When RocketPlan CEO Joe Tolzmann used to arrive at a property, his first act was to take a photo of the front door, and text it to himself -- that way, he could use these photos as dated references to correlate times with addresses. It was labor intensive and incredibly difficult to comb through in the future, but at the time there was simply no better way to do something so simple.
Since then, Tolzmann has founded RocketPlan in an attempt to solve this problem for the restoration industry.
The problem was the need to access old information long after the project ends. Historical information can prevent insurance disputes and reduce the need to re-inspect past worksites. Whatever the reason, restoration contractors are often asked to dig far back in their history and produce very specific information.
People, both technicians and managers, would simply forget vital information, even up to the point of forgetting expensive equipment on-site for months at a time. The entire ecosystem, not just photos, was plagued by a lack of organization and integration between features.
The solution was to make sure that the entirety of a project’s work takes place within an organized framework, reliable over time and available to everyone involved. In particular, this meant taking and saving photos in a whole new way.
With RocketPlan, photos taken both on-site and off are taken directly into a project homepage, so when you take the photo it is already organized by property, level, and room. All photos are associated with relevant info like time, GPS location, worker name, and more, which are automatically appended for easy searching later.
RocketPlan uses an unlimited cloud storage service for photos, meaning that there’s no more issue of which device a photo is stored on. All your employees’ devices have all your photos, even brand new devices.
Better yet, since storage is built into your RocketPlan account, there’s never any need to delete photos to free space on a device’s hard drive; even the tiniest mobile device with an internet connection puts everything at your fingertips – going back to the very beginning of your work.
RocketPlan is all about bringing the different elements of restoration together into a single, unified environment, and that extends to every facet of restoration technology.
IR photography has always been more labor-intensive than regular on-site photography not just because they require special cameras but also because they need to be associated with extra metadata on moisture readings and more.
RocketPlan integrates IR photography via the Teledyne/FLIR IR camera, extending its user-friendly project-tracking ecosystem to IR imagery as well. All associated data about time and location is included as normal, but with extra information about moisture readings or anything else collected by the technician in the field.
Bringing all types of imagery under one roof greatly increases the time-saving impact of RocketPlan’s built-in organization.
Imagine that you’ve just settled in for the night – only to receive a text message alleging that one or your workers left a particular instance of water damage untouched despite charging for it.
The project was over a year ago, and the technician who handled it no longer works with the company. Their mobile device left with them, so the particular camera is no longer available. Nobody currently working for the company ever interacted with the property owner, and nobody has ever set foot inside the unit.
If you’ve been building your business around practices like having technicians text themselves photos, then you’re likely now facing a huge headache – but if you’ve been using RocketPlan this entire time, there’s no problem at all!
The unit in question will still be a part of your company’s address-based directory of past work, and by navigating to it you can find all the information any worker ever collected about it. Assuming that the worker documented their work along the way, it should be trivially easy to prove this and save yourself considerable time and stress.
Taking photos is great – but keeping them over time, organized and marked with notes and metadata as necessary, is the key to long term success, and the ability to maintain efficiency while scaling your business.