GOFORMZ CASE STUDY
Municipal Well & Pump (MWP) struggled with their “cumbersome” data collection and delivery process. Relying mainly on paper forms, documents were often illegible and missing critical data, forcing back-office teams to manually search for specific pieces of data within old documents. Paper forms also required hand delivery, resulting in project delays.
Municipal Well & Pump digitized their paper documents using GoFormz, allowing forms to be completed on phones and tablets in the field, and instantly sent to the office. Collecting data digitally allowed the MWP team to expedite their data collection process, leveraging real-time data access to immediately address project needs, and route project documents to clients faster and more professionally. Digital documents have further enriched Municipal Well & Pump’s data collection through the inclusion of new data types like satellite images, job site photos, and GPS coordinates.
THE FULL STORY
Serving Wisconsin and Illinois for over 100 years, Municipal Well & Pump provides water well design, construction, installation and maintenance, primarily to municipal and industrial wells.
Municipal Well & Pump frequently struggled with their “cumbersome” paper-based data collection. Providing water well contracting and maintenance services to Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, Municipal Well & Pump teams often completed work at locations up to five hours away from the office. For this reason, field teams often would wait to deliver their project paperwork and documents until the end of the week, resulting in frustrating project delays. Adding to this frustration was the frequent illegibility of submitted forms, and the fact that critical data was often missing. “You dealt with not being able to read their information at times and missing information,” recalled Scott De Young, CFO of Municipal Well & Pump. “...if it was something critical, we couldn’t force them to enter that information. It was a cumbersome task dealing with all that extra paper.” Since Municipal Well & Pump relies on collected data to initiate and complete projects, delays associated with manual paperwork hand-offs and incomplete data prevented them from improving their business agility and efficiency. “We could have been waiting an entire week on the transfer of that data.”
An additional obstacle presented by paper forms was the need for dual data entry. “All those forms used to be filled out by hand,” Scott explained. “We would then take the forms and type a number of them into a spreadsheet, before we could send them to an engineer or a client.” This meant that the same data that was recorded at the job site was then re-keyed in the back-office, a redundancy that became extremely time consuming. This wasted time not only impacted back-office teams, but also took time away from project managers. “It basically tied up the project managers’ time, versus allowing them to go out and sell.”
When Scott and his team first discovered GoFormz, they tested it out with a few of their most frequently used forms. They quickly concluded it was the digital solution they were looking for. Among the forms Municipal Well & Pump tested was the Test of Well form, used to measure the static and pumping water levels, and to calculate a well ‘drawdown’ (the lowering of the level of water in a well while water is being pumped) and an overall ‘specific capacity’ (how much water the well can produce per unit of drawdown). To test the pumping of a well, a MWP team member would run the pump for up to 24 hours, entering data into their Test of Well form at hourly increments, then using that data to make calculations.
With new digital versions of the Test of Well forms, Municipal Well & Pump teams can enter data into a Table, which instantly and accurately completes calculations for them. “In each line within the table I would say that there are four or five calculations taking place,” Scott described. Back when they used paper forms, if data was missing from a Test of Well form (or other forms), back-office personnel were tasked with tracking down the missing data. “You either had to talk to the operator that had to fill out the form, go into other pump records, look up information in order to find serial numbers of the pump, or what was the horsepower of the motor.” Now, with GoFormz, embedded form logic can be leveraged to ensure the capture of critical fields prior to submission.
Once a digital Test of Well form is completed, it is instantly stored within Municipal Well & Pump’s Box.com account and saved to a specific folder on their server. Leveraging the Automated Workflows features in GoFormz, completed forms are also instantly emailed to Scott, and the corresponding project manager.
“Our team constantly had to keep all those forms with them in their service trucks, and now the information is right at our fingertips. As soon as they finish it in the field they hit complete, and I get an email and the project manager gets an email of that form.”
Scott and the Municipal Well & Pump team also created a digital form for project managers, to assist in project proposals. When bidding on or proposing a new project, project managers are asked to provide a variety of details, including project costs, new materials quotes, and more. To streamline this process for project managers, MWP created the Pre-Job Inspection form.
“If they’ve never been to that jobsite before, [the Pre-Job Inspection] form provides them with a checklist of all the information that they need to gather in order to propose that project.”
The Pre-Job Inspection form includes site specific details, such as the height of the building, the setback of the pump rig from the building, and the weight of equipment to be pulled. Automatic Calculations are used to complete critical measurements, which help inform project managers of what equipment (e.g. what rig) to use.
The Pre-Job Inspection form is also equipped with conditional logic, which is used to highlight noted site safety hazards and areas of concern. “Let’s say there are power lines above a pump house,” Scott explained. “If they say that it’s a safety issue and we have to move power lines, conditional formatting highlights that field in red so that no one misses it.”
The Pre-Job Inspection form is also augmented with new data types, like GPS coordinates and Images, allowing users to easily add new context to collected project data. “We add photos of the job site, showing how we would set up on the site, showing the pump, how it’s configured,” Scott detailed. “One of the images is designated to give us the satellite view of the area around the well site.”
“I’ve received really great feedback from our sales team. Whether we have experienced or new project managers, the form really gives them a way to walk through, and make sure they won’t forget something that they need to remember when proposing and planning a project.”
Municipal Well & Pump uses GoFormz reporting to monitor well-specific data. “I can go back a year or two, and run a report on a specific client and then create charts showing their pumping water levels, their specific capacity.” The ability to report on collected form data has also allowed MWP to better manage equipment use. “I can run reports on specific pieces of equipment, showing how often specific pieces of equipment are being used. It’s helpful.”
“It was a cumbersome task dealing with all that extra paper,” said Scott. With digital forms, Municipal Well & Pump has eliminated the need to hire additional back-office staff, resulting in an approximate savings of $40-50,000 a year. Digital data collection has also helped to expedite form completion and data processing, freeing up time for project managers.
“I can actually get the form in my office and then email it to the engineer while he’s still standing on the job site next to the operator, and the whole thing is turned around in minutes, when needed.”
Adding to the success of their digital transformation, Municipal Well & Pump has impressed their client base with their modernized documentation. “It’s improved our reputation with our clients and the engineers we work with. The professionalism of what we’re doing and the quick turnaround,” Scott emphasized. “… it’s been huge from the standpoint of the clients, and the engineers seeing that we’re ahead of the curve compared to the competition, and doing this in a professional, accurate manner. The information is readable, and when they get their paperwork at the end of a project, everything is put together for them.”
Overall MWP utilizes GoFormz with more than 40 different templates spread across 3 different divisions. The forms cover a broad spectrum from vacation request forms, site safety inspections and crane inspections to well alignments and, one of their newest forms, an automated load weight calculator for determining the weight of product being loaded on trailers. “We rely heavily on GoFormz to help run our business. We wouldn’t want to be without it”.