In many fields, digital tools have supplanted the old ways of doing things. So why is it that the lighting retrofit industry continues to rely on pen and paper when conducting audits?
It may feel a bit strange at first to loosen your grip on your trusty ballpoint and legal pad, but leveraging lighting audit software can give forward-thinking retrofit businesses a competitive advantage by delivering a more efficient, faster process for completing audits and creating proposals. The results can be startling, including better accuracy, fewer transcription errors, a more professional presentation, and happier clients.
To illustrate why, let’s walk through the old way of doing things to see where the opportunities lie.
Room for Improvement
The first step for any retrofit project is to conduct an audit of the existing light fixtures and other relevant factors at a potential work site. In the old-school method, the auditor will visit the site and walk from room to room and through every corridor, scribbling notes along the way. The auditor may also take pictures, typically snapping photos with a smartphone.
These notes will later need to be transcribed, entered into a spreadsheet back at the home office, and the photos will have to be extracted and matched to the proper building locations.
The potential for error here is high. All too often, auditors find themselves following up with potential clients after touring a site with an embarrassing request: “Hey, I know I was just up there, but I wrote something down, and I’m not sure what it says.” This hardly inspires confidence on the part of the prospect.
Even after the data has been collected and transcribed, there’s still work to be done. Raw spreadsheets aren’t the most attractive or easy-to-read format for a proposal. Retrofitters who care about professionalism may want to translate these numbers into more digestible infographics that tell a more compelling story, to make it easier for the prospect to understand the proposal and get to “yes” faster.
In the old-school pen and paper model, the same information might be copied and pasted five or six times before the proposal is submitted. And if a client asks for revisions to the proposal, the whole cycle must begin anew. All told, it’s an exhausting, inaccurate process that unnecessarily puts obstacles between the retrofitter and a closed deal.
The Better Way: Lighting Audit Software
Sure, old ways can be charming … in the right circumstances. But as we approach the third decade of the 21st century, when it comes to performing audits and creating retrofit proposals, it doesn’t make sense for such a future-forward industry to be stuck in the analog past.
Lighting audit software represents an opportunity for retrofitters to modernize – and in the process, impress more prospects, win more projects, and satisfy more customers.
A cutting-edge lighting audit software system (such as SnapCount by StreamLinx) replaces pen and paper on building walk-throughs. The software enables auditors to move quickly through a site, recording multiple fixture types, quantities, and burn hours. A good audit tool will also enable auditors to take photos using their device’s camera and will automatically map the images to a specific location. Lighting audit software can also integrate blueprints, floor plans, and hand sketches into the data collection process.
Additionally, when evaluating software options, look for a solution that saves data to the cloud, so no transcription is required. Eliminating the need for someone to have to decipher an auditor’s chicken scratches can dramatically reduce the time required between an audit and a proposal. This also ensures the data can flow directly into attractive proposals that make it easier to translate the language of lighting retrofitters into the language of financial decision makers.
Retrofitters who use lighting audit software say it helps them spend more time with prospects presenting proposals with polish and clarity, and less time in the back office wading through spreadsheets and numbers. The upshot is not only a significant saving of time and resources, but also the opportunity to win bigger projects for better clients.
Are You Ready to Make a Move?
The retrofit industry is on a fast-growth trajectory that won’t slow down for years to come. According to Department of Energy estimates, as of 2018 LED adoption has only penetrated 18% of the commercial sector. The lighting retrofitters who will win in this competitive landscape will be those best able to use their time and resources as efficiently as possible.
If you’re ready to learn how lighting retrofit software can give your company an edge – not just in completing audits and creating proposals, but in managing your work and securing material and qualified labor – let’s talk. Contact the experts at SnapCount today and see the difference a world-class solution can make for your retrofit business.
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