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6 February 2018
Jared Becker, owner of Shore Tint in Sussex County, Delaware first became interested in the window film business as a teenager while watching his neighbor’s car get tinted. As a self-proclaimed ‘nosy kid’, Becker peppered the window film installer with questions, ultimately deciding he too wanted to go into that profession. Becker has been in the industry since 1989, and has built his family owned and operated business from the ground-up.
One of the challenges Becker has faced throughout his career, which is common in the window film industry, is safety and accessibility. When working on an estimate for a residential or commercial customer, not all windows are an arm’s length or even a tape measure’s length away. In fact, taking measurements of certain windows calls into question the safety of Becker or a member of his team. After discovering and then adopting Spike into his estimation processes, Becker’s safety challenges disappeared.
Shore Tint specializes in Solar Gard window film for boats, houses and commercial projects. Spike is an official partner of Solar Gard, and Becker first learned about the product in an online window film forum. Once he understood Spike’s benefits, especially the ability to take measurements safely and easily from the ground, he had to try it. He says, “I do a lot of windows up high. I’m in million-dollar homes up and down the beach, and it’s hard to hold a tape measure over a $10k baby grand piano.”
Becker has been tasked with some very interesting assignments throughout his career, including a recent job using Spike to measure window film for a museum in in Millsboro, Delaware. That project entailed measuring triangular-shaped windows over 30-feet off the ground. Becker also described a job using Spike to measure windows at a local college, including a 30’x30’ pyramid-shaped skylight close to 40’ high. Becker says, “using Spike, I didn’t have to worry about breaking my back climbing up to a 30-ft pyramid. I would have had to climb on the outside of that building and it was a metal roof. When you factor-in the potential to fall and break a leg or worse, Spike is worth its weight in gold.”
Becker continues, “before Spike, I would put myself at risk to estimate a job like that. I no longer have to use a ladder to climb up to the roof when I don’t need to. It’s a liability. If I give the job to an employee, I have to worry about them going up and hurting themselves as well. This way we can measure from the ground where it’s safe.” For Becker, the peace of mind he gets from measuring with Spike as opposed to putting himself or his team at unnecessary risk using a ladder “is worth everything”.
Becker now uses Spike for most jobs that he can’t easily reach with a tape measure. He almost exclusively uses Spike’s Photo Measure feature, but has used Spike’s Point-to-Point tool to calculate the square footage of repeat windows. He found Point-to-Point to be especially helpful on a project for a neighboring school’s art room that had 980 individual glass block windows. Since he was measuring a curved area, he broke it out into four sections and added up the square footage to achieve his measurement estimate for the bid.
After a small learning curve to get up and running with Spike, Becker has found that his measurement results are exactly what he needs them to be. Not aiming the laser directly at the glass or being at too severe of an angle have helped him achieve results that are nearly exact or at the most ½” off. Becker says he gets a lot of questions from customers asking if Spike really is as accurate as it claims. He says, “I show them the measurements along with the Spike and we’ll compare apples to apples to prove it’s accurate.” Becker adds that once the accuracy is confirmed, “customers are really impressed with what Spike can do. It gives the end-user confidence to know the project is being measured accurately and they’re getting charged accurately.”
In addition to the safety benefit and time savings of using Spike, Becker has found that the tool has enhanced his business through the use of the photo record on the Spike Cloud. Even though he does the majority of measuring using the Spike app on his Samsung Galaxy Note 8, he files and organizes all his images on the Spike Cloud. He recently switched the account management of his business from QuickBooks to Service Monster. In Service Monster, he’s able to attach the Spike photo of the projects he bids. Becker says, “when it comes to estimating, if the customer waits 6 months to get the job done, I’ll still have a fresh memory of what the job was and what it looks like.”
Becker also utilizes Spike’s photo record to ensure that both his customers and installers are on the same page with the agreed upon work. He often has customers that want specific windows tinted, and he’s able to highlight which ones in the Spike app. He then prints a copy of the Spike photo that has the measurements already included on the image and has the customer sign it. Becker says, “this eliminates any confusion with customers and is a great visual for the installation team as well.”
Since Becker started using Spike, not only has he eliminated risk and safety concerns in his business, he has reduced his time on job sites measuring by 80%. Becker says, “Spike is saving me a lot of time. I just “Spiked” the whole side of a hotel. It was so nice to just get one picture.” He goes on to say, “what used to take 30 minutes on the job site measuring, I can now do in 5 minutes.”
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