Spike Stories: Reprodux Saves Time in Field With Spike
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.”
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