Streamline your operations and increase efficiency with the new NGWA Business PRO cloud-based software system.
By Mike Price
A common saying heard throughout the water well industry is that their father taught them how to drill a well but not how to run a profitable business.
From following proper business practices to understanding gross profit margins to setting the correct price structure, a learning curve was created decades ago that the industry is still seeking to overcome. It’s a tough industry to be in when the future isn’t considered.
The National Ground Water Association recognizes the need to empower business owners to secure a successful future and has developed NGWA Business PRO, a cloud-based software system that helps them streamline their operations and increase efficiency. Business owners can request a demo of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system at ngwabusinesspro.com.
Synched with QuickBooks, NGWA Business PRO was exclusively developed for any size water well business by NGWA’s Board of Directors. The new program offers many functions and reporting capabilities including:
- Work orders
- Cost tracking
- Data mapping
- Equipment management
- Accounting (balance sheets, profit/loss, year-to-date, estimate vs. invoice cost comparison, profit margin, gross profit, and net profit)
- Tracking service work by the site, not the customer (with this feature, every well with GPS coordinates can be easily plotted to show its exact location on a map)
- Providing a company breakdown of workers’ compensation coverage for each employee throughout the year (if the payroll function is used).
“We’re always worried about the next generation and creating a passion as well as giving them the tools they need to succeed,” says NGWA Board Director Chauncey Leggett, CWD/PI, CVCLD. “If you give them the tools and show them the money, I guarantee you the passion will come, and you can do that by showing them what Business PRO has done for you.
“When people are considering getting into the business, they want to see the real-life stuff like how much money can be generated, and how it’s run properly. At the end of the day, after you do your gross profits all the way down to your net profit and you see the results, that’s attractive. I can find passion for this. I’m really excited about what Business PRO can do.”
Leggett, president of Lake Valley Well Co. in Tarboro, North Carolina, says NGWA Business PRO is the top project he’s been involved with since being elected to the NGWA Board of Directors in 2019. Other board members have provided their input to make NGWA Business PRO as user friendly and useful as possible.
“There is no better selling tool than [being able to] take the information you’ve accumulated over so many years,” says Leggett, who chairs NGWA’s Southeast Regional Policy Subcommittee. “All you have to do is push a button and boom, there it is. The value of being able to share that information easily with a person looking to get into the business can’t be overstated. The pride that we’ve built something that has value now is immeasurable.”
Groundwater Week 2023 attendees can learn more about NGWA Business PRO from 3-3:30 p.m. on December 6 in the Activity Area in the Exhibit Hall.
Meeting Accounting and Resource Management Needs
NGWA Business PRO’s comprehensive suite of modules and capabilities is designed to meet the accounting and resource management needs of each business—no matter how small or large the enterprise. Whether you have three users or 103-plus users, it’s designed to grow with you as your operation grows.
Each user profile has a customized dashboard that allows you to easily navigate between sites, add or make changes to customer information such as site information and service logs, and instantly create professional quotes in the Estimates module, all in real time.
The project management modules also allow you to optimize your team’s time (Scheduling module), ensure recurring maintenance tasks are never missed, and that the Work Orders module is always up to date in real time.
For those times when you need a service or part quickly, the Business PRO Inventory module provides a complete list of all in-stock items while the Vendors module gives you quick access to suppliers for expedited purchasing.
The current Vendors module is a list of vendors that a Business PRO user can add, which allows them to generate purchase orders from (sends an email to the vendor with line items and quantities of products they are requesting) or even tag an inventory item to tie it to a vendor to make that process smoother via purchase order creation.
Because the program is synched with QuickBooks, it simplifies your accounting processes through the Purchasing and Invoicing modules.
“You don’t have to be techy to run it. I think anybody can run it,” says NGWA Board Director Buddy Sebastian, vice president/general manager of Sebastian & Sons Well Drilling Inc. in Springport, Michigan. “If you can run an Apple or Android phone, you can run it. Navigation is pretty easy.
Exciting Process-Flow Functions in the Works
After the initial rollout, and with the additional input of users, NGWA Business PRO will begin work on rolling out enhancements to existing modules and adding new features in the following areas:
Scheduling: Future versions will incorporate a scheduling screen that allows the user to create calendar events where personnel and equipment are scheduled to be somewhere for a block of time. It would also warn of any schedule conflicts.
Service Tickets: The Service Tickets page is for all non-drilling jobs at well locations for new or existing customers. The main screen would show a list of all open Service Tickets, followed by recently completed or cancelled tickets.
When you open a service ticket, the view would mirror the Work Order screen so it’s familiar to the user but with a few additional fields. The user will be able to create an invoice directly from the service ticket screen, and Assignments resulting from the service ticket will also populate on the Schedule screen for selected employees and equipment.
Recurring Maintenance: The Recurring Maintenance page would allow the user to set up a recurring job for a well. The user would need to input the frequency of the maintenance and the required inventory items that will be used. A specific employee will be assigned to the job so that it is reflected in their schedule.
Dashboard: An enhanced Job Dashboard page will offer a quick bird’s-eye view of all the information related to scheduled jobs such as Work Orders or Service Tickets and Maintenance. It will provide the user with relevant information about the job and will allow the user to schedule actions to move jobs.
These added efficiencies could simplify a company’s processes in a visually clean and friendly program to navigate. The fact that you can be standing on a jobsite and inputting information in real time or pulling up a complete history on a location on your tablet or phone is convenient. The team back at the office can see the changes on their end as well in real time.
Leggett has worked in the industry for nearly 40 years but has been using a business management software system for just 15 years. It has helped his one drilling rig company become more successful and has led to record years in 2021, 2022, and already in 2023.
“I think NGWA Business PRO will offer that to the next generation a lot sooner than I was able to capture it,” he shares.
Mike Price is the senior editor of Water Well Journal. In addition to his WWJ responsibilities, Price contributes to the Association’s scientific publications. He can be reached at email@example.com, or at (800) 551-7379, ext. 1541.