Getting Started with AroFlo

Tips and tricks on how to manage the changeover to AroFlo

Updated on March 5th, 2024

This is an easy-to-follow guide on what you can expect when it comes to setting up AroFlo for your business. If you'd prefer something a little broader and dot point based, please see the help page Welcome to AroFlo which gives direction on finding Support services we offer, specific training manuals and provides information about add-ons including Accounting Package Integrations.

 

1. Create your action plan

Taking the time to map out a simple action plan can set you on the right track to achieving your business goals with AroFlo. How much or how little detail you need to include depends on the size and complexity of your organisation.

 

Here are some key considerations to get you started

It’s critical that the first thing you do as a business is work out what needs to go into your AroFlo, and prepare any import files prior to implementation and training. How you might achieve this will be discussed in detail later. You might also notice that there is sample data already provided for you if you'd prefer to practise with that first.

Getting Started Resources

The below is a helpful workflow, designed to help you plan your transition to AroFlo, complete with links to AroFlo Academy courses, videos, and Help articles. You can use this as a checklist if you wish, to mark your progress as you go.

 

Getting Started Resources

Topic AroFlo Academy course Video Help article
Create an action plan     (This page)
Nominate an AroFlo champion     See Train a Champion
Prepare data for us to import (clients, suppliers, inventory, assets).
If you want to, you can import your client and supplier lists yourself.
 
Send support request to set up email work order imports  
Log into your AroFlo Site Administration area  
Confirm your company details
Set up users
Set up task types
Set up checklists
Set up transaction terms
Set up work types for billing
Set up timesheet overheads  
Set up markups for materials
Set up payment methods
Enable or disable site invoicing for Field users    
Set Company / Reference for individuals (match accounting package)    
Set the Weekly Timesheet start day (match your payroll system)    
Set up positions for users and contacts    
Set Print / Email defaults
Set up GPS tracking (optional add-on)  
Customise quote and invoice print layouts  
Create OHS / custom form templates    
Set up accounting integration link (optional add-on)    
Train Admin staff – AroFlo Office      
Train Field staff – AroFlo Field      
 
 

Click here for tips on creating an action plan

Managing expectations

Make sure to manage your expectations about how much work you will need to provide to succeed. AroFlo cannot be fully set up in sessions with an implementation consultant. The sessions are for providing guidance on usage, not setup.
You must be able to invest time in between these sessions to practice, note down issues, practice using our support services and most importantly, learn by doing.

If you are utilising implementation sessions with a consultant, you must come equipped with the workflows you need to implement and be able to explain these properly to your consultant to give them the best chance of helping you succeed as fast as possible. Remember, no one else knows your business as well as you do.

Branding and documents

Do you have your branding and documents ready?

You will be responsible for your own branding and how you present things like your Quote and Invoice layouts to your clients. If you have complex, multi-page quotes for instance and you want AroFlo to be able to use the same documents you’re currently using, we can assist with assessing if the documents are compatible with AroFlo and then hopefully work these into your implementation. In the event they're not totally compatible, we do have a team who may be able to replicate them for a fee.

The right person for the job

Who will be responsible for managing your AroFlo rollout? This is an extremely important thing to consider and something that can have a drastic impact on your implementation timeline. Simon in Reception might have the time and know-how to book jobs, but he may not know the first thing about accounts, estimating, supplier relations and how your business operates at a high level. Implementing AroFlo in your business can be a time-consuming process and one of the keys to success is having someone available to set the time aside to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible. This could potentially be an Ops or Office Manager who can dedicate an hour or two a day for a few weeks in order to make sure you’re getting value for money for the investment you’re making. 

Your implementation toolbox

Consider what your critical business requirements are in terms of workflow, training and equipment. This means having an up-to-date device to trial AroFlo Field, making sure your computer has a working microphone or taking 10 minutes to learn how to use phone audio with Zoom if you don’t and other logistical considerations prior to implementation to make sure things go smoothly. You wouldn’t build a house without making sure you had enough bricks to do it first and implementing AroFlo is a similar logistical exercise.

Your internal timeframe

How and when do you want to go live? All at once or in stages? Do you plan to continue using your existing system(s) in parallel with AroFlo for a while? Do you have an exit plan for your other systems? It can take 4-6 weeks before you'll likely be ready to fully transition to AroFlo. Whether or not you’re working with an Implementation Consultant, create a checklist of the key rollout tasks, or download one of ours (see below), then assign responsibilities and set realistic completion dates for each task. This will give you a good indication of when your business will be ready to go live with AroFlo. Most of our clients are up and running with AroFlo within about 4 to 6 weeks, and after six months, they’re wondering how they ever did without it.

 

 

2. Prepare your team for change

Change can be a real battle for some people and it’s important to recognise that not everyone in your organisation may be aligned at first with why AroFlo is being rolled out. 


Some of your team members may not be as technically proficient as others or may have anxiety about transitioning to a tech-based platform if they’ve only ever used pen and paper. This can be a roadblock to successfully completing your implementation and making sure everyone in your business enjoys using AroFlo on a daily basis. That’s why it’s vital to plan for resistance to change from the start.

Click here for tips on assisting with staff buy-in

Make it a company-wide project that involves all levels of staff

Get their input about changes that affect their daily tasks. From the office staff to technicians to inventory controllers, everyone in your business should be consulted on the changes that are about to happen so they don’t feel like they’ve been overlooked.
 

Make sure to communicate often and regularly

Hold a kick-off meeting, provide team lunches where you can all discuss changes or concerns in a more relaxed setting, and send out regular emails or alerts to keep everyone in the loop. Try to make your team feel like they’re being taken along for the ride and not dragged along.

 

Explain the benefits that AroFlo offers to your staff in the following ways:

Declutter your workflow

AroFlo increases the ease of allocating tasks through automation. You no longer need to scroll through message chains, find emails or use a calendar program to find jobs. 

There will be no more lost sheets of paper and no more cluttered glove boxes.

 

The following help pages can discuss these benefits in more detail:

 

- Task List
- Task Notes
- Communicating Task Status 

 

Simplify communication

AroFlo improves communication and response times. You won’t have to remember to send SMS messages or make or receive phone calls when AroFlo can trigger these automatically or remove the need to call the office to find out the status of a job or order if you can communicate through notes.

SMS providers must be set up prior to using this feature

SMS functionality requires your site administrator to set up a link to one of our supported SMS partners before you can utilise this functionality. Please see the following page for information on setting up available SMS Providers.
 
 

Be future proof

AroFlo allows your business to stay competitive. The trades industry is becoming more and more technologically focused and the businesses that embrace this change are the ones that are more likely to weather economic or industry “storms” as they can react faster, be more agile with purchasing and profit and loss analysis and provide more automated or efficient customer service to a client base. You can win contracts faster, get paid faster and the business benefits as a whole.

 

 

Grow the business

AroFlo can help ensure long-term success, which can provide higher levels of job security and even bigger opportunities.
 
 
 

 

3. Prepare your data

We want you to hit the ground running with AroFlo, which is why we offer to import your existing customer and supplier records and inventory and asset registers. However, there is additional data you can source to prepare for your AroFlo implementation so you can keep the momentum up through the process:

Supplier Catalogues

Do you have a Reece maX or MMEM login? If so, have those details on hand so we can set up your Supplier Catalogues quicker, or try setting this up yourself in advance. This means you can get up-to-date pricing and stock availability in real-time for your quotes and material purchases. Note that in regards to MMEM that you must request access to their online catalogue through their help desk but you can use these easy-to-follow instructions in advance to have this ready for discussion with your consultant before you even begin your sessions!

 

Request for Quotes

Do you have regular suppliers you use? Once you’ve prepared your import data then consider reading up on our Request for Quotes feature so you can start getting the best prices from these suppliers faster if you have particularly large or complex projects.

 

Print Layouts

Become familiar in with how AroFlo uses Layouts in areas such as invoices and quotes so you can more accurately guide your implementation consultant on how you might need to use these to prepare your branding. As discussed earlier, gathering samples of your printed quotes and invoices you want to replicate early can prevent delays in you being able to send these to your clients.

 

Email Templates

Email templates and Default layouts are controlled by Print and Email Defaults. Your branding in your email and print layouts is crucial and understanding how to create and administer email templates in AroFlo is highly recommended, so you can try setting these up yourself, or talk to your consultant about what you would like.

 

Reports

If data analysis (such as profit and loss) is important to you, make a list of things you want to be able to report on early. This can give your implementation consultant a head-start in targeting what your reports in AroFlo might look like.

 

Task Imports

If your business is one that relies heavily on work orders (or in some cases these may be called purchase orders) being sent to you by your clients for you to action via email, send us a support request with examples of your work order emails so that we can ensure everything is set up and ready to go. AroFlo can be configured to pull these in and in most cases can automate large portions of task creation for you.

 

 

Cleaning up your client and supplier data prior to import

Make sure your import data is cleaned up as soon as you export it from your accounting package or existing software. How do you achieve this and what does this mean? We have created bulk data import templates which are formatted for just this purpose:

How do I get my contact files out of Xero and MYOB?

Click the following links for instructions from Xero and MYOB on exporting your client and supplier contact files. These instructions are current as of October 2022.
 

We often find during the implementation process that data exported from an accounting package may have records from potentially 30 years ago, with fields used for purposes they weren't intended for. Here are some common issues to look out for:

Contact Names

Missing Primary Contact first and last names. These are mandatory fields and your import will partially or completely fail if you don't include these.

 

Addresses

Missing or poorly formatted addresses. Company Address should be street address and Location Name should be things like "Unit 12" or "The Dolphin Hotel". Making sure these are split properly can prevent confusion later on and proper generation of GPS co-ordinates.

 

Irrelevant Notes

Access or client-related notes left in fields that are inappropriate for that purpose in AroFlo.  A common example is that an address field might contain "make sure dog is chained up before entering gate" as this is useful in MYOB, but AroFlo won't be able to process that as an address.

 

Special Characters

Special characters such as dollar signs or curly brackets in your contact import file should be removed as these can cause issues when using the bulk import tool. You might see AroFlo output a blank file simply titled "issues" when this occurs and if you see something like this, it is possibly due to a character such as these being present in one of your rows.

 

 

Think about what kind of data has come out during your export. Do you really need 30 years' worth of client records in AroFlo when you may only want clients you have worked with in the last 5 years or so? These are decisions you can make at this stage and they can help you focus on what is important right now.

 

4. Train a champion

Behind every successful AroFlo rollout is an AroFlo champion. An AroFlo champion is someone who dedicates their time to learning how to use and integrate AroFlo into your business processes.

 

As the business owner, you may want to champion the rollout process yourself. Alternatively, you can nominate someone within your organisation who has a good understanding of your internal processes and is comfortable with new technology and change management.

 

Ideally, the AroFlo champion should be involved throughout the rollout to help drive the process and promote staff involvement. It should also be their responsibility to document new processes along the way. After your business “goes live”, they will have gained the necessary skills and knowledge to become the go-to person for AroFlo related queries, support and training. 

 

5. Get the right equipment

If your organisation is still using a noticeboard to keep track of jobs, it's time to transition to the new digital future of your AroFlo workflow.


Your field technicians will now be able to access their jobs from anywhere, using a mobile device. And just like using the right tool for the job, using the right device makes all the difference. The easier you make AroFlo to use, the happier your team will be to use it during your rollout. 

 

When choosing a device, think about the tasks that are critical to the individual's role. Can these tasks be achieved using AroFlo Field or Office?

 

Additionally, making sure all of the devices you're going to be using are up to date with the latest operating system version, making sure you're using a supported web browser and making sure you're comfortable with the basic settings of the devices you're going to use can make your implementation a lot smoother.

 

You don't have to be a tech wizard when it comes to using AroFlo, however, you always want to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

 

What devices should I use?

Smartphones

Suitable for AroFlo Field, and ideal for on-the-go technicians. AroFlo is driven by the device's web browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari, and is more than suitable for day-to-day work.

 

Tablet devices

Suitable for AroFlo Field, and also provides enough screen space to easily use most features in AroFlo Office. It should be noted that AroFlo Office is primarily designed for a computer with a mouse and keyboard and may not work as expected when using your finger on a tablet.

 

Laptop and Desktop Computers

Add AroFlo to your device's home screen for easy access

It also helps to add AroFlo to the home screen of your mobile devices to give technicians the feeling of simply clicking on an app on their phone to open their browser directly to AroFlo Field.
 

If taking pictures is a big part of the job, make sure your mobile plans have sufficient data allowance for uploading images to AroFlo. A 1GB plan should be adequate.

 

 

6. Your next steps

Finally, learning new technology can take time. That's why we encourage you and your team to get a head-start, using the AroFlo Academy, our interactive eLearning space. Packed with Office, Field, and site setup courses, the Academy is a great way to reinforce your learning between training sessions with your implementation consultant.

Now that you are prepared and ready to get started, Start learning AroFlo today!