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Managing Three Family Businesses with Assignar


What does it take to keep a family business running? What about three of them?

Lily Hedges runs operations for three family businesses based in Australia: Enteq, Site & See, and Hydro-Vac Operations. 

Enteq, their flagship dry-hire business, rents hydro-vac trucks to other construction companies long-term (their average rental period is about a year). Their wet-hire businesses, both new on the scene, provide equipment and operators for locating underground utilities.

After using Assignar at Enteq since 2016, Hedges and her team didn’t hesitate to implement it in the family’s two new ventures. Here’s how she uses Assignar to manage three businesses and the value it provides for these family-run companies.

Key takeaways

  • 3 companies benefitting from Assignar
  • Fieldworkers fill out their forms in 2 minutes
  • Only 10 minutes to intake trucks and send out invoices

Finding a simple solution without sacrificing capabilities

Enteq used to be a full-service hydro-vac excavation business, hiring out their equipment and operators to take on large projects. They needed an operations platform that gave them a full breadth of administrative capabilities but was still simple enough for the fieldworkers to use. Ease of use was a big factor for the Enteq team, Hedges said.

“A few of the guys have done subcontractor work for other companies, and they have to fill out their forms and everything like that on their systems,” Hedges said. “They come back and say, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s just so complicated.’”


Working Assignar into family businesses

After hearing about Assignar from a colleague, the Enteq team jumped on it. They launched the platform at Enteq in 2016—and they’ve been so pleased that adopting the same system for their two newer businesses was a no-brainer.

Managing a 16-truck fleet

Even after Enteq pivoted into a dry-hire company, Assignar has been vital to managing their 16-truck fleet. 

With a waitlist nine customers long, the Enteq team needs to process incoming trucks quickly so they can get them out again. Some turnarounds are as short as four hours, and they might not see the truck again for a year. That means the team needs to save time wherever possible, and Assignar helps them do that without sacrificing any critical steps.

Before a truck goes out, fieldworkers complete a pre-hire form in Assignar. They log when the truck leaves, track key information like mileage, and snap photos to record the truck’s condition. 

When a truck comes back, they run through a similar process using a return-of-hire checklist form to ensure it’s in good shape, note any fuel in the vehicle, clean it, and send it on to the next customer. Assignar is an integral—and efficient— part of the process for workers.

“It takes them two minutes to complete their dockets and forms and everything throughout the day in Assignar,” she said.

That’s why launching Site & See, the wet-hire electronic locating business, and Hydro-Vac, the wet-hire water vacuum excavation company, with Assignar was an easy decision.

Managing dockets and forms

Since the whole team has been using Assignar since 2016, they didn’t need any more training as they rolled it out across Site & See and Hydro-Vac. That’s allowed them to get up and running quickly without the learning curve of a new platform.

Site & See uses Assignar to keep track of their documentation, streamline site dockets and track their projects. Each job goes through a similar process in the platform, where they send out project agreements, open the jobs and track them.

When fieldworkers are on-site, they use forms in Assignar to manage compliance documents and field records. They fill out their job safety awareness forms (JSAs), their safe work method statement (SWMS) and their hire docket, which includes:

  • Time on-site
  • Record of their breaks
  • Waste disposal 
  • Name of the on-site contact
  • Client signature

This keeps everything easily accessible in one place.

“The dockets and the forms and everything are really easy because you don’t have to dig through 50 million pieces of paper just to find your one day,” Hedges said. “You can just go straight into that job, and you know exactly which form is allocated to that job.”

“It takes them two minutes to complete their dockets and forms and everything throughout the day in Assignar,” Hedges said.

Streamlining operations (x3)

Assignar has streamlined Enteq’s truck intake and invoicing dramatically. 

The team used to misplace their docket books or leave them in another truck, delaying the close-out process by a couple of days. Even finding a pen was a struggle, according to Hedges.

“It’s four days later, and I still haven’t got forms because they didn’t have it with them,” Hedges said. “It’s definitely a lot quicker. It’s only about a five-minute job now.”

Now, as soon as the team has completed the return-of-hire docket, Hedges can close out the job. The paperwork is done within 10 minutes of the truck’s return, and the team can focus on prepping the vehicle for the next job.

Hedges sees the same streamlined process with Site & See projects. Once the fieldworkers complete the job and fill out the information on-site, Hedges can close out the project from their home base before the workers even leave.

“I find Assignar is really easy. It just makes everything simple—makes us organized. It means we don't have to cross-reference with each other,” Hedges said. “Anyone can just log on to our accounts and know exactly where we're up to.”

Hedges found that onboarding new hires has been a smooth two-hour process. She ensures the new hire has downloaded the app, and then walks them through the forms. For them, there’s hardly any learning curve on the Assignar app.

Whenever Hedges is away on vacation, her fill-in easily picks up where she left off, without having to dig through piles of paper or fumble around a filing system.

“I find Assignar is really easy. It just makes everything simple—makes us organized. It means we don’t have to cross-reference with each other,” Hedges said. “Anyone can just log on to our accounts and know exactly where we’re up to.”

Since Site & See has been around for less than a year and Hydro-Vac just launched, the team is excited to see what they can do with Assignar. According to Hedges, there’s no doubt that it’ll be a vital piece of their operations puzzle.

“We’d be lost without it—that’s for sure.”

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