Froster Engineering – Focusing on what matters most, thanks to ROLL
ROLL User: Jeff Froster
The Business: Froster Engineering
Owning and running a business is often extremely rewarding. But it also comes with its challenges. One of which is having the information and insights to know how your business is really performing and where you need to focus your, often very limited, resources. Jeff Froster, owner of Froster Engineering knows this all too well.
Life before ROLL
In 2012, fuelled by the desire to bring low energy building engineering systems to the world, Jeff started his own engineering business – Froster Engineering.
Since then, Jeff has assembled a team of highly qualified and passionate engineers who have been involved in building projects all over Australia.
But as the business grew Jeff found himself spending more and more time managing the business, doing admin work and less and less time doing engineering work.
Being a tech-savvy person, Jeff started to look for technology to help him manage his business. He went from using Google Docs to track his time to using up to 10 different business management apps; Harvest to track time, Forecast for resource management, Asana for project management, Pipedrive to manage leads, Proposify for proposals, Evernote for taking notes, and MYOB for accounting – to name just a few.
All these individual tools are great. But there was a cost associated with all of them and, combined, that added up to a significant amount. Furthermore, Jeff had to spend a lot of time entering data and ‘managing’ his business management tools.
“The cost was getting out of hand and there was too much manual work involved in running the business and extracting information from all the different apps. All these little things just took hours and hours”
And at the end of the day he still didn’t know how the business was actually performing; or as Jeff puts it “I often felt like I was running blind”.
So Jeff set out to streamline his business.
A friend recommended WorkflowMax as an end-to-end business management solution. However, Jeff says:
“I had used WorkflowMax at my last company and I didn’t like it at all. It was slow and clumsy”
– definitely not the kind of system he wanted for his agile engineering firm.
While searching the Internet for other options Jeff came across ROLL and found the answer to his problems. Jeff remembers: “It actually looked to good to be true when I first saw it”.
After signing up for a trial and having a chat to the ROLL team, Jeff was convinced he had found the right system to manage his business.
Life with ROLL
“All the individual features in ROLL are great. It’s super easy to track my time, track costs against projects, send quotes and invoices and manage projects and tasks. But what really makes the difference is the visibility it gives me into how my business and individual projects are tracking. It gives me accountability over the whole business – That’s what I like most about it.”
With ROLL, Jeff has all the essential information about his projects in one place. By tracking project fees and costs in ROLL, Jeff can see which projects are performing well and which are at risk of going over budget. And with the simple dashboards he can easily see how much money he has in the pipeline, what the value of work in progress is and where his leads are coming from.
“The ability to add progress payments to projects is another great feature. It gives me visibility over my cashflow forecast and enables me to see early on if I will be able to cover my cost in the coming months”
Jeff is soon switching his accounting system from MYOB to Xero and he’s looking forward to simplifying his invoicing. “Right now invoicing is quite a time consuming process for the business. I’m looking forward to moving to Xero and integrating it with ROLL so we can generate and send invoices directly from ROLL and I can easily see which invoices have been paid – without ever having to open Xero. That will be a huge time saver for us”.
Why Froster Engineering loves ROLL
While Jeff loves the individual features of ROLL, the real value, he says, is bigger than that; “I’m more focused on what matters. I’m less distracted with all these different tools and spreadsheets and spend less time micromanaging. ROLL has allowed me to step back and focus on what matters most".