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Category: automation

There are 3 posts published under automation.

Keslow Camera Always Ready for “Action” with a Tablet Solution

Keslow Camera may not be a household name, but if you watch TV or go to the movies, you’ve seen our work. As one of the largest camera rental companies in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, we have a long list of credits ranging from Lone Suvivor to Disney’s upcoming Tomorrowland, to popular television shows like Sleepy Hollow, Chicago Fire, Shameless, and many more.

Our success comes largely from a culture that always puts the customer first. This requires commitment, talent and very efficient business processes. That’s why Keslow Camera abandoned its old paper-based system for a custom FileMaker solution for iPad, iPhone, and Mac computers that we affectionately call Flawless. Today, the solution touches every aspect of our business, from managing contracts and bids to fulfilling orders, tracking equipment worldwide, invoicing, and forecasting sales.

After implementing Flawless, I’ve learned several ways to succeed with tablets.

  • Don’t get bogged down in paper: Instead of spending several minutes trying to locate an order or determine what’s in stock and what is already rented out, our team can now respond instantly to customers. This flexibility enables us to land important contracts with major media and entertainment companies.
  • Involve the entire staff: We now have over 50 employees across various offices around the U.S., all using Flawless running on Macs, iPads, iPod touches, and iPhones. The equipment puller, shipping & receiving team, and prep technicians all use iOS devices to accomplish their work.  Any time barcodes are being scanned in or out to build contracts; an iOS device comes into play.
  • Engage management: We’re using iPhones running Flawless remotely, either from home after hours or anytime we are out of the office to check availability of gear. This capability is especially handy throughout weekends when we get emergency calls.
  • Keep speed in mind: Production teams need to know in advance what equipment is available if they need additional gear shipped out. Flawless helps us submit bids faster than the competition so we are the first to respond to the customer.
  • Think paperless: We need to manage a large number of PDFs – purchase orders, contracts and invoices. With our custom solution, the company can maintain these documents externally to the solution in managed storage, while still being able to have instant access. 

Developer Scott Rose of ScottWorld developed Flawless. The database is hosted on a Mac Pro for easy access across Keslow Camera’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Santa Fe, and New Orleans. Managers and staff can tap into the information they need anytime, from anywhere, including via iPads and iPhones. The FileMaker Go app brings the full, rich application to Keslow’s iPad and iPhone users – it’s not just a slimmed-down version of the database.

Plus, unlike typical off-the-shelf software, it’s really easy to make updates and improvements to our solution, as our business grows – no waiting for months or years for new features. With our new solution, ScottWorld can constantly and quickly make improvements any time an employee has a good suggestion.

Keslow Camera is growing roughly 30 percent year over year, so having this kind of power and flexibility is essential. This blazing-fast solution, accessible to our staff nationwide, is really helping set us apart from our competition.



Intellectual Property Deals Need a “Wingman”

Envision a world where workplace technology can serve as your “wingman.” What’s a workplace wingman you ask? It’s a super cool, digital assistant that’s always on – on the lookout to help you get your job done more efficiently, connect you to the most important people in your profession, or provides insights into topics that matter most.


In Intellectual Property (IP), the wingman can also be a matchmaker that seeks licensees or buyers for your intellectual property 24/7, or tees up the hottest news or trends that is associated to getting your IP deals done.


We all know that “humans don’t scale” – a term always bandied about in the tech world – but, with a digital wingman, you could have what feels like hundreds of helpers looking out for you. I have spent several years in the intellectual property space and observed several key issues endured in the workplace:


  • All IP professionals are overworked and have too many IP asset portfolios to manage
  • Current IP tools are geared only for research or IP is forever lost on a marketplace listing site
  • Not all IP professionals are comfortable connecting with deal stakeholders


These 3 issues all rely on the “human” factor, which does not scale. Priority of IP asset portfolio marketing is often performed as a “best guess” or simply given attention to those portfolios that are easily understood. IP should not be considered a “pet project.” It has a shelf life. Missed opportunities means lost revenue. Missed connections could lead to budget cuts in research and development. At worst, company innovation slowly dies.


Today, IP professionals are struggling to effectively and quickly reach the primary objective of IP licensing: “closing the license deal” (sometimes called tech transfer or commercialization). There are a myriad reasons as to why the final goal is not reached. Strategic processes may not be in play, from underutilized best practices to under incentivized employees. But a simple tool that is scalable and performs as a wingman can mitigate strategic issues, provide clearer market value, and add confidence by lowering the rejection level when implementing licensee outreach.


IP match technology should be used to objectively surface the portfolios that are “low hanging fruit” or closest to a deal. The matcher finds these portfolios by determining market viability – or verifying if there are actual licensees/buyers in the world that would be interested in the IP. The matcher, always on, assists where humans cannot scale:


  • It can incorporate an IP asset portfolio into the hundreds or thousands
  • It can find thousands of licensees – well beyond the IP professionals known “rolodex”


More importantly, the matcher solves these pain points automatically, without burdening the IP professional with additional tasks. The matcher operates by analyzing the portfolio’s content and intent, then translates that information into licensee business objectives. Once business objectives are understood, the matcher suggests potential licensing companies seeking or operating within those objectives, industry, or even within a cross-functional industry.


Those portfolios with the most licensing candidates, would surface as the top priority or potential to close the deal. Much like a match dating site, the licensor could instantly evaluate potential licensees, read their profiles, and determine who they want to communicate with (licensee outreach). If the licensee accepts the licensor’s outreach, then the licensee and licensor go on a date (meet and discuss deal terms). Now the licensor knows exactly when and with whom to start their research and due diligence, self-assured they are concentrating on the right deal. claims that their customers are 3 times more likely to enter into a relationship by using their technology than those who do not. The match concept for IP provides market information fast and efficiently, without interrupting the licensee or licensor’s current commercialization processes. If time kills deals then speed makes them successful. With similar odds and efficiency of a dating website, can the enterprise afford not having their wingman?


Building a Startup Marketing Department… No Humans Need Apply

If you’re like most startup founders I know, you probably wish you could somehow market your product 24/7… while working on your other equally important jobs in parallel!


Thanks to advances in “marketing automation,” this dream is closer now than ever before. I’m going to highlight a strategy today that can help you achieve significant leverage from the time you devote to your marketing efforts.


Clone Yourself - Over and Over Again


“If only I could clone myself!” is a popular cry amongst startup founders. Imagine all the biz dev you could get done if there were two of you!


When it comes to marketing follow up, I have some good news to share. You can actually do better than cloning yourself when it comes to scheduling email follow-ups.


You do this by setting up an autoresponder sequence in your email marketing software, which is an email or series of emails that you write once (and only once — this is the key). Then you schedule it to be sent automatically to new leads based on a timeline you set — and they are sent out over and over again on your behalf without your having to lift a finger.


For example, say you have a “Contact Us” or “Free Trial” sign-up form on your website. You probably make an effort to reply to inquiries sent in via this form as soon as possible. But, since the form is visible on the internet and is accessible 24/7, it’s not always possible for you, or someone in your company, to send an immediate reply.


Instead, you set up your autoresponder to send an email back immediately under your name, which contains the basic points of your normal lead follow-up. The advantage is that your prospect has an email immediately, with useful information, along with your contact information. They are one step farther along in the sales process.


If you have a sequence of emails available, you can stagger the subsequent emails to deliver at regular intervals. For example, I have an autoresponder sequence setup for free trial users of Chrometa, so that they receive tips and tricks for using our software regularly throughout our 14-day free trial period.


Step 1 - Write the Emails (or Use Old Ones)


Pull up some old emails that you’ve written previously as a starting point. They could be emails you sent directly to a prospective or current customer. It’d be a shame to let the knowledge you shared fade away right there - let’s get that expertise into an autoresponder sequence.


Be sure to also check previously written email newsletters, so that you can repurpose the expertise you shared previously into the autoresponder. This way, you can continue to impress new prospective customers.


Step 2 - How to Setup the Autoresponder Sequence


Most email marketing software with some level of sophistication have autoresponder capabilities. If you’re in the market for a new product, I’d start with MailChimp, InfusionSoft, or LeadDyno (in no particular order — I use all three myself).


Once you have your emails written into these programs, it just becomes a matter of setting up the new autoresponder within the application and specifying the criteria that will trigger a response.


Step 3 - Onwards With Your New Automation


As you march on with your new marketing assistant, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:


  1. When you write a detailed email back to a prospective or current customer, be on the lookout for general advice that would be well served in your autoresponder follow up.
  2. Every customer newsletter you write should be reused in an autoresponder sequence. Turn your hard work into a lead follow up gift that keeps on giving!


The rewards of a simple, yet well thought out, autoresponder program can be quite significant. Once properly setup, you can have tens or hundreds of emails being sent out on your startup’s behalf every day, weekends included. This leaves you free to sit back and field replies from well qualified, pre-sold leads… as you handle your many other founder priorities!