Caribou Software

Giving you the Edge in Business

  Canada: 780-448-2780 ext 1  US: 850-532-6206 ext 1

The Case for Caribou's Software

There are a lot of reasons why having a centralized database system for managing all your jobs, field tickets, and other business information makes good economic sense. These short articles outline some of those reasons.

How Many Times Have you Lost Money on a Job Due to Missing Tickets, Incorrect Rates, and No Methods of Cost Control?

Let's face it. When everyone is going "flat out" in peak season, it's all too easy to lose control of your cost tracking on each job. And who has time to check behind all the operators to make sure they are using the right rates on each ticket?

Yet it is precisely those oversights -- those failures to have the proper checks and balances in place --- that can literally cost you your business if you aren't careful. That's why it's so important to have the right technology tools in place to provide a system and process for maintaining control and accountability over the work you perform, even during your busiest season.

You need a tool that:

  • Automatically prices your tickets based on pre-defined rate sheets so your field workers and admin staff aren't relying on memory or paper sheets in their trucks;
  • Allows you to issue Purchase Orders for materials and supplies needed for a job, and to tie those PO's directly to jobs and even to specific work tickets to ensure the costs are passed on properly to the customer;
  • Gives you accurate and timely job costing reports that let you see what you bid for the job relative to what you've incurred so far in terms of hours worked and materials used so that you can make course corrections before it's too late.

To learn more about how Caribou Software can help your business keep more of the profit it deserves for the hard work it performs, please call us at 780-448-2780. We can schedule a short online demo with one of our service specialists to see if our product can help you run your business better. We're confident it will be a half hour of your valuable time well spent!

Every Job is an Opportunity to Improve Your Business

If you think of job costing as a one-time activity you have to do when you are bidding on a job, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to take your business to the next level.

Companies that treat job costing as a discipline of running their business find that this discipline becomes a competitive advantage over time. How?

Better Scope Management: Companies that treat job costing as a discipline have the tools in place to monitor their performance on a job day-to-day and week-to-week relative to their original bid. That means they can manage project scope with their customers more effectively. Better scope management means higher profits.

Better Customer Relationships: Yes, better scope management means better margins, but it also means better relationships with your customers. No customer wants to be caught off guard with a bill they aren't expecting. So the faster you can alert them about scope changes that translate to more money, the better chance you have of maintaining a positive relationship with that customer, and the more you reduce room for contention over billing. A good job costing system lets you track actual performance relative to initial bid so you can understand variances as they happen and manage them with the customer.

Enhanced Professionalism: Your customers want to work with service contractors that run a professional operation, not ones that manage by the seat of their pants. When you can demonstrate to your customers that you can manage your projects efficiently, you communicate a level of professionalism that sets you apart from your competition.

More Wins: Companies that do a better job of job costing have a better understanding of their cost structure. That means they can be a lot more strategic when going up against their completion in a job bid. They understand what types of jobs they are best at, they have a clearer picture of typical pitfalls and "gotchas", and they understand what aspects of their jobs yield them the most margin. Equipped with that information, they can almost always outsmart their competitors and win the work.

And the good news is that with the right systems in place, job costing can be a simple byproduct of the field ticket management process you already have to follow to bill for the work you perform. It really can be that simple.

To learn more about how Caribou can help you improve your job costing, call us at 780-833-9870 to schedule an online demonstration of how your field ticket tracking process actually becomes your job costing process along the way!

Better Job Costing = Bigger Bottom Line

Many companies in the oilpatch devote little attention to job costing. Yet that lack of attention can make or break you, especially in a tight market like our current one.

Part of the problem is that most companies either rely on their Sage or Quickbooks accounting system with numerous side spreadsheets to manage their job costing. That process requires too much handling and re-handling of the data, and is simply too cumbersome to do. As a result, a lot of companies just walk away from the process. As a result:

  • Their margins are suffering because they are paying overtime wages even when their customer won't allow the overtime costs to be passed on, and they don't even realize it's happening.
  • They lack a good tracking system that allows them to ensure they are billing out for all the parts, materials, and third party charges they are incurring on their jobs.
  • They fail to adjust their charge-out prices associated with their materials list to reflect the actual costs they are incurring to procure those parts and materials.
  • They undercharge for the use of their equipment and tools because they don't understand the real costs of owning and operating the equipment. and their accounting system is not set up to track such costs.

But, if you use an actual field ticket tracking and job management software system built specifically for the industry, the job costing exercise is essentially completed by virtue of inputting the tickets. Once the tickets are in, and you've used the system to calculate your payroll each week, your job costing is essentially done with the click of a button.

Don't fall into the trap of complacency when it comes to managing the margins of your business. Get the tools and tracking systems in place that you need in order to take the money you losing from poor cost control methods, and keep it in your bank account instead!

Is Your DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) Downright Outrageous?

Oilfield service contractors are notorious for suffering from long cycle times between when work is completed in the field and when payment for the work arrives in their bank account.

Some estimates place the average DSO for oilfield service companies at well over 100 days. Many industries would view that as downright outrageous.

You may not be able to sway your customers to modify their terms of payment, but there are some things you can control to reduce your DSO.

  1. Accuracy. A good software system that helps you efficiently ensure you use the correct charge-out rates, the correct project codes, and the correct contact names right from the outset is critical for ensuring your invoice is processed without costly delays.
  2. Timeliness. Not all companies are ready to take the leap to laptops or ipads in the field. Even without that step, an easy-to-use back-office ticket entry/management system, coupled with tools like Dropbox or Skydrive, which can allow operators to share pictures of their paper ticket with the office personnel as soon as they are in cell range, can make a big difference.
  3. Systematic Process. Unless you have an efficient method for seeing what tickets are still awaiting approval so that an invoice can be sent, you risk introducing unnecessary delays in collecting your payment. Yet many service companies struggle to stay on top of which tickets still need what action. A good field ticket tracking and billing system can help you overcome this challenge.

To learn more about how Caribou Software can help your business manage its field ticket tracking and invoicing more efficiently, call us at 780-833-9870. We can schedule a short (half hour) online demo with one of our service specialists. We're confident it will be a half hour of your valuable time well spent!

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