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Systems Integrations in the Fence Industry

Part of the intrinsic value of any business is the experience and expertise of its employees. Maybe your fence company has experts in different types of fencing — a “wood person,” a vinyl person,” a “chainlink person” and so on — who stay current in the pricing and availability of their specialty materials. Maybe there are others who keep track of crew scheduling or calculate fence estimates for customers. Or maybe there’s only one person with the expertise needed to keep all the balls in the air and keep the business running: you.

When vital business information is stored only in the heads of its owner or long-term employees, the company’s efficiency suffers every time those people get sick, go on vacation, or leave their jobs. It also hurts the value of the business when attempting to sell it if there is no system set up to pass along that valuable knowledge and expertise. What’s needed is “systems integration,” which is simply the term for making processes, people, and data work together in a seamless and tight-knit system.

The fence industry has such a tool, created by a fence company owner and designed to handle every aspect of running a fence business: the Computer Fencing System. (For companies that deal only in vinyl fencing, there’s a version of the software called Vinyl Fence Toolbox.) In addition to speeding up processes and reducing the chance for error, CFS and VFT provide a central location for all of a company’s product information and other vital data. That means all employees have the information needed to do their jobs, at their fingertips, 24 hours a day. In effect, CFS/VFT becomes the company expert.

An integrated system such as CFS/VFT does most of your work for you, using its built-in knowledge of fencing and the personalized information added by your company to easily and accurately produce job sketches and estimates, which can then be easily converted into contracts and invoices. It also can handle crew scheduling, create a price list and/or a parts catalog, and can act as your cash register, with bar-code technology. You can keep things running smoothly because you are using the same program to handle every aspect of the business. CFS and VFT improve communication and morale in a business by making sure all of the employees are on the same page, have access to the right information, and do not need to bother someone every time they have a question.

One of the greatest benefits of systems integration is its ability to reduce errors. Take pricing for example: The price of a part may appear once in the company’s catalog, again in the fence estimate, again in the contract, and again on the invoice. Instead of entering the same data multiple times (introducing many opportunities for error) an integrated system such as CFS draws the data from the same source each time it appears in a company document. Employees never have to remember prices — or even look them up. The program provides the information instantly and performs all of the calculations, including appropriate taxes and labor, automatically.

Systems integration is essential to safeguarding a business and its data. With proper systems in place, employees don’t have to rely on their memories (or one another) to get accurate, up-to-date information. The business owner does not have to be on call at all times, and he or she will not lose as much valuable expertise if an employee leaves the business. Quick, efficient service and a reduction in errors also helps keep customers satisfied, because you will always be able to deliver what you promise.

With the Computer Fencing System and Vinyl Fence Toolbox, an initial investment of time to customize and learn to properly use the software pays huge dividends down the road. The seamless system provided by the programs increases efficiency, improves communication, ensures accuracy, keeps employees and customers happy, and safeguards the long-term value of your business. For more information about these products, please visit www.fencesoftware.com or call (800) 544-2536.


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