It seems most JobTracker customers feel they’re only scratching the surface of possibilities for how they can implement the software most effectively into their business operations. And for the functions they do use – they may or may not be optimized for most efficient operation.
That was the primary motivation for Sharon Eller of Creative Surface Interiors, a solid surface-only fabrication shop located in Hyattsville, MD, to attend the Moraware Advanced Training Conference in Houston last February. “I always felt like we were not using JobTracker to its fullest potential,” she says. “Plus, I wanted to meet everybody from Moraware and talk with other fabricators.”
It didn’t take Eller long to realize that she had come to the right place. “I had questions about phasing and inventory and they helped me straighten out some of the issues I had created for myself when setting up the inventory” Eller explains. “I also think we have our forms set up screwy. They work for us but I think that they are pretty limited. Kathleen (of Moraware) explained how you could see total square footage for the entire day and I thought, ‘that is really cool. How come we can’t do that?’”
Knowledge Is Power
Creative Surface Interiors has been using JobTracker for about 10 years. Given the fast-paced, deadline-driven atmosphere of the typical fabrication shop, chances were very good that the company had not kept pace with innovations in the software, nor were they aware of features that could be implemented quickly to streamline the operation. “We were kind of flying by the seat of our pants when it comes to Moraware,” Eller concedes. “When setting up JobTracker I found that some things weren’t necessarily intuitive. At the conference I learned that, behind the scenes, some of the features of JobTracker didn’t necessarily work the way I had envisioned. It was revealing to see what could be done with a little tweaking.”
This “view from 30,000 feet” has given Eller perspective on her goals moving forward. “First on the list was inventory,” she explains. “It was plain that our inventory had been set up a little screwy. After the conference, I had a GoTo meeting with Patrick, who went into my computer and helped adjust our settings so they were working better.”
Getting a solid working knowledge of phases and forms is next up on the list for CSI. “In talking with some of the other fabricators, it was wild to see how they are using forms,” she says. “The companies who stood out are the ones who are heavy into residential. It was interesting to see how they had set things up to track jobs all the way through the process. Even though we are a commercial shop, it is nice to know what the possibilities are. You can do so much with this software.”
Learning From Other Fabricators
Eller says that taking the time to get away from the day-to-day pressures of her business to focus on how CSI could adjust its operations for more efficiency was an important component of the conference. Another big reason for attending was the opportunity to see what other fabricators are doing. “We met some guys from England that only do solid surface,” she says. “It was amazing to hear what their world is like. They are still doing a lot of residential. They said that just about every job they do is coved splash, and this is in centuries-old buildings. It’s a completely different system than what we use. I always think it is a valuable thing to expand your horizons and to see how other people do things.
“I also appreciated being to put a face with a name and to have a little more sense of who is behind Moraware. It was really fun to see the different personalities. Cool group of people.”