Christmas Season … what a wonderful time to be in New York City!
On Thursday, Paula (president) and Jack (founder) met with the UNITED MileFleet team at the Classic Car Club in the Big Apple. The event promotes the DAMAGE iD products as well as offering steep discounts to members of the UNITED MileFleet Partner program.
Members of the program receive up to 20% discount on products for the rental and leasing industry, such as DAMAGE iD.
At the Classic Car Club, members network and share experiences relevant to rental and leasing companies. The venue was filled with classic vehicles, setting the perfect stage for networking, Christmas cheer, and also some serious marketing and promotion of DAMAGE iD.
Enhanced notification tray messages about uploads.
Enhanced debugging tools allowing user to retry uploads in case of a bad connection.
Direct link to the web portal from the app.
In the past, “Syncing” or uploading of movies and photos happened in the background – and could take up to 5 minutes.
The upload is now immediate.
As you may know, some customers have had problems with photos not uploading. This is especially noticeable where Wifi or mobile-data connections are not strong.
This release addresses that problem. Uploads are more reliable, and when they do fail, it will be much clearer what went wrong. A new “Try Again” button will appear, prompting the user to synchronize again, when they have a better data connection.
As always, please share your feedback with email@example.com. We look forward to hearing your feedback!
Fresh of the Press! We are happy to announce Today’s new features on the Review Portal.
View Case – improved support for medium-sized and very large devices (HD Screens on Desktop). After updating for smaller devices and tablets, this completes a major round of updates across all device sizes.
2. In the “Case List”, we added a new filter (Additional Filters) for User
Today, we released our version 1.0 API for the DAMAGE iD API.
The release of the damage identification API is important because it opens up the functionality of DAMAGE iD to developers and IT integrators. Developers can use the API, or “application programming interface” to integrate more closely with DAMAGE iD – exposing it’s core services to software applications outside of the DAMAGE iD app and web portal. For example, the API could be used to pull damage tracking features into a conventional rental software application. Or the API could be used to bring Case statistics data into an analytics (reporting) package or database.
The documentation is a work-in-progress and will be updated as new features are added. The documentation can be found at https://www.damageid.com/api.
What is an API? According to Google, an API is a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.
To gain access to the API, developers must have a typical username and password as well as an “API Key” which is available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of our current and potential customers have asked for the ability to mark specific damaged areas and add comments. We call this “Annotation”.
This video below shows how Annotation works.
This is a work in progress and there are some open questions.
That’s where you come in. We’d love to hear your reactions and thoughts on:
What if a user of the app circles damage twice? We will have a unique identifier which comes up when damage is found. However, we’re not yet sure how we will make sure the circles identify damage uniquely. We don’t want to re-issue a new damage identifier in this case, rather we want to associate multiple “circles” with the same damaged area.
Where should we insert this feature into DAMAGE iD? Our current approach is to add this screen after a photo is taken. However, we don’t want to slow down the (highly optimized) walk-around experience which our users really love about our app. Of course, most of the time, new damage isn’t found, so we’ll want to provide the ability to quickly dismiss the annotation screen or prevent it from appearing if no damage is found.
Should we add Annotation to the Review Portal – or is annotation in the app sufficient? This all depends on whether customers want to change the annotations on the Review Portal. (There’s probably some benefits to approaches).
How to annotate videos? Our new video feature (launched this Spring) makes annotation slightly more complex. Should we just annotation photos, or would you be interested in annotation of videos as well? (Videos would require a timeline slider and would be a bit more complicated than with photos).
Customers (current and future) – Please send your feedback to the comments section or send an email to email@example.com.
Still doing paper and pen walkaround? Why not a digital walkaround? Your savvy customers do!! Digital integrity gives you the confidence to be able to show customers exactly what damage occurred during their rental contract, and charge them accordingly. It also means that customers are reassured that they will NOT be charged for previous damage. Uncollected damage adds up. Consider this Cost Calculator: Windshield crack: start at $ 350; paintable scratch, which could require panel refinishing, $250 per panel. Tire/ hub cap damage, hundreds. Cigarette burns, stained interior. Your company could be able to charge to the customer but only if they had digital documentation DATE and TIME-stamped as to when the damage occurred. How could you save money on Uncollected Damages? Use DAMAGE iD as your damage software. It allows you to do a digital walk-around and the portal to compare the pictures and send to customers as proof. This gives your company the integrity to charge accordingly and your customers with be more satisfied with your company.
Last week we added iPad support for DAMAGE iD. iPad is a really great platform. We just love it. There is so much room on the screen. It feels like a clipboard in your hand – it just fits your hands better than a tiny phone. Feels like the right tool for a walk-around.
Although iPad is very different from the iPhone in terms of capabilities, the iPad version of DAMAGE iD is mostly the same as the iPhone version – with a few differences.
One difference is that you can rotate the iPad in any direction when taking photos. Another is that the icons and buttons are larger and easier to click.
In the future, we hope to make even better use of the special capabilities of iPad. One potential future application of iPad, given it’s larger size, is the ability to mark damage directly on the photo dragging your finger across the screen. Imagine red boxes or circles…. right to your photo or video! We think that feature would work really well on iPad and are looking forward to working on such a feature soon.
But for now, we just wanted to get it out on the Apple Store because we love new customers! (iPad support opens up DAMAGE iD to a whole new category of users.)
If Your Customers are taking photos and Videos, shouldn’t YOU do the same??? All Rental companies for Cars, trucks, SUVs, Campers, golfcarts, snowmobiles, boats, airplanes, etc, should have a foolproof, digital documentation of their Fleet.
On May 3, 2019 we launched major version 3.0 for Android, which includes support for video! (The iPad/iPhone version was released on May 22, 2019).
What are the benefits of video?
Tough spots to photograph. For certain vehicle areas, such as interiors, tires, trunk area, roof, it can be difficult to capture with a few photos. Rather, a (video) “sweep” is preferred.
Capture more. For example multiple items, multiple regions, underside of vehicle) using video. Video is alot like taking many pictures in sequence.
Shiny surfaces. Ability to capture small dents and dings within a reflected, shiny surface. By altering the direction of the camera slightly, light will reflect off the surface, revealing surface damage within the contours of the reflection.
Stronger evidence. Video is more difficult to tamper and modify than photographs. Video provides even stronger evidence for proving damage.
Multiple focus points. Video allows you to focus on deep, or 3D objects, while changing focus throughout. This can capture damage better than static photos.
How does Video work in DAMAGE iD?
The simple interface of DAMAGE iD stays almost exactly the same.
However, you will now see a red button beneath the camera shutter button. (See below).
After clicking the red button, the camera will start recording video, and a clock timer will start.
DAMAGE iD also records AUDIO with the VIDEO. This means you can use your finger to point out damage, while explaining what you see.
Click “STOP” when done. Note that there is a 10-second limit on each of the videos.*
*Why did we decide to limit videos to 10 seconds? We wanted to keep upload sizes small. We also want to keep the walk-around focused on a position for later comparison. (If a rental agent takes a 3 minute video, it becomes really difficult to find damage or compare 2 videos.) Plus, if you take 24, 10 second, videos per case, that gives FOUR MINUTES OF VIDEO PER CASE.
Once the video has been uploaded, visit the “Backend” to compare your videos and photos.
The following video shows how video clips will appear in the Backend.
Question: Does video mean I will pay more for my DAMAGE iD Account? Answer: No, video is offered as part of your DAMAGE iD account – entirely free for existing users. (We don’t charge by storage space used)
Question: What quality video is used? Answer: We choose the best quality available on the device
Question: Is any compression or resizing performed on the video? Answer: No, we do not compress or resize the video
Question: How are videos stored? Answer: We use MP4 format. Videos are stored in the Cloud, just like the photos.
Question: Do you apply a timestamp to the video, as with photos? Answer: No, at this time we are not applying the red timestamp to the videos. We are considering this in a future, release, however.
Question: Will uploads take longer than with photos? Answer: Generally, yes uploads are larger than photos and will take longer than with photos. However, we’ve modified the uploading to start faster to accommodate this.
Spring has arrived!!! Tis the season for Auto transporters to increase their services by delivering vehicles from one location to another whether it be for the SnowBirds or for the Auto Auctions gearing up for Spring Fleet sales.
DAMAGE iD has the solution for Smooth Logistics in documenting the condition of the vehicle both before and after its arrival to the final destination. This Universal system, both on Android and iOS, monitors the pre and post DAMAGE on the vehicle. Once photos are stored on the Cloud, they are available for side-by-side date and time-stamped comparison ANYWHERE on one’s desktop.
This system is a great tool for Uniformity in organizing the DAMAGE Data of the transportation company’s logistics. Even if a Company has an internal system in place, this Independent software can be used by ALL drivers to create a Uniform System of Organizing the pre and post condition of the vehicles.
Start using DAMAGE iD today!! To request a demo or learn more, simply sign up right here:
How to Sell CDW to Jack (the Risk Taker) – Emphasize the “Standard Procedure” – Jack may be thinking that if he damages the vehicle, he’ll get away before anyone notices. Jack is a BlackJack type of guy after all! Jack is thinking that chances are in his favor can rush out before anyone notices, either by creating “cover” or feigning urgency. For this type of personality, you’ll want to let Jack know that a complete & thorough review is built into the process. Emphasize that reviewing the previous photos is an important and built-in step of the rental process, and cannot be skipped. Let Jack know he won’t be able to leave before the vehicle is completely checked over, and hold some collateral (such as a credit card number or license) to let him know he can’t run off. If you are using DAMAGE iD, you can review the previous photos before taking new ones – right on the app. If the customer seems like they are in a big rush, visually inspect the vehicle, and use the photo review to compare with old photos. With DAMAGE iD, agents can always take photos after the customer leaves. – Show Empathy Jack may be a risk-taker, but he has a big heart. Let them know that vehicle damage is expensive – especially for smaller rental agencies or those with lower rates. Tell a story about an difficult situation where a customer got away without paying for damage, and emphasize how that hurts employees and customers in the long-run (due to higher rental charges). A story from VERC car rentals is Boston is a great example. A few years ago, a customer switched rims and tires on a rental car to hide damage that had occurred. They had replaced the rims and tires with a much less expensive version. Fortunately, VERC was using DAMAGE iD and had photographic proof of the fraudulent activity. How to Sell CDW to Paula (the Conservative) – Use Repetition Paula likes to play it safe. Emphasize the peace of mind Let Paula know that the best way to prevent unexpected expenses is to purchase CDW. But also let her know that the vehicle condition is carefully documented at time of checkout, and return. She won’t be charged for damage which isn’t hers, but any new damage will be charged to the customer unless CDW is purchased. – Show You are Concerned about the Details Point out minor nicks with your finger. Spend a little time on each spot. Show you are concerned about the vehicle condition at every level.
With patience, they may BOTH be happy with purchasing the CDW!!!
CDW insurance is great for your bottom line and for their peace of mind, but it can be a difficult sell.
Envision this scenario:
and Paula were attending the annual International Car Rental Show in Vegas
during the Spring of 2018 when they needed to rent a car…
They chose U-Save because Jack wanted to
save $$$ for the Casinos. However, since
Paula isn’t the gambling, risk-taking type, she DEFINITELY want
to avoid the worries of potential damage while renting the car, and purchase
the Collision Damage Waiver offered by the rental agent. Jack, on the other hand, IS a risk-taker, and
he did NOT want to pay more $$$ for the daily rental by ADDING on the CDW cost.
They had a problem…to buy or NOT to buy
the Collision Damage Waiver. Paula
reminded Jack that the Insurance following them on their CC does NOT include
the $2,000.00 deductible. Also, she
noticed that the Agent was using a digital system, DAMAGE iD,
when doing the customary “Walk-around” to inspect the car for previous damage
and create a condition report.
would YOU choose? To buy or NOT to buy
The DAMAGE iD development team has made new Upgrades and Innovations for the World’s Leading Vehicle Damage identification Solution.
Charlie Dalsass, software engineer for DAMAGE iD continues to make the changes required to follow the product road-map.
The long-term road-map for the product includes:
The ability to accommodate a wider variety of of vehicles and fleets. Whether it be for a Fleet Transportation System, a Motor Home or Camper rental, Rental Car Company, Amazon delivery Service, or any business or Municipality with a Shared Fleet.
The ability to manage the entire experience on the device or tablet. No need for the “backend” (desktop) system. For example, the latest Android Upgrade, version 2.2 will incorporate VIN Barcode Scanning to quickly and accurately identify the vehicle. Once the vehicle has been scanned, you can ADD the vehicle with a single click. There is no longer any need to visit the “back end” to add cars to your fleet!
Vehicle Transporters, for example, require the ability to scan and add a new vehicle because they do not typically have a fixed vehicle inventory. This opens up DAMAGE iD to a much wider category of customers.
Other recent Upgrades include the ability for the Agent to “Flag” or Mark Damage as pre-existing in order to alleviate Customer confusion as to when the Damage actually occurred. This strategy greatly improves customer satisfaction.
Another Customer Satisfaction improvement is viewing the Outgoing Images upon the Return of the Rental. Pictures don’t lie. And date and time-stamped images allow for NO questions when it comes to the condition of the vehicle at the time of the Rental Agreement.
This feature is now available on BOTH IOS and Android (versions 2.0+). DAMAGE iD is here to be THE Award-winning, Global Solution to solve your needs of identifying and documenting the previous and New Damage on your Vehicle. We are so excited about what the DAMAGE iD A-Team comes up with next!!
DAMAGE iD, the software system which accurately documents
the pre and post condition of your auto or other vehicle, is now ready for the
Transporter. How is that? DAMAGE iD now has the ability to upload the
vehicle’s vin number into the system for immediate retrieval and storage.
Any “Smart” device will do, Apple or Android.
Step One: Go to Google Playstore or Apple store and download
Step Two: Contact DAMAGE iD to obtain a Username and
Step Three: Open the App, type in Last 6 digits of the Vin
or the License plate, and START TAKING PICTURES!!
It’s THAT EASY.
Once arrived at the drop-off destination, “return” photos
may be taken with the date and time-stamped directly on the image to prove the
post-condition of the vehicle.
DAMAGE iD knows this simple and accurate system will
alleviate any disputes with the car dealership or dispatcher in
transportation. It has been proven to
work every time. Insurance Companies
appreciate these irrefutable images as well.