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Archer Locksmiths – Unlocking the secret to business improvement


Moving from a paper-based system to a digital system after 40 years of operation was a daunting prospect for Sydney based family business Archer Locksmiths. But getting the right advice, support and training made the transition much simpler and saved the business hours in admin tasks, not to mention a stack of paper!

Archer Locksmiths wanted its team to be more efficient and have better access to job information such as scheduling, customer details, job history, invoicing and payments, whether they were working in the showroom, workshop, or servicing residential and commercial businesses across Sydney.

Richard Piper, from TradiePad, worked with the Archer Locksmith team and Deloitte to assess the needs of the business and understand their current processes. They recommended cloud-based product ServiceM8 to support the business’ digital database and secure their client information.

ITeam consulting also came on board to assess the business’ hardware and network requirements and sourced and installed equipment on site – all with minimal disruption to Archer Locksmiths.

The team was able to say goodbye to paper records, receipts and customer information.

“We don’t need to write things down and no more losing paper. It’s really helpful to track jobs done for the same customers and have accurate records so if we need to follow up on a job, there’s no confusion about the type of job, cost or result,” said locksmith team member Will.

Catherine Perkins, co-owner of Archer Locksmiths said, “one of our business priorities was to optimise the time of the locksmith team. Electronically recording details and having a system that integrates with accounting software removes duplication and frees up time.”

“I don’t have to spend 15 hours a month on end of month closures, managing bank reconciliations, and document management. It’s been a really simple process,” Catherine said.

“We’ve also implemented on-the-job credit card facilities and automated payment reminders which has made an enormous difference to invoice payments. This has helped reduce my workload even further.”

Training and expert advice

The team completed on-site all-day training with TradiePad where they learnt how to use ServiceM8 to its full potential.

“It was helpful having Richard run the workshop so we could all become familiar with the new software. We entered upcoming jobs into the system and could see how this process would work in reality” Catherine said.

Having an expert available to run through scenarios, answer questions and tailor the software to a business’ unique needs reduced the complexity of getting set-up and gave the business the confidence to keep using the digital solution. Ongoing support, whether online, direct to the trainer or through a product champion ensured their learning continues and assistance is only a call away.

“Training is so important. People can be told how to use a system, but I find it won’t sink in until you’ve tried it,” Richard said. 

“The next important step for us is best practice. There’s different ways to manage jobs and customer details, but for this to be efficient for us, we need to agree on a consistent approach as a team” Catherine said.

TradiePad’s advice for small businesses about training

  • Invest your time and money on training up front as it will fast track your ability to embrace the technology. Having an expert provide some structured training makes you commit to the cause and can help your staff manage the change a little easier.
  • The very nature of cloud-based solutions means that they are constantly evolving, so keep on top of the new features, functionality and options. Commit time to continuing the education and keeping your finger on the pulse.