This latest release of RIDGIDConnect adds some features that should get most of you pretty excited if we have been listening well. One major thing we added is the ability for you to allow your customers to upload media to any job you permit them to. This opens the doors to a few more things than it sounds like.
Open up any job and check mark the box to allow customers to upload media. Simple enough. "What's that get me?" you ask. A lot of new capabilities! First, let your customers save you a trip to the site by sending you a picture of what they are seeing. A lot of times a simple picture will give you enough information to bring the right parts to a job or send the right worker to the site. Being able to communicate at the speed of the internet might give you a leg up on the competition that needs to send someone onsite to give an estimate for work. After work is done, the customer may find fault in your work, or notice an issue, and want to show you what is happening. Again, they can easily attach an image or video to the report to save the frustration of a customer trying to communicate what is wrong. Best of all, RIDGIDConnect allows you to store this all securely so you have a living file on all the customer interactions.
It doesn't have to be a video or picture from a camera that you ask your customer for. Think about the forms you already exchange. When you create a job for a customer, you could attach a pre-work survey to collect the information you need for the job, and then ask them to upload the form when it is complete. Why not do the same after a job is done with a satisfaction survey? You will automatically have all of the information for a customer in one easy to manage place without needing to put paperwork into a folder and printing emails and faxes out so that your job data is all in one place. Your customers will most likely thank you for saving them trips to the fax machine in the process or the cost of a stamp.
Last week was the Pumper Show. There was far more interest in RIDGIDConnect than I expected. It was fun to watch people light up as they began to understand what we have put together. At first the response was: "I am fine with DVDs." This soon changed as I would start discussing the advantages (bookmarks, snapshots, markup, security, integrations to your site, logo customization, mapping...). By the time they saw how easy it was to do all of these things, they were nearly speechless ...in a good way! I certainly learned that it takes more than a minute to digest all of the features that are in the site and decide if RIDGIDConnect is right for your business. If you would like someone to walk you through the site or train you in some of the hidden features, let us know via the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page on RIDGIDConnect. For a few more notes on what was in our booth, check out this blog from one of our distributors.
Switching topics, last week we also added a new feature to RIDGIDConnect for Job Scheduling. Let me know what you think so far. Simply create a new job in advance of doing the work. You have the ability assign the job, set a time and date for the work and give a priority. We are keeping this quiet for now as new features are added in. Do you have a suggestion? If so, leave it in the comments of this message. I am also very curious how many of you are using smart phones in the field and\or using GPS to track employees.
Service Technicians routinely talk to us about using SeeSnakes or digital inspection equipment to look in drains, air ducts, or boiler tubes. From time to time we will hear of user of our products that dispatches a RIDGID(r) inspection device to detect an issue in a mission critical space. There are few piping systems that are more mission crtical than a fire supression or sprikler system. Where there is a safety regulated installed system, you can bet that there is an annual opportunity for diagnostic and maintenance services.
In last month's Reeve's Journal (page 26) there is an article on the special attention that needs to be paid and annual inspection methods for wet charged fire sprinkler systems. There are numerous company's that advertise and promote annual certification of a fire sprinkler system's backflow prevention equipment and cross connection points. Increasingly, camera inspection companies are being employed to visually check the valves and stand pipe of wet charged fire sprinkler systems.
The condition of these wet charged systems needs to be monitored because the water in the lines can stagnate, and in some cases is injected with anti-freeze and other agents to fight fires. While the additives may be good for the prevention and containment of a fire, they can play havoc with pipe, valves, and fixtures. Dry pipe systems also can benefit from camera inspections from time to time to ensure ideal system performance when they are called upon. Routine inspections of the system can visually detect areas of deteriation and enhance a preventative maintenance program.
I found on one contractor's website a blog write up of their program and offering (http://atlas-inspection.com/blog/techsupt/sprinkler-system-standpipe-inspections-faster-and-less-expensive/). The only thing missing here - a RIDGIDConnect job report. This customer was presented with a paper report and a DVD showing the inspection footage. An electronic report can more concisely present the needed information, be shared with multiple parties, and referenced back in the years to come as the property owner asks for ongoing inspection and maintenance. In cases like a fire sprinkler system, most insurance company's require an annual asssesment. Beyond a certificat of inspection, an electronic inspection report could be yet another great way to prove the integrity of the system to garner discounts on premiums for property owners.
If you offer inspection services, it might be worth your while to investigate Fire Sprinkler System inspection requirments. Pehaps there is a company in your area that already provides this service that needs assistance with camera inspections of stand pipes and valves to avoid excavation or other time consuming steps to gain access to lines and valves. Value added, niche, services like this are recession proof and using a service like RIDGIDConnect to track the jobs and share it with interested parties makes its easy to extend your business into a new market without adding a lot of overhead.