How the Full Service Food Service Company, HAFSCO, Saves $10,000+ a Year with GoCanvas

By christina croll on March 15, 2013

HAFSCO, founded in 1934, is a full service foodservice company located in West Haven, CT that provides commercial and restaurant kitchen design, sales, and service along with consulting services.  As a family-run small business, the firm sells and services commercial kitchen equipment and products for restaurants, country clubs, universities, hotels, etc.  For 78 years HAFSCO ran its small business as many do, relying heavily on paper forms for business processes ranging from work orders to invoicing and human resources. This was especially true for HAFSCO’s 7 technicians out in the field responsible for delivering and servicing customers’ commercial equipment requirements. These technicians carted around piles of 3-part carbon work order forms – forms that were critical for ensuring customers could be invoiced, and that product, service and maintenance requests could be filed in an accurate and timely manner.

HAFSCO knew they had a problem with paper work orders, but it wasn’t until mid-2012 until it realized how massive this problem was and that it was costing them upwards of $10,000 in revenue per month. Often, technicians would lose or misplace copies of the work order, which meant that HAFSCO could not invoice the customer and get paid or really have any insight into where technicians were on a given day and what they were doing. Equally damaging is that it might be 3-4 days before a technician would return to the office, which meant that a work order request for a product or service made at the customer premises on a Monday wouldn’t even be filed until the end of the week.

Kitchen Graphic

Convinced that inefficient paper processes were costing the firm revenues and customers, HAFSCO’s management team sought a mobile solution that could be deployed quickly, inexpensively, and with an intuitive user interface so that technicians would embrace the transition.

After exploring several technology options and vendors, HAFSCO turned to GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for businesses. GoCanvas has established itself as the fastest growing mobile business app store in the world, with thousands of organizations leveraging the GoCanvas App Store to replace cumbersome paper forms with highly customizable mobile business apps that work on nearly every smartphone and tablet on the market. The firm’s app store now has several thousand ready-made apps to use or customize to an individual business user’s needs, and GoCanvas also offers a do-it-yourself app builder toolkit that enables non-technical users to build mobile apps in minutes.

HAFSCO was draw to GoCanvas’ mobile solution for its ease-of-use, ease-of-deployment, and ability to allow technicians in the field to submit work orders at the customer premises – or anywhere – from smartphone and tablet devices. Equipped with Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet devices and using their GoCanvas work order app, HAFSCO technicians are able to:

  • Capture all of customer information in real-time on their mobile device, ranging from, the parts they use to make repairs, the costs, the time they start and stop the job, and a customer signature.
  • Customize any form depending on specific customer needs.
  • Send work order and invoice information in real-time via the Cloud to proper HAFSCO back-office systems, so that parts can be ordered immediately and billing can be made promptly.

HAFSCO also uses GoCanvas to audit their billing.  All data collected with GoCanvas is stored in the cloud on GoCanvas’s servers where GoCanvas subscribers can access it anytime they wish.  HAFSCO logs into their GoCanvas account and visits the “Submissions” area to view all work orders that have been submitted by their mobile users.  They export the data in a CSV file for the time period they are interested in, and can then check them against what has actually been billed in their system to ensure that all work is being invoiced.

Additionally, to ensure technicians are accurately reflecting time spent with customers and to eliminate wasted time technicians spent coming into the office for the sole purpose of “clocking in”, HAFSCO has also deployed Time Card apps so that time spent with customers could be entered via their mobile device and sent in real-time via the Cloud.

Within the first month of using GoCanvas mobile apps for work orders, HAFSCO became aware of just how damaging the inefficient work order paper process had been to its bottom line. HAFSCO found that technicians using paper forms never turned in an eye-popping 25% of work orders. HAFSCO averages 500 service calls per month, which means that roughly 125 customer work orders per month were never processed which, in the estimation of HAFSCO management, had been costing the firm upwards of $10,000 in lost revenues per month over the course of several years, preventing the company from investing in growth and damaging its brand with customers that experienced service delays.

By transitioning from paper-based work orders and employee time cards, HAFSCO has realized several key benefits:

  • Elimination of missing work orders – With GoCanvas mobile apps, the percentage of missing work orders has dropped from 25% to, in effect, zero, as technicians now use the GoCanvas app to send work orders from Galaxy Tab devices to back-office systems in real-time via the Cloud.
  • Converted lost revenue into business growth – Eliminating lost work orders added thousands of dollars in previously lost revenue to HAFSCO’s coffers, and the firm has utilized those revenues to grow the business by hiring additional staff and purchasing more vehicles for technicians servicing customers.
  • Rapid invoicing and payments– No longer would it take technicians several days to return to the office and manually prepare invoices. Through GoCanvas mobile apps, invoices are generated in real-time and sent to HAFSCO’s billing department via the Cloud. As a result, HAFSCO is able to receive customer payments much sooner than with the paper-based invoice system.
  • Improved customer service – The elimination of missing and delayed work orders has improved the ability of HAFSCO to live up to its reputation providing the highest level of customer service. Customer complaints dropped significantly after transitioning to GoCanvas from paper forms.