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The Best Tool in Your Toolbox — A Conversation With Apollo Concrete Coatings

Tl;dr

Jason has been using CompanyCam for about three years and now wonders, How did we actually work without it?” Jason and his team document everything, and it has saved them from many false damage claims. Being an Operations Manager, he decided to implement a multi-step process to ensure efficiency with his crew. The crew now takes a photo after completing each step, within the CompanyCam app. Jason is now instantly up-to-date and can communicate clearly online (without the unnecessary drives across town).

CompanyCam charges a fee for its PRO users, but according to Jason Miller, that small fee guarantees you and your crew a genuine peace of mind. Being secure in your work goes a long way. With this confidence you are able to maximize time & labor, as well as minimize false damage claims.

Jason has been working for Apollo Concrete Coatings for 6 years and has been effectively using CompanyCam for 3 years. Follow along below as Jason shares how CompanyCam has become his secret weapon for fighting off false claims.


What challenges did Apollo Concrete Coatings face in the painting industry that lead you to look for a solution like CompanyCam?

We were looking for a solution that would help our crew look at the job ahead of time & understand where they were going. We do a floor day. I operate six crews, so we’re doing six floors a day. When a crew goes to a home, they complete the job in one day. So, our crews didn’t know how to prepare for the job or analyze any known/​identifiable obstacles because they couldn’t see the job ahead of time. But once we utilized CompanyCam, it set forth a new precedent for us. We know exactly what we’re walking into. A lot of the questions are already answered before we even have to ask them.

Can you walk me through how using CompanyCam has solved those problems for you?

When we set up an estimate for our floors, our sales staff will go out. The first thing they do upon arrival is take a photo. They pull up CompanyCam, the address will pop up, & they confirm that the address is correct. Then, take the first photo outside of their home. Then they take some overall photos of whatever area we’re working on. Whether it be a porch, a garage, a back patio, a front patio, they will take photos of it. If we have to repair anything, they use the text feature in the CompanyCam and add it to the photo stating, Please build this up.” This has to be repaired.” Customer will move furniture off the porch.” Any kind of note that the sales staff thinks would be relevant for the job, they leave on there. We are booked three months out, so this sales process happens several months before.

A lot of the questions are already answered before we even have to ask them.

It’s hard for me to say, Remember when you were at Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s house?” to my staff. They are running 6 – 10 estimates a day. They’re not going to remember every house three months later. So I can pull CompanyCam up and utilize their old photos. If they have any questions like, Hey, can we do this job?” I pull up CompanyCam, and I can see everything. We like that it’s instant. As soon as they take the photo, I can view it. It really helps me plan out the job and be able to thoroughly price the job. Without CompanyCam, we didn’t see the obstacles that were in front of us, and my crews were going in there blind. Now we have a CompanyCam account for every one of our crew members.

Now, when they look at their job in the morning, it’ll say, 123 Main Street restroom assessment.” They pull it up on CompanyCam and can see what obstacles they’re going to have in front of them. They know, oh, we got to bring this & that.” We start at 6:30 am, but our sales staff doesn’t start till about 9:00 – 9:30 am. With CompanyCam, it saves us from bothering the sales staff. We can pretty much answer any of those questions through the app.

Saving time, saving money, saving fuel. It’s become our biggest tool we consider to have in our toolbox.

And if my sales staff have any questions for me, it’s easy for me to pull up CompanyCam anywhere I am. I’m on the road a lot. I utilize it on my iPad. I utilize it on my phone. Whatever it may be, if they have a question, it’s as simple as them texting me, pulling up CompanyCam, and I’m at 123 Main Street. Do you think we could do this? Do we have the material to repair this? Is this job too big? Is this job too small? Do we have room for this in our schedule?” By viewing the photos, I can instantly know what to do and I don’t have to drive there. Saving time, saving money, saving fuel. It’s become our biggest tool we consider to have in our toolbox.

Do you have an estimate of how much time you might save, let’s say in a week, because of CompanyCam?

Yeah. I easily save myself 10 to 12 hours a week by just reviewing or driving! It’s that simple. We utilize the text, the arrows, the circles to highlight things the most. It is the key utilization tool for us to maintain a smooth process for our staff. Every day, all six of my crews have certain steps in certain points of their jobs. For each step, when completed, they take a photo and upload it on CompanyCam.

That does two things for me. Because the images are timestamped, I can see the speed of the job and crew. I use that time-stamped feature as a watch over status for the crew so I know they’re maintaining their schedule, working on time, and not having any issues. I can pull up CompanyCam and click on any one of my guys and I can say, Okay, it’s noon. He’s here. He’s at this step.” And if he isn’t at the right step, I’ll give him a call. And say, What’s going on? Why are you still on this step in this photo? I see you started this process at 9:00 AM, why are you still on it?” And then they can explain either machinery broke down or whatever it may be. CompanyCam is a tool that I use to maintain production in a timely manner.

That’s great. Some companies use CompanyCam as a clocking in and clocking out system, but it also works great for accountability. You can track your crews from a distance. I’m glad to hear you’re doing that. So then, what was your communication or photo documentation process before CompanyCam?

Before CompanyCam we had Manila folders, job folders you would call them. And they would write on them, Need to move furniture out of the garage. Garage has a hole in the back corner, must be repaired. Look for three steps. Those must be coated also.” On every folder, we found ourselves having nothing short of a novel to read! Things were also easily forgotten. My crews would read it and forget about it. Now, with CompanyCam, if there is a three-step process to follow, there will be a photo of each step. And if we work in a garage and it’s raining, they can take a picture saying, Side door access in case it rains.”

There’s no more blame. There’s no more he said, she said. It was all on CompanyCam. It has our mistakes down probably by 75%.

We’re using CompanyCam to max capacity for what we need it for. Now our file jackets, our job folders per se, are just short and to the point. Just name, address, and everything else will be in CompanyCam. 99% of the time on our files say, See CompanyCam.” So they’ll fire up CompanyCam. First, they know exactly where they’re going because our sales staff took a picture of the house. And then second, the project shows everything that it entails. If there are special instructions, there are photos with it. There’s no more blame. There’s no more he said, she said. It was all on CompanyCam. It has our mistakes down probably by 75%.

Can you think of any example or story of where CompanyCam has, like you said, saved you from a big mistake? Or a time where you didn’t have CompanyCam and there was a mistake?

So CompanyCam has probably saved us thousands upon thousands of dollars because we document our area before we start the job. Case in points would be, there was an in-ground pool we were working on. For in-ground pools, we do a coating system. This particular in-ground pool had steps that were all cracked. I don’t know what it was from, but they were cracked. Our sales staff was at the house and they photographed everything. When our crew was done with the job, the homeowner said that we cracked their steps. It was going to be a $2,400 replacement. But we pulled up CompanyCam. We showed them CompanyCam with a time date stamp upon our arrival for the estimate, which was three months before we did any work, and the crack was there. So the homeowners had no legal bind! Everything stopped right there. So whether they were being dishonest or just didn’t know the crack was there, we knew it wasn’t us due to the fact of nothing short of the documentation we had with CompanyCam.

How did you hear about CompanyCam? What intrigued you enough to download a free trial?

We use a national chemical company called Penntek Industrial Coatings. We have what we call our dealer meeting” every year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During this meeting, a CompanyCam representative explained everything about the app to us. And that is where we jumped on board, right there! Seeing the PowerPoint slide show of what it could do & how we could use it, I knew it was something for all industries. Whether it be concrete coatings, painting houses, doing roofs, cutting lawns. Whatever it may be, it is a great tool to have, not only to protect yourself and your company but to protect your employees. The benefit of it is the production, the time saving, the before and after photos, etc. We utilize every bit, every single day.

Oh, good. I looked on your website and saw some before and afters on your page. It really tells a good story about what your company can do.

Yeah. So we have a lot of those. And 99% of them, I guarantee almost all of them now, are CompanyCam photos.

What is your favorite feature on CompanyCam? What feature do you think provides the greatest benefit to businesses like yours?

Probably the before and after feature, because we can show the job we do or the timestamp photos because they help me utilize the production of my employees. There is a secure feeling you have when prepared for a job. As I said, we photograph everything ahead of time so there’s no more saying we did damage that we didn’t do. It saves us time, money, & manpower. If we did not have CompanyCam, we’d be out there making that repair our cost.

Would you recommend CompanyCam to other businesses?

I would 100% recommend CompanyCam. If you’re on the fence about it, I would say do exactly what we did. Give it a try! Use the free trial. That’s what got me in. I used it and as I utilized it for a couple of weeks I kept saying, How did we actually work without it?” It’s a small fee. And for that fee, you can buy peace of mind. So, it helps us out. It helps us better prepare. Everything runs a lot smoother. We aren’t waiting for our crew members to text photos anymore.

It is a great tool to have, not only to protect yourself and your company but to protect your employees.

Now I don’t have to worry about the photos taking up space on my phone either. With CompanyCam cloud service, you can just take the photos. All you’ve got to do is get the app. Take the photos and all your users can see them on CompanyCam. We even have subscriptions for our office administrators. So it works out well.

What three words would you use to describe CompanyCam?

Oh, boy. Three words to describe CompanyCam? That’s a tough one.

Professional would be one because it makes us look professional when we’re out on the job site.

Number two would be documentation. Everything is documented. We love that. Documentation is probably the biggest. We can look back at any given time on that. 

And probably the third one would be communication. It has minimized the number of phone calls and everything because we could just pull it up. Our text messages now say, I need you to look at 123 Main Street.” They don’t have to explain it. It makes our communications so much easier, so much shorter, and allows us to have more time during the day to do our work, rather than trying to figure out issues that we’re having without seeing the problem. It is very efficient.


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Thank you for your time, Jason Miller. Not only do we appreciate you using our app, but being so openly passionate and supportive of it. Jason Miller works for Apollo Concrete Coatings, a division of Apollo that focuses on concrete floor coatings with a wide array of color options. Since 1976, Apollo has provided quality construction and services to the WNY area. Whether your needs are commercial or residential, Apollo has the experience, expertise and professionalism that you are looking for.

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