Having worked within construction and restoration businesses for 30 years, Keith Sproles understands the industries like the back of his hand. So when he speaks, we listen. Keith, with Construction Concepts, has always been vocal about his support for CompanyCam. His appreciation and support for the CoCam app even inspired him to represent CompanyCam at a tradeshow! What a trooper.
CompanyCam is versatile in all types of industries: construction, painting, cleaning, landscaping, restoration, you name it! Follow along below as Keith Sproles shares tips & tricks he has used to maximize his team’s use of the CompanyCam app within their industry.
Tell us about Construction Concepts.
We started Construction Concepts about 30 years ago and now we have a new company called Restoration Concepts, which is about a year old. For the past 20 years, we have been in the restoration business, so it has only been a recent change to market that part of our business separately from our construction company. We are a smaller company. We just have six employees. Originally we were a larger company, but I got into a bad motorcycle accident and decided I should maybe scale everything back a bit. Even though we changed into a smaller thing, we are still a growing company. Two weeks ago I had 3 bids on my book, and today I have 27!
Before using CompanyCam, did you notice any industry issues or common problems that people were facing in the restoration industry that CompanyCam solves for you?
My company is based in a somewhat rural area. Our town is 130,000. People in our area aren’t real good about being involved in trade organizations. A lot of times we’re on our own. For us, CompanyCam has helped a lot because I have found creative ways to use it. I’m huge on documentation, particularly in the restoration industry. It’s kind of funny, I don’t know if it’s the ease of CompanyCam, but I push my teams to take photos all the time. “Don’t forget to send me those photos and make sure you’re getting those pictures.” And for us, the ease of taking photos has changed a lot for us. Today one of my guys misplaced a login for CompanyCam, and he’s like “Damn, I got to get it! I need that.” If my crew members ever forget a login for one of the accounts or whatever, they realize how important it is to be in the app.
“CompanyCam just makes me look a hell of a lot more professional.”
CompanyCam sets my business apart. For my customers, CompanyCam just makes me look a hell of a lot more professional. This is because when I send somebody a bid, I send them a photo report that gives them all the documentation & information. For example, it’d say, “Hey, this is what we’re doing in this kind of area. We’re replacing all of this rotted wood over here.”
I’ve had customers say to me, “I appreciate that I had a real visual of what you were going to do.” And I’m not the cheapest guy in town; I want to be the most expensive guy. So I need ways to validate that. And CompanyCam has done that.
What was your photo process before CompanyCam?
Take a picture. Text it to me. Beg them to text it to me! I’d wait and wait for pictures. So to answer your question, there wasn’t much of a system.
A lot of people online say they already have all of CompanyCam’s abilities on their phone, without our app. What would you say in response to that?
Oh, I’m sure you could if you’re super technical. And if you want to spend all day setting up the systems! So no… I’m being facetious. Earlier today a guy said to me, “Hey man, I’m not sure about this.” And I said, “Put it on CompanyCam and then I’ll go right there and look.” So he took a picture, used a pointer or whatever pointing to exactly what he’s talking about. I picked it up, I looked at it and I said, “No, that’s fine.” You can do that wherever, but nothing is as easy as CompanyCam. You know what I mean?
And even if you can do everything on your phone, there is no central place to store everything. Maybe there is some other software I don’t know about but… There’s no random way, if you’ve got more than one guy, you can’t just do that on your phone or through text messages.
Because that was another thing, man. We talk all day long on text messages. We do all these things on text messages. Back in the day I had to go, “Oh yeah, you took a picture of that.” Scrolling back through all my text messages trying to figure out where the picture was. Now I go to CompanyCam, and boom, boom, boom! For me personally, I pull up to a job site and I tell my customers, “You’ll probably see me outside for a couple of minutes before I come in.” I pull up to the job site, open CompanyCam, click my location (through CompanyCam’s GPS) and set them up. I do this with every one of my customers. So then when I walk in, I’m already set up and ready to go. And I can call my foreman and say, “Hey man, what’s this crazy crap I just saw at a house?” And he can go on CompanyCam and look and make comments on it or whatever.
I was told you represented CompanyCam at one of the tradeshows. First of all, thank you for doing that! Secondly, what makes you such a big CompanyCam advocate?
Well, it’s because all my people love CompanyCam. I’m a hard guy to work with. I strive for perfection and don’t accept less than that. Back in the day, when my crews would call me to verify how they’re going to do something, I would say, “Hey man, I’ll be over there in a minute.” There were a lot more steps to staying up-to-date with my team. So now, my people love CompanyCam because it keeps me out of their hair.
CompanyCam saves me money every day. And what I mean by that is it saves me labor. I’m not just trying to make a living — I am running my business like a business. We track costs. We look at productivity. And CompanyCam saves me money daily! It saves me as much money as it saves me time.
Here’s another thing. We use it as a punch list thing. I give my customer a link to their website or check out their websites. When I’m done, I tell them “Here’s CompanyCam, take a picture and point at what you’re not happy with. A spot that you see that we didn’t see. You don’t understand why this is like this.” So they go in and point out everything that I need to have for a punch list, and then my guy rolls up on the job. Nobody’s had to sit down and make out some punch list. He has it all on CompanyCam. Back in the day, we’d go, “What the hell is our customer even talking about? I think I’m looking where they’re looking, but I don’t see it!” But now we know exactly where they’re looking. And so they just take the picture in CompanyCam and we don’t even interact. We can do punch lists without even interacting with the customer. They put the picture on there, my guy does whatever needs to be done, uses the before and after to document the progress, then tells my customer, “we’re done.”
“CompanyCam saves my team and me a lot of time. That’s what makes me a big fan.”
And this works well in property solutions, where we’re flipping houses or we’re doing rental things. People can now see what we did without going into the house themselves. It’s clear that we’ve done what we said we were going to do. For me, that’s the biggest thing I like about it because it makes my job easier. It makes my customers more at ease because they can sit in their home, they don’t have to worry about finding time to check all the work. Whether it’s new construction or whatever. They can see it right on their phones and know we’re done.
Especially during this social distancing time, it’s even more convenient. You’re not even supposed to be interacting with your customers, so it just works out perfectly.
Exactly — that’s really it. Talking about COVID, it has encouraged me to look at a different way of doing business. And you’re right. I don’t have to interact with these people and be concerned about that now too.
Yeah. You mentioned earlier CompanyCam’s B/A filter. I have been on your website & have seen some really great photos of before and after pictures of work your crews have done. So, is the before and after filter one of your favorite features of CompanyCam? Which feature is the most beneficial for construction companies in your opinion?
The before/after filter is one of the things I love most about the app because you can be exact. I used to print out the picture and then take it over to the site. Then I’d try to frame my camera as best as I could to match the first image. So the B/A filter has changed a lot for us.
Let me put it this way, from a marketing perspective, the b/a feature is my favorite. From an operations perspective, being able to take real-time pictures and save me lots of trips around town is my favorite. I can only imagine somebody in a bigger market and how much they would love CompanyCam.
What would you say to companies that are on the fence about using CompanyCam?
So here’s the deal. If you’re not willing to spend a few bucks a month, then you need to live like you live today. You don’t deserve to have CompanyCam, put it that way. Really. Because, honestly, for me, I’m all about technology, and I’m also the guy that when technology fails it ticks me off because I’m so used to using it. But that’s the thing. I am the guy who goes and does demos and checks everything out. CompanyCam is so reasonably priced, you’re a fool if you don’t at least try it.
Finish this statement: “CompanyCam is…”
It really is. It gives us a whole new, better way to do business. It’s a platform… And here’s the deal. It’s industry-changing because it changes the way I interact with my employees, it changes the way I interact with my customers, it changes the way I bid my jobs! It’s all about documentation.
And for me, CompanyCam is a communication tool. It clarifies communication across the board and makes communicating so much easier. Because all day long, my guys can be trying to explain something to me on the phone, or someone will text me a photo, and say, “Don’t you see what I’m talking about?” And I say, “No, where?”
And now it’s like, boom, it’s right there. I can even enhance the image and view it more clearly where my guy places the circles. So yeah, for me, it’s an instantaneous communication tool really.
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Thanks Keith Sproles and Constructions Concepts for sharing your thoughts. Construction Concepts is a construction and restoration company based out of Abilene, TX. To Construction Concepts, any occupied and fully operational job sites are never a problem. And they can also plan, manage, and build multi-phase jobs. They offer an beginning-to-end client experience that includes seamless communication, budgeting, staffing, on-site organization, and solid, quality handiwork every time. Thus helping to make your fire or water damage restoration or your planned home improvement an enjoyable experience.
Learn more at their website.