What is a Picture Worth?

An investment in two digital cameras has provided Mark Scott, president of Mark IV Builders in Cabin John, Md., with a means to boost the company's productivity as well as its marketing savvy.

March 31, 2003

 

Mark IV Builders electrical subcontractor Henry Sanchez photographs work spaces before installing wire.

An investment in two digital cameras has provided Mark Scott, president of Mark IV Builders in Cabin John, Md., with a means to boost the company's productivity as well as its marketing savvy.

"The time we've saved has been, by far, the biggest benefit - we've easily saved the cost of the cameras in time," says Scott. "The really nice thing about the digital pictures is that we can use the computer to enhance and zoom in on details without going back to the job to check. You can manipulate the pictures to see what you need and want to see."

 

 

 

 

  • Personalized marketing: All clients receive a compact disc with pictures of the exposed walls and ceilings before insulation. Scott says it's a great guide if the homeowners ever need to find a certain pipe, for whatever reason, after the job is completed. He adds that the CD is "another thing for clients to 'ooh and aah' over," which could help gain referral business. In the future, Scott says Mark IV could use photo CDs to chronicle entire jobs, from start to finish, as client keepsakes.

     

    Customers receive a photo CD, and another is kept in their Mark IV office file.

     

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  • Instant troubleshooting: Before fishing wire, Mark IV electrical subcontractor Henry Sanchez puts a camera in the hole and takes a picture so he can see exactly what's inside the space and determine the necessary approach.

     

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  • Timesaving problem solving: If there are problems that aren't easy to solve on site or that require Scott's eye, a digital camera allows the photos to be e-mailed by superintendents or brought into the office for review with speed and convenience.

     

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  • Additional reference tool and liability coverage: A CD identical to the one issued to clients is kept in an office file as reference for any service work the company might do in the future. And in a time when remodelers are vulnerable to litigation and ill-conceived public perceptions, visually documenting your processes and work is never a bad idea. Scott cites an incident when neighbors to one of his projects complained about wheel ruts in their yard. The digital pictures proved Mark IV's trucks were not the only cause and helped the company rectify the situation swiftly.
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