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Kelly Roofing uses PowerApps to capture photos at work sites


Kelly Roofing is a family business, that has grown to become the largest roofing contractor in Collier County, Florida and was listed as “Roofing Contractor” magazine’s Top 100 Roofing Contractors in the United States. Their diverse crew representing twenty nationalities and three primary languages completes approximately hundred work orders per week. Kelly Roofing implemented Dynamic 365 for Sales and Field Service along with Business Central, which has served as the backbone of their company, allowing them to scale quickly and efficiently. However, they needed additional solutions to streamline their photographing and filing process.

In this blog post we’ll look at how Kelly Roofing partnered with PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies Company, to build a Microsoft Power Platform solution that seamlessly extends the capabilities of Dynamics 365, with data being stored in the Common Data Service and SharePoint Online. The solution also integrates with Microsoft Teams via Microsoft Flow.


 

BUSINESS SCENARIO

Kelly Roofing implemented Dynamics CRM in 2012, followed by Field Service in 2015, and adopted Dynamics 365 Business Central in 2016. Dynamics 365 is used to manage all customer and work order information for roof installation or repair jobs. Each work order is complex with a lot of details, such as the shingles needed, sizes, crew that will work on the job, the vendors used, and more. It also requires dispatch timing, customer communications, driving directions, capturing photos and reporting status updates.

While Dynamics 365 was successfully used to store and manage the information, Kelly Roofing needed a task-focused mobile solution for crew members to collect photos and perform quick status updates while at a job site, such as the job status, whether the customer should be emailed, and more. Since some job sites are in low connectivity areas, the solution had to support the ability to store the photos and status updates on the device and upload later when the device was back online.
 

BEFORE POWER PLATFORM

Prior to the Power Platform solution, roofers spent their days on rooftops and their evenings in front of their computers trying to reconcile and organize the day’s photos. This was a major bottleneck and a challenging process to attach jobsite photos to the proper corresponding client records inside Dynamics 365. It was an arduous manual process that involved way too many data transfers and far too much time.


Old process before Power Platform

Kelly Roofing evaluated third party solutions specifically designed to catalog job site photos. What they found is that the solutions were expensive, and would create additional data silos which is the very thing they wanted to avoid with Dynamics 365. They wanted a solution that would seamlessly integrate with Dynamics 365, which led them to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

 

POWER PLATFORM SOLUTION – JOB PHOTO APP

Kelly Roofing partnered with PowerObjects to build a solution using the Microsoft Power Platform. They described their needs and the painful manual process for managing photos. Within a matter of a few weeks and an estimated 120 hours of development time, Samantha Brown and Aakash Jain from the PowerObjects team had implemented a solution that considerably simplified the process. A PowerApps mobile app was deployed to all 120+ crew members who have been using it daily since the spring of 2019.
 

 
Kelly Roofing crew members use PowerApps running on their mobile device to take photos before, during, and after a job. The photos are stored offline on the device and uploaded to SharePoint Online once the device is connected to the network. All photos are automatically named to match a standard naming scheming that includes the status and location of the job. The app is also used to update job information including status and notes directly into the customer records stored in the Common Data Service.


Microsoft Flow is used to process the photos and upload them to SharePoint. It is also used to automatically post job updates to a Microsoft Teams channel along with a link to the photos, and to email photos directly to customers and staff members.

 
The app started as a way to take photos from the field and put them into the document library attached to the Dynamics 365 job record. But after a few innovative ideas, PowerApps allowed them to do so much more with the solution:

Scheduling: The app now provides a list of all jobs that each crew has on their schedule for a given timeframe. Crew leaders used to come into the office every morning to get paper copies of their job tickets for the day. That is no longer the case. Now, crew members receive all jobs for the day in the app, including all the client information – phone number, directions and job details. This has helped Kelly Roofing realize a 25.8% reduction in trip time.

Reporting: The app provides a Daily Job Site Report for the customers. The report includes five questions that must be answered daily by the onsite team leader – where are you in the job, was the crew on the job, what is the status, what do you want to tell the customer, and what internal notes need to be collected.

Prior to the PowerApp, the crew leader would need to locate a Wi-Fi connection, log into Dynamics 365 on a laptop, and answer these five questions. Now, they use the app to complete the reports right from their phones with simple yes/no toggles. It is quick and enables real time updates to be provided to the customer on the progress of their project.

There’s been a 36% drop in customer call-backs because the pertinent information is now available to everyone in the company in real time.

Access to documentation: Crew members can immediately access any and all documentation from the client record in Dynamics 365. Prior to the app, all documents had to be uploaded manually with no real time updates. Now:

  • When a crew arrives at their jobsite – they can access the contract provided by the sales team and see the original photos and the purchase order for the delivered materials.
  • The salespeople can see real time progress and make sure all promises were delivered and have access to the entire job history on their mobile devices.
  • Just as the app allows for real-time access to all information and documents that are already part of the Dynamics 365 record, so too does it allow for immediate uploading to the client record of any new documents, photos, work orders, etc. If the crew upsells gutters, for example, the signed purchase order is immediately accessible to back office staff so they can order the materials and invoice the client.


 

IMPACT AND BENEFITS

Some of the key measurable impact of the Power Platform solution is as follows:

  • A 91% decrease in processing time because the app eliminates all the photo reconciliation time
  • A 36% drop in customer call backs as all information is available in real time for employees and customers alike
  • A 25.8% reduction in trip time resulting from the enhanced ability to schedule trucks and crews by proximity to the job site.
     

SOLUTION ARCHITECTURE

A PowerApps mobile app is used to capture photos and job status updates and save them in the Common Data Service as part of the Dynamics 365 instance. Microsoft Flow is used to store photos in SharePoint with an autogenerated filename and post updates to Microsoft Teams. Dynamics 365 is used for all customer and work order management.


 

ABOUT THE PARTNER – POWER OBJECTS

PowerObjects has been at the forefront of Dynamics since its early days, and as the Microsoft ecosystem expanded with the introduction of Dynamics 365 and related Business Applications, their mission evolved in lockstep. This commitment combined with their strategy of driving success through four pillars of Service, Support, Education, and Add-ons creates a superior offering in the channel. They don’t view the Microsoft Power Platform as a separate entity from Dynamics 365 – it’s woven into all their practices. In 2018, they were recognized as the first Microsoft Partner in Canada to be certified in PowerApps. In the past year they’ve built 25+ unique apps in direct response to customer-identified needs, as well as hosted several hackathons and App in a Day events around the globe. Their work with clients is now centered around identifying the best collection of Microsoft tools – Dynamics 365, Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, the Azure Stack, and Office 365 – to craft the ideal client solution.


 

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