How Energy Retrofitters Can Maintain Productivity

Jerry Harrell | Jan 12, '23

How Energy Retrofitters Can Maintain Productivity

As a retrofitter, you care about your productivity rates. They can mean the difference between a successful energy retrofit business and serious financial trouble.

Yet across almost every sector of the economy, experts are reporting that productivity is down. Try as you might, you’re likely also feeling the effects of this drag and starting to wonder what can be done. In an environment in which there are so many challenges, and all of them hitting at once, is there anything that can be done to improve — or at least maintain — your productivity rates?

Let’s take a closer look at those challenges, a few common mistakes, and the single best choice you can make to keep productivity high.

The Challenges and Mistakes That Cost Retrofitters Time and Money

When we talk about “productivity” for retrofitters, we’re really talking about closing rates. By taking an intentional approach to audits, following the right steps, and having a precision deliverable, you can increase your rates and get more business from your audits.

Of course, right now that may feel easier said than done. Here are two of the most common challenges we see auditors facing today.

It’s Hard to Find the Right People

Hiring is difficult right now, and that can put your business in a bind. When you feel desperate for workers, bringing on any candidate you can find can be tempting. Sometimes this makes things much worse, especially if your new hire is unreliable and doesn’t show up when they should.

Other times, you may need to invest in training your people on how to close deals. Inexperienced auditors, who don’t understand energy technologies or terms, can hurt your productivity. If you have “audit only” employees, you may also need to rethink their roles — how can you keep them productive when they’re not out at a site?

But even if you find the right people, you also need to use the right tools.

Your Auditing Tools Can Improve Productivity — or Work Against It

Before auditing software platforms existed, hours or even days could be lost because of problems deciphering data. Bad handwriting, transposed digits in an Excel file, and broken or incorrect formulas all slowed down the auditing process. (If you’re still doing everything by hand, now’s a good time to stop.)

Even if you’re using a software platform, it’s important to take a good look at what tools it offers. If it can’t take 360-degree photos, easily record data, or work without Wi-Fi connectivity, for instance, then it’s not really an all-in-one platform. That means you must work outside the software, slowing you down and introducing more opportunities for error.

The “Wrong Ways” to Increase Productivity

There are also a few pitfalls to be mindful of if you’re facing productivity problems. These are the “wrong ways” to solve the issue, which can end up causing more problems downstream and end up costing you money.

Be Wary of Unknown Suppliers

The first of these missteps is expanding your material options without doing enough due diligence first. While supply chain issues have sometimes made it difficult to get what you need, ordering from unknown companies could open the door to additional problems.

Products may fail, there may be hidden markups in price, or they could lead to a loss of trust with your customer. These factors can lead to reputational damage as well. Even if it’s no fault of your own, a bad job can tarnish your name and make it harder for you to gain business.

Does that mean you should never order from new manufacturers? Of course not. But you do need to make sure you’ve done all your homework, and then proceed with caution.

Don’t Overburden Your People

The second common misstep is assigning too much work to one person. This goes right along with struggling to find the right people — when you’re shorthanded, it seems logical enough to give more work to the hands you do have on deck.

But even the best auditors can be overwhelmed. When you’ve got one person trying to carry more than their share, they’re more likely to miss audit data, perform audits more slowly, and take longer to develop a solution and proposal for your customers. What was meant to improve productivity only ends up making it worse.

Leveraging Energy Audit Software to Maximize Productivity

We don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but we want you to have a clear-eyed view of the threats to your productivity. Given the current environment, with a disrupted supply chain and shortage of workers, what’s the single-best way you can maintain or even improve your productivity?

The answer is software.

Not just any software, of course. You need a single, powerful platform that offers the four key tools auditors can’t do without:

  • A Mapping Utility
    When you want a good look at the grounds or to map out the inside of a building, you need a mapping utility to get accurate, actionable information.
  • A Photo Platform Enabled for Markups
    You need a photo platform equipped with a 360-degree camera so you can capture every aspect of your site in great detail. This platform should also be enabled for markups so you can note and annotate each photo with critical audit information.
  • A Checklist of Questions
    Good auditors try to make the auditing process as foolproof as possible. The software platform you choose should offer a comprehensive list of templates and checklists to help you make sure that nothing gets missed and guide your equipment and labor quotes.
  • An Easy Way to Compile All Your Data
    Chasing after your data or trying to roll up information that’s stored in multiple platforms isn’t just tedious — it opens opportunities for error. You need a software platform that offers all the tools listed above and can easily compile your data.

These were the facts we considered as we designed SnapCount, which offers all four of those features and then some. If you’d like to learn more or book a software demo to see how SnapCount can improve your productivity, we want to hear from you.

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Jerry Harrell

Written by Jerry Harrell

Jerry is driven by client satisfaction through sharing his knowledge and experience in the lighting retrofit industry spanning over 20 years. He has been in almost all facets of the industry including consulting, manufacturing, distribution, and contracting. As a former SnapCount user himself, he brings a unique perspective and valuable insight to both SnapCount and our Clients. Jerry uses a practical minded approach to solving problems which helps customers save valuable time, money, and resources. He is not only eager to teach but he is also always eager to learn from others to help guide him in the decisions he makes as well as the advice he shares. Aside from work, he is devoted to wife, daughter, and son. He cannot sit still and will be found outdoors enjoying camping, hunting, fishing, or boating in his free time.

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