Kevin Alderman is a sole professional surveyor. He has more than 30 years of experience working in surveying and construction, including for the London Boroughs of Camden, Haringey and Enfield, and Countrywide Surveyors, one of the largest private practices in the UK. He is a RICS-certified chartered surveyor.
The company’s core services include RICS Homebuyers Reports, Building Surveys, and RICS Residential Valuations.
SME surveyor companies often rely on a mix of analogue and digital tools to carry out surveys. Pen, paper, digital camera, and a Dictaphone were Kevin Alderman’s tools when he started his independent surveyor company. However, it became apparent that this was less than optimal from both a time and productivity perspective.
Furthermore, the mix of tools led to complications with organising information across Word documents, picture files, emails and more. Consequently, report writing often became slow and took up extra hours – often much longer than doing the actual survey. As a result, reaching his high standard for client reports often meant that work encroached on evenings and weekends, and his goals when setting up an independent practice, including more flexibility, less pressure, and a better standard of living, became unreachable.
Kevin Alderman trialled many different digital tools but found them wanting when looking to undertake what he refers to as ‘True Digital Transformation.’
“As chartered surveyors, quality is core to our services. New technologies should help streamline business operations, improve quality, and raise customer satisfaction without excessive costs or adding complexity. That is what I think of as true digital transformation,” he says.
Aiming to improve inspections and surveying reports, Kevin Alderman trialled several software solutions. However, they were either too complicated, too cumbersome, or unable to deliver the desired level of quality. He also tried investing in pre-formatted surveying document templates and hiring transcribers but without getting the desired results – until he tried Captego.
With Captego, Alderman found a photo-first solution that works on existing hardware like smartphones. Furthermore, he found a tool that met his wish to streamline and automate parts of surveying and report writing and offer clients more detailed and intuitive reports.
“I admit not being the biggest fan of paperwork. I find it a bind. Simultaneously, I wanted to progress to a solution that keeps all field notes in one place. This eases processes like answering customer queries or concerns without spending hours searching through saved files and physical paperwork. That, along with the intuitive, timesaving, photo-first approach and semi-automatic report generation are some of the benefits Captego brings to the table,” Kevin Alderman says.
After switching to Captego, he has been able to complete more surveys a week and has eliminated the need to work evenings and weekends.
In several cases, the upgrade to inspections and report writing has generated new business opportunities. In one case, his sell-side customer report’s photos, intuitive layout, and overall quality enticed the buy-side company to enlist Alderman’s services.
Kevin Alderman says that one of the main benefits he has experienced since switching to Captego is less time and money spent on report writing. On average, the report writing time per inspection has been cut by more than an hour.
More importantly, the quality of both surveys and reports have increased markedly. The picture evidence and additional information captured on-site through Captego on-site is easily gathered, categorised, and saved. This means that Alderman has more time available to explore building details. Simultaneously, automatic report features mean that the report is halfway to completed before he leaves a survey, providing more time to tweak and optimise content and presentation.
Recently, Kevin Alderman invested in a drone to add extra details and insights through aerial photos. Its close-ups of the conditions of chimneys, butterfly roof structures, and parapets enable him to offer additional services. The drone-generated pictures and information are gathered and structured through Captego.
“As surveyors, we are always striving to create the highest quality report and deliver value for money. Captego enables me to improve on these parameters, while also serving as the foundation for developing my business,” he says.
Captego provides next-generation inspection solutions based on visual evidence gathering through existing solutions like smartphones and tablets. The intelligent camera app solution and optimisable workflows for inspection categories and structures to automatic report generation saves surveyors time and money.