D & G Excavating Inc.
Before the prevalence of smartphones, some service companies relied upon two-way radios to communicate between the office and the field. That was certainly true of D & G Excavating, a family-owned and operated earth-moving business in southwest Minnesota.
“We deliver sand and gravel and aggregate products,” says Kris Gruhot, CEO/CFO at D & G. “We’d take an order at the office and dispatch it to the driver over the two-way radio. Typically the driver would be en route, and we’d be rattling off all of this information for each job. They would often tell us to hold on or get back to us.”
That system was also causing errors and lost revenue. “The drivers were turning in up to 50 order tickets a night and information was often inaccurate or missing. In some cases, orders were completely forgotten and the bill was lost forever,” says Gruhot. “We also have to account for every yard of gravel we get from pit owners and pay them at the end of the year. We weren’t always able to record that either.”
Gruhot knew something had to be done, and spent “about two years” looking for a solution. “I wanted to find something to keep track of time and eliminate the need to write out paper work orders.”
Benefits Only FieldAware Can Deliver
FieldAware, being cloud-based and accessible via the Internet and mobile devices, fit her needs. “We liked that it was compatible with iPads. We use all Mac computers and iPhones in the office. The fact that FieldAware was compatible with those products really intrigued me.
The scheduling capabilities of the FieldAware system enable Gruhot to assign work orders digitally. “Our truck drivers have eliminated the need to write out paper tickets for every load that they deliver. They know that they can wait until they get to their destination to look at the order, so they don’t have to stop driving when an order comes in and start writing.”
D & G has also been able to take advantage of FieldAware’s customizability and make the product work for their unique way of doing business. “We use a custom field so that the guys can type in what gravel pit they hauled the load out of,” she says. “I am able to download that information onto a report and give credit to the pit owner, and therefore pay them more accurately.”
In addition to praising FieldAware’s customer support—“We have never had a question go unanswered,” Gruhot says—D & G has been able to improve their own customer service. “The information we are getting and our billing is much more accurate now. Being able to capture a signature in on the mobile app is wonderful.”
The drivers enjoy the ease-of-use of the FieldAware app on their iPads. “The system definitely makes them more accountable,” says Gruhot. “They get the order on their iPad and they can look at it when they are stopped, not while they’re driving, which eliminates a lot of distracted driving and keeps our guys safe on the road.”
With D & G now on its second generation of family ownership, Gruhot is confident that they not only have the tools in place to continue to grow, but the bandwidth to handle that progress. “Our dispatchers have cut the time spent dispatching in half,” she says. “FieldAware has freed up everyone’s time from writing and talking.”
Kris Gruhot, CEO/CFO