Newark Repair and Sales are based on the industrial estate in Newark. They repair garden and building machinery: chainsaws, lawnmowers, grinders etc. The owner, Lee, will freely admit that he is not a computer person but also realised that his paper-based system was not keeping up with the companies rapid growth.

When a customer came into the workshop, Lee would write down both the customers details and the equipment details twice! One to give back to the customer so that Lee could be sure to give the right equipment back and one he would fasten to the machine. If the customer came in a few weeks later with a different piece of equipment, then Lee would have to write the customers details out again, twice. From a professional point of view, the handwritten note that the customer took away with them did not look good either.

My first question to Lee when I looked around his workshop was “How do you know what to work on next?”. His response was “I don’t! That’s why I have asked you here”.

Lee needed a simple job management system that would:

  • Log basic customer details (name and contact number).
  • Print out the paperwork for the customer to take away.
  • Print out a ticket to attach to the equipment (Date of arrival, customer details, job number).
  • Record notes against the job.
  • Record a current status (Not started, Started, Awaiting Parts/Info, Ready To Collect, Collected).
  • Be accessible from home so that each morning he could plan his day.
  • Simple statistics, eg Number of jobs completed per week/month.

Within a month, Lee had his new system. Two months later, every item of equipment had a printed ticket on it stating who the item belonged to and what date it arrived.

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