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Automated Timesheets, Job Costing, and Scheduling Propel Restoration Company

Boots on the ground, time in the cloud — it’s restoration to the rescue

Just a few days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017, almost 2,000 miles away at a SERVPRO® office in Boise, Idaho, the energy was palpable. While Houston citizens in Harvey’s path rushed to evacuate their homes for safety, Chris and Allie Isaacson were preparing to head south, right behind the storm.

SERVPRO disaster recovery logo

The Isaacsons run the Boise location of SERVPRO®, a cleaning and restoration franchise with over 2,000 locations nationwide. This year, SERVPRO® of Boise was named one of the Top 100 SERVPRO® franchises, which the Isaacsons said they owe to the honesty and loyalty of their team and their drive to be as efficient as possible at helping their customers recover assets after disasters.

“Every time the phone rings, it’s someone who needs help,” said Chris, who sat down with TSheets, along with his wife Allie and their springer spaniel, Macallan.

The SERVPRO® of Boise team is aware that devastation is best met with an equal level of integrity, quality, and high standards. And they’re no strangers to working on the ground in devastated areas, either. In 2016, the Boise team was in Baton Rouge for five weeks, along with over 100 SERVPRO® teams, to help those impacted by catastrophic flooding.

SERVPRO worker carries plywood to help hurricane victims.

When they’re at the scene of a major disaster, the team must be ready for anything, which the Isaacsons said is a matter of making it work.

“We have the ability to mobilize for water, for fires, and work with the Red Cross so that we can be a resource for people when they have nothing left,” said Allie. “It’s humbling when you go to a disaster-impacted zone like that. You have so many different groups all coming out and helping.”

In order to grow at such a fast pace, we needed software that could not only track our job costing properly but also free up employee time. TSheets has allowed both! — Allie Isaacson, SERVPRO® of Boise

Allie Isaacson, SERVPRO of Boise

SERVPRO® and TSheets, restoring order and saving time

In addition to their community-centered culture, a major contributing factor to SERVPRO® of Boise’s success has been their ability to adopt technology solutions that free up time for administrators and employees. One of these solutions is TSheets, mobile time tracking and scheduling for a highly mobile workforce that supports seamless communication between employees and payroll teams.

Before discovering TSheets, SERVPRO® of Boise was hand-writing daily timesheets, which meant they were uncertain of how accurately they were job costing. After several business owners recommended TSheets, Chris and Allie decided it was time for a simple and efficient approach to tracking employee time, scheduling, and gathering business insights.

“In order to grow at such a fast pace, we needed software that could not only track our job costing properly but also free up employee time,” said Allie. “TSheets has allowed both! We’ve cut down our time spent on payroll from almost eight hours to one hour spent on each of our companies.”

Now crews can simply review and submit timesheets over the cloud. From there, all SERVPRO® admins need to do is approve the timesheets. Without manual entry, the team can work on increasing profits, not deciphering paper time cards.

TSheets scheduling software screenshot.

TSheets timesheets, scheduling, GPS tracking help business owners save 10% on gross payroll costs.

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Time tracking, job costing, and scheduling for more time, higher profits

So what does the SERVPRO® team do with all that extra time? They increase profits! With the company growing at such a rapid pace and the launch of a new division last year, the company’s accounting manager has a lot to do.

So when it comes to the time tracking features of TSheets, SERVPRO® of Boise loves the ability to export hours per job to QuickBooks. They can better calculate job costing by subcontractor and expense for each job. These more efficient systems are invaluable as the organization grows.

“We’ve really focused on increasing our efficiency,” said Chris. “Rather than [our accounting manager] getting bogged down by time cards and saying, ‘Oh, we need to hire,’ we’ve adapted to systems that are more efficient. Now we can make sure people are getting the best return on investment for their time.”

Allie said they’ve also improved efficiency with TSheets Scheduling. The SERVPRO® of Boise team is constantly busy, and new jobs are always coming through. TSheets Scheduling allows them to easily assign crews to a new job appointment in real time, so team members always know where they’re headed next.

TSheets schedule reminders and SERVPRO service vehicles.

With better scheduling comes better dispatching. Appointments can be added and managed from a mobile device, and client information, like phone numbers and addresses, can all be uploaded to an employee’s schedule. Crew members can even leave notes regarding damage and loss and equipment needed or used. Employees don’t waste time, and no one shows up unprepared.

For fast-paced companies like SERVPRO® that service several jobs per day — sometimes in multiple states — job costing is incredibly important. Allie explained that many franchises run into issues related to job costing because they’re not properly tracking the hours they spend working on individual jobs.

But TSheets allows users to clock in by job, which makes it easy for the SERVPRO® team to show which resources are being spent where and adds an extra layer of accuracy. It provides a sense of confidence that managers need to make the crews run like well-oiled machines. Tracking time by job also gives them the ability to export hours per job to QuickBooks.

Rather than [our accounting manager] getting bogged down by time cards and saying, ‘Oh, we need to hire,’ we’ve adapted to systems that are more efficient. — Chris Isaacson, SERVPRO® of Boise

Chris Isaacson, SERVPRO of Boise

GPS technology for time tracking that weathers any storm

“TSheets has made it a million times easier when we travel,” said Allie, who recalled the complications that came up when the team was first deployed to floods and fires.

Communicating with the team to send accurate hours for payroll, in the midst of stressful circumstances, was incredibly challenging for teams out in the field or in another state altogether. TSheets is cloud-based and will collect GPS and time data even when the workforce is without cellular service.

How do Allie and Chris get their employees to use TSheets?

“It’s mandatory, and now we have different features within TSheets, like GPS or clock-in-clock-out, that are transparent,” he explained. “You don’t get paid if you’re not clocked in. If there’s an issue with people not clocking in or not doing it properly, the chances of them stealing from the company are much higher. That’s purely what it’s about. And as long as you have a clear set of expectations, that they need to utilize the tools that we have, where’s the gray area?”

Having used paper time cards in the past, SERVPRO® of Boise was all too familiar with situations wherein someone would forget what time they started a job or they arrived late. Hours were being lost or missed, and project managers had to hunt the timesheets down. But TSheets’ GPS capabilities have given them a great deal more information about who is clocking in from where.

Building an empire within an empire

The Isaacsons said their team loves using TSheets because it’s easy. Plus, cloud-based time tracking also deters people clocking in for their coworkers or falsifying timesheets, which brings down morale among employees and fosters an environment of mistrust. With TSheets, everyone is on the same page, and honest people remain honest.

As SERVPRO® of Boise grows, they’re constantly pushing for more. They said plugging into TSheets for mobile time tracking was simple and worked right away. The ease of signing up and getting the team to use the app was a huge time-saver for the Isaacsons, who’ve seen an incredible rate of growth.

As a new franchise owner, the franchise itself can give you a lot. But it’s up to the owner of the individual location to create the habits and systems of accountability that create efficiency and instill confidence and teamwork within the organization. With TSheets, it’s easier to rest assured that you’re saving time and money and paying your team appropriately.

“It’s turnkey and adaptable,” said Chris. “If we need something adapted, having a resource like TSheets to help us figure it out is just seamless. I wish we had more of that from other organizations.”

A national franchise built on homegrown values

SERVPRO® has evolved and adapted tremendously over the years. SERVPRO® of Boise is nearly 30 years old, and it has been a keystone of the Isaacson family for as long as Chris can remember. Chris’ late grandfather Ted Isaacson is the company’s founder, running the operation out of their Sacramento headquarters in the late 1960s. And that’s where Ted first got the idea to buy property in Idaho.

As the story goes, Ted was sitting in a bar in Wyoming talking about the best fishing in the region. The conversation turned to the small town of Salmon, Idaho, and Ted was inspired. He’d go on to buy acreage, and there, roots were planted. The following generation of Isaacson’s spent summers running around in the woods. Chris’ dad, uncle, and aunt all attended Boise State University to be close to the Salmon cabin and the outdoors. Years later, they’d go on to own SERVPRO® of Boise.

Chris’ aunt, uncle, and father now make up the executive team at SERVPRO® headquarters, which has since been relocated to Nashville. And to say the family has built a successful empire would be an understatement. Chris said the SERVPRO® franchise is on track to hit $5 billion in revenue by 2020.

Chris and Allie Isaacson took over SERVPRO® of Boise in July of 2015 when they chose to move from Nashville and reconnect with their Idaho roots.

“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the Treasure Valley business community and provide services to our ever-growing population,” said Allie.

So at SERVPRO® of Boise, it’s important that the entire team is on board with the values that SERVPRO® stands for. For most people who have lived through a disaster situation and property damage or loss, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. There isn’t exactly a how-to guide for handling it.

It’s up to businesses like SERVPRO® to educate customers and be there to help. That’s why honesty and transparency are so important, and it’s why Chris and Allie said their team is their biggest asset.

“Culture is what drives the industry. It’s what drives this organization. If you have people who come in smiling, ready to help each other, backstop each other, it’s not something you can necessarily quantify,” said Chris. “There is no scale for culture. Everybody comes in here, they plug in, they’re respected, and a lot of it goes back to our values.”

SERVPRO® of Boise’s culture is founded on the mentality that everyone is in it together and growth is both the responsibility and the pride of everyone on board. For the Boise team, culture also supports stability. The outcome is greater focus, greater investment, and greater drive.

The team recognizes the importance of having a sense of community in the SERVPRO® system, and the more success every location has, the more success the company at large will have. For SERVPRO® of Boise, it’s about finding innovative ways to become more efficient and maximize the hard work of their team.

TSheets is “100% better than whatever you’re currently doing …

Some of the most helpful, friendly support staff we have ever experienced in a business to business relationship!”

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