GoCanvas Apps Used
- Installation Certificate
- Installation Inventory
- Punch List
- Restaurant Inspection
- Post Repair/Service Report
- Hood Cleaning Report
- Exit & Emergency Lighting Inspection
- Fire Extinguisher Inspection
- $134,000 Annual ROI
- Overall efficiency improvements
- Revenue forecasting
- Accurate inventory
- Consistent processes & training
- Improved dispute resolution
Fire & Safety Commodities started their business over 35 years ago in Kenner, Louisiana. They specialize in wet chemical fire systems in restaurants, dry chemical fire systems in paint spray booths, portable fire extinguishers, exit lights and emergency lights for the commercial marketplace. Their 30-plus employees are focused on designing, installing, inspecting, and maintaining fire safety systems throughout southeast Louisiana. Customers include top restaurants, collision centers, hotels, commercial buildings and government facilities.
“Before we transitioned to Canvas”, says Mace Bourgeois, owner of Fire & Safety Commodities, “we were pure paper. We did not have access to any extremely detailed information. Our ability to forecast services with any specificity was non-existent.” Like many businesses, FSC was drowning in paperwork and the costly inefficiencies associated with it. “We literally had thousands of file folders in every nook and cranny of our office. We had over-stuffed filing cabinets. There were documents tucked under, between, and behind the seats of every service vehicle we had in the fleet.”
Back in 2012, Fire & Safety Commodities went live with the GoCanvas platform to address their challenges. At the time they only had a single office but had visions of expanding their fire safety services to more customers. They needed to gain some efficiency in order to scale their business to meet the demand of on-site consultations. GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for businesses, has helped thousands of businesses replace cumbersome paper forms with highly customizable GoCanvas Apps (Think “Mobile Forms”) and mobile processes that greatly improve productivity, especially when it comes to fire safety and general safety inspections.
Businesses can search from over 20,000 GoCanvas App templates in the GoCanvas Application store that can be completely customized with the online, drag-and-drop App Builder tool. Using that same tool, many businesses elect to build their own from scratch. Factor in powerful features like Dispatch, Workflow, uploading your price and customer lists, and integration with other systems and the GoCanvas platform changes the way work gets done.
According to Mace, “We wanted to improve our efficiencies, our processes, and our productivity. There was little communication, no consistency and nothing could be duplicated time and again. We lacked the consistent processes needed for proper training, meticulous inspections, and quality service.”
Mace came to GoCanvas looking to address his paper problems to help him scale his business. “Because it is so easy to work with and set-up, I was able to customize our forms quickly and easily. From there we did some brief field testing and within no time we were up and running.” Canvas’s powerful App Builder tool allows businesses to build their own mobile forms that adhere exactly to how they operate. Capturing the data, sharing the data with customers and colleagues, and analyzing the data all can happen very quickly when using the GoCanvas platform.
Today FSC has 32+ employees using the GoCanvas platform and over 600 forms are filled out each month. They have removed their filing cabinets and filled the space with new employees to attend to their growing business. They've even integrated their GoCanvas platform into their Service Trade CRM system for an even more streamlined data collection process. The trucks in their fleet are free of old paperwork blowing around. Lost paper forms? Illegible handwriting? Blank data fields? All things of the past. “File folders, index cards, a Rolodex and other primitive 20th century business relics are now on display in our makeshift museum of business history”, says Mace.
Suppression System Installation
When installing a new fire safety system, FSCs technicians use a number of GoCanvas Apps to document the work being done, communicate to the customer, and communicate to their colleagues in the office. Custom GoCanvas Apps Used:
- Installation Certificate – This documents what fire safety equipment was installed and the state it was left in when the job was completed. Pictures are taken and included in the PDF document. The customer gets a copy via email right away and a copy is stored inside GoCanvas for FSC to retrieve anytime.
- Installation Inventory – This records every piece of fire safety equipment installed at the customer location. Team members back in the office immediately remove all equipment from inventory.
- Punch List – This GoCanvas App is used to capture any work that needs to be completed after the initial on-site consultation and installation.
Suppression System Maintenance
FSC also uses GoCanvas Apps when maintaining and inspecting existing fire safety systems. Custom GoCanvas Apps used:
- Restaurant Report – Each fire safety system is regularly inspected and that inspection is documented with this form.
- Post Repair/Service Report – If additional work is required, then this GoCanvas App is used to document the work.
- Hood Cleaning Report – When FSC cleans a hood in a commercial kitchen this App is used to document the work. “Before” and “After” photos are taken to clearly show the results of the work.
- Exit & Emergency Lighting – This is used to document inspections of exit and emergency lighting elements.
- Fire Extinguisher – This is used to document extinguisher inspections. Technicians record when the next inspection is due so FSC knows where their future revenue will come from.
Since Fire & Safety Commodities started using GoCanvas they have opened up two additional offices and are continuing to grow. How has GoCanvas helped?
- Overall Efficiency Improvements – A lot of time was spent chasing paper, reading paper, and figuring out what to do when paper was lost. All of that time has been recouped. Says Mace, “Reading faded carbon chicken scratch covered in coffee stains is no longer a necessity.”
- Revenue Forecasting – Since all of the data is exportable from GoCanvas they can easily see what equipment needs inspecting in the future by doing some simple analysis in MS Excel. This gives them an unprecedented view of future revenue opportunities!
- Accurate Inventory – Now that items are immediately removed from inventory upon installation, FSC has a much more accurate understanding of their inventory and their needs. When paper forms were lost, illegible, or left then taking inventory was something that had to be done regularly. Now it is part of their process. By seeing what safety equipment is due for inspection in the future they are also able to order parts they are likely to need in advance.
- Consistent Processes & Training – All technicians follow a GoCanvas App when doing inspections. The GoCanvas App helps enforce a consistent approach and helps new folks get up to speed faster. This has helped them scale their business. “The mobile forms we use now follow a step-by-step process that ensures a quality product each time”, according to Mace.
- Fewer Return Trips – When they are inspecting safety equipment and find something that is “impaired” then a Department Manager is notified right away. That person can then put together a quote to fix that item and send that to the technician right away. “More often than not, now that these problems and repairs are being resolved in a single visit rather than lingering on requiring more time, effort, fuel cost and other cost”, says Mace.
- Accountability and Dispute Resolution - Businesses (Restaurants especially) are notorious for adding equipment without upgrading their fire suppression systems. Photos clearly show what fire safety equipment was in place at the time of installation.