- Consolidated and streamlined project life-cycle management
- Automated administration and interaction of multiple web services
- Automated and enhanced the existing use of Google Apps
Crestwood Painting is Kansas City’s number 1 house painter where Mike Kelly has fully embraced the services that the web offers to cut down on admin, get the most from his staff, and generally provide the best service he can.
- YouCanBook.Me to automatically take booking for estimates;
- sophisticated Google spreadsheets to calculate the estimates and provide overall management of the jobs;
- PipeLineDeals.com for overall management of the deals and contacts automatically fed into Google Contacts and Google Calendar;
- VeriClock.com for staff timekeeping, alongside other Google services: GMail, GCalendars, GContacts, etc.
Using such a wide range of services still involved a fair of amount of manual work: cutting and pasting, sending emails, updating various dashboards and websites. Being the visionary that he is (what can I say, I loved working with the guy!) he could see that there was still scope for streamlining and consolidating the whole process, which was when he called me. Together we built on Mike’s ideas to use Google Apps Script and the RESTful API’s provided by the various web services to bring his estimation and production workflow into a coherent, automated whole:
- Google Apps Script web app for take-off. On notification of a booking a custom GAS web app is used to gather the info need to create the take-off spreadsheet (a Google Sheet) to be used for overall management of the project.
- Google Sheet scripts. Various scripts contained in the take-off sheet accessible via custom menus are used to create new PipelineDeal deals, update contact details, create VeriClock jobs and monitor hours on the project.
- Google Apps Script web app for project admin. Another GAS web app provides an overview of the project and allows admin tasks like completing close-out check-lists and invoicing to be simply completed via Google Forms by staff in the field.
Mike was a great client to work with providing quick feedback and an open mind to exploring various ways we could fit all the pieces together. I look forward to working together further to enhance and grow what we have created.
He even allowed me to release some of the libraries we created for the benefit of the wider community.
I’ll let Mike have the final word:
“With a vision for how software automation might help our business and also reduce costs, I came upon a nice gentleman in the Welsh countryside. Some emails and a Hangout or two and we decided to move forward. Having never done this there was some initial uncertainty, but it helped that he was a native English speaker and we were a manageable 6 time zones apart.
Andrew proved quick to grasp the initial objectives and was always ready to offer guidance when needed. What impressed the most was Andrew’s patience as new feature requests were thrown at him – he managed to prioritize and incorporate them into a still-cohesive and manageable whole. We had a regular Thursday Hangout and many emails and shared Docs in between.
The original (narrow) vision gave way to a more encompassing workflow system that will yield far more benefits to our business than originally planned. Andrew was pleasant and professional throughout; I’m already looking forward to moving on to future projects with Andrew. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with Andrew Roberts.
Mike Kelly, VP/General Manager Crestwood Painting, June 2015”