CHC Hydronics is a leading Manufacturers Representative and Package Systems Manufacturer of HVAC, Hydronics, Steam, Heat Transfer, and Plumbing Equipment. Headquartered in Hayward CA, CHC has operations across the Pacific Coast in Washington,Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. The company provides cutting edge products to reduce energy costs and protect environmental resources.
CHC not only sells appropriate products and parts, but works with customers to build extremely customized solutions that fit both within the building’s needs and the limited floor space available.
With their fast growth, CHC had spread across multiple warehouses and workcenters across the Pacific Coast. They also worked as Manufacturer’s Representatives for multiple leading equipment manufacturers.In addition, CHC’s FlowTherm Division provides a pre-engineered, packaged product that overcomes partners’ unique financial, dimensional, and timeline constraints.
CHC Hydronics installed FInancialForce ERP to streamline their financial and operational processes, improve visibility into their data and make better decisions across the organization.
Since manufacturing and fabrication was spread across multiple locations, CHC needed an easy way to track the time that their employees spent on specific jobs. They also needed to track the time that their service engineers spent on the field on repair and maintenance jobs.
This prompted CHC to look for a solution that could meet its evolving needs for time tracking. One that would easily integrate with its FinancialForce ERP system.
In 2019, CHC implemented PK4’s Time Tracker for Salesforce. Since the TimeTracker data was all in Salesforce, it was very easy to integrate the system with FInancialForce.
TimeTracker Project Creation
CHC customized the FinancialForce Production Order screens to allow for the creation of a TimeTracker Project. When a specific Production Order was ready for manufacturing and fabrication, users could simply push a Create Project button on the Production Order. This would create a Project within the TimeTracker that would carry the details of the Warehouse where it would be manufactured and the WorkCenter that needed to work on the job.
Time Capture based on Location
Each Warehouse and Workcenter used the TimeTracker in a Kiosk mode on iPads. The TimeTracker was configured to filter data such that only employees in that Warehouse and WorkCenter would be able to log time into Projects for that location. This was based on the Warehouse and WorkCenter details from the Production Order.
Easy Time Tracking
Employees on the fabrication floors used the TimeTracker’s easy-to-use interface on Apple iPads to track their time. Since the employees were tracking time on the TImeTracker Kiosk, they did not need to have Salesforce or FinancialForce licenses. So not only was time tracking easy, it was highly cost-effective too.
Labor Costs Capture on the Production Orders
When the employees completed work on a specific Project, they would mark that Project as Complete on the TimeTracker Kiosk. This would fire up a Salesforce Workflow in the backend that would take the Labor Hours and Cost from the Project and update them on the Labor lines in the Production Order.
Efficient time tracking for fabrication team
Since the time tracking was so easy to use and was right on the factory floor, CHC was able to get a much more accurate summary of the time spent on each Production Order. In addition, when needed, they were able to get the detailed hours spent on each project by multiple employees.
Detailed time data for analysis
Based on the detailed time tracking data that they now had, CHC was able to roll up the hours spent on fabrication and implementation to each of their manufacturer’s representatives. So labor costs on each product line was very accurate and clear.
Accurate billing for Service time
CHC also implemented the TimeTracker Mobile app for their Service Engineers on the field. Service Engineers would be assigned specific Service Sales Orders within FinancialForce. These would be converted to Project Assignments to the Service Engineers, again with just the click of a button. Service Engineers would have a list of all Assigned Projects for the day, listed on the TimeTracker mobile app on their phones. They could easily Check In and Out of each Assignment, which would track the actual time spent on the Assignment. When the Assignment was completed, a back-end Salesforce workflow automatically pushed the time back to the Service Sales Order in FinancialForce.This would then generate invoices to customers based on the time and materials that the Service Engineer had spent.
Salesforce Sales Cloud
TimeTracker in Salesforce
TimeTracker Mobile App for field service engineers
TimeTracker Kiosk app for fabrication and manufacturing teams.
What do universities, data centers and hotels have in common? They all need highly-customized heating, ventilation and cooling systems to help maintain an optimum temperature and keep occupants (human and machines) happy.
That’s where CHC Hydronics steps in. Headquartered in Hayward, California, CHC is a leading provider of plumbing, mechanical and HVAC equipment to commercial buildings and project engineers across North America. Operating two factories and partnering with over 100 contractors, the company designs and supplies these custom-built systems to fit within each client’s unique space and needs.
With dozens of shop floor workers and field service technicians spread across hundreds of active manufacturing and field service projects at the same time, it is important for CHC Hydronics to understand how much time and labor it spends on each client, and on each product line.
To that end, the company has always used a time-tracking solution to help them keep track of how much time employees were spending on different tasks and projects. Before they implemented PK4 TimeTracker, CHC was using another third-party solution for labor tracking in their production plants. However, this solution presented several limitations in scope and use cases, and challenges:
Lack of features: It only had limited features and functions, and lacked the in-depth capabilities for CHC to be able to sort and analyze their time data across different dimensions (e.g. by manufacturer, product line, or salesperson).
Inflexibledeployment: The prior solution only allowed them to track in-house factory labor. It could not accommodate time tracking for remote field service technicians, who needed to use manual timesheets to track their time spent on each servicing project.
Poor integration: CHC needed a modern solution that was aligned with their new cloud-based ERP solution, but their prior solution did not integrate with their Salesforce-based ERP system, FinancialForce.
This prompted CHC to look for an alternative solution that could meet its evolving needs for time tracking.
In 2019, CHC Hydronics implemented PK4’s Time Tracker as an upgrade to replace their prior solution. They also integrated the PK4 TimeTracker with Financial Force for better visibility.
Integration with Financial Force With both Financial Force and the PK4 TimeTracker being on the Salesforce platform, CHC was able to integrate the two platforms easily. All the shop floor workers’ time was directly integrated with Production Orders on Financial Force. The service technicians’ time was integrated with Sales Orders in Financial Force. In both cases, when a Project is completed on the Time Tracker, a labor line is added to include the cost. Thus enabling CHC Hydro to have a very accurate picture of the labor costs both on Production Orders and Sales Orders.
Improved Time Tracking Convenience and Accuracy
PK4 TimeTracker allowed CHC to integrate time tracking across two different groups of employees, unifying time tracking for both shop floor workers and field service technicians for the first time.
With versatility in deployment formats, CHC was able to deploy the time tracking app to end users in a format that best suited them: for shop floor workers, this meant clocking in and out via a stationary iPad kiosk on the factory floor, whereas field technicians could track their time spent on each assignment with a convenient mobile app.
Whereas shop floor workers were already used to these time tracking procedures, field technicians reported much greater convenience with the elimination of manual time sheets which they had to submit daily, as well as improved accuracy now that they could check in and out of projects on the spot. For CHC Hydronics, accuracy was of utmost importance, as they needed to make sure they were compliant with California’s Prevailing Wage labor regulations.
Ease of Integration, Data Reporting And Analysis
Secondly, the ease of integration of the Time Tracker with Salesforce and FinancialForce also enabled data automation and more robust, in-depth reporting. Combining factory production data and sales data from their ERP system with time reports from Time Tracker, CHC could now create dashboards and reports allowing them to track labor across several different dimensions – by project or client, product line, technician, etc.
These insights into their labor expenses proved useful not only for internal decision making – it also gave the company leverage for negotiating with business partners and clients. In particular, they could share detailed reports on time spent on projects and servicing to negotiate for better terms and rates.
Overall, the feedback from employees and the IT team has been very positive. Patrick Hamilton, IT Manager at CHC Hydronics highlighted the partnership and support as particularly outstanding: “PK4 worked closely with us to design a solution to fit our needs. The support we receive from PK4 has always been top notch, and any issues we face are always quickly resolved!”
Salesforce Sales Cloud
PK4 TimeTracker in Salesforce
PK4 TimeTracker Mobile App for field service engineers