In this webinar, we chat with two long-time System Surveyor users, Gary Hoffner and Jason Harrington. Gary and Jason share how they are using System Surveyor’s physical security tools to co-design with their respective clients. They also go into how our security system design software has streamlined proposal time and provided them with up to date, accurate site information. Gary notes that the first three things that come to mind with our software are: consistency, fidelity, and efficiency. Jason speaks on the versatility of the platform, specifically noting System Surveyor’s ability to show security camera coverage. These insights from a couple of our customers show how System Surveyor can improve your experience, from site survey to security systems integration.
Laura Newell: Hello, everyone. My name is Laura Newell, with System Surveyor. I’d like to welcome you to today’s Power User Webinar. Thank you for joining us.
A few housekeeping items. Please note that we have had a great response to today’s webinar. So our participants are placed on mute. But at any time during this session, feel free to use the Q&A icon and the Zoom webinar interface and we’ll address all questions at the end.
Also, if you have a specific question to one of our panelists, go ahead and put their names and your question and we’ll direct it to them, in particular. Also, I am recording this webinar, so you will receive the recording usually by this afternoon. So keep an eye out for an email from me. With that, I’ll do some introductions. Today, we are joined by Christopher Hugman, CEO and co-founder of System Surveyor, with more than 15 years as an owner of a regional security system integration company.
Also with us is Gary Hoffner, vice president at PSLA Security, and chairman of the PSA Cyber Security Committee. Gary brings his wealth of experience from his 39-year career in electronic safety and physical security.
Also with us is Jason Herrington, vice president of technology at Rinkor Technology Solutions, where he overseas the hardware and software needed for customized, integrated security solutions and technology.
And also with us is Eman Taylor, our customer success specialist, here at System Surveyor. You guys probably all know him via first name basis, as Eman. With that, I’ll turn it over to Chris. Chris, are you with us?
Chris Hugman: I am, Laura. Thanks so much. Great to be with everyone and thank you, again, for joining us, today. It definitely will be a great webinar today because you get to hear from some of our long-term customers that have been using System Surveyor for quite some time and can offer some insight from that side of the equation, not simply from System Surveyor, in terms of the tips and tricks that the real world experience.
Before we jump to that, I wanted to cover a couple of other items. Just by way of introduction for System Surveyor, and what we’re seeing in the market. The fundamental problem that we see in the market is that 90 percent of most folks that are going out and doing site surveys are using a paper floor plan or they’re using a cell phone or they’re using some other kind of manual notepad. That’s actually been validated. We did a recent market survey and we’ll be publishing all the results in early September, but some interesting findings.
One is, in fact, that most people are still conducting site surveys using some sort of paper or manual form. Really what that does is it drives the sales cost up. Because what we also found was that System Surveyor will spend about 20 hours preparing a proposal, or going through the proposal process. That can get expensive, especially with smaller projects and that sort of thing.
There are three or revisions that occur over that period of time that contributes to that time. That process upfront we feel like could be done so much more effectively and hopefully you’ll hear that from Gary and from Jason today in how they use System Surveyor. Our solution, then, is to bring all of that together in a single interface. We like to call it customer engagement software because it really allows you to collaborate with customers on a collaborative basis, with set expectations to hopefully eliminate some of the misunderstanding that might occur, and ultimately cause delays in the project, or cost overruns in the project down the road.
We have seen customers come back to us and tell us that they’ve seen some fantastic benefits from just settling on the customer expectation upfront. I won’t go on any further. I prefer to let Jason and Gary talk about that and I’d like to welcome them and thank them for participating today. So I’ll turn it over to Eman and let Eman take it from here. Again, thanks for joining.
Eman Taylor: Great, Chris. Appreciate the introduction, and definitely I appreciate your insights from a lot of the surveys we’ve done with customers. I’m so excited to have Gary and Jason, longtime users of System Surveyor to kind of share their best practices and tips and tricks. Gary and Jason, thanks for joining us today.
Gary Hoffner: Glad to be here.
Jason Herrington: You’re welcome, glad to be here.
Eman Taylor: I just wanted to do a quick walkthrough of kind of what we’d be covering today. We’ll go through, as Chris mentioned, our customer engagement side of things. How Gary and Jason are using System Surveyor to co-design with their customers, working with System Surveyor together, accurate site information and reducing that proposal time and then also just additional tips and tricks that Gary and Jason have from using System Surveyor for being longtime users.
We do have a Q&A section within Zoom, so as we’re running through things, if y’all have any questions for Chris, myself, Jason or Gary, please shoot those in and we’ll answer those as soon as possibly. With that, we’ll just jump straight into it. What we’ll do is I’ll ask Gary and Jason a few questions and, as well, I’ll share my screen so they can kind of speak to how they’re using System Surveyor in real time.
Speaking to customer engagement and helping other users become power users, one of the primary benefits of System Surveyor is to collaborate with colleagues. Jason and Gary, can you share how y’all are doing collaborative site service, today?
Gary Hoffner: Sure. I want to start off by saying that we’ve been with System Surveyor now I believe about four years, pretty much right out of gate. Maybe longer, I don’t know. Chris could tell you. For us, the three things that come to mind with System Surveyor has always been consistency, fidelity and efficiency. Those three things are what we focus on and why we like the platform so much.
How we collaborate with customers and our colleagues, I mean, ranges from small sites, where we simply use the document as a differentiator between ourselves, the document and System Surveyor. Between ourselves and our competitors where, if we have a single site and we’re looking at a location and we’re a technology company and our prospect expects us to use the greatest technology, then right out of the gate if we’re using a platform like System Surveyor, versus somebody jotting notes down on a piece of paper and taking pictures with our cell phone, it immediately sets a professional bar for us that is higher. So that’s the first step.
Then we always engage our customers. We feel it make them a lot more tacky and sticky when we invite them to be involved in the process of system design, or at least we’re being very open with the collaboration and asking them for their input. It’s like anything else from the sales process, the more questions you ask the closer you are to getting the yes answer when you ask for the sales. Those are some of the primary steps we use.
Jason Herrington: Eman, for our team, it’s a little bit different perspective in the sense that we needed something that was more collaborative just within our own team. And that was critical in looking at System Surveyor initially. I remember when I found you guys in the back corner at ISE West, I think it was probably about three or four years, same kind of thing. It was like, wait, where have you guys been? Oh, well, we’ve got this product we’ve been working on. We want to get for integrators. And seeing a system that was designed for my business, which was great, versus the construction business is large because we’re a very specialty contractor and that was one of the things that – you know, we’ve used other programs where you’re putting spots and circles on a floor plan and it worked, but it wasn’t ideal. Because you put a camera on the icon, yes, it shows the camera location, but it doesn’t show what’s the field the view that we’re looking at.
Sometimes it’s really obvious. You put a camera in the corner of a room, you’re obviously looking at that. Being able to not only show the field of view that’s desired by the customer because you walk it and they’re like, “I want to look at this area.” But now you’re taking a picture of the camera location and then you can mark up what that looks like for the installer. So now, on the initial site survey, in one visit, we’ve gathered that information from the client. We’ve gone through the sales process, we get the job approved. And then, again, without ever having to go back and touch that document again, the installers go out and they now have camera locations, camera names, any kind of special details that say, hey, the customer wants that about two inches below the soffit. They’re looking at this, that and the other thing. Because it might be a little bit different than what the traditional installation method would be.
Instead of having to have project manager to go out there and walk them through and try to remember what was actually physical discussed with the customer six months ago, all those things are captured in real time as you’re walking through, which is great. I mean, that’s been instrumental in transforming how do our walkthroughs. System Surveyor being – that’s basically what we use. We do a walkthrough, we drop elements on the floor plan, we take pictures. We basically do that in real time as we’re walking around. And again, being able to share that instantly with other members of our team and things like that has been very, very instrumental on transforming how we do things.
Eman Taylor: Appreciate your insights. I’m showing the web interface right now. Quick question for Jason and Gary, y’all use iPads onsite, correct?
Jason Herrington: Correct.
Gary Hoffner: That’s correct.
Eman Taylor: So I’m showing the web interface right now and what they’re speaking to, just walking around with an iPad onsite. Follow-up question for Gary. I know you mentioned collaborating with your customers is instrumental. Do y’all find the guest user feature beneficial?
Gary Hoffner: Yes, we do, actually. We collaborate with our customer, much like Jason was explaining. System Surveyor service is the primary I’ll call it the workover tool for our entire enterprise. So it goes back from customers – and that’s where the fidelity comes in. We design a system, a customer engage in the process, they approve it. How we do that is we invite customers as a guest user when they have full administrative rights to look and manipulate and change and add to the plan, and all the elements.
And they can see where the annotations are on some of the photographs to where we see how we’re mounting a camera, where exactly it goes. So they can actually modify those annotations or create their own adaptations if they want to change something. It really helps our customer to be more engaged in the process. It takes a lot of the guesswork out or inconsistency of putting something someplace that they didn’t expect and they want to relocate it, for example.
So that’s pretty helpful. Again, inviting them into that process is much different than what our competitors do, typically. So they feel more engaged with us and they feel more invested in the process with PSLA, so we think it helps a lot in the closing ratios.
In terms of collaborating with our team, once the document is completed, we use a lot of the elements and we populate the elements with a pulldown menu so that when we actually go do the takeoff, or do the initial survey, then we are often designing a system as we work. So we’re not saying, hey, we’re going to put a camera in this room. We’re saying we’re going to put this camera in this room, that’s going to be this model number, with this mount and everything else.
What happens is going back to my three items – fidelity, consistency and efficiency – is that we’re addressing all three of those items, too, because now we’re picking apart number, it’s already been established. I don’t need to use a separate document or a separate instrument to process the job through. This already has my part number on it. From a fidelity perspective, I don’t have to worry about transposing numbers or getting a bill of materials screwed up because somebody didn’t include something or excluded something, or had a wrong part number. So it really helps us with the exporting feature, for example, to be able to export everything to a spreadsheet and then bring in
Eman Taylor: Makes that proposal a lot quicker?
Gary Hoffner: Yep.
Eman Taylor: I’m going to take a second to pause, there, Gary. I just want to show in the real time exactly what Gary was speaking to. So I’m in the Canvas Window, here. If I click on this camera, I have these dropdowns of different cameras and model numbers. So if select my Hanwha 2 megapixel, here, I have it populated with my model number, as Gary was speaking to, so then when I export this I have my models already in place, as well.
And y’all do the something with door packages, as well. I’m not sure if it’s model numbers, but just building out those door packages, correct?
Gary Hoffner: Most definitely, yes. Once you’re there and you do it one time and capture all the data, without having to send the sale engineer back out, or a lead installer to validate or verify what you designed, then that becomes extremely efficient. You get the parts ordered in a timely way, you get the job staged, it’s ready to go. Schedules being as dynamic as they are, today, in the pandemic environment, it’s good to be ready with your installation as quickly as possible. So in terms of the efficiency proposition, this allows us to ramp up the projects a lot faster.
Eman Taylor: That makes sense to me. And being able to be efficient with your time is what it’s all about, right?
Gary Hoffner: Yes. One of the factors, absolutely.
Eman Taylor: Question for you, Jason. I know you cover a large geographic area. When we spoke before you said you’re always on the road. With System Surveyor – this is kind of pivoting away from the dragging and draw thing – but how are you able to cover a larger geographic area with System Surveyor that you personally can’t visit?
Jason Herrington: Basically, in the old method of doing things, the salesperson or the sales engineer would be the o ne that had to go out and site survey because they had to gather that information. A lot of it’s technical information that maybe the everyday installer isn’t necessarily aware of, the exact model number. They know that we to install it, but they’re not necessarily capable of going and gathering, hey, this is this model number, this is that exact part number. But with System Surveyor, it gives the ability for just the everyday installer to go out and take pictures. Maybe they aren’t choosing those element profiles, but they’re able to gather context, right? So that’s kind of the big thing for that is being able to go out and gather, take photos, things like that, where then the sale engineers in the office – basically, they upload it and they can say, “Hey, is there anything you need me to look at?” You can look at the survey. The technician is still on site.
They can actually look at it and say, “You know what? Door No. 17 that you looked at, I need this.” And then they can go back and gather that. Again, because everything is numbered and sequenced and it kind of does some auto numbering and stuff, there’s no duplication, there’s no ambiguity when it comes to which door are we talk about. You get a lot of that, “Go to the northwest corner of the building, there’ll be kind of a large office. It looks like 11X6. Look for element SMC-001. And then get me that elevation.” Things like that. So it’s very, very precise in being able to do that. Again, being able to send team members that are close to that area when it leads to efficiency so I don’t have to send a sales engineer across three counties to go get something that any of our team members can gather.
Eman Taylor: I guess a question for both of you, y’all both spoke to your sales process, could you speak to best tips and tricks in regards to your sales process?
Gary Hoffner: I can say this, consistency and process itself, we’re a big process house. We love processes, here. And if everybody is using the same process, then everything is working well. So, with the System Surveyor to be able to design a system out, and then push it to operations, you know, just do the handoff to operations with a full design, and have operations be able to order all the parts from the export that we do and to have the customer validate that everything is accurate, it makes for a very, very good process in the handoff to operations. I think that’s one of the main reasons we like it.
Operationally, it has a tremendous value, as well. Much like Jason, we do a lot of larger projects with multiple sites. We have one deployment right now where we’re doing access controlled video and intrusion detection in 330 sites across the United States. So we’re obviously using a lot of subcontractors to execute the work because we can’t be at all those places at all times. That particular application we actually work with our customer to get their own System Surveyor set up. So they’re actually using System Surveyor, as the owner of the sites. And then they invite us as guests. We even have one engineer that actually has a seat in their operation on their System Surveyor. Which is a clever way to get things accomplished and be efficient.
So on that, we allow ourselves to collaborate with the customer at a very intimate level. In other words, on individual sites to validate, verify, recommend, and then they’re using their staff regionally and locally to actually populate the System Surveyor. So it’s really efficient. It allows us to gather information through their efforts and they are very good about make sure that their information is clear to us so that when we have a subcontractor go out, then we use a whole different method. We actually send them a link so they can’t modify the content, either intentionally or accidentally. That way, we’re maintaining the fidelity with them. They see all the attributes and the elements like we do, but they’re locked down so they can’t change anything.
Eman Taylor: Actually double down on that. I’m just showing the guest user feature, here. I have Jane, my technician, here. I can invite her as a guest user. So you actually invite your customer as a guest user and allow them to do the site gathering for you?
Gary Hoffner: In this particular case, well, it’s actually reversed. In this particular case, they actually are using System Surveyor for their own documentation purposes, much like our customers. So they have ownership of System Surveyor, now, with their own location. I think it’s the only customer we do it for. It makes a lot of sense for them.
Eman Taylor: Then just to double down on send a link feature. You can send a link for an individual survey, and you can send a link for a whole site. So if I go to my metric center, here, I can send a link. And that send a link is read only and doesn’t require a license at all. You said you use that send a link for your subcontractors?
Gary Hoffner: Yes. What we do, generally, is we’ll take the drawings and we’ll, you know, how you can create a drawing with different layers, different types of solutions, the access, the video, the intrusion. We just send the link with the proper system layer lit up so that if we’re sending a link to an intrusion company for a site in Florida that’s all they’re going to see, versus all the different elements.
Emma Taylor: That makes sense. Gary is speaking to the layers, here, second layer on this project by System Technology. I guess the last few questions and then we’ll open it up. We’ve talked about collaboration, we’ve talked about sharing this with your customers. How do your customers typically react when they see the System Surveyor?
Gary Hoffner: Our customers, like I said, they’re very enthusiastic about it. The majority of our customers enjoy the participation. So I would say that they’re surprised by the technology. They’re like, “Wow, that’s amazing.” Because they haven’t seen something like it. Like I said, our competitors typically are not presenting anything close to it.
Emma Taylor: Jason, I mainly use it to collaborate internally. How has that improved things with them. Not your own customers, but your own team?
Jason Herrington: Again, kind of like Gary brought up. The fidelity of it is instrumental in being able to make sure that everybody has the correct information and that you’re not working off an older set of drawings that was printed out last week and that just happened to be what they were hanging onto type of thing. Just to speak to your question about the reaction of our customers, sometimes I forget to send the survey with the proposal, but a lot of times I didn’t. It’s part of the proposal. So I’ll just make a PDF that has here’s our proposal, with the part numbers and the scope of work. And then I put the survey basically with all the elements on it, just kind of a high level drawing. Again, most of the time the customers are like, “Oh, that’s what that looks like,” or “That’s really neat to be able to see a visual of their floor plan kind of thing.” So it does help them.
They’re like, “Oh, you know what? Maybe we actually need more coverage than what we thought we did. We only thought we needed four cameras and we kind of want six or seven.” I’ve actually seen it increase our sales process just by that. They look at the field of view and they’re like, “Oh, well, we don’t have that hallway, or we’d really like to be able to capture that back door. We thought we could do that with the view.” So it also kind of keeps them honest in the sense that a lot of times customers think that our security systems are video systems are going to do more than what they are really capable of doing. And I think this also kind of brings it down to earth a little bit as far as being more realistic about this is what’s it’s actually going to cover. This is what’s it’s actually going to do. I think it helps in that sales process of kind of just – instead of having this bunch of numbers on the page, they can look and say, oh, well that’s where that camera goes, this is what this does, and it definitely helps to do that.
Eman Taylor: I appreciate both of your insights. I’ll just ask one question and then we have a handful of questions coming in. Feel free to chime in with those questions. I guess the last question for you all, as long-term power users with System Surveyor, do you have any tips or tricks that you’ve found helpful that you can share to other users?
Gary Hoffner: I think that the biggest tip is simply to make every effort to maximize the value of the platform. So if you’re going to use System Surveyor to collaborate with your customer, to validate where things go, to help them understand what you’re doing and you’re going to lock down part numbers and the system design with it, then the more you can do with that data, without using a separate platform, where you have to copy data or you have to do duplicate entry or something like that, the more you can use it as export/import tool. It just helps with the entire proposition to keep everything consistent and accurate.
As far as the customers’ perspective, to see a system go in exactly as they expect because they see it on a drawing, they see the photographs, they see the annotations, and they know what we’re putting in, versus a customer – I think Jason alluded to it earlier – numbers and part numbers on a paper for a proposal. We’re kind of geeky folk, you know. We deal with a lot of technology and our customers aren’t geeky folk – a lot of them aren’t. So they relate to a drawing and understand it, and they can certainly understand it a lot more clearly than having a bunch of part numbers that tyrldt know what they mean or what they do on a piece of paper when they make a decision. I think that just to maximize. If I could say one tip is if you could maximize your investment System Surveyor does a lot. You can do a lot with it. And the more you use the platform, the more efficient you will be and the more fidelity you will have, guaranteed.
Jason Herrington: I second that. There’s probably three-quarters of the field sometimes. In our organization we don’t use what could be utilized within that because there’s so many more options that are available. For the organization that just needs something simple, System Surveyor is one of the things I’ve seen you guys grow over the years. And having gone from the spots and dots kind of system, and grow to where it’s a platform that you can literally put all that information into, like Gary says, and be able to export that to a spreadsheet, and use that for building a quote, I mean, it reduces that duplication, the data entry. I mean, we’ve all kind of seen it. When you have multiple platforms, multiple systems, you’re working at, you have to transpose information and sometimes it doesn’t come across as clean as possible. And in this day and age, where everybody is wearing a lot of hats, we’re all pressed for time and things like that, it’s easy to make mistakes. And having something where, again, that data – I like Gary’s word – the fidelity. It’s just that ability to keep the data integrity from one system to the next and not have to worry about transposing, you know, in our industry a decimal place could be catastrophic to a proposal sometimes. We don’t want to get a quantity of 10 when it should have been 100 or vice versa.
Eman Taylor: Thanks for the insights. What I heard from both of you is the more effort you put in on the frontend and input as much information, the better you are in the long run. Appreciate that insight. I’ll go ahead and we have a few questions coming in.
Laura Newell: Eman, I’ll throw those questions out for you, so you know what you pick and choose and I’m going to start a poll. Anybody who needs us to reach out to you for a quick demo to demonstrate more, go ahead and answer this quick question for me. Thanks, guys.
Eman Taylor: Greg asks: When having a customer as a guest and they alter the design, do you have a backup or reserve copy in a different folder?
Gary Hoffner: I’ll answer that because that is a real problem, right? What we always do is we create a folder with our initial design and then we create a second folder, which we share with the customer. We invite them and we direct them to go to the folder for a collaboration. So that way we always have – and we keep versions. I mean, we may have one project where we have eight versions just to see where we’re at. And then once we get to the endgame, where we’ve decided what exactly we’re going to be doing, then we’ll eliminate some of the versions that are no longer useful. So, yeah, that’s a great question.
Eman Taylor: Great question, Greg. Do you all, Gary, put it in multiple folders on my screen, here. I’m not sure if you can see my screen, Gary. Do you guys create multiple folders within one site, or do you create a different site and the invite your customer to that site?
Gary Hoffner: Well, it depends. Most of the time we’re working with people that are conscious of what we’re trying to achieve and they understand that backups are good. So we usually just do one site with multiple folders.
Eman Taylor: So to add a new folder we would just add a folder, here, and name that Do Not Touch This Folder, and that’s your backup copy?
Gary Hoffner: Exactly.
Eman Taylor: Then you have a collaboration folder that you make edits in.
Gary Hoffner: Right.
Jason Herrington: Eman, just to second that real quick. The ability to take a complete survey and duplicate it and then just take and modify that and then kind of have your revisions and stuff is fantastic just to be able to duplicate an entire survey pretty much instantaneously. What I have actually done is I’ll do my whole design on one survey that’s for me and then what I’ll do is I’ll sometimes I’ll save multiple versions, one that just has the intrusion level turned on, and one that just has the CC TV. So just to keep it simplified. Maybe the customer doesn’t have to go in and worry about changing the layers, they can just see instantaneously. And it doesn’t really take up more space because, again, we’re talking about things in the cloud and things like that. We’re kind of utilizing your guys’ cloud. It definitely is very easy to do that.
Gary Hoffner: One thing I jus thought of that’s really critically important, too, and this goes back to the fidelity situation and consistency. With this one customer we’re 330 sites for, you know, a lot of those sites are cookie cutter. And when System Surveyor allowed us to actually copy a site or a drawing or a survey, rather, into another site, that was amazing for us. Because at that point, it actually allows us to, OK, here’s one. Georgia is going to like exactly like Texas. So we’re going to take the Georgia and we’ve already done that one and we’re going to copy it. We’re going to copy it into the Texas folder and then we’ll just change the background real quick. And we’re done. You just some elements around a little bit and it’s 100 percent complete. So that really helps with the efficiency a lot.
Eman Taylor: Interesting use case, I hadn’t hear that. Gary is speaking to if you click on the survey I can move it to a different project or I can copy it. So it sounds like you copy it to a new project so that way you have an existing design to go off, and you can always swap up a background if you want to change up the floor plan, you can swap up the background, there.
Gary Hoffner: I just use that like a template.
Eman Taylor: I’ve got a few more questions coming in. Try to get to as many of y’all as I can.
Laura Newell: Eman, if I could. I thought one interesting one is a couple questions about door packages and instruction. Do you guys use a lot of door access control and intrusion and how do you guys use it?
Gary Hoffner: We do. So I could tell you real quick. We’ll create a door package and we’ll just name it, electrified mortise, with 4.5 by 4.5 hinge, with integrated request to exit and this type of reader, and then we’ll go by the finish and the style of the locks. So we’ll do that and let’s say we’ve got six elements inside of a door container. That’s not going to make a lot of sense to everybody until they actually start using it. But for us to be able to take a door container that’s got the proper naming convention. I’d say, OK, I’m going to use this door container for this door, and this plot at one time and drop it on there, and take a couple of pictures of the door. That is really efficient, rather than say, OK, I got this kind of hinge, I got this kind of lock, I got this reader, I got this GPS, I got this REX. So it helps a lot to be super efficient. It makes the job walk and doing all the details of what kind of devices we’re going to install really simple.
Eman Taylor: Awesome. I’ll share that in real time. I’ll share how to do cameras and then also how to do the store packages Gary was referring to. If I go to Element Profiles within my account settings, I get out of here, to manage teams. And then there’s an Element Profile section, here. If I go to My Cameras, if you remember earlier, the dropdowns that I selected, I had my different camera models, here. You can create one at a time by pressing “add profile” here, or you can work from an Excel sheet. So if I press export, that will dump an Excel sheet. I share that Excel sheet with my manufacturer, with somebody else on my team, and then you can import that back into System Surveyor.
What Gary was speaking to in regards to the store packages, just to create those from the account seconds, here, I would go to Access Control, single door, and Gary or Jason, give me an example of what you would name that package. You said like RX, I’m not sure.
Gary Hoffner: Just call it like electrified Mortis lock with whatever finish and style.
Eman Taylor: Then within this sub-element section, here, I can add the specific
Gary Hoffner: The lock, the reader, whatever transfer device, all those things.
Eman Taylor: It did not save as one of those packages. And you can use the package repeatedly.
Gary Hoffner: The only thing you’re really changing is just the photograph that you’re taking. That’s the only thing unique about the element when you take the photograph.
Eman Taylor: We got a few more questions. Can text use this tool to confirm where they are up to on a project, i.e., cable installed, cable terminate, controller mounted, door complete. Today – help me out, here, Chris – but I think today we just have the ability to add pictures, not necessarily the different install statuses for those cable pools, correct?
Chris Hugman: Certainly, the status is – whether it’s proposed or in play, so it can be replaced – there’s notes, of course, within the element page to be captured there. It might be interested to hear – Gary, I believe you use this with subs and things like that. Do you track installation status through System Surveyor in the course of a project?
Gary Hoffner: There is a provision for it, actually, in – I forgot what part of each element. If you want to just go to an element and go back to the last tab on the right. I forgot the name of it.
Chris Hugman: The activity log.
Gary Hoffner: Activity log, yes. So you can actually put in the installer’s name and you put a date there and say completed by John Smith on this date. So that does help a lot. That says, one, the element is complete. I mean, if there was a button, you know, Chris, this is just a forethought. If there was button that says, OK, I can click this radio box or whatever and I can put my name on here and it says, OK, I completed and tested this device. That would be amazing. That way I could generate a report that says, OK, just show me completed and tested devices. And it could spit out a spreadsheet that says, OK, all these things. Here’s the entire project, all these devices are not completed, all these devices have been completed by this person at this time.
Laura Newell: What about the layering tool? Do you guys use the layering tool to see what’s only proposed or installed?
Gary Hoffner: We do, yes. We do that.
Eman Taylor: Jason, do you use the install status at all?
Jason Herrington: Definitely I think if it was a little bit more intuitive or kind of like in one place. To change the individual elements type of thing for the installers you do have to go into it and edit it. It’s not exactly in the same spot on every element. So I think it can get confusing. It would be nice to be able to go to the door and say, OK, this door is complete and test it. Like Gary was saying, it’s like this is done and tested. We do do that, now. The hard part is like the follow through. We’ve got older surveys where we didn’t go through and do that and then now you’re adding things to it. You’d have to go back in and edit all that whether it’s completed or installed. I think now that being able to export that and change those attributes, you know, kind of on the snapshot more globally is a lot easier.
One of the questions was being able to show a percentage of the job completed, things like that. I think that would be kind of cool to be able to see that and just be like, hey, 50 percent of the elements are in the completed stage. Just kind of a real quick – because, again, some of the things that we’re tracking, like the costs and wire distances and things like that, it would be ideal to be able to see that. From a project manager’s standpoint of like how much of my project is actually completed. From an install standpoint, versus just the sales process.
Eman Taylor: Definitely. I’ll share what Jason was speaking to a little bit. This is kind of meeting him in the middle. On this one floor plan, you can export it to Excel, change the different install statuses so you’re not clicking into each device one at a time. Let’s see if that spreadsheet opened.
Chris Hugman: Those are great comments. We have definitely heard that. it is enhancing the ability to capture the installation status. I think it was mentioned by the question – a couple of the interim status, whether it’s Ruffin or mounted or tested, even those interim statuses we’re going to be adding some additional statuses in the coming months to help capture that. Plus, we have some new feature announcements coming out in early September and I’m going to – my marketing team isn’t going to like this.
Laura Newell: Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
Chris Hugman: We’ll be introducing some enhancements to our reporting, and so really the exciting part of that is under the hood we’re providing a much more robust reporting engine that will allow us to accommodate some of these types of reports much more easily going forward. So you’ll see that coming out in the next two weeks.
Laura Newell: Real quick, guys. For the sake of time I know we promised you guys it’d be a 45-minute webinar and we’re pushing that. I see a really interesting question for Jason and Gary. Can the panel share how they onboard new staff on System Surveyor?
Gary Hoffner: Well, I got to tell you something, we don’t have a high turnover for the sales, so the folks doing the surveys in the field – I mean, it’s so intuitive right? It’s so easy to import a map, before you go out on a meeting. We always request a map from a customer before we go, or some kind of digital drawing or something. To sit with them for a half an hour to say this what you do. You drag and drop a device, you open up the element, you hit the photo button, you take a photo of it. Very, very, very easy to do. Even if you plotted a map in advance and you said I just need you to go document this for me real quick and send somebody out to do the documentation is just cake.
In terms of exporting, it’s very intuitive. The reporting is very intuitive. You look it, it says, OK, export. What do I want to export? With a half an hour of playing with it, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing. System Surveyor has done a really good job of simplification and it does a ton under the hood but you really don’t know it by looking how simply the goony is.
Jason Herrington: Kind of similar for us as far as onboarding new people. It’s a little bit osmosis and working with it. Because it is fairly intuitive. Like anything else, you can start with the simplistic things. So how do you add a new user doesn’t have all the surveys in every single site in their thing so that sometimes they just need to know where to find it once they add to the library. They’re like, oh, I got it. No problem. And so then they can download that and sync to their mobile device and go from there. The onboarding process has been very, very simple and I would say it’s probably the least pain point of the software systems that we use. Setting up Gmail is a lot harder, sometimes.
Eman Taylor: Appreciate y’all sharing how intuitive it is. We are working on improving a lot of more video. So we do have a handful of YouTube videos and help guides, as well. You can see there’s this onscreen chat, here. If anybody runs into any issues as they’re using the tool, you can reach out to us on our onscreen chat, as well as we have support guides and videos as well to help you. For the sake of time, I know we’re kind of pushing time. Last question was is there the ability to do a true bill of materials? We’re working on our reports, as Chris mentioned. So in the next couple of months, y’all should see a lot of improvements to our capabilities.
Gary Hoffner: We do it. We simply export it to Excel. And then import into another document. Again, back to the fidelity thing. If I don’t have to worry about printing out a document and having an administrator create a bill of materials off of something separate, or copying it, I’d simply just import it. It makes so much more sense.
Eman Taylor: So you use Excel export, here?
Gary Hoffner: Yes.
Laura Newell: Great. Well, we have a lot of other questions, guys, but we might have to take those offline just because I hate taking up too much of everybody’s time. But we sure do appreciate you all joining us. Jason and Gary, thank you so much for your time and your assistance, today. Again, I recorded this webinar, so you will receive it by the end of the day.
Chris Hugman: Gary, Jordan, thanks for joining us, and everyone else thanks for tuning in to the System Surveyor Webinar.
Gary Hoffner: We look forward to the updates in a couple of weeks, Chris.
Chris Hugman: You got it.