Smart Solutions

Martin Mechanical Inc. Reimagines Labor Scheduling, Improves Efficiency With LaborChart

Upgrading from Excel to LaborChart for labor scheduling proved to be an ideal solution for Martin Mechanical Inc., streamlining communication and making life easier for the whole staff. With LaborChart, “all the information is in one place and it’s easier to navigate. This helps everybody in our company,” said Seth Rogers, project manager and manpower supervisor for the Kansas City, MO, contractor.

Workforce Worries

The day typically starts for Martin Mechanical Inc.’s field crews at 7 a.m., but Rogers’ phone would often ring 15 minutes before the clock had officially started. He would spend his morning answering a flurry of emails and phone calls to make sure each of the ongoing projects was staffed properly. “Scheduling manpower sounds easy, but it isn’t,” Rogers said of the hours he would spend on his phone shifting personnel and coordinating teams in the field.

Martin Mechanical’s labor force has a wide skill set with expertise in plumbing and pipefitting. The company employs 40 people in the field, split between divisions that work on new projects and technicians responding to service calls.

Like many small companies, Martin Mechanical relies on an administrative staff for labor scheduling. The challenge was that the administrative team did not always have field or industry experience, and they did not have an efficient way to find out details about the skills and equipment for the available pool of employees. Martin Mechanical needed a central place where schedulers could easily access the information relevant to assigning people in the field.

Better Scheduling

Martin Mechanical had been tracking projects in Excel, which made it difficult to communicate information about projects and people. LaborChart provided a cloud-based alternative that could be easily accessed by decision-makers. The digital platform provided key insights and a better window into labor scheduling.

“LaborChart makes so much sense. It makes my life easier. I’m not trying to chase anybody down with emails and phone calls.”

—Seth Rogers, Project Manager and Manpower Supervisor, Martin Mechanical Inc.

“Excel isn’t efficient for scheduling labor,” Rogers said. “LaborChart made scheduling easy and functional.”

By giving managers in the field and dispatchers in the office access to the dashboard, the entire team was able to work from the same information in real time. As a small staff without a dedicated labor person, Martin Mechanical was able to spread the duties across multiple people. Without making Rogers or another member of senior management the focus, the project dashboard empowered team members to work collectively on labor scheduling.

When Rogers gets project requests, he instantly has the answer for what he needs rather than having to hunt for information in Excel. What once took six phone calls or three emails is now available at the click of a button.

“LaborChart makes so much sense. It makes my life easier. I’m not trying to chase anybody down with emails and phone calls,” Rogers said. Rogers also relies on LaborChart for estimating projects. He can pull up historical data, track the current spend on a project, and understand the true cost of adding labor to the bottom line. “If you’ve got to move people at the start of a job, then you’re in a hole before from the start. With LaborChart, we’ve got the right labor mix at the start of a project,” Rogers noted.

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