Time Tracking System Helps Company Grow
Pegasi Unlimited uses TaskKlock to track employees’ time and gather data for accurate job costing.
At Pegasi Unlimited of Phoenix, AZ, the business standard is explicit in the name “Unlimited.” Here, “business as usual” means consistently delivering products and service that exceed clients’ expectations and oftentimes the company’s own.
The company began eight years ago, when Tony and Debbie Hernandez took their life savings and started a finishing company in their backyard. After three months, they had more business than their space could accommodate.
Debbie Hernandez says, “Finishing was all we really wanted to do, because that was Tony’s expertise. But we learned that designers wanted one-stop shopping.” So the couple expanded.
Today, Pegasi Unlimited operates in a facility 20 times its original size and the Hernandez’ have grown to a $2 million enterprise crafting architectural woodworking and furniture. Hernandez says the secret of their success is that, “Everything goes back to integrity. We always want to give the client more than they expect.”
One of the things that Pegasi did to maintain integrity while riding a fast track in growth was to implement TaskKlock, a touchscreen-based real-time tracking software for labor costing. The Hernandez’s also are counting on the system to help them reach their next goal, which is to more than double annual sales within the next three years, to $5 million.
How does TaskKlock fit into this picture? Comptroller Tammy Grantham says, “Everything hinges upon having accurate data to estimate from. It helps us to be more competitive.”
Hernandez adds, “Without certain systems in place, including TaskKlock, I believe this kind of growth would not be achievable. We need to set reasonable expectations and meet expectations every time.”
Setting reasonable expectations depends in part on gathering accurate labor time data. The real-time data that TaskKlock generates enables Hernandez to precisely determine labor costs on any job, she says. “Without having this information, estimating is for nothing,” she says. “I need hard, tangible data. That way, I have clients who keep coming back. We could have used it three years ago when Tony and I hired our first employee.”
A System for Woodworkers
Those issues increased with the addition of new workers, as labor costs became increasingly difficult to decipher and lacking this whole variable in the profit-making equation left the bottom line unknown.
Grantham says, “We truly felt we had zero control over the manual system (of tracking time). It’s simply not accurate. We were reinventing the wheel every single time. We would recreate a week’s activities on the morning payroll was due. It created this huge task for the workers. The TaskKlock system is user-friendly; workers just have to tap a screen.”
With TaskKlock, time information is gathered as workers initiate and complete tasks. Hernandez says, “That’s the way we get accountability, by having someone monitor the data rather than monitoring the workers.”
The system also gives access to quick results in weekly payroll, job time and daily reports.
For Hernandez, using TaskKlock is part of keeping up with new technology in the plant. “We have a state-of-the-art spray system and booth. TaskKlock is like any other piece of equipment,” she says.
Pegasi encourages its clients to visit the shop, and Hernandez says, “Our clients are impressed when they see the computers on the floor because they see we are keeping up with technology.” Seeing first-hand Pegasi’s labor-costing technology also builds confidence and trust among potential clients.
In addition, Hernandez says her reliance on real-time based labor calculations increases her accuracy in doing job estimates, which means she can bid more aggressively. Also, when clients receive her bid, they know the estimate is based on real-time data and not just another “dart thrown at a bull’s eye,” she adds.
Grantham says she plans to use TaskKlock data to help streamline operations at Pegasi. “Having the labor time information allows us change procedures in the shop if some task is always taking too long,” she says. “We can identify where our weaknesses are.”
Pegasi also is using job time budgets as an incentive for shop workers, she adds. “If they beat their budget, they share in the extra profits. It gives them more ownership.”
A One-Job Payoff
“We had six weeks to complete and install $500,000 worth of millwork,” she says. “This job had a tremendous amount of overruns. Because of the fast-track nature of the project, we weren’t putting time and money together. Once we figured out what the overruns were, we knew we were going to need backup support. We were talking about a couple of thousand hours worth $250,000. When we met with our client, our supporting documentation was all the TaskKlock reports printed out for the entire job.”
Grantham used “Job Report” to document all subjobs, tasks and individual worker records. “We knew we had everything we needed. If we hadn’t had TaskKlock, I don’t know if we would have been able to depict our overruns to the client,” she says. “With TaskKlock, it was just a matter of pushing a button. The number is the number. We felt confident walking into that customer meeting. We are a fair company. They paid.”
TaskKlock originally was developed by Walter Erskine for the shop where he works, Alaskan Wood Moulding. Erskine says, “TaskKlock made Alaskan so much more profitable. We want other businesses to succeed just as well.”
TaskKlock backs up its system by providing its customers with personal attention, such as custom programming, on-site installation and training, followup, and free upgrades and phone support during the first year.
For more information about the TaskKlock system or to receive a free demonstration disk, contact Erskine by phone, (907) 230-8912, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the company’s Web site, www.taskklock.com.
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