Is CompanyCam Good For Painters?

Posted by | Thu, Jun 1, 2017

 Is CompanyCam Good For Painters?
2019 Update: This post was from June 2017. Com­pa­ny­Cam has made changes to its app since I wrote this post. The cons you will see below are not a con­cern any­more. The com­pa­ny has updat­ed the soft­ware to address all of the cons. This real­ly is the best app on the mar­ket for pho­tos and videos for a con­tract­ing company. Orig­i­nal arti­cle Would­n’t it be nice if you had an app that man­aged all of your pho­tos of your jobs in one place? It has been a real chal­lenge for paint­ing com­pa­nies to take pic­tures of projects, orga­nize them, share them with oth­er mem­bers of the team, col­lab­o­rate and store them. In this post, I want to share a lit­tle bit about the fea­tures and ben­e­fits of a cloud pro­gram called Com­pa­ny­Cam and see how this could be a good solu­tion for paint­ing con­trac­tors.

What is CompanyCam

Com­pa­ny­Cam is a sim­ple cloud-based app that basi­cal­ly allows you to snap pho­tos of your work and answer these ques­tions:
Where was the pho­to tak­en? When was the pho­to tak­en? Who took the pho­to? What is the photo(s) about?

Where Was the Pho­to Tak­en Feature

This is per­haps the coolest fea­ture of Com­pa­ny­Cam and a major rea­son it is good for the con­struc­tion indus­try. When using Com­pa­ny­Cam, all a user has to do is open up the app at a job site and start tak­ing pho­tos. The pro­gram will use GPS to deter­mine where the user is locat­ed. Let’s say an esti­ma­tor arrives at a prospec­t’s home for the first time. He can open up the app and click on Cre­ate New Project.” It will then pro­vide a sug­gest­ed address. If the hous­es in the area are close togeth­er, it might give him a range. He can then eas­i­ly edit the loca­tion and cre­ate a job name. That is real­ly all the typ­ing that is required at this stage of using Com­pa­ny­Cam. It is super sim­ple! Once this is done, which takes sec­onds, the field crew does not have to wor­ry about orga­niz­ing, shar­ing or typ­ing details about pho­tos. I’ll explain that step below. [gallery size=“medium” ids=”/images/2017/05/IMG_2199.PNG.png|Searching for your location,/images/2017/05/IMG_2200.PNG.png|Suggested Location,/images/2017/05/IMG_2201.PNG.png|Edit the loca­tion & Cre­ate a Job Name”]

2. When & Who Feature

Once a job name is cre­at­ed, an esti­ma­tor can begin snap­ping pho­tos of the job he is esti­mat­ing. When pho­tos are tak­en, the app records the loca­tion, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and when (time­stamp) it was tak­en. See the screen­shot below. I took these pho­tos and instant­ly, they were saved and uploaded for the entire com­pa­ny to see. You can see that it shows the details of when, where and who took the shots.  All an esti­ma­tor or field employ­ee needs to wor­ry about is tak­ing pho­tos; not tag­ging the pho­tos with the where and when and who! A painter in the field who wants to take fur­ther pho­tos of his work dur­ing a project does not have to do much to get start­ed. When he arrives at his job site, the app will auto­mat­i­cal­ly rec­og­nize his loca­tion. If a job name was already cre­at­ed by the esti­ma­tor, the field guy just needs to start tak­ing pic­tures. It will auto­mat­i­cal­ly orga­nize the pho­tos into the cor­rect job. The only time this might be a prob­lem is when you are paint­ing a neigh­bor’s house. Then a painter would have to make sure he is using the right job name. Oth­er than that, the painters just take pic­tures through­out the job and Com­pa­ny­Cam takes care of orga­niz­ing the pho­tos by who took them, when and where. It also makes it super easy to take after pho­tos.” At the end of a project, a crew leader can walk around the job site and take after pho­tos from the same location/​angle as the before pic­tures. All he needs to do is look through his before pho­tos, click on the ones he wants to take an after shot for and tap the words Take After Pho­to” from a drop­down menu.

Edit­ing Photos

If you want­ed to write com­ments about a pho­to or mark it up” you can do so using their built-in edit­ing tools. Again, you do not need to leave the app. You snap a pho­to, click edit and begin mark­ing it up with text, arrows, or cir­cles. You can also write on the pic­ture if you want. You can even type in mea­sure­ments right on the pho­to. This might be help­ful for a new esti­ma­tor who needs help com­ing up with pric­ing. This is a great way to have esti­ma­tors and field employ­ees com­mu­ni­cate about a job. A field crew can review the job pho­tos before start­ing a project and can see all the job notes just by view­ing pic­tures. You can go a few steps fur­ther and com­ment on pho­tos (like you would on Face­book) or do a lit­tle more orga­niz­ing using a fea­ture called Tags.” Tags can be ben­e­fi­cial if you want to orga­nize things like: Front of House, Back of House, Left Side of House, Before, Repairs Need­ed, Fin­ished Shots etc. You can have tags pre­set so your field staff just has to tap on the tag(s) that best describe the pho­tos being tak­en. The Com­pa­ny­Cam app is cre­at­ed in such a way that field employ­ees do not need to be techies. It real­ly only takes about 15 min­utes to train an employ­ee on how to use the basic fea­tures. In no time at all, your entire com­pa­ny will become pros!

Shar­ing Photos

Once pho­tos are tak­en by any­one on the team, pho­tos are acces­si­ble in many ways. Any­one in the com­pa­ny using the app on a desk­top, iPhone or Android device can see (in real time) the pho­tos being tak­en. If you want­ed to share a link with a cus­tomer so he/​she can see the progress of a job, you can do that by send­ing a unique link to your cus­tomer. Again, this fea­ture is easy to use and requires very lit­tle train­ing. Once you do it one time, it is sim­ple to repeat the process. A cus­tomer can save the link you send them and always see the pho­tos of their job. Once the project is fin­ished, your mar­ket­ing team can down­load the best before, dur­ing and after pho­tos and begin show­cas­ing your team’s work.

A Few Cons of Com­pa­ny­Cam So Far

The Com­pa­ny­Cam app real­ly is the eas­i­est pho­to app on the mar­ket for con­trac­tors. There are only a few very minor cons” asso­ci­at­ed with the app that I’ve seen. These cons do not, in my opin­ion, mer­it a com­pa­ny not using Com­pa­ny­Cam. I would look at them more as room for improve­ment. I am sure Com­pa­ny­Cam will make improve­ments to the pro­gram and make it that much bet­ter. Here is where I see room for improvement. 
  • It is not an inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions tool. In oth­er words, this will not replace email, Base­camp, Yam­mer or what­ev­er inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool(s) your com­pa­ny already uses. I found that Com­pa­ny­Cam does not do a great job of back and forth com­ment­ing about pic­tures. When I test­ed out com­ment­ing on pho­tos, I nev­er heard back from the guys who took the picture(s). I real­ly have no idea what hap­pens to my com­ments. So at the time of writ­ing this blog, I don’t see a rea­son to use the com­ment­ing fea­tures. It is more of an app to take pic­tures and have them auto-orga­nized and stored.
  • Lacks inte­gra­tion with oth­er apps: This is not real­ly a ter­ri­ble thing. It is nice to keep every­thing in once place. Yet it would be nice to be able to archive the best pic­tures eas­i­ly into a long term file app like Drop­box or Google Dri­ve. Cur­rent­ly, it is very clunky to make this hap­pen. It is a slow and man­u­al process.
  • Mark­ing up Pho­tos: It is easy to mark up pho­tos. Yet the tools used are not as slick as some of the big­ger apps out there like Skitch or oth­er pho­to edit­ing tools.
  • No Videos: Your team can only upload and shoot pic­tures — not videos. Com­pa­ny­Cam told me it is on their roadmap for the fall 2017 to add videos.

Is Com­pa­ny­Cam Right For Your Paint­ing Business?

I am hear­ing some great feed­back so far from painters using Com­pa­ny­Cam. One of the things I like is know­ing that the non-techie paint guys in the field are using it with very lit­tle effort. It just works! The price is $15 a month per user. I think the price is well worth the cost if you com­mit to using it. You can­not just sug­gest that your team use Com­pa­ny­Cam. You have to imple­ment it as part of your sys­tem mov­ing for­ward. I think this app serves a need for the paint­ing indus­try, and I real­ly believe it should be strong­ly con­sid­ered for your organization.

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