Paul Ward, MD
The business has recently gone through a transition and has increased production capabilities with new machinery and staff. It became clear very quickly that scraps of paper floating around the office and jumbled server files were causing confusion in the workshop and there was no clear information flow from estimator to production to install. Clarity has helped us streamline the process from start to end with clear, consistent quotes which are easily converted to job sheets. Deliveries and collections are easy to keep track of, right through to client sign off. It means that no matter who picks up a job or what stage the job is at, the information is all there and laid out clearly. This significantly reduces errors / production time and gives us far more flexibility in all areas of the business. We have doubled our turnover in the last year and Clarity has played a huge part in getting us there - the growth would have been a much slower process without the system to manage client information and workflow that Clarity has given us.
After looking at a variety of workshop management and CRM software, Clarity seemed to be the only obvious solution that was built around the odd and complex needs of the sign industry. Along with the fact that there is now a cloud based option for using it remotely, that made it the ideal choice for us.
There are 2 benefits that I can’t recommend enough, one being the quoting feature and the other being the job board (both of which link together). Quoting was previously done by one person and one person only in order to ensure that quotes were consistent and that margins were being met.
Following the implementation of Clarity - because it uses raw material costs to build quotes and calculate markup -consistent quotes can be done by anyone who knows the process. Not only that, it clearly shows margins in monetary terms on a job by job basis… which is a real eye opener! The job board feature is also a huge game changer. We can easily see what jobs are live, where they are in the production process, any notes on the job, if they are on hold and why etc. At any point, a job can be referenced back to the quote so that the spec can be checked.
It drastically reduces questions between production and estimators. It also helps with simple things like material orders. Seems obvious, but with all live jobs in one place, it’s easy to see what materials need to be purchased and it can all be done in one go saving time and money on delivery costs etc. Small benefits like this really add up and make a huge difference.
We are a small - medium sized sign company. Before using Clarity the prospect of any further growth was actually quite a scary thought. The thought of new staff trying to comprehend our stacks of paper, the notes, how to price, processing repeat orders without knowledge of the original job and just generally how we do things was incomprehensible. Now knowing that we can comfortably grow the team using Clarity software to fill in the blanks is enough reason for me to recommend it to anyone in the industry.
Clarity came at a time in the business where we were just setting out on a new path of growth. We started searching for a system to use out of necessity because we had tried all of the usuals; excel sheets, physical notes, big whiteboards NCR pads, online collaboration software, you name it… we found that although we could manage with all of the above there failure points in everything we tried. Fixing one problem seemed to create another and there seemed to be no easy way to manage everything - without dedicating all of our time to managing everything. Keeping good track of jobs manually took more time than doing the actual jobs. In the end, we bit the bullet and decided to implement Clarity and it was one of the best decisions we have made. I honestly regret not doing it sooner.