless. That not only leads to more agile decision-making but reduces paper waste and lowers overhead expenses. Plus, your organization will be helping the environment by reducing the amount of material waste you produce.

Mobile-Friendly Technology

With a workplace innovation platform, doing business on the go is easier than ever. Whether on the road, visiting a client’s facility, or out in the field, your team members can access the data they need to prioritize customer engagement while working as though they were in the office. FileMaker’s workplace innovation platform is compatible with all mobile devices. Whether your team prefers working from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, they can access and manage your FileMaker solution from anywhere with internet connectivity.

How Skeleton Key Can Help

Skeleton Key is the leading source for leveraging FileMaker’s workplace innovation possibilities. We’ve already helped hundreds of clients deploy a customized FileMaker solution for their operations and goals, and we’re ready to help your organization next. Whether your organization is looking to automate repetitive tasks or streamline project management, contact us today and we’ll explore how a FileMaker solution can take your team’s productivity to new heights.