Automating Window Measurements to Reduce Errors and Save Time
When replacing windows, getting accurate measurements is a crucial step in providing a seamless customer experience and delivering high-quality products. However, measuring windows is a complicated, time-consuming task, requiring precision and the ability to record many critical details.
Sales professionals need to travel to a customer’s home to capture dimensions accurately and take into account the type of window — casement, double-hung, picture, bay, etc — and the material used around the window and the exterior façade. Navigating around various obstacles, such as home office desks, houseplants, and a variety of window coverings, adds an extra layer of complexity. Consequently, it often takes too much time to get it right during that first sales visit, and so a common practice in the window industry is to take preliminary measurements during an initial consultation to establish a sales quote.
However, these initial measurements are not expected to be accurate enough for fabrication. They’re only used to produce a sales quote. Afterwards, a follow-up visit by measurement technicians is required. Leading to a delay in processing and installation from 2 to 4 weeks.
Even then, there remains a chance of recording incorrect measurements, leading to ill-fitting windows. Mistakes can lead to underquotes, resulting in unexpected costs for the customer and potential damage to the company’s reputation. The sheer volume of measurements that need to be taken for a single home, multiplied by the number of homes in a day, and then across an entire field team, make this process a time-consuming and costly task, prone to human error.
Introducing PhotoGAUGE: Streamlining Measurements with Technology
Champion Windows, a leading provider of replacement windows, faced this exact problem day-in and day-out. Recognizing the complexity and inefficiencies in the traditional process, Champion Windows partnered with PhotoGAUGE to develop a solution that was quick, easy to use, and reliable.
The idea was to ensure the accuracy of measurements right from the first visit. The way PhotoGAUGE did this was by developing a custom-built video measuring tool that works on any smartphone.
Victor Yanev, EVP of Champion Windows, describes what it was like working with PhotoGAUGE: “In the beginning we met on a weekly basis to discuss what the app should look like. After it was built, PhotoGAUGE met with our salespeople and managers to talk about what they felt was going right, what was not. What I really liked was that it didn’t take months to make the changes. Usually, 2 – 3 weeks, something needed to be changed: PhotoGAUGE was on top of it. The programmers did a great job adjusting to our needs. Throughout that process, we ended up building something that was easier to use in our sales process.”
Here’s how it works: Using their phones, sales reps record a 10-second video of a window. PhotoGAUGE extracts dimensions from those videos that are accurate enough to be used for manufacturing.
This process eliminates the need for a second visit from a measure tech, significantly reduces the chances of recording inaccurate measurements, and prevents potential delays. PhotoGAUGE was designed to fit seamlessly into Champion’s current workflow, with the digitization of order sheets allowing measurements to be sent directly to manufacturing once an order is processed.
Reaping the Benefits: Faster Processing and Perfect Fits
The implementation of PhotoGAUGE has led to significant improvements in Champion Window’s operations. Measurements go from quote to manufacturing in 3 days, rather than 2 – 4 weeks. The need for second visits by measure techs has been drastically reduced, leading to a massive reduction in time spent on each job and improved productivity of the sales reps. This has not only enhanced the sales representatives’ productivity but also improved their customers’ experience by delivering accurate quotes and eliminating underquotes.
Even more crucially, there have been no incidents of ill-fitting windows since the implementation of PhotoGAUGE, demonstrating the accuracy of the new measurement process. This represents a significant achievement, as it directly translates into enhanced customer satisfaction and cost savings for the company.
Conclusion: Embracing Technology for Efficiency and Accuracy
This collaboration between Champion Windows and PhotoGAUGE exemplifies the transformative potential of integrating cutting-edge technology like ours into traditional industries. By leveraging a tailor-made smartphone measurement system, Champion has streamlined its window measurement process, increased the accuracy of quotes, and significantly reduced the need for follow-up site visits. This process stands as an example of forward-thinking problem-solving, and reflects the commitment of both Champion Windows and PhotoGAUGE to providing the best possible service to our customers.
“Ultimately the idea is that every single project will be measured this way,” Yanev says. “The savings will be huge.”