At some point the owner of nearly every growing business realizes that skill may be what got you here – but smart business practices will be what keeps your company growing.
How you approach lighting audits is a great example of this principle. While knowing the basics of how to produce a solid audit is typically the starting point, implementing audit best practices can elevate your entire game.
So, how can you make sure you “wow” the client during the lighting audit? Focus on these three things: lighting audit accuracy, professionalism, and growth potential.
Lighting Audit Accuracy
Accuracy matters. Yes, this may seem like a glaringly obvious statement, but you might be surprised by how many of your own lighting audit practices reduce the accuracy of your audits. And by letting these practices go unchecked, you’re risking inaccurate bids and multiple trips back to the site to get more information – none of which enhances your credibility.
What errors do retrofitters commonly make that reduces the accuracy of their audits? Errors typically happen when transcribing handwritten notes, and in the differences in note-taking styles between different auditors.
An example: Jim’s lighting retrofit business has grown, and he now has several people performing audits. One auditor, Dale, is a 30-year veteran and usually heads out to a site armed with not much more than a notepad and a No. 2 pencil. However, another auditor, Pat, brings a blueprint and highlighters, along with a laptop for entering in some data on-site. Meanwhile a third auditor, Bonnie, is a brand-new hire who lives and breathes digital.
How can Jim make sure all of his auditors are collecting the correct information in a uniform manner?
The best way to make sure all lighting audits meet your benchmark for accuracy is to standardize your audit process.
Here’s how a retrofit business using SnapCount could do this. The platform allows you to make specific fields mandatory. If an auditor misses one of these important fields, they’ll receive an immediate notification while they’re still at the site and can quickly and easily resolve the issue.
Once the audit data has been input, all the details – floor plans, notes, sketches, photographs, measurements – get carried through automatically to the quote process. This enables the business to produce more accurate quotes faster and more easily since there’s no need to go back to obtain correct information.
Improving your accuracy can lend your company the same kind of credibility that Rogers Electric gained after they reduced their error rate by 30% using SnapCount.
More than a few people in the retrofit field don’t quite trust anything new or modern (which, considering we’re asking our customers to modernize their lighting, is an ironic twist indeed).
But by clinging to older ways, they may not be putting as professional a foot forward as they would like to. In fact, their clients might start to wonder, “Are these guys even informed enough to give us the right information about lighting technology? Do they really know what they’re doing?”
Your clients are moving into the future, and you don’t want to be left behind.
The key is to take the knowledge, experience, and skills your team already has and then add in the data-driven, amazing technology that will elevate everything to the next level. It’s a one-two punch of massive credibility that turns your lighting retrofit company into industry leaders.
Sam DiNello with Future Energy made great use of this practice on a large project win involving more than 30,000 fixtures. When first meeting the facility manager, DiNello’s team invited him to tag along on the audit. During the walkthrough, the SnapCount audit tool prompted the auditor to gather a lot more detail than the facility manager anticipated. The auditor then used their expertise to put everything in context, explaining how those details affected the project and by how much. Ultimately Future Energy won the bid over lower-priced options, with the client saying, “We had a better trust in your numbers, because of the way you did the audit.”
An added bonus to embracing this technology? Your company will be much more attractive to the younger professionals in the industry who have been trained primarily on digital tools. Being the place where top talent wants to work? There’s no better way to improve your competitive position in the market.
We talked earlier on about how smart business practices are what help your business grow, so let’s dive in a bit to the idea of growth potential.
The faster you get jobs done, the more jobs you can take on, right?
This means if you can expedite the audit process, gather every detail, sync it up instantaneously, and have your team working on the quote before your auditor even gets back to the office – that’s a lot of time saved, especially considering that fewer manual processes translate into fewer mistakes slowing things down.
Revisiting the folks at Rogers Electric for a moment, they didn’t just improve their accuracy rate, they also tripled their speed. They found that with the right technology, they needed fewer auditors to complete the same number of projects, which gave them the capacity to take on even more work.
Speed helps you finish the job faster. And professionalism and accuracy are what make people want to do business with you in the first place.
Using the tools that empower you to become faster, more accurate, and more professional is a surefire way to make your company much more credible – and your growth incredible.
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