Cascade Integration Grows by Going Paperless

By katie simpson on April 20, 2015


  • More accurate data
  • Standardized language
  • Improved oversight
  • Streamlined billing process

Apps Used

  • Work Order
  • Bid Form
  • Expense Report


Cascade Integration, Inc. has over 20 years of experience in Residential and Commercial low voltage and electrical systems. The team understands every aspect of electrical and low voltage wiring, including automation, audio and video systems, lightning control, networking, security, camera surveillance and advanced structured wiring.

More than experience, Cascade Integration brings exceptional service to its customers. Whether a commercial or residential project, distributed audio or a home theatre, this business strives for great quality work finished in a timely fashion.

Yet, as Cascade Integration was growing, back end processes were undermining its work. Getting work orders back from the field was time consuming. “Our guys would have to remember to fill it out right, track it to the calendar, and turn it in on Mondays,” explained Jay Divine.

As the company grew, teams would start to have turn their paperwork in every other week. “It was slowing down everything,” Jay said, “including our billing.” All of the paperwork, data entry, and additional work would require an entire day of work.

On top of slow turn around for work orders, the language wasn’t standardized on bid forms. Each of the project managers had a different way of saying the same thing. This made creating bids more complicated. In addition, the estimating software with prices was back at the office. Without important information in the field, errors would occur in some bids. Confusion around these forms slowed down Cascade’s process in getting new business.

Cascade Integration realized that paper forms were holding it back from even more growth. It began looking for a solution that would improve processes and allow employees to focus on providing great work.

Solutions & Results

In October 2014, Cascade Integration switched to GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for business. Thousands of organizations leverage Canvas’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service mobile app platform to replace cumbersome paper forms with highly customizable mobile business apps.

Businesses can search from over 16,000 ready-made information gathering app templates in the GoCanvas Application Store that can be customized to an individual business user’s needs. In addition, GoCanvas offers a do-it-yourself app builder that enables non-technical users to build their own custom apps in minutes.

Cascade Integration’s 25 employees in both Hawaii and Washington State have ditched paper and now use GoCanvas mobile apps. The transition was easy: Cascade uses a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, reducing hardware costs. To begin, the team gathered for 10 minutes to go over how to use GoCanvas. A month later, the team came back together and discussed any outstanding issues or problems and fixed them quickly.

Over the past six months, the company has discovered measurable results.

Improved Data Accuracy

Handwritten forms have always had information issues, missing fields, unclear handwriting, and incorrect information. Cascade Integration struggled with these issues as well.

By using GoCanvas, this organization has gotten rid of many common types of errors. Required fields ensure that all work orders submitted to the office return completely filled out. Reference data allows them to prepopulate apps with pricing and product information. Speech to text options have made it easy for all employees to fill out the information as well.

In addition, all submissions (completed forms) are automatically emailed to the office. Once an employee has filled out a work order, it’s stored in their GoCanvas account in the cloud. Work orders no longer get lost between jobs, or forgotten in the truck. By going mobile, Cascade Integration has more accurate data, and made capturing it easier than ever before.

Standardized Language

Previously, bids for projects were different from manager to manager. With different word choices and different focuses, it made it difficult for estimators to properly assess a project. Often, project managers would go through and fill out parts that weren’t pertinent to the project or omitted things that were necessary. This slowed down potential bids and chances to get new projects.

By switching to GoCanvas, all bids are now filled out in a standardized format. Drop down lists, required fields, and other GoCanvas functionalities allow Cascade Integration to have a streamlined and standard bid form.

Another powerful feature, conditional logic, has also improved the experience. With conditional logic, project managers can skip parts of the bid form depending on how they answer certain questions. So, this feature saves project managers’ time, helping them to focus on the parts that matter. Going mobile has reduced confusion and error as well as made it faster to fill out information for bids.

Streamlined Administrative Processes

When working with paper work orders, the process for billing was painful and time consuming. “The challenge,” Jay explained, “was getting all the paperwork back in time. Everyone waited until the last minute. It led to a stressful scramble.”

Today, all work orders return in real time to the cloud. When Jay goes to do billing, all information is available, accurate, and ready for processing. With an integration to Google Drive, it’s become even faster.

This streamlined administrative process has saved a significant amount of time: Though Jay has 50% more work for billing, he is able to complete it in the same amount of time. Faster billing processes has allowed them to grow and maintain a short sales cycle.

Improved Oversight

Before, jobs were scheduled using Google Calendar. This allowed management and employees to easily see and understand what was happening, especially as the number of employees grew. However, tracking jobs and understanding the work in real time was lacking.

Today, Cascade Integration uses GoCanvas in tandem with Google Calendar. With our light dispatch functionality, jobs are sent to employees as pre-populated forms with information including customer name, address, and the work wanted by the customer, allowing employees to get started working quickly.

Not only do employees spend less time filling out forms but management also gets more oversight. With dispatch, management can see when a dispatched job has been opened and when it is sent back to the office. With both Google and GoCanvas, management can understand the big picture schedule and the details of each job in real time.

Flexibility to Meet Evolving Business Needs

As a cloud-based, mobile platform combined with an easy-to-use mobile app builder, GoCanvas provides the flexibility to add new features and functionality to any of their mobile apps. As needs evolve and change, GoCanvas makes editing apps a frictionless process.

For instance, as pricing for tools or products changes, it’s easy for management to add or update information into its GoCanvas apps. Cascade Integration doesn’t need to rely on IT support or have any knowledge of coding. With GoCanvas, it’s a simple drag-and-drop interface that anyone can use.

Other mobile app alternatives make this process cumbersome or costly, weakening the effectiveness of their platforms. With GoCanvas it is a frictionless process at no additional cost.

Today, Cascade Integration receives better information and enjoys faster processes. As a growing business, it can focus on continuing to provide the best electrical systems service to customers. 

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