Workzone Traffic Control has been providing service, quality, reliability, flexibility and safe traffic management solutions to the South Australian region for over 20 years. From humble beginnings, they started in a front yard with four vehicles. Now, they have 100+ workers and over 36 vehicles in their business. As they grew, their need for a system to support their growing operations became more evident.
Their 5-year search led to Assignar
As traffic management began to build momentum in South Australia, so did the number of jobs that Workzone Traffic Control was undertaking. A process review was undertaken and the search for a system to support their growing business began, led by Andrew White, Director, and David Bradshaw, Business Systems Manager. During the search they started to digitise their systems through their Outlook calendar. It didn’t take long until they pushed Outlook’s limits.
We made jobs a meeting invite and had our traffic controllers accept the job, but we got to the point where we were entering in too much data into Outlook. Through the calendar view, jobs would disappear and drop off because from a visualisation perspective, it was limited. We also didn’t have any historical data as we had to keep archiving our data so our calendar could function.”
As they grew, Andrew attended multiple trade shows and participated in countless demonstrations before he and David found Assignar. After seeing an Assignar demonstration, David reflected on the experience, “The Assignar salesperson felt more like an old friend than someone trying to push software onto us. He seemed genuinely interested in how our business was progressing and his presentation didn’t seem scripted. From a monetary perspective, competitors were costing 5x more than Assignar. There was also honesty in what the software could and could not do and an understanding that when we join, we sign up for a journey with their engineering team who are constantly releasing new features and modules. In addition to a good personal feeling, Assignar ticked most of the boxes we were looking for such as digital timesheets, forms, and allocations.”
Understanding how technology can assist
Before onboarding with Assignar, the team at Workzone Traffic Control was adamant about understanding where their processes could improve and how technology could assist. This needed to be explored before implementing technology. Andrew and David knew that technology alone cannot solve operational bottlenecks. A business review should explore where technology can expedite processes and communication. It is also important to recognise that as a business Workzone Traffic Control couldn’t afford to design software. Instead, Assignar had over 30 engineers pumping out new code to develop new functionality for customers.
Through this business review, Workzone Traffic Control noticed that they were still using carbon copy paper pads and their daily job docket was still handwritten. Consequently, job dockets had spelling mistakes and the handwriting was often hard to read, and transferring information from paper to online records-keeping was cumbersome and time-consuming. Furthermore, Workzone Traffic Control had permanent setups in remote areas. David talks more about the process of collecting data from their remote traffic controllers. We have a vehicle permanently placed in Port Perry. We bought fax machines for our remote works and all their paperwork was faxed to Adelaide so we could do invoices. In terms of keeping physical copies, our regional traffic controllers would go to the post office and post all their paperwork once a quarter. We would then have to pay someone 6-7 hours just to file that paperwork.
Now with Assignar, all their paperwork from job dockets to Job Safety Analysis (JSAs) is digital and received in real-time. Although Workzone Traffic Control had a digital point solution for forms, the system was stand-alone, there was no dynamic connectivity to the job order, traffic controller, and office staff. David notes, “Assignar provides a holistic solution that connects different parts of our business, to create a clear picture of how our business is operating and growing and everything is in real-time. We used to have 4sqm of office real estate in terms of the paperwork that is now gone as it is no longer required for document storage.
saving 32 hours per week on manual processes
With over 150+ workers and 36 vehicles across South Australia, it was important to Workzone Traffic Control that implementing a digital system not only created business efficiencies but the ROI was measurable to further the ongoing internal support of the system. David Bradshaw highlighted the results he has seen since onboarding Assignar in 2017.
“We now boast that we are a paperless company but in addition to removing the paper, we have saved 32 hours a week on administrative tasks! With Assignar’s analytics module, we can see a trend towards reduced times and better manage the tyre rotation of our utes”.
David further spoke about his preparation for their monthly management meeting. “My preparation for our monthly management report has gone down from 8 hours to about 15 minutes which is an incredible efficiency gain for our business.” That is a 97% reduction in time spent on one report alone!
support from day one
At Assignar, we support you throughout your journey. David shared what this process was like for himself and the team. “Our Customer Success Manager was with us from day 1. We had a telephone call with her to understand how the process was going to flow. We provided some spreadsheets from assets to workers which were then bulk uploaded into the system so we could start learning the software. We chose to only implement training in small pieces. We went through orders and then started moving on to field workers. I highly recommend whoever is your internal champion to do as I did and go into a separate room, lock the door and just play around with Assignar. Create a bunch of dummy orders, and do self-learning with Assignar’s help docs and videos. Once you are confident, run your old process and new process in parallel for a few months then transition completely. Implementing and training stakeholders in small pieces allowed us to reflect on what we were doing and get better efficiency or data. In all honesty, we feared that our workers would be a roadblock and wouldn’t change and adapt to this technology. It was unanimous that they would be the ones who would draw out the process but they were the most resilient and quickest to adapt to any change. The whole journey of Assignar has made us change and review our business processes and we are stronger as a business for it.”