Infonote designed and developed a feature-rich mobile Asset Management App and Desktop Portal for TTB Contracts, a Midlands-based specialist cleaning contractor serving the education sector.
Project goal: A portal dashboard solution to allow TTB staff to assign and monitor cleaning assets at customer sites and in transit from its office and administration locations. To be supported by a mobile app for use in the field by members of the workforce at cleaning contract locations, with functionality allowing fast, easy and error-free operation to identify assets and reports any issues encountered.
Background: TTB Contracts is a family run commercial cleaning business specialising in schools and colleges within the Midlands and operating across more than 50 sites. The firm employs upwards of 200 staff and provides services such as floor cleaning and restoration services, commercial window cleaning and cleaning consultancy and training.
A wide range and large quantity of materials and equipment is situated at each location to facilitate the cleaning services. It had proved difficult to audit and manage the value of assets in the business across every site for which the firm holds contract responsibility. As a result, TTB had not been able to reconcile all the factors that impact the profitability of a site (and therefore the business as a whole) without an inventory or a method of recording, managing and maintaining the assets associated with a contract site. However, it was evident that a number of high value assets had been damaged, lost or stolen, yet the firm and its staff had no means of identifying or reporting such details to the client or to the TTB Site Management team.
Our process: We spent time with TTB to understand the business and the intricacies of the cleaning processes to visualise the creation of a field based mobile solution. This would permit barcode scanning of every asset of significant value using a smartphone or tablet. Key among our goals as the solution provider was to overcome the accountability shortfall and provide real-time traceability for assets across the business to support TTB’s business plans and growth strategy.
Three key requirements were identified for the software:
- TTB must be able to manage and maintain all of the assets across the entire business. The status of assets to be viewable at any time to determine locations and value.
- An ability to record and monitor service history, serial numbers, damage reports, warranty details and PAT test status.
- Improved accountability for assets throughout the business and on-site with the cleaning teams, to include a mechanism for auditing and traceability (a key requirement identified by Infonote during our scoping exercise).
Solution details: We developed a mobile app that allows assets labelled with a simple barcode to be scanned to record relevant details, for example product type, description, serial number value, purchase date, etc. This detail is customisable. All data is held securely in the app.
Once scanned and registered, a new asset can immediately be allocated to a specific site via a ‘check-in’ process. Assets can also be checked-out of a site and moved to another site or to the central TTB warehouse. Critically for effective traceability between locations and to counter one of the most common areas of loss, once an asset is checked-out of a site it is deemed ‘in transit’ and automatically assigned to a specific user, who takes responsibility until the asset is checked-in at an approved location.
The mobile app dramatically reduces error levels by using a unique robust barcode for every asset. Scanning technology to read and assign the assets is supported by geo-tagging to determine the site or location for each asset, making the setup and ongoing asset management process as simple as possible. It was important that this was quick and easy to use, with minimal data entry required by the user.
In addition to the mobile app, TTB’s head office administrators have access to a web portal that provides more detailed information about assets. The portal allows the administrator to create, monitor, manage and maintain Assets, Products, Categories & Sites. This is the engine room for the whole system and is where the bulk of the product and asset setup processes take place.
The result: TTB is now able to register every asset and understand where each is located or who is responsible for it at any point in time. The app allows the team to search for specific assets and to find assets that are nearest to a user’s current location.
The entire lifecycle of an asset can now be recorded, monitored and managed, including an audit trail of service history as well as product-specific asset information such as warranty, serial numbers and PAT test dates.
Comprehensive site audits can also be conducted, along with reports on the value of assets while monitoring any that are lost or missing. TTB is also able to manage its financial accounting functions with much greater accuracy and can easily generate detailed records of the company’s investment in equipment located on contract sites for both fiscal and insurance purposes.
Observations: There’s no doubt that TTB was experiencing a real-world problem that was resulting in a loss of time and money and restricting the company’s ability to grow. With a relatively simple but creative solution, we developed an application that overcame a huge amount of frustration while generating a true financial Return on Investment by enabling the efficient management, monitoring and reporting of assets.
Thanks to this greater degree of accuracy and confidence, TTB can deliver its specialist services at all locations knowing that the equipment needed is where it should be. Or to know exactly where it is if it isn’t. The improved management and reporting help to reduce incidences of lost and missing equipment while improving overall accountability for assets at each contract location.
Testimonial: “Infonote have been tremendous. They have consulted and guided us at every step of the project and are always on hand to help with any questions or queries we may have. I can honestly say that this has significantly changed my business for the better. I do not hesitate in recommending Infonote and if you need an Asset Management System, you should give them a call.”
Nick Jeacock, Managing Director, TTB Group.
CTA: Please do take Nick Jeacock’s advice and give us a call to talk about our App development, Workflow solutions or Bespoke software development services. Just call the Infonote team on 01858 467746 or get in touch via this website.