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Electrical installer using cloud to see the big picture

by Brad Halcrow
March 11, 2015
WM Brown

Glasgow electrical control system installers Wm. Brown & Co recently moved to simPRO after becoming frustrated with their “random” management systems that didn’t talk to each other.

We caught up with them and discovered them revelling in a system that lets them work when and where they want and to really understand for the first time where they are making money.

According to employee Richard Curran, before they moved to simPRO Enterprise and its mobile app Connect, the 18 person firm was using a hodgepodge of different software accumulated over the 40 years it had been in business.

“The processes we had before we implemented simPRO were pretty random,”
Richard said.

“We used to use our accounts package, Sage, to do quotations. Then our project management was done on Microsoft Outlook and various other packages which didn't really talk to each other.”

“We had bits and pieces strewn across different areas of our server and we were finding that things were getting lost between the different sections of our system or flow because there was no clear line of process.”

According to Managing Director Colin Kilpatrick, five years ago they decided that enough was enough and they needed a comprehensive job management system.

“The decision we came to was that we needed something that was going to manage our projects from the start, right through to the end,” Colin said.

“We looked at a number of systems and some looked good on the surface but didn't quite do what we wanted to do. The problem was that we couldn't find something that did everything that we needed.”

Then, they found simPRO. After installing simPRO Enterprise six months ago, Colin says the company has reaped a number of key benefits.

Not chained to the office

One of the benefits they received is that they can now work anywhere, anytime, with all their information stored online.

[caption id="attachment_15973" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Colin Kilpatrick - WM Brown Colin - WM Brown[/caption]

“It’s great for us. It’s brilliant,” Colin said.

“It’s fantastic because I can work from home. Having everything in the cloud means that the guys can do it from their laptops at home. They can even do it from the vans because they all have laptops in their vans so it's it big benefit in that respect.”

Freedom to see the big picture

It’s generally agreed that to build a company managers need to work on the business, not in the business. Now with simPRO, Colin has that opportunity because he isn’t spending his time fighting fires and micro-managing his staff.

“It’s going to allow me to step back a little bit from the business to maybe not be so involved in the nuts and bolts,” Colin said.

“As long as we get the training right and everybody knows what their roles are, I can look at the figures and see how the business is doing. I don't necessarily have to be on top of it in real time which is a great thing for me.”

Colin said that being unshackled from the day to day operations allows him to spend his time working on the areas with the most growth potential.

“It means I can focus on the bits of the business that I want to develop, particularly the maintenance side of the business,” Colin said.

“So I can focus on them and the engineering business. [The rest of the business] is going to run along on its own and it’s going to be absolutely fine. It’s been a real benefit in that respect.”

Understanding the business

Of course, there is no point being free to pursue business growth if you don’t know what parts of your business are worth growing. simPRO is also helping Wm. Brown & Co with that because of its advance data collection capabilities.

WM BRown

“With simPRO coming in already we've been able to properly report on the business and see where our pitfalls are and where we've been making money or losing money which is something that we've not be able to properly do to this stage,” Richard said.

“I guess the hope is that through doing that that we can lift productivity and profitability and that we can try and increase the size of the business.”

Colin agrees that he can now set the strategic direction of the business more effectively because of simPRO.

“It's allowed me to see in much more detail what the business is doing, where we are spending money and more importantly where we are making money,” Colin said.

“So we can really start picking out where the business needs to focus on to start being more profitable.”

The full video case study details other ways that Enterprise has enhanced Wm. Brown & Co’s processes to increase profitability.

We’d like to thank Wm. Brown & Co for their time and sharing their story. For more information on Wm. Brown & Co visit:


Lover of strong coffee, craft beer and retro motorcycles. Sharing stories as Journey Partnership Manager for simPRO Software.

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