ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its smart laser measurement solutions to capture, record and export measurement data.
Whenever a private entity in the city of Westminster proposes a new building or structure, the city’s Department of Community Development approves the plan and issues a permit with certain construction parameters. After construction, Scott Kolowitz, official development plan inspector for the city of Westminster, visits the build site to ensure the facility is in accordance with the permit. From landscaping to signage and even parking spaces, Kolowitz measures nearly every structure outside of the new building.
To take these numerous measurements, Kolowitz used to rely on the traditional tape measure, but this process had its issues, he says. Not only is manually recording measurements time consuming but the tape measure also had a tendency to break in midair. With the tape measure frequently failing, Kolowitz had to take repeated measurements, which made it difficult to work efficiently. Additionally, Kolowitz isn’t allowed to use a ladder because of liability issues, making it difficult to take measurements of tall structures, such as a monument sign.
“We have a 25-foot limit to monument signs, so for something that tall, I almost couldn’t measure it,” Kolowitz says. “I’d have to eyeball it. In other cases, I’d have to measure a brick and then count the number of bricks.”
Kolowitz decided to look for a better way to capture his measurements and found an inexpensive laser distance measuring device on Amazon. However, Kolowitz quickly realized there was a reason for that low price tag.
“You could take one measurement that would look accurate and then measure again and the dimension would be completely off,” Kolowitz says. “On top of the accuracy issue, you couldn’t see the laser in the sunlight, so it was hard to use in the field.”
Meanwhile, Dave Murray, GIS coordinator for the city of Westminster, met with ikeGPS to learn about Spike, a smart laser measurement solution for conducting site surveys. After a field test, Murray recognized the value of Spike and suggested Kolowitz try Spike on his inspections. Kolowitz only tested Spike in the field once before he was sold.
To measure a structure, Kolowitz now takes a photo of the object with Spike and his iPad and draws the measurements that he needs for inspections. Every dimension is saved with the photo inside of the Spike mobile app. When Kolowitz needs to measure the distance between two objects, he uses Spike’s Point-to-Point tool. Kolowitz finds that the Point-to-Point tool is especially useful when verifying the height of a monument sign or distance between the curb and a structure, such as a deck.
For Kolowitz, Spike’s biggest benefit is its time-saving ability, he says. In fact, since using Spike, Kolowitz finds that he completes inspections at least twice as fast, and he no longer has to worry about the inefficiencies that come with using a tape measure.
“Almost every time I would pull out my tape measure, it would break on me, or the wind would blow it over,” Kolowitz says. “My inspections would take much longer than they probably should have, but now I go out with Spike, hit a button, and it takes only seconds.”
With the time Spike saves in the field, Kolowitz better manages his priorities, he says. For instance, if Kolowitz has a sign inspection and apartment complex inspection in one day, he can finish his sign inspection in five minutes as opposed to the half an hour that it used to take. Kolowitz then has more time to focus on the apartment complex inspection, which typically requires a great deal of measurements. Kolowitz now doesn’t have to rush through jobs, which makes for a more accurate measuring process.
If Kolowitz ever forgets to measure an object in the field, he simply reopens the Spike photo to take additional measurements, which saves him time because he doesn’t have to make any return trips. The ability to capture mobile measurements is also helpful when Kolowitz faces adverse weather, he says.
“In Colorado, you could have a snowy, rainy or 100-degree day,” Kolowitz says. “On those days, I’ll just step out of the truck, take a picture and get back in the truck with the air conditioning or heater running and take my measurements there.”
Spike also allows Kolowitz to access hard-to-reach inspection areas, he says. During one recent inspection, Kolowitz needed to measure a fence, but train tracks, tall weeds and a ditch stood in his way. Rather than trek through those hazards, Kolowitz stood at a safe distance and captured the measurements he needed with Spike.
Now that Kolowitz has implemented Spike into his inspection process, he has more confidence in his measurements, he says. Kolowitz turns around inspections faster without sacrificing accuracy. No matter the building height, weather or surrounding environment, Kolowitz captures the measurements he needs with Spike.
Want to learn more about Spike in government?
Visit our Spike government page to see how Spike can help your department or agency work more efficiently and save on its bottom line.
ikeGPS announces a new distribution agreement with Dubai-based Blue Rhine to bring Spike, a laser measurement solution, to the sign and digital graphics market in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
With 10 branches throughout the region, Blue Rhine is one of the area’s major sign and digital graphics distributors. In addition to manufacturing its own line of branded supplies, Blue Rhine offers a large selection of products for a variety of applications. Some of the brands in Blue Rhine’s product line include Plexiglas from Evonik, Lexan, Neschen, Aslan, Avery and Tridonic.
“Blue Rhine is one of the top distributors in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, and it’s exciting to work with such a strong partner,” says Jeff Ross, senior vice president of new market development at ikeGPS. “Spike has already helped so many sign shops around the world work more efficiently, and we’re pleased to help Blue Rhine customers replicate this success.”
Spike allows sign and digital graphics professionals to quickly capture measurements for estimates of the width, height and area of signage locations from a smartphone or tablet picture and the Spike device. A ladder, bucket truck and tape measure are no longer required to conduct site surveys and create estimates, saving sign companies time and overhead costs on a traditionally lengthy process.
The measurements of the sign or graphic location are saved with the Spike photo and can be shared with customers, designers or production team to create job estimates and design proofs, assess installation and complete permit applications. If additional measurements are needed, users can refer to their saved Spike photos at any time to make modifications using the Spike mobile app or Spike Cloud. There’s no need to return to the site for further measurements or estimations. Additionally, Spike offers language support for Spanish.
“As part of Blue Rhine’s mission, we are committed to bringing our customers high-quality, innovative products that can help them better run their businesses,” says Ramakrishna Maturi, director of product management for Blue Rhine. “With Spike, our customers can reduce the time they spend in the field and focus on closing more sales. Spike is a great solution for running a more efficient and cost-effective sign shop.”
To learn more about how Spike can streamline the estimation process and schedule an in-person demo, contact Blue Rhine at www.bluerhine.com.
About Blue Rhine
Blue Rhine is a leading distributor and manufacturer of innovative and value added solutions for the advertising, signage and construction industry. Established in 1996 and headquartered in Dubai, we conduct business in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Indian sub-continent and Africa with a workforce of 150 employees.
Not only did we grow nearly two and a half times in revenue but we also launched four new product platforms in IKE 4, the next generation of Spike, the Smart Measure Pro and the Cloud platform, which represents a high-value offering for our customers while also expanding the markets we can serve as we go into FY17.
If you look at customer successes, you can turn to the signage market. We targeted the signage market a little over a year ago and have already taken home the Innovation Award from the International Sign Association, which is one of the biggest product honors in the industry. We also now have 2,000 to 3,000 vocal and passionate customers who use our tools and software every single day in the signage market to drive both their top line and bottom line.
In the utilities market, Cyient has been an early reference customer that adopted IKE 4, which is delivering to specific parts of Cyient’s business. So we’re delighted to work so positively with a business as prestigious as Cyient, which maintains infrastructure for some of the world’s largest communications groups and utilities.
Lastly, I'm proud of the team we built through the year. In terms of capability, the IKE team gets stronger and stronger. We ended the year in a great position.
In looking forward to FY17, what are ikeGPS’ biggest goals?
For one, we’re now operating in a focused business unit structure with an absolute focus on end users in specific markets. On the utility side, we plan to set the standard for pole-measurement accuracy and focus on integration in order to make IKE 4 data as useful as it can be for our customers. On the new market side, we’re investing in the Spike platform and looking at new vertical markets, such as insurance, to accelerate our growth alongside signage. For the government sector, it’s around putting the capability in place to support some very large enterprise-type opportunities.
Underpinning all of that is our structure, capability and people. On the back of our growth, we’ll continue to work hard to bring on more talented people to complement the team we have now.
Recently, Cyient endorsed IKE 4 for supporting large-scale fiber deployments. What does this mean for IKE 4’s growth potential?
A number of customers have said that IKE 4 is a homerun in terms of not only measuring poles but also in managing and analyzing the data. Cyient manages infrastructure for some significant communications groups and utilities across the U.S., so when you have customers of that size and scale that benefit from IKE 4, it certainly shows that we offer the right product for the market. And we’re not going to stop improving features and functionality, and that’s why the IKE 4 platform is so exciting to build upon.
Since Spike’s first-place finish in the Innovation Awards from the International Sign Association, Spike has received a lot of positive buzz. How has the award translated to new opportunities for Spike?
We’ve been almost overwhelmed with inbound interest from parties seeking to distribute our solution internationally. When we sell to markets outside of the U.S., we focus on getting alongside local resellers, and we’ve been overrun with inquiries for companies to sell Spike into their specific signage market. We’ve closed international distribution agreements in markets such as Spain, Portugal, the U.K., Germany, Norway, Mexico, Brazil and Canada – the list goes on and on.
Secondly, I think it’s made everyone internally feel proud of the value of what we’ve built for these customers. We’ve gone a long way in one year.
If you were a superhero, what would be your power?
I’d have to be Spider Man because my five year old son is dressed as Spider Man day and night. He’d be thrilled if I could throw webs.