Imagine if you could get an up-close-and-personal view of a potential worksite before you bid on the job. How would that improve the accuracy, detail, and professionalism of your proposal?
When a buyer offers walkthroughs, building services providers get this exact opportunity. The only caveat? You don't have much time, so it's important to make the most of it.
Now there are myriad new trends and technologies that make the walkthrough process as thorough and successful as possible. Today, we're taking a look at a few of these tools and sharing how you can implement them at your next on-site meeting.
Ready to learn more? Let's get started.
In years past, participants at a walkthrough took pen and paper notes to share with the in-house team back at the office. As digitalization grew, this practice transformed into smartphone dictation and jotting down details on the Notes app.
Still, though there was a level of progress, the reality was that at the end of the day, those notes were unreliable, unorganized and often difficult to read.
Today's modern business management platforms are out to offer a massive improvement.
Now, building services technicians can sign into a central Walkthrough Builder to capture all the information needed for a bid. With a few clicks, they can enter pertinent details on every space, including:
- Room Name
- Room Dimensions
- Floor Types
- Hot Points
- Fixtures (Type and Quantity)
Using integrated "Add" and "Remove" buttons, they can manage the data they enter with ease, incorporating tasks such as "Vacuuming" or "Dusting". They can also remove empty areas, as well as organize and view the notes for every area in a convenient card format for easy access.
The best part? They can update any data point in real-time, so no change goes unnoticed or slips through the cracks.
By using the portal, technicians can also ensure against losing, casting aside or throwing away important building details they'll need to know down the road. Back when this effort was a manual one, this was a real risk.
Not only does this damage your reputation and lower your professionalism, but requesting multiple follow-up walkthroughs to take a second look at items you missed the first go-round could cost your company the bid.
In some cases, buyers will schedule a building walkthrough as a part of the pre-bid process. These visits give all bidders the chance to see the project site, take notes and develop a comprehensive proposal to perform the work based on what they saw.
In other instances, building services technicians may need to perform a walkthrough on projects they're already assigned to and working on. Whether a new build or a remodel, they're often required to check in on progress, assess a new area, or show new team members around.
Whatever the reason behind the site visit, the Walkthrough Builder makes scheduling a cinch. From a smartphone or computer, users can access this platform to set up all the details of the upcoming walkthrough, including:
- Adding Client Contact Information
- Assigning Team Members to Attend
- Setting the Date and Time
- Setting a Reminder
As all authorized team members have access to the central platform, they can see these details and updates on their devices, as well. As they can all view the schedule, they can also coordinate and collaborate together to determine who will attend and which roles they will perform.
As an added bonus, this automated calendar feature makes sure you never over-commit or over-schedule. You can see all of your upcoming site visits right on your calendar, viewing all of the appointments by selecting "All Jobs" or only your personal commitments under "My Jobs."
Under every day, you'll find the key details of that site visit, including the client's name and the address of the walkthrough. Share your schedule with key stakeholders to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Crystal Clear Photos
Upfitting an existing office space into a state-of-the-art conference room? You'll want to take photographs of the space during the walkthrough to capture the current layout and facilities.
Taking the time to perform this step is helpful. What isn't helpful is starting at a bevy of images that are grainy, dark or otherwise obscured. You need crystal clear photography that provides an accurate view of every detail.
This is another feature provided through the Walkthrough Builder. When you access the software through your tablet or smartphone, you can use the built-in, state-of-the-art camera technology available on that device to capture all the shots you need. Then, you can save them as part of the total walkthrough package for all team members to access and view.
Legacy systems make note sharing a difficult and laborious process. Relying on disparate file systems or even shared online folders is akin to playing an old-fashioned game of "Telephone." You lose messages, skip details, and end up with a final translation that's much different than the original version.
When you're in the building services industry, you can't afford to make these kinds of mistakes. Not only does a bid decision hinge on your accuracy, but in the event that you do win the work, you'll need to ensure that the dimensions, photographs, and other notes you take are error-free.
Then, when you're ready to share them with others, you need to be able to do so in real-time, making sure they're aware of any changes as they occur.
With the Walkthrough Builder, you can choose between multiple sharing options. Let's take a look at each.
PDF Sharing And Proposal Development
Convert notes, details and even photographs into a comprehensive PDF file. This is useful when you want to insert walkthrough notes into your proposal or bid using a Proposal Generator software. Doing so helps demonstrate your commitment to the project and your ability to meet all buyer expectations. This step is easy to execute via the "Proposal" button available within the Walkthrough Builder.
In addition, this technology integrates seamlessly with other tech tools designed to help users develop winning proposals. One example is WebMerge by Formstack, a software solution that allows you to automatically create proposals using existing Word and PDF documents.
Such tools can utilize any form of walkthrough information gathered by the salesperson performing the walkthrough. That includes notes taken on a clipboard, in a phone app, or elsewhere. When you utilize new technologies to turn these insights into a shareable PDF, you make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
You can also email PDF walkthrough files to other stakeholders in your company, including those who might not have access to your central business management portal. Downloading the files as a PDF also means you're able to print any part as required to fulfill certain buyer requirements during the bid process.
Chances are, everyone on your building services team isn't located at the same office. You may have on-site technicians scattered around the globe, in addition to administrators, proposal managers, warehouse staff and other personnel in other locales.
As such, sending a chat or email to everyone on the team asking them to access a certain file through desktop sharing can be a major pain. It's also difficult to coordinate shared access across time zones, languages and geographical barriers.
This is where one-click, web-based sharing comes in.
With a Walkthrough Builder, technicians can share their notes with the entire team via app access. They can also archive or clone files as necessary. From Slack and Dropbox to Google Drive and OneDrive, there are other platforms that make it a breeze to share virtual files such as these.
Integration With Other Software Tools
We've already covered how a Walkthrough Builder integrates with bidding and proposal software. This makes it easy to create polished and intricate building service bids that stand apart from the pack. It's also a great way to make sure your proposed List of Materials (LOM), labor hours, travel time, and overall budget align with the project's requirements.
Yet, it's just as simple to use with other tools on the platform designed to help building services professionals succeed.
For instance, technicians can leverage the data captured during a walkthrough to add key details to the "Jobs" page, create easier budgets and bids with the "Estimator" page or capture important contact information to the "Clients" page.
The takeaway? When you save data with the Walkthrough Builder, you enhance the accuracy and preciseness of every other part of the project.
More Successful Walkthroughs, Starting Today
Every time you attend walkthroughs, you have to bring your A-game.
There's no room for low-quality equipment, complicated note-taking procedures or time-consuming setups. Rather, the focus should be on the site itself and what your technicians need to understand about the project.
Relying on clunky, outdated software or manual efforts can leave your team feeling frustrated, behind and out-of-touch. Leveraging our centralized Walkthrough Builder means accessing the latest trends and technologies designed to make this process as simple and straightforward as possible.
This is only one part of our overarching business management platform designed with building services professionals in mind. Start a free trial now to learn more about what our software can help you do and how to start reaping its benefits today.