Affective Rail leverages real-time data insights and communication

Updated on September 21st, 2022

Affective Group was established 35 years ago as a civil engineering business in the North Wollongong region. As an experienced and established business, they opened their rail division 4 years ago under the leadership of Scott Elliott. As the Director of the rail division with over 18 years’ experience in the rail industry, Scott has grown the business and now operates across 3 offices in Wyong, Erskineville and Wollongong. Affective Group’s rail division has contracts with Sydney trains, TFNSW and ARTC. In the minor works market, Affective Group also has Labour / Safe Working and Plant Hire Sections within the business. As a part of this departmental growth, Scott recognised the pivotal role technology played in scaling his operations.

A System to Delegate Responsibilities

We knew technologies to support operations was out there, so it was a no-brainer to look and find the right solution for our business. It’s out there, so we might as well use it. We started looking for rostering software and found Assignar. As a hands-on Director, managing the business proved challenging as all the key information required to schedule out a compliant crew, tasks and activities required on each job and where assets were located, were mostly in my head.

“For me to delegate I needed a system that could encompass all that detailed information.”

I used to memorise all the important information needed. Now with Assignar, I am able to delegate the rostering to my allocator and can be assured that all crucial job information will be filtered all throughout the team.

Digital dockets

Prior to using Assignar, we used paper dockets on jobs. To manage the documentation of dockets, we had hard copies filed in folders in the office as well as digital backups. But now, with digital dockets through Assignar, our timesheeting is streamlined.

“We had a good system as a foundation, a folder system for tickets, timesheets and dockets and everything had a digital backup. But Assignar is just 10 times better.”

When we tried digital dockets for our rail division, we started with a pilot project with key people. Once we understood the creation, collection and reporting from the dockets we went live. Within the first week of digital dockets deployment, we had a 97% success rate in terms of usage.

Streamlined timesheeting

In addition to digital dockets, having our workers submit timesheets digitally via the mobile app has also created efficiencies in our business. Prior to using Assignar, timesheets were sent through multiple avenues. Some were emailed, dropped at our admin’s desk in the office or sent as photos. We would have to look in many different places to find them but even then, they could get lost or were illegible which could lead to discrepancies between timesheets, dockets and invoicing.

Given that we have 3 offices and jobs located all across New South Wales, Assignar’s mobility gives us the real-time data insights and communication we need to operate our business effectively. As the system is a cloud-based system, anyone can have access and all the data is located in one place, making key information very easy to find.

“We have easily saved at least half a day in terms of the collection and processing of timesheets and dockets.”

The information we collect is accurate with fewer errors. Having clear, precise and accurate data supports our submission of invoices to clients. It helps us combat delayed payments and ensure things are paid on time.

Onboarding with Assignar

We started our focus on rosters and timesheets and then forms and digital dockets with our Customer Success Manager. In addition, we watched webinars in our own time to learn more about the system and reached out to our helpful customer success manager if additional assistance was required. When we went live with timesheets first, we waited a few weeks for everyone to move to the new system. This allowed time for habitual changes to occur, so we had a bit of a double-up of paper timesheets and digital as part of the teething process. Surprisingly our older guys took up Assignar quite easily and once the grace period was over it was pretty smooth operations in terms of timesheet collection.

“Before Assignar, I used to do everything myself from rostering, invoicing, compliance management and business development. Now I have slowly delegated those responsibilities across my team. My role has become less hands-on and more focused on managing the business and finding more business development opportunities for our rail division.” – Scott, Director

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