9 Ways Bolt Improves a Trade Contractor's Life

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Moving away from using paper and whiteboards for project management and scheduling is an important step for trade contractors. Using these out-of-date tools isn’t just inefficient and tedious, it costs you a lot of time. Going digital and utilizing a mobile app can improve your business—and your life!

Here are nine ways Bolt gives you time back in your day and adds money to each job you do:

Process your Builder Purchase Orders faster

You work with a lot of builders and get purchase orders in a variety of ways. You likely must log into multiple builder portals to view purchase orders or sort through your email inbox to find the latest one that's been sent. Sometimes, the builder forgets to send you a purchase order and they call or text you instead, asking you to schedule work without a PO.

Bolt can collect and auto-populate the builder's PO into one screen, so the process is simplified. You just review the PO, make sure it's accurate, and accept it with a click of a button. No more manually entering the information, saving you time and reducing errors.

Schedule work on your tablet or phone

Scheduling is never accurate and typically is a nightmare. You may not know the schedule for tomorrow until 3 p.m. today. Keeping your schedule in one centralized place, like a whiteboard, or Outlook Calendar, makes the constant rescheduling unmanageable.

By putting the schedule into Bolt, it distributes that schedule to many different views and users which means you can manage your schedule on a tablet or phone, so you’re not chained to your whiteboard in the office. This capability also allows you to spread out the responsibility of keeping an accurate schedule.

For example, if a supervisor in the field sees that the job isn't ready, they can snap a picture, reschedule the work order, and track the reason why they are rescheduling. Any type of “he said, she said” argument can easily be quieted because you have a picture, and proof for why you changed the schedule. Many of our users report that they can go have dinner with your family and adjust tomorrow’s schedule at a time that’s more convenient for them instead of being forced to go back to the office to update the schedule.

Job ready confirmations lets you avoid wasted trips

The builder said the job site was ready, but you get there and find it out it wasn’t. Another wasted trip. Instead of spending 30 minutes to an hour each day calling and texting the builder to confirm that it’s ready, with Bolt you just send the builder an auto-confirmation where they can confirm or request to reschedule the work order.

Since Bolt strives to bring transparency and simplicity to the communication you have with your builder, you will be able to see if they read the notification or ignored it. Using the auto-confirmation feature saves you time and money by avoiding dry-runs, helps develop trust between you and the builder, and will increase the reputation you have with your builders by bringing a higher level of professionalism to your scheduling.

Track EPOs to document your extra work for builders

On every job, there is a give and take between trades and builders. Sometimes, the builder just simply needs a favor, and some extra work done even though there isn't budget left on the job. Usually, there are also small extras that could be invoiced by the trade, if only they were tracked. Bolt gives you a way to keep track of what work you did for free and track the extras you need to invoice. You may still “choose” to give away extra work, but you can now document these times, understanding how much you’re giving away and what you’re collecting.

So next time you have a pricing meeting with a builder, you can bring your rescheduling and contract data and show the extra work you’ve been doing for free. By tracking these extra POs in Bolt, you can often add $100 -$200 of revenue to each job. Depending on the volume of work, that can result in tens of thousands of dollars added to your bottom line every year.

Keep track of all information even if you’re offline.

When you’re on a job site cell coverage can be spotty. Bolt lets you record everything in the system even when you’re offline. Once you’re connected, it automatically pushes the information to rest of the system.

Proof with Pictures

Having the ability to take pictures and store them with the job helps you avoid the “he-said, she-said" conversations that haunt the industry. A picture really is worth a thousand words and now you can show the builder whether the site was ready as well as documenting the work you’ve done, or the work done by another trade on the job.

Productivity and profit reports

Having real-time information about what’s going on in your business means you can run it more efficiently. Bolt lets you customize the key business metrics you want to see and drill-down to get deeper insight into your business. Now you can view per job profit and loss, employee productivity, identify wasted trips, and problem areas to help manage your business more efficiently.

Track Rescheduling Reasons

With Bolt you can enter a reason why the job needed to be rescheduled and can attach a photo to it. Keep track of changes and why they needed to be made so you can reduce the back and forth that usually occurs and prevents dry runs.

Punch List Reasons

When builders send punch lists to the trades, they may leave out items (sometimes intentionally) that they would have to pay extra for. For example, the builder and homeowner decided to add an extra electrical outlet but didn’t include it in the final floor plans used to the do the installation. With Bolt, the trades can bring up the plans against the punch list and show that it was outside the scope of work. You can then create an extra PO of this extra work and charge the builder.

Get Started Today

For more information on how Bolt software can give you time back in your day and make more money, contact us today.

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.