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Trans­form­ing Your Busi­ness – A Con­ver­sa­tion With Tim­ber­land Exteriors

Tl;dr

Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors focus­es on sid­ing, win­dows, and roof­ing. Orga­niz­ing and track­ing pho­tos was the biggest strug­gle for Paul before using Com­pa­ny­Cam. CoCam has trans­formed his busi­ness because now he has a per­ma­nent & secure record of everything. 

Com­pa­ny­Cam helped him be more trans­par­ent with his cus­tomers. If you’re on the fence about Com­pa­ny­Cam, Paul says, call me.” He will talk you into it!

Paul Traut­mann is an OG Com­pa­ny­Cam user. His com­pa­ny, Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors, start­ed using our app over 3 years ago. 

He has seen first-hand the effects Com­pa­ny­Cam can have on your busi­ness long term. Com­pa­ny­Cam has​“trans­formed” the way Tim­ber­land does their work. 

Being an active advo­cate and sup­port­er of Com­pa­ny­Cam — and Cus­tomer Advi­so­ry Board mem­ber 2021—we fig­ured it was impor­tant to hear what he had to say.


Tell me a lit­tle about Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors. Where are you based? Inspi­ra­tion for start­ing the busi­ness? What’s your role there?

I used to be a police offi­cer so I kind of got into this busi­ness by acci­dent. I was work­ing part time and answered an ad to sell home improvement. 

From there, I just fell in love with this indus­try. I fell in love with the busi­ness. I always want­ed to serve peo­ple and this was where my life kind of drew me.

We start­ed Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors about 20 years ago. We focus on sid­ing, roof­ing, and win­dows with offices in the twin cities of Min­neapo­lis, St. Paul, and one of the Detroit Lakes area up near Fargo. 

Peo­ple ask occa­sion­al­ly,​“what makes you dif­fer­ent? Why would we use you ver­sus any oth­er com­pa­ny?” I say,​“You know, you’re right. There’s a lot of com­pa­nies that do this, but there’s a lot of peo­ple that do it wrong.” 

Peo­ple that are focused only on the work and not on the peo­ple, don’t real­ize there’s lives involved in this indus­try. We’re try­ing to be as unob­tru­sive as pos­si­ble and real­ize that we’re going to be in people’s homes mak­ing a mess. We don’t look at it like work. 

Many peo­ple just say, A job’s a job.” We don’t do that.

What are some of the problems/​issues you see in the roofing/​remodeling indus­try in regards to pho­to reporting/​documentation (or lack thereof)?

Well, pri­or to Com­pa­ny­Cam, the hard­est part for us was track­ing down photos. 

Our installers take pic­tures at every house. If we did three hous­es a day, we’d get 30 — 40 pic­tures that, by the end of the week, nobody knew where each pho­to was from. It was real­ly hard to deci­pher which pho­tos went to which job. And then try and then save them some­where. Usu­al­ly they’d end up in an email somewhere. 

Then we’d have to track down and sort emails. It was an absolute mess. 

City Inspec­tors want­ed to see pho­tos. The home­own­ers, they want copies of the pho­tos, too. We’d end­ed up email­ing stuff all over, and after six months, it was real­ly hard to track pho­tos of all these jobs.

Com­pa­ny­Cam changed that for us.

Now we’ve got a per­ma­nent record of pho­tos attached to an address of the customer’s house. The pho­tos are saved in a data­base that they can access at any point. That was a day-one game chang­er for us! Our crews don’t have to wor­ry about email­ing pho­tos to us any­more – it’s saved right from the job.

It’s trans­formed how we do busi­ness. Com­pa­ny­Cam is crit­i­cal to cre­at­ing an excep­tion­al cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. I don’t know what we’d do with­out you guys.”

What was your pho­to process before CompanyCam?

Before Com­pa­ny­cam, we min­i­mized the amount of pho­tos we took because it was cum­ber­some keep­ing track of them. Email stor­age was our process and we’d try to save pho­tos back into our CRM, but it was cum­ber­some and we failed in many cas­es to get the pho­tos passed to where they should have been. 

But now with Com­pa­ny­Cam, we take hun­dreds of pho­tos. We’ve got 900 pho­tos on the job because we want to doc­u­ment everything. 

We did a remod­el project and pho­tographed so many steps and issues. Once the sheet rock was up, and it was time to turn the elec­tri­cal on, the elec­tri­cians real­ized they had for­got­ten to con­nect the elec­tri­cal to the main box. For­tu­nate­ly, we had so many pho­tos that we found the exact con­nec­tion point and cut a lit­tle tiny two inch hole into the wall to make that connection. 

If we hadn’t had Com­pa­ny­Cam tak­ing all those pho­tos, we would have nev­er known. Com­pa­ny­Cam has been wonderful.

Nev­er com­pro­mise. Nev­er cut cor­ners.” is Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors guid­ing prin­ci­ple. How has Com­pa­ny­Cam assist­ed your busi­ness towards achiev­ing this principle?

Com­pa­ny­Cam has helped us solve home­own­ers’ issues bet­ter. An exam­ple of nev­er cut­ting cor­ners is we won’t use infe­ri­or prod­ucts on our customer’s projects. 

I don’t want to make more mon­ey by using cheap­er prod­ucts. I explain to the home­own­er the val­ue of what we do. Com­pa­ny­Cam has been great because we can take pho­tos of every lit­tle detail. 

On the bot­tom lev­el of the ground, you see where the clear­ance to your sid­ing hits the dirt? Because of this, we have to do this. Do you see where your elec­tri­cal box is? Because of this, we have to do this. Do you see where all of this rot­ten wood is? Because of this, we should do this and we should do that,” and so on. 

It has clar­i­fied to home­own­ers why we do what we do and why we do it to so much detail.

And it shows we do what we say. We don’t send them a bill for $8,000 and say, Well, you had all this rot­ten wood. But it’s cov­ered now, you can’t see it.” Using Com­pa­ny­Cam, we go back and can show every sin­gle nail on every sin­gle piece of rot­ten wood that we replaced.

Every sin­gle per­son we have ever dealt with from Com­pa­ny­Cam are real­ly great. They’re ground­ed. I nev­er feel any arro­gance about them. I nev­er feel any, I don’t have time to talk to you because of this or that.” I’ll some­times call with the stu­pid­est ques­tion and they’re like, Oh no, no, we’ll fig­ure it out. Great talk­ing to you.” I just love you guys.”

Tell me about an​“aha” moment when you real­ized the Com­pa­ny­Cam app was going to be a game changer?

The​“aha” moment was the first time our crews used it. We found Com­pa­ny­Cam and thought,​“this is going to be great. Now let’s see if our teams like it.” 

And that was the biggest aha moment, when the crew said,​“Final­ly! We don’t have to try and fig­ure out how to get pho­tos to you any­more. We just take pho­tos and it’s done!” 

That was prob­a­bly the first time we real­ized this is going to be a game chang­er in our court.

How long does it usu­al­ly take one of your employ­ees to get com­fort­able using CompanyCam?

Well, it’s a com­pli­cat­ed process because we have to log them into their phone and take one pic­ture and it takes maybe a minute to get them… I’m teasing! 

It is so quick. 

Tak­ing that first pic­ture at the job site is where the crew real­ized how sim­ple, how easy it is. It takes five minutes. 

They will see the ben­e­fit imme­di­ate­ly because they just hit the cam­era and it pulls up the job that they’re sit­ting at. They don’t have to try and track down the address. They don’t even have to know the address! 

Just click the but­ton and the phone will know the address of where you’re at. So it’s a very quick process!

I have noticed that the peo­ple who seem to be against using the app online are indi­vid­u­als who haven’t tried it yet. It’s silly!

It’s fun­ny, peo­ple doing the same thing over and over and expect­ing dif­fer­ent results. 

I’ve got a con­trac­tor friend of mine who I’ve pitched to, and he says,​“Nah, nah. We’ve got our own system.” 

I said,​“What’s your system?” 

He said,​“oh, the crews just take pho­tos and they email them to me.” 

I’m like,​“Yeah, but don’t you find that you’ve got like a thou­sand pho­tos in your email?” 

He said,​“yeah, but I can fig­ure it out.” 

Peo­ple are reluc­tant to change some­times. They are reluc­tant to the point of detriment.

Which fea­ture of Com­pa­ny­Cam do you think pro­vides the most ben­e­fit to roofing/​remodeling companies?

The abil­i­ty to take lots of pho­tos and then not con­stant­ly have to track down your crews to get pho­tos from them. 

Our sid­ing takes longer, so it’s nice we can watch the progress of the job from wher­ev­er we’re at. Sim­i­lar with the roof­ing crews, but they are usu­al­ly in and out the same day. Our siders are usu­al­ly there for a week or two weeks. 

So with the sid­ing pho­tos, we can keep updat­ed on more jobs by see­ing what’s going on in real time with­out being at the job site.

What would you say to com­pa­nies that are on the fence about using CompanyCam? 

I would say, call me.” 

It can be good to hear from oth­er peo­ple about their expe­ri­ence with Com­pa­ny­Cam, instead of just from Com­pa­ny­Cam itself. 

When you deal with a shin­gle com­pa­ny, every­body in the com­pa­ny will say theirs is the best. When you deal with a com­pa­ny in any indus­try, they will always say they’re best choice. 

Com­pa­ny­Cam will say it’s the best — so ask one of their users. So, call me, I’ll tell them about my expe­ri­ence with CompanyCam.

Fin­ish this state­ment: Com­pa­ny­Cam is…”

Com­pa­ny­Cam is the best app we have ever found.


Com­pa­ny­Cam might be your pho­to doc­u­men­ta­tion solu­tion. Try it today!

Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors is a roof­ing, win­dow, sid­ing, & storm dam­age repair com­pa­ny based out of the twin cities in Min­neso­ta. Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors take pride in lis­ten­ing to their cus­tomers’ needs and then they do what they can to address hous­ing issues. Paul Traut­mann is the own­er of Tim­ber­land exteriors.

Learn more about Tim­ber­land Exte­ri­ors’ ser­vices.

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