Phoenix Business Unit Leader Erin Hynum Featured on Restoration Today Podcast
The value of connected equipment, remote monitoring and innovations on the horizon for structural drying
Erin sat down with C&R Magazine Publisher Michelle Blevins on the Restoration Today Podcast to discuss how restoration professionals benefit from the Phoenix DryLINK Ecosystem, our Bluetooth-enabled equipment management and productivity solution.
Erin has worked on the idea of Bluetooth monitoring for the last five years. Now, Phoenix has a complete ecosystem of Bluetooth devices.
Below, check out Erin’s conversation with Michelle about all things DryLINK — from remote monitoring to how to make jobs more efficient and how to help technicians out in the field.
What does connected equipment mean? What does that look like from the restoration side of things?
DryLINK connected equipment is Bluetooth-based job site data collection. It gives you a drying report and does inventory tracking. Basically, we’re making your life easier through technology. Remote monitoring is an optional part of our system which offers many benefits. To accomplish remote monitoring, we use cellular and Wi-Fi to stream the Bluetooth data to our cloud.
What kind of equipment falls into this connected equipment category?
Today what we have is the equipment needed to do the drying job. Dehumidifiers data log temperature and relative humidity. DrySENSE does moisture content sensing, and DryTAG RH can be used as a standalone thermal-hygrometer to automate the affected area, unaffected area or HVAC readings. It can also be used to automate the outlet of any non-smart dehumidifier.
Also, you can add any equipment into the ecosystem by adding a DryTAG, which is a Bluetooth beacon with a built-in accelerometer that tracks the last known location of drying equipment, even when the equipment is turned off.
How much is remote monitoring helping contractors today?
We know there are times when being at the job is impractical or impossible. Some of those situations could be: job is 2-3 hours away, you don’t have the manpower to physically go to every job, you can’t get in a building, or it’s a weekend or holiday and you don’t want your employees to have to go out on those days.
We like that remote monitoring is optional because there’s always going to be a need to go to the drying job — move equipment around, see first-hand what’s going on. But DryLINK can give you the opportunity to see which jobs are proceeding as planned and you can then route technicians in an order that’s most effective, rather than heading out the door and not knowing what’s happening on the job.
How can verified readings help with documentation and getting paid?
We have verified data coming directly from sensors, and we have verified equipment usage since these devices are talking to your phone or the DryPHONE. You also have verified equipment location through GPS coordinates. So you have proof the job is being done.
On the documentation side of things, our built-in smart technology also helps if a technician, for example, accidentally takes a reading in defrost mode. The equipment will find a better reading, since it data logs every 15 minutes. These tools are helping the contractor get paid.
How can this help with the stabilizing phase of the job?
It’s already designed for the stabilizing phase because your drying report, in this case, is a live link so you can view it from anywhere. If you set the stabilization job up, you can make sure you’re staying within those parameters that you set, and you can do that remotely, then you can be alerted if it goes outside of a parameter.
Is this helping companies who are feeling squeezed during the labor shortage?
DryLINK is definitely a point of interest for contractors. One of the main areas contractors are struggling with is not only employees, but employees with the skills necessary to do the job. So we’re helping with both of those things. We’re helping you do more with less, and we are building further smarts into the technology to help technicians who are new and don’t have the knowledge yet.
What makes a good inventory tracking system for the restoration space?
When we first set out to make DryLINK, we weren’t setting out to make an inventory tracking system. But we could see the potential because of the Bluetooth technology — one DryPHONE can read thousands of beacons all at the same time.
So if you have a Bluetooth receiving device in your vehicle or warehouse, we can track your inventory and tell you where it’s at and what job it’s on — there’s so many things that we can do,
When you buy DryLINK, it has dual functionality. On the job site, it helps speed up your job set up and notifies you if someone turns off equipment, but that same device does inventory tracking. So you’re getting a lot of value!
Other inventory tracking systems, they’re usually stand alone and they’re used in many industries. In our particular case, DryLINK is customized to this industry. And we haven’t seen other Bluetooth beacon-based systems that double as a Bluetooth device in the drying report.
What are innovations you see on the horizon? 2022 and beyond?
We recently added rooms inside of drying chambers. We also added the IICRC equipment recommendations, which you will now see in our app.
Additionally, we are adding a web portal, so you can interact at the office from a desktop, instead of only using our app.
We will also be updating to Bluetooth 5 for better range and lower power consumption.
We’ve also received requests for pressure sensors, additional sensors for HEPA air scrubbers, and increased Bluetooth distance range. We’re looking into all of these things.
And, as always, we are developing new equipment.
Why is it so important to understand the S500 if you’re a restorer? How do you recommend staying up on the standards?
We’ve built the standards into our app. While it’s always best that you have a copy of the standards, considering the struggles of labor at the moment, some people won’t have this knowledge. It’s also easier to let the app make the calculations for you. So that’s why we wanted to build that into the app.
What are some of the academies you’re involved in where people can see your equipment?
We try to work closely with every independent academy there is to introduce them to DryLINK equipment.
Our ecosystem is meant to be an open system so that you can use it with other Bluetooth meters or other software packages. We also provide integration with other companies in the industry to make sure the data gets where it needs to go.
Our entire Phoenix Sales Team is very knowledgeable about DryLINK. So if anyone is interested or has questions, feel free to reach out to our Sales Team.
We also have a ROI calculator on our site for help in the field.
Learn more about DryLINK — follow us on LinkedIn.