Arboricultural consultants work with their clients in many different ways. OTISS supports you by providing a range of tools to help with tree surveying and reporting the results to your customers.
When you setup a ‘client’ within OTISS, you are creating (a) an estate with multiple sites where the trees are located, (b) a set of surveys for these sites and (c) a customised survey forms for use on the surveys.
1. One-off survey and report
Arboricultural Consultants can use OTISS to do one-off surveys for a client. Many consultants use OTISS because of the benefits it give them in terms of maps, data collection and collation, graphs, charts, reports, secure backup, etc.
- The BS5837 Survey and Tree Survey Android applications on GPS phones and tablets are ideal for on-site data collection. You then use the website to update and refine the survey data.
- Larger surveys may require a team of people (your staff or associates). As OTISS users, you can all share the same maps and the website collates the tree inspection data. You don’t need to exchange printed maps and records – its all online for authorised users to see.
- OTISS provides a range of pre-defined Excel spreadsheets to provide summaries and detailed information about the survey data. In addition, you can set up your own Excel Report Templates (styles, columns, charts, etc) and OTISS will fill in the data. More about Excel Report Templates... Your final report can focus on a summarizing and highlighting the important findings, with the bulk of the charts and data copied in from the Excel reports.-
- High quality maps and printouts can be prepared using your own CAD application to combine existing maps and site plans with the CAD/DXF files provided by OTISS.
However, OTISS may also help to retain this customer for future surveys…
- You can keep this data online so that when the client returns, you will have all the data ready for the next inspection cycle.
- Having the previous inspection data on the mobile device will speed-up your survey time.
- This could allow you to submit a more competitive quote.
- As part of your service, you could provide your customer with online access to the estate maps, data and reports.
- Your clients would see the maps and data on a website with your company logo.
- They may be more likely to return to you for more advice.
2. Online Services to your Clients
Many clients will value the ability to view a website providing the maps and survey data of the tree stock on their estate.
- You can provide your clients with online access to estate maps, survey data and reports – with your logo on all webpages and reports.
- Over successive surveys, your clients see the ‘duty of care’ audit trail of the tree safety inspections.
- Clients could also be setup to view the maps and trees on-site via their phones – allowing them to report issues directly to you for maintenance or further investigation.
As a Arboricultural Consultancy you may be contracted to deal with all aspects of the tree management on a client’s estate. The ‘online’ aspects of OTISS can provide significant benefits and savings – both in time and money.
- Managing a stock of trees can involve a range of people: in addition to your client and their staff (groundsmen, caretaker, facilities manager, etc.), arboricultural contractors and possibly representations of local council and government agencies. At various stages, each of these people may wish to view and possibly update the tree management records. With OTISS, you don’t need to exchange printed maps and records – all the information is online for authorised users to see.
- OTISS acts as shared database of information – cutting down on unnecessary reporting and paper work.
- Users can access OTISS from any PC, MAC, laptop, note book, tablet, PDA or phone that has a web browser.
- Your staff and contractors don’t have to have identical mobile survey devices. Using the Tree Survey application on any Android phone or tablet allows consultants to collect data on-site and sync with OTISS.
- In the future, other specialised survey devices may be supported – allowing your consultants to use the tools they already have, and to work with you using OTISS.
- At all times you, your staff, your clients, your subcontract consultants and contractors have shared access and visibility of what is happening – seeing all the same reports and spreadsheets.
3. OTISS Estate Management
A landowner or estate manager can use OTISS to manage the trees and site furniture on their estate. They can appoint you as trusted Arboricultural Consultant to help and advise them on tree management. You both use OTISS to provide a shared database of the maps and tree records.
- Within OTISS, they can assign you as a ‘manager’ for the entire estate, or appoint you to carry out specific surveys. Your can directly view and update the shared information.
- Using the Tree Survey Android application you can update survey records on-site, and synchronise them with OTISS. You can also use the website to update/refine the new inspections before completing the survey. You (and they) don’t waste time on unnecessary data entry.
- They draw on your specialised knowledge and experience, but they still retain ownership of all the raw data, maps and schedules used for managing their tree stock.
You can create one or more clients and use them as ‘templates’ for future actual clients. These templates store the survey forms customised just as you like them.
Create a client with a suitable name (e.g. ‘Template 1’) and customise it’s Survey Forms to be your ideal ‘standard’ – i.e. customise the field names, picklists of common values, mandatory fields, etc. Then every time you create a new client, the survey forms can be copied from one of these templates. They can be further customised for the new client – without changing your template.
OTISS is primarily a system for doing Tree Management and Tree Surveys, but it allows you to store contact and address information about your clients and also for site managers, caretakers, wardens, key holders, etc that may be needed.
- The client/estate record stores contact (name, telephone, email) and address information about your client.
- For each site (field, a groups of fields, property, etc.), that you create within the estate, you can store further contact and address information – if required. This per-site contact information is also available on the Tree Survey Android application when you are going to the site to carry out the survey.
- All this client information is only seen by yourself and anyone you authorise to view the estate’s surveys. OTISS will never use or share this information with any 3rd parties.