ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its smart laser measurement solutions to capture, record and export measurement data.
Parsippany, New Jersey-based Aric Gitomer Architect, LLC is a one-man architectural firm, run by Aric Gitomer himself, that mainly focuses on the residential market for renovations and additions. As the sole practitioner, Aric, a 33-year architecture veteran, fulfills all roles in the company, which keeps him busy, he says. Anything that can help Aric work more efficiently and quickly in the field is valuable to his business model, particularly when it comes to measuring.
Because Aric doesn’t work with existing blueprints, he needs to capture all the necessary measurements for his plans in the field. For each project, Aric starts by sketching the interior floor plans and taking measurements with a basic laser, he says. Aric then moves to the exterior and measures all sides and projections of the house. This involved, lengthy process is tedious and takes away time that Aric could spend in other areas of his business.
Looking for a better way to measure the exteriors of his projects, Aric discovered Spike, a smart laser measurement solution, and he instantly thought the device could help him improve his workflow, he says. Unlike his basic laser measurer, the Spike device works in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet camera and the Spike mobile app. Aric now simply attaches Spike to his iPhone and takes a picture of each exterior side. From that photo, Aric can calculate heights, widths and lengths of exteriors that he uses to draw the existing conditions. Aric then overlays his proposed designs on the document. In addition, Aric can access the photos with the saved measurements at any time if he needs more measurements.
“Considering that I’m on my own, I need any time-saving tool I can get,” Aric says. “I do everything from going out and meeting with the clients to putting together proposals, measuring, and creating design and construction documents, so that takes up all my time. Spike looked like a promising investment, so I decided to give it a try.”
In fact, since incorporating Spike into his workflow, Aric estimates that the device has helped him reduce the time it takes for him to measure a house’s exterior from an hour to 10 minutes. Aric typically spends a few hours at each house for a survey, so cutting that much time helps him work more efficiently.
“This time savings allows me to pass it on to my clients by lowering their fees and, in turn, keeps me competitive amongst other professionals in my area,” Aric says.
As a bonus, Aric finds that Spike also makes for a better work environment.
“You walk around the house, take your pictures, and you’re done,” Aric says. “You don’t have to crawl around and get dirty while you’re trying to measure, and if it’s cold outside, you can quickly get the measurements you need and get back inside.”
Aric has used Spike for almost three years now, and he’s pleased with how Spike has improved his workflow. For any other architects looking to work more efficiently in the field, Aric says Spike is the way to go.
Want to learn more about Spike for the architecture industry?
Visit our Spike architecture page to see how Spike can help you work more efficiently and save on your bottom line.
Whether you’re bearing the depths of winter or sweating out the summer months, Spike is a handy tool for dealing with less-than-ideal weather conditions. Living in Colorado, I conducted plenty of site surveys in single-digit temperatures with a giant blanket of snow and ice covering the ground. I’d bundle up and trudge through the snow while trying to manage my tape measure in the wind that often comes with cold weather. As you can imagine, not only did those adverse weather conditions add time to my site surveys and hurt my accuracy but they also didn’t make for a fun working environment.
However, site surveys during the winter months became a painless process once I incorporated Spike. In fact, I didn’t even have to leave my Jeep to capture the measurements I needed. All I had to do was pull up to the building, roll down my window and take a Spike picture. I stayed in the comfort of my heated Jeep and was ready to move on to my next site survey in a matter of minutes.
Tip: Remember to try and get as perpendicular to the building as you can when sitting in your vehicle, which is the same if you were standing outside. This is very important when it comes to the accuracy of your Spike measurements.
On top of that, once I had captured my Spike photo, I could take all of my measurements when I was back at my office. While I could measure using the Spike mobile app on my iPad, I often preferred to take all the measurements using the Spike Cloud on my laptop, which was much more comfortable than using my tape measure in the cold and jotting notes on a piece of paper.
These quick winter site surveys are even helpful from a customer service perspective. In one instance, a client came outside in freezing weather to meet me. She was shivering, so I told her she could go inside, and I’d meet her after I took my Spike photo. Sure, Spike considerably speeds up the surveying process, but she appreciated staying in the warm indoors. I like to think Spike made me look like the hero.
Even in hot weather, Spike’s speedy measuring makes the survey life more comfortable and helps project a professional image. Like the winter months, I would quickly take my measurements during the summer from my air-conditioned Jeep, and I wouldn’t have to worry about turning into a sweaty mess when my day was filled with sales calls.
Tip: Keep in mind, heavy rain, snow or fog can affect the Spike laser because it could reflect off a piece of snow or fog and miss the space you're measuring. When the laser distance number jumps around, something is obstructing the laser.
If you have any other questions about how to leverage Spike in inclement weather situations or would like to share your Spike weather stories, please get in touch. You can reach me at email@example.com.
About Glenn Chambers
Glenn Chambers, business development manager for ikeGPS, is a 15-year signage industry veteran. Prior to joining ikeGPS, Glenn was an enthusiastic Spike user.
When Reprodux first opened for business in 1963, the shop primarily focused on printing construction drawings. However, the industry changed over recent years as fewer companies continued to print that type of work. Reprodux began diversifying its services and recently found a niche in signage and graphics, says Jane Francis, project and operations manager for Reprodux. With a renewed focus, Reprodux now directs many of its resources to the signage and digital graphics market, which starts with an emphasis on superior customer service.
“We have a great production team and customer service team that help facilitate what sometimes feels like impossible turnaround times, but we usually make it happen,” Jane says. “Many of our clients with last-minute projects have told us that other vendors couldn’t meet their deadlines, so we feel that we have a niche in that area.”
Given Reprodux’s need to work quickly, it’s always on the lookout for new technology that can help the team efficiently turn around jobs, especially now that Reprodux is spending more time in the field for signage surveys and estimates, Jane says. Taking measurements for site surveys and estimates can be a lengthy process, particularly for signs that can only be accessed by a ladder, scaffold or bucket truck.
However, Reprodux found a way to shorten time in the field when it learned about Spike, a laser measurement solution for site surveys and estimations. Rather than climbing up a ladder or using a bucket truck, Jane simply attaches Spike to her smartphone and takes a picture of the signage space from ground level using the Spike app. The Spike photo saves all of the area’s measurements in one place, which streamlines the surveying and estimating processes for Jane.
“Spike basically kills two birds with one stone,” Jane says. “I like to incorporate pictures right into my estimate, and it’s helpful to show the installer what the site looks like. Having the pictures and measurements in one place has come in handy, and it saves me an extra step because I always take photos of the site, anyway.”
Once Jane takes her photos, she can either measure on-site through the app or send the files to Spike Cloud, which other Reprodux employees can access at any time from the office. In many cases, Jane finds that the estimated measurements are generally within ½ inch to 1 inch, and that is accurate enough for her to give estimates right on the spot. When other sign shops may take several days to come back with an estimate, Jane is at an instant advantage.
In addition to saving time in the field, Jane also finds that Spike helps her when she’s back in the office. Before Spike, Jane would upload the photos, convert them into a PDF and add the measurements in order to create an installation mockup. However, all of that information is already included on the Spike files, so Jane can skip this time-consuming step.
“With Spike, everything works together seamlessly,” Jane says. “The measurements are all in one place, so if our sales reps need to look at the measurements or site photos, everything is right there.”
Now that Jane doesn’t have to mess with bucket trucks or scaffolds, she also finds that the estimating process is more economical. Bringing a bucket truck or scaffold to an estimate requires a financial investment on a job Reprodux hasn’t won yet. If the job ultimately falls through, there is no way to recoup that cost.
Between the time savings and more economical costs on site surveys and estimates, Jane believes Spike is helping Reprodux better serve its customers, which inevitably helps the shop strengthen its position among competitors. When other sign shops take several days to return a quote, Reprodux can quickly turn around estimates and make tight deadlines. In fact, Jane even sees Spike as playing an important part in Reprodux’s future growth.
“I can certainly see Spike helping us grow our business,” Jane says. “Anything that helps us save time and increase our profit margins is a valuable tool to our business.”
Want to learn more about Spike for the sign and digital graphics industry?
Visit our Spike sign and digital graphics page to see how Spike can help you work more efficiently and save on your bottom line.