We’re still impassioned by building science, we’re still crazy about running the best business possible, but we’re not iRate. Why? We’ve grown up as an industry, and so has our software. As we grew and changed, and as our industry matured, we revised our software to manage those changes.
We thought the name iRate was funny. (Actually, Robby Schwarz and I still think it’s funny, but it seems that we are the only ones…) In 2005 we started working with SCC Data, we built iRate to run our company—or I should say, we have been building iRate to run EnergyLogic as long as we have been a company. Seven years ago, Steve Byers and I merged our company, EnergySmiths, with Robby Schwarz’ company, BuiltWright. We were faced with the daunting task of unifying our processes—our staff, scheduling, billing, inspection data, quality assurance–across three offices and spanning the whole state of Colorado. In August of 2006, we let go of the side of the pool (in this case, the messy collection of spreadsheets and file folders and sticky notes we’d cobbled together over the years to corral all that data) and from that moment forward, we did absolutely everything in iRate. Our efficiency skyrocketed, and so did our service to our builder clients. We had no more AWOL paperwork, no missed or duplicate billing, and we could schedule the whole state from our tiny office in Berthoud. Everyone on our team knew where everyone was—so if one rater finished early, he/she could easily see who out there needed a hand. And since all our data about every address was available to everyone, anyone on our staff could answer client questions about any address, done anytime and anywhere.
As our company evolved, our software grew too. iRate literally grew up with us. As we refined our field processes, we added fields to iRate to allow for the state of the art energy ratings we were committed to producing. As our billing processes grew more sophisticated, we refined iRate’s billing module that integrates with QuickBooks. As we got serious about existing home auditing, and energy retrofitting, iRate got serious about managing those activities. As scheduling grew more complicated, iRate morphed to meet the challenge. And as our industry professionalized, and demands by RESNET for quality assurance and file registration became more specific, and programs like Energy Star even more data intensive, iRate grew also. We have literally not taken a week off of software development in seven years—every week brings a new idea, or a new challenge, so every week we work on crafting iRate to do what we need it to do—run our entire business, a control center, a dashboard for everything we do, all in one place.
In two weeks we’ll launch the biggest software update we’ve ever released. And with it, our new name, DASH. You’ll see a complete revision of the way that data is collected and managed and reported. You’ll see awesome new industry specific features like the ability to prepopulate a REM/Rate template and calculate targets. You’ll see the same commitment to flexibility, just more of it—you can revise inspection items and lists to fit the way YOU do your work; you can create and track your own programs; design custom work-flows for every program; you can build your own forms. And you’ll like the new technical features that allow you and your team to be even more efficient—for example, you’ll be able to upload multiple photos directly from your iPhone.
And so we’re not iRate. Now we’re DASH, a name we hope conveys both lighting fast pace and the tight control necessary to run our energy rating and auditing company—and yours.
If you’d like a demo of DASH, Kathleen (firstname.lastname@example.org) would be happy to show you around. An no, that is not Kathleen in the tights pictured below!