When lighting retrofit expert Lynn Hawkins wanted to take his 15+ years of lighting experience to his own company, he knew that keeping up with the many details and demands of project development and implementation would be a key growth factor. Lynn founded Sustainable Turnkey Solutions (“STS”) in 2015, bringing together fellow retrofitters for a combined 50 years and 100 million square feet of renovation experience.
Having previously worked with a retrofitter that was hesitant to adapt to a completely digital-based retrofit software platform, STS knew that the old fashioned, hand-written audits and Excel based proposals, would not lead to consistent growth. “We wanted to prove to our enterprise clients that we were cutting edge, and you can’t do that using spreadsheets where nothing talks to each other” said Shane Davis, Director of Engineering for STS. “If you can’t effectively manage the details, you can’t provide a quality deliverable” added Davis. After evaluating multiple software tools, STS elected to use SnapCount® to collect expansive retrofit details, slash project development efforts, and win more national account projects.
Before STS commenced retrofit operations, they knew that pencil and paper audits coupled with an Excel based proposal would produce diminishing returns. With this in mind, they began to evaluate a number of solutions including ecoInsight, SnapCount and others. STS needed a solution that would allow for precision, as well as allow both experienced and inexperienced auditors to capture the required building details. This would include photos of each area and fixture, and allow for changes to an audit afterwards.
Aiming to close national account projects with multiple locations, STS was also looking for a solution where they could easily propose multiple energy efficient options to their customer and gain visibility on the status of each location. Due to the wide geography involved in national account projects, it would also be critical to leverage external auditors to perform their audits and surveys. Their required solution would thus need to be easy to learn for 3rd party contractors.
After a full evaluation of SnapCount and ecoInsight, it was clear to STS that SnapCount was a better audit and retrofit software solution due to better ease of use, and greater flexibility and customization options. After viewing demos of each software, STS found SnapCount to be more advanced and easier to understand, which would in turn allow for their auditors to get up to speed through training at a quicker pace. STS also felt that SnapCount offered added breadth to the project lifecycle in comparison to ecoInsight.
SnapCount additionally fulfilled STS’ need to have external and internal auditors perform audits, and sync the audit information back to one central location. This allowed STS to review and make changes to audit information, as needed, from a separate location. This capability would allow STS to manage national account projects with thousands of moving parts all in one platform.
Upon implementing SnapCount, STS was able to use half the number of auditors to audit a greater number of buildings, in a fraction of the time. This increase in speed was due in part to the ability to collect precise, detailed audits on a tablet versus pencil and paper and eliminate the time and effort dedicated to data transcription in the paper/spreadsheet method. With SnapCount, STS was able to increase their audit turnaround speed from an average of 7 days to an average of 1 day using SnapCount. “It’s been incredible”, said Hawkins, “Just the audit capability itself is impressive and provides an order of magnitude speed and accuracy advantage that other retrofitters can’t deliver”.
Using SnapCount to collect audit details, STS saw an increase in project win rate compared to the pencil and paper audit method. Using proposals generated within SnapCount, STS improved win percentage because they could send a professional proposal with a greater level of detail than the competition. “In our business, it is common practice for large customers to get 3 bids”, added Hawkins, “once they experience the precision and quality the STS team can deliver with their experience and SnapCount software, many of our clients have opted to forego the competitive bidding process. This increases our win rate and lowers our cost of sales”.
With a drastically increased project turnaround time, and increased project win rate, STS was extremely satisfied with the results they received upon using SnapCount to perform their audits and proposals. According to Hawkins, “Before SnapCount, it was difficult to collect audit details using pencil and paper methods. We’ve been working with national accounts that are blown away by the detail SnapCount provides them in the audit and proposal.
Clients like to do ‘what-if’ scenarios and SnapCount allows for us to make substitute solutions on the fly. We can often do this while the client is on the phone with us, and we frequently receive comments on how quickly we can respond in comparison to our competition. 6 million square feet in 2 weeks would have been absurd before SnapCount. But SnapCount made it possible for us. We appreciate our ability to grow with SnapCount as they listen to our needs and wishes. SnapCount has allowed us to complete over 2,300 audits in a year and a half, and we look forward to continuing to grow as a company with the use of SnapCount”.
AspirEnergy and Snapcount: Lighting Retrofit