Based in South Mississippi, Southern Backflow Services provides backflow prevention coverage from East Texas to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The company plays a vital role in safeguarding city water supplies by preventing the backflow of water (and resulting contamination) from stores or buildings into the municipal water system.
Southern Backflow Services was operating completely on paper. “If a job came through in the middle of the week, we couldn't do it because the owner didn't have the papers while he was on the road. It was a giant headache for us,” explained Jourdan Smith, Office Manager for Southern Backflow Services. The traveling technicians hit the road from Monday to Thursday, covering five states, before returning each week. Dealing with a variety of unique customer work order forms, they acknowledged the outdated nature of their business processes and the need for optimization to streamline communication and began their search for a digital solution.
Southern Backflow Services knew exactly what they needed for a digital tool. “The first question I had was understanding how we were going to digitize each of our customers' work orders. They are all so different and unique to each store,” explained Smith. Southern Backflow Services works for many chain stores such as Walgreens, Target, and Walmart. “So whenever we get these work orders, it’s specific to that one location. It has a different contact, a different store manager required to sign off on the form, and we have to get the date and times of everything that took place.”
There were several digital form solutions Southern Backflow Services tested but ultimately vetoed. “We knew right away they wouldn’t meet our requirements,” Smith explained. “We needed signature capabilities, date and time fields, the ability to attach additional documents, and required image capture.”
After searching for three months to find a digital solution, Southern Backflow Services finally discovered GoFormz. “I realized that I could take each specific work order that we had and upload it directly to the platform, and then use it on site,” Smith continued. “So we then ordered iPads for all of our technicians.” This transformation allowed them to go completely digital! “We now operate 100% electronically!”
Southern Backflow Services now uses GoFormz to capture work order information. “We work with a bunch of different companies, our biggest being Sento. Their forms are pretty standard but we have 10-15 different companies that send us work regularly,” Smith continued. “So we upload their work orders and then we put it in a formal report to send to each location.” While certain locations require specific forms, others don’t have a preference. “We also created a generic work order form for those locations that don’t have a preference on what the information looks like. But other locations are particular about what form we use, so it’s easy to simply upload it into GoFormz.”
Within these digital work orders are crucial features that streamline their form-filling process. “We use a lot of text fields, date and time fields that automatically populate so the technician doesn’t have to type the same information in, as well as signatures, and pictures,” explained Smith. “We use the image field to capture store stamps because the work orders require us to stamp a piece of paper. So now they just take a picture of it and include it within the document.” They also leverage Required fields to enforce data capture and ensure thorough documentation is being completed. “Now I make some fields required so they can’t complete the form unless all the necessary information is filled out,” noted Smith. Additionally, they use Drop Down menus and Checkboxes to further simplify and streamline the form-filling process.
Since there are multiple traveling technicians at Southern Backflow Services, they organize their forms into folders within GoFormz. “We didn’t want the technicians getting confused or clicking on the wrong forms. So we had to make it easy on them,” explained Smith. “We have multiple folders and then use a numbering system. So for example, number one represents Dustin’s Monday, number 2 is his Tuesday, and we have that system labeled Monday through Friday,” she continued on to explain, “then each person has the ability to view their own group and a folder related to the office.” In GoFormz, this setup ensures that users can easily access only what they need.
Southern Backflow Services has experienced significant time savings using digital work order forms. “Going from paper to digital was certainly a transition, but overall it has been so beneficial because these work orders can be anywhere from three to eight pages long,” noted Smith. “We were filling them out, scanning them through the printer, saving them to the desktop, and then doing what we needed to do with them. We had to handwrite everything,” she continued. “So in terms of time savings, GoFormz definitely saves us a lot of time, especially with the ability to copy and paste.”
Both uploading and applying changes to forms have also become easier. “I can upload twenty templates in five minutes because of the copy and paste function in GoFormz. Whereas I used to have to make sure we have the paper and ink to print everything,” she detailed. “Sometimes customers will update the work orders and if that happens we would have to print out a completely new work order and start over. Now we don’t have to. We can just upload the new form to the platform.”
The ability to have a mobile workforce has allowed Southern Backflow Services to take on more work. “Everything about GoFormz is so quick! If something comes through the middle of the week and as an emergency, we can throw it on the technician's schedule without affecting anything.”