When Ryan Anderson’s office admin announced she was moving, he did what most paint pros do.
As the owner of Alliance Painting in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, Ryan posted the job to ziprecruiter.com, scheduled and conducted multiple interviews, found a candidate, conducted a background check, and made a hire.
“In all, I spent about two months of my time plus $300 on the background check and the job posting,” he says, “Only to have the new hire last a total of two days.”
As he faced the prospect of starting the whole hiring process over again, Ryan started to think a bit harder about his overall business process.
One thing he recognized was that as a prospective client progressed from a scheduled estimate to a converted project, every piece of software he used — PEP, YCBM, Quickbooks, Basecamp, etc. — required essentially the same data be entered into each system.
“Putting a job into each of those programs and creating calendar events was taking me about 30-45 minutes per client,” he says. “And I run about 300 jobs a year. That’s a lot of hours and a lot of time spent on tasks that don’t create value.”
That realization inspired Ryan to dig a little deeper into the capabilities of Zapier.com, a web automation app that connects different business software programs.
“This was during our slow season so I had some time to figure it out,” he says. “In a couple of days, I was able to create and test a ‘zap’ that pushes client information from YCBM to all my other software programs and populates all the right fields without a single keystroke.”
He adds, “As certain actions are completed (triggers), YCBM Appt, Signed Contract, etc., it prompts Zapier to push the information to the next step in the business process.” The triggers result in an action that either populates client cards in Ryan’s CRM and estimating software or will create projects or invoices when the contract is signed.
With about a week of work creating and testing multiple ‘zaps’ Ryan had a chance to try it out in the field. When the booking was confirmed in YCBM, the zap automatically created and populated the clients’ information into PEP and Ryan’s CRM.
“I went out to an estimate, put together a bid, and got it signed it on the spot,” he explains. “There I was at my clients’ kitchen table as he signed my contract. Immediately after signing, I checked Basecamp to see if the zaps worked properly.
I was elated to find that the project and calendar event were already created, with all the clients’ information populated. I was very pleased.”
He adds, “On the walk to my vehicle I was even able to see Quickbooks had created the client card and invoice as well. At this point, all I have to do is update the invoice and calendar dates. The rest is taken care of.”
Needless to say, Ryan is no longer looking to fill that $13/hour, 25-30 hour per week admin position.
“I encourage everyone who finds themselves or other staff re-entering data to take a look at Zapier,” he says. “It’s going to save you time, it’s going to save you money, and it’s going to reshape your whole business. You’ll spend less time doing a task that doesn’t add value and more time on things that do create value.”