A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: Saving Time and Creating a Force Multiplier

7 Minute Read

As the old adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This saying dates all the way back to 1911 when photography became readily accessible to the public for the first time. People were only just beginning to discover the magic of freezing a specific moment or place in time with the power of a camera lens.


Today’s mobile phones and tablets have incredible, high definition cameras. However, many system integrators and designers aren’t tapping into the full potential of these technologies. Typically, a site survey utilizes photos taken on a mobile phone and end up as a collection of unnamed and unorganized images. Sorting through these pictures and trying to remember the location of each one and where it fits on the floor plan can be a confusing and time-consuming process involving an entire team.

How much easier would it be if the photographs taken during a site survey could be uploaded seamlessly into their respective places on a floor plan? How much more could be accomplished if an engineer didn’t need to participate in a site walk?

In system integration, capturing customer requirements accurately on the first site survey has a tremendous domino effect on sales, installation, and customer engagement. The ability to annotate photos on a digital site survey creates a force multiplier, increases accuracy, and improves customer satisfaction.

Maximizing Efficiency and Creating a Force Multiplier Effect

Typically, site surveys involve a team of people collecting and sharing information. Generally, a site survey requires a team to take pictures and remember where each picture should be in relation to the paper floor plan. This leaves plenty of room for human error as contractors may have trouble remembering the purpose and placement of each image.

When these pictures can be automatically integrated into an electronic floor plan no discussion about each picture is needed, no image files have to be renamed, and only one person actually has to walk the site survey with the customer! This allows teams to collect data about sites across multiple geographies. Digitally capturing and sharing the site ensures that geography is no longer a barrier.

This allows integrators to maximize efficiency in 3 ways:

  1. 1. Focus can be re-targeted to improving other aspects of installation
  2. 2. Engineers don’t need to be in the field conducting surveys
  3. 3. A site walk can become more of a consultative sales process with the customer

David Fogle from Star Asset Security, once said of digital floor plans, “A picture is worth a thousand words – it’s as if I walked the site myself.”

Eliminating Errors and Increasing Accuracy (The First Time)

Why would engineers or estimators need pictures? Imagine a doctor is preparing to perform an open-heart surgery on you without an x-ray or MRI scan. Would you feel confident that the surgeon will be prepared and successful? While integrators aren’t surgeons and don’t have human lives in their hands, the degree of precision, knowledge, and attention to detail they exercise is important in saving time and money.

Customers often have specific installation requests. With photos, these requests become much easier to grant. One customer, might want a surveillance camera mounted on concrete and pointed at a very specific angle for extra security. Another customer might be looking to set up a monitor in a certain spot so that its presentations aren’t impacted by the sun’s glare. Visually capturing aspects of these spaces ensures that the customer’s needs are being met properly and accurately.

Thoroughly integrated site data and visual aids provide a constant reference, eradicating the need for guess work or the need for go-backs.

Demonstrating Professionalism – Helping Customers Feel Heard

Using digital photos in lieu of marked up physical floor plan increases an integrator’s credibility and client’s trust. Presenting a neat, polished, and precise sitemap with interactive asset management tools allows customers to ask more in-depth questions and receive exactly the kind of service they want. This ensures that specific requests can be more easily honored, boosting customer satisfaction and more inclusive experience.

When integrators demonstrate a higher level of professionalism, customers feel a better sense of trust. Integrators aren’t selling a product because they want to make more money, but they want to be seen as a trusted advisor. Conducting a site survey with an interactive asset management tool gives customers a sense of control and gives an integrator the ability to show customers the exact assets they want.

Intelligent Integration: Trading Pencils for Pictures

Disruption is happening everywhere and there’s no reason to believe that system integration won’t experience this. Incorporating photos into a digital floor plan simplifies the survey process and eliminates the need to self-organize. Less guesswork means less mistakes and less go-backs. With visual precision taken care of, system integrators can focus on more important things – and still have the time to make it home for dinner.

It’s time for integrators to take the next step into digitization to increase accurate installations and decrease the amount of time spent agonizing over tiny details. New technology like System Surveyor allow integrators to upload photos onto a digital floor plan, keeping asset information organized and accessible. Being able to accurately represent sitemaps expedites the installation process for the entire team.


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