In the summer of 2021, a property development company reached out to us with a problem. They were having troubles managing their Trades (electricians, plumbers, painters, etc..). Trades were required to submit their hours through a very complicated vendor portal, then submit the proof of their work through another portal. This system created a paper trail of sorts that was very difficult to manage. The company wanted to know if we could develop an application that would allow them to better manage the Trades, and provide them with an easier way to submit their work.
We took on the challenge and sat down with the Client to design an app using the available Zoho apps. We ended up deciding on a 3 pronged solution: a custom app built with Zoho Creator app, Zoho Books Integration, Zoho Workdrive Integration.
The Zoho Creator app was the largest part of the build. Our team built an app that allowed our client to break a construction project down into smaller tasks, then assign those tasks to various trades. Those trades were able to download their app from the app store then login to see the tasks assigned to them. When a trade started timing a task, the Zoho creator app required a picture of the "Before", and when they finished for the day, the Zoho Creator app required another picture. This provided our client with time-stamped, GPS-tagged pictures that they could use as proof of work.
The integration with Zoho Books meant that whenever hours were submitted by trades within the app, it would automatically be added to that trades bill in Zoho Books. This allowed our Clients accountant to check the submitted invoices against the hours actually worked by the trade. Which made it much easier for the client to do a cashflow analysis on his construction projects
The integration with Zoho Workdrive worked by automatically saving all the pictures submitted by the trades in the Zoho Creator app to Zoho Workdrive cloud storage. This system automatically stored the pictures in folders related to the Project, then the Trade, then the task. Which made it easy for the city to audit the work done. Making the inspection steps of the construction process much simpler.
Overall, we were able to save the Client an average of 15 hours a week in Book keeping admin, and were able to reduce the number of times the city denied permits by 60%. The client was so happy with the results that they asked us to turn the Zoho Creator app into a SaaS product that they could sell to other construction companies.
Do you need an application to help manage your Trades? Let us know, we would love to help.