Case Study: Royal River Heat Pumps

In the past, we experienced text chains with more than 12,000 messages, which was totally unmanageable.

Scott Libby

About the business

Royal River Heat Pumps, a family-owned business, is based in Freeport, Maine.  With a large, local customer base and a staff of 37 employees, it’s essential communication with field staff is effective and efficient.

General Manager, Zoe Oswald, uses the OurPeople App, which was launched in June 2020, to streamline messaging throughout the company, ensuring everyone who needs to see a message does so.

 

Oswald comments: “In the past, we experienced text chains with more than 12,000 messages, which was totally unmanageable.  The mobility of the OurPeople App on our phones makes it easy to use to communicate with the field staff, especially since we have had to reassess in-person meetings due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

 

“We closed down completely for two months but since reopening the business has exploded, with more people at home having time to consider home improvements, which resulted in a 40% year over year growth for us in July. We are already booking installations well into November and, are expecting a second boost of business when schools go back, and the cold weather hits.”

Comment Cards, Choice Cards and Files:

Royal River Heat Pumps used the App to message staff regarding their medical/health insurance renewal options, to find out what each of them wanted, and to ask if there was any information they needed.  As crews are on the road the majority of the time, Comment Cards on the App are being used to collate mileage date, with number plate and the mileage traveled submitted each month.

The Files section on the App is used to share the company’s monthly newsletter, as well as general instructions, such as where the nearest medical centers are, emergency contact lists, and any installation ‘quick fixes’ that don’t need an in-depth explanation or a minor adjustment on how a job needs to be done.

 

Since the pandemic, the crews now have staggered start times, with each person going into the office for a health screening, which includes a temperature check, prior to going out into the field. Choice Cards on the App are also being used in response to COVID 19, to issue the daily health questionnaire, ensuring all staff fully read and respond to each of the questions, which they have to verify and sign, guaranteeing no questions are missed.

When staff are not in the office, timesheets that need to be updated are easily communicated via Chat in the App to the appropriate Manager, keeping the company informed of the hours they have worked, and it’s also used for any reading based training, so it’s all conducted during work time.

 

Oswald continues: “We use the OurPeople App every day making sure everyone is on board and knows this is the way we communicate with them.  The transition was easy – all staff came into the office for a meeting and OurPeople training, and we went over everything with them.  Within a week we had 100% participation.

“I particularly like the fact all the messaging, files, and information is managed in one place and no longer takes place via personal texts.  It’s more official and also privacy protected, which is important.”

 

“OurPeople is a great company to work with. I certainly feel heard; when I need help they are super responsive, and always consider my feedback for future updates, for example, recently incorporating the company’s logo in the brand colors,” states Oswald.

“We have a big policy update due to rollout shortly and I’ll certainly be using the OurPeople App to launch it. Whereas we would normally print the new policy, which can be up to twenty pages long, for each of the thirty employees, issuing it via the App means everyone will know where to look for the information and can use the App to sign off after they have read and understood it.

“This is a big plus for us as the owner of the company, Scott Libby, is very ‘eco’ aware, having fully replaced all the geothermal heat pumps in his 1830’s farmhouse with air sourced heat pumps, which increased the efficiency of the system.  In line with his vision, the OurPeople App has helped the business become more eco-friendly too. Using the App to communicate the new policy guidelines is a great example of us not wasting paper.

 

“Since launching the OurPeople App it has helped me feel more connected to the staff, especially after the closure. Reconnection was important and, in addition, the App has helped communication throughout the company become more streamlined and efficient,” Oswald concludes.

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