Founded in 1991, Burnham Nationwide is a premier permitting, code compliance and sustainability consulting services company, working in over 3,000 cities across the United States. They focus on handling projects in a professional and timely manner, and deliver results that are satisfying to customers and safe for the community. They lead the way through innovation and strive to make sure every customer has a positive experience from start to finish.
In 2012, Burnham Nationwide expanded into a new line of business enabling solar panel inspectors to help consumers realize their maximum tax benefit for their investment in solar power for their homes. These field inspectors were using an antiquated paper on clipboard system with digital cameras. There were many errors in placing their field information into the proper forms and a lot of data was lost, resulting in incomplete forms.
Burnham partnered with Cloudbakers to develop a mobile application that could be used by the field inspectors. This app captures the data using a sophisticated, easy-to-use form that is accessible on any smartphone or tablet, whether online or offline, and combines photos with the associated data on the device. This allowed Burnham to have a comprehensive and efficient way of working remotely. As Carson Kyhl, President of Burnham states, “It has been a pleasure working with the Cloudbakers Team. Their ability to listen to our needs and understand the most effective way to apply the integrations with our existing systems allowed the project to continuously move forward.”
Data that is recorded when the device is offline is automatically transferred to a cloud database on the Google App Engine when the device reconnects to the internet. From there, the data can be QC’d by a centralized person at Burnham to ensure the accuracy. After that, the Quality Assurance application can automatically populate the forms, be submitted for tax credit, and loaded into Burnham’s CRM system.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, Cloudbakers was able to turn an “off-the-shelf-software” into a robust app that could accommodate Burnham’s specific back-end needs. Kyhl also commented about Cloudbakers’ Manager of Cloud Development. “Shaun’s knowledge of the applications reduced the amount of exploration and recirculation that we have experienced on past development projects. Working with him has really made our efforts productive.”
This unique mashup of Mobile, Cloud and Solar technologies helped consumers realize their investment in green power. The app will help provide a standardized system by which to measure results, saving companies time and money. Since Burnham is in the permit and construction inspection business, this application can be further utilized through the organization to facilitate other types of inspections. The app was built on a flexible, robust and scalable platform that can easily be modified for other purposes. The possibilities are truly endless!
This application has been such a unique project that it led to Burnham’s nomination in the Chicago Innovation Awards. The success of this innovative solution is evidenced by efficiencies created, resources maximized and savings realized. Prior to the mobile transformation, Burnham Nationwide could take on approximately 250 projects per month. That number is now over 600 and growing. As a result of the increased efficiencies, the company can now focus on adding value to their business.