If you’re looking to make your project management a more efficient process, former Cestrian boss Phill Reynolds thinks he has what you need. And he wants to sell you it.
If you know what OPOC is you’re one of the few in the know. But that’s unlikely to be the case for long, because following the recent sale of major UK print company Cestrian, former managing director Phill Reynolds has set up a new business selling OPOC, or ‘Online Proof Of Completion’ – a clever software tool that makes data collection at remote sites more efficient, allowing businesses to track and improve live projects.
During his time at the helm of Cestrian, Reynolds had the foresight to understand that print was merely a part of the overall solution required by customers – so, with an IT savvy team he began developing bespoke tools to streamline the entire process, from accepting artwork through to job completion.
First came ItsApproved, designed to automate the process of initiating a print job, chasing artwork, proofing, obtaining approval and then creating printready images in minutes. “This solution was proven to make efficiency savings of over 70% and has grown to produce over £5m of Cestrian’s annual turnover,” says Reynolds.
Hot on the heels of this success, ItsFitted was next to revolutionise Cestrian’s print services according to Reynolds, by creating a tool to measure, manage and track display installation teams. It was adopted by some of the business’s top clients, whose feedback led to the creation of additional features.
These products set the stage for OPOC, which is a professional field management tool - ideal for handling projects such as surveys, audits and large-scale display installations underway across multiple locations. It can be adapted for almost any industry, but print is obviously its home territory and an initial focus.
With Cestrian acquired by 3a-Group, owner of European print giant Arian, Reynolds’ attention is now dedicated to the growth of OPOC after an initial three-year development phase.
How does OPOC work?
No more stacks of paper, no more messing around manually, no more waiting for information to be uploaded or sent, no more lost or missing details… and no more guessing where people are.
Instead, a Cloud-based desktop platform links seamlessly with mobile devices, using an app to monitor, gather, collate and control information from field agents.
Data is streamed instantly to the control centre, where thousands of details are clearly displayed and made available for use.
The primary features of OPOC are:
There is an OPOC team dedicated to getting the package up and running quickly at any business, with clear instructions and a tailored training session. The Cloud-based platform means there’s no installation, so businesses can simply log in and build a project.
Accessible mobile app
OPOC is available to all field agents via an easy-to-use mobile app, developed for both Android and iOS devices. It’s quick and easy to install - and free to use - to enable efficient, accurate work on any project.
Easy location management
The app uses Google to provide accurate mapping and geocoding, allowing management of site locations and geographical positions. Managers can assign locations to local field agents, while field agents can manage their routines, create directions and filter best routes.
Reliable progress tracking
With GPS to capture field agent locations, progress can be tracked, monitored and measured. The app automatically geostamps location, time and date, from the start of the job to the finish.
Offline data capture
Poor signal? No signal? The OPOC mobile app has been designed to operate offline, so field agents are unaffected by loss of internet connection. Data is stored on the mobile device, then streamed to the control centre as soon as reconnection is established.
Site survey data
OPOC has the ability to send a site survey request to a field agent. The field agent then populates the app, simultaneously updating the control centre with the same live details.
OPOC allows a job to be subcontracted many times and remain tracked. Providing all subcontracted parties use the app, all information will be streamed to the control centre.
The system was built from the ground up to enable easy integration, so the API allows simple connection to third-party systems.
Buy or build?
The system is also responsive to the changing needs of clients, with ongoing updates and the addition of bespoke new features - plus the provision of support and security. The solution means that clients can avoid spending substantial time and money creating their own product.
Who can benefit from using OPOC?
Reynolds stresses that Cestrian’s extensive industry experience has been vital to creating OPOC, which is immensely versatile and can be useful to businesses of all sizes, from multinational companies to oneman-bands. Typical sectors include field sales, field marketing, auditing, point-of-sale installation, training, mystery shopping, sampling, product demonstrations and other experiential activities.
For big brands, it’s useful for coordinating field activity across a nation or even across the globe, producing cohesive reports that can be sent with one click to any email address. For sole traders, multiple control centres can be operated via OPOC, for managing different projects. Likewise, one field agent could access multiple jobs for different businesses via the mobile app, with the ability to prioritise by location and thus increase efficiency.
The OPOC team can advise on which model of OPOC is best for different organisations. For example, an Enterprise option is a good fit for a business running many large projects, while the Business option helps SMEs with teams of field agents but on a limited budget.
Don’t take Reynolds’ word for it - you can trial it for free for yourself. Get all the info at www.opoc.co.uk