In the budding age of iPhones and Apps, where short attention spans and 30 second videos define business, XOi is bringing service technicians in kitchens and beyond to the forefront of technological advancement. The company’s platform includes both a unique video approach to training and a state of the industry video
solution for the professional E&S service provider.
Growing up in Michigan in a small, family-run manufacturing business, Aaron Salow, Founder and CEO of XOi Technologies, was surrounded by people who earned a living with their hands. The grandson of farmers, son of a family of manufacturers, and a Dad who served as a plant manager of a Nashville-based construction manufacturing company, Salow has intimate knowledge of the skilled, blue-collar trades industry and its growing issues. Through XOi, the self-proclaimed “geriatric millennial” has given his proud, blue-collared roots an update.
“The impetus for the company is how we use technology to solve the skilled trades gap,” Salow said. The company, initially inspired by the groundbreaking advancements of Google Glass, outfitted over 1000 technicians with live-video glasses to guide and document their work.
“We learned a lot of very good lessons about the curb-to-curb space and all the communication gaps with the customer and to the office for the technician themselves,” Salow continued, remembering the company’s start and early trials. “But we also learned that, deploying $2,000 smart glasses to a technician simply wasn’t practical.
XOi quickly altered course, uploading its technician-first software to durable and convenient smartphones and tablets while targeting electrical, plumbing, and mechanical spaces—and most recently, commercial kitchens. XOi focuses on technically-advanced equipment that is difficult to service, what Salow describes as “nuanced, mission-critical assets,” and equips technicians with the technology and resources to fix them.
“When you are working in a commercial kitchen environment, on the rooftop, or on a High Performance Computer (HPC) system, you are by yourself with a smartphone. So, it’s really important to be connected to information, connected to an office, and connected to the client,” Salow noted. “That’s where we really excel and drive our product.”
The product itself is an all-inclusive resource for the curb-to-curb work of service technicians and a comprehensive window of accountability for their clients. The XOi platform offers videos, in a checklist format, that provide a step-by-step guide to workers for each specific repair, replacement, or job. Additionally, they can submit clips of their work for real-time support, as well as added accountability, building trust with clients and all-but ensuring a job is properly done.
“We take specific videos made by skilled, veteran tradesmen, load them onto our platform, and send them directly to technicians out in the field. Now technicians, with little experience, know exactly how to do a job and it’s all customized and exact. With one of our partnerships, re-services and callbacks went down by 85% after we came in,” Salow concluded.
For an industry marked with stereotypical distrust and a few memorable scoundrel companies, honest technicians and service companies are determined to recover the industry’s reputation. XOi allows equipment providers, along with service and repair companies, a chance to rebuild trust through honest accountability.
“I believe that the trades in general have misperceptions of dishonesty when it comes to repairs. Transparency is the only thing that can change perception to reality,” said Rich Malachy, CEO of Malachy Parts & Service, and an XOi customer. “Our end-user operators want to be in the know more than ever and XOi tech allows us to deliver it.”
XOi, through videos, pictures, and hyperlinked diagnostic reports, sends customers information directed in a clear, transparent way. With the click of a link, clients can view a servicing or repair from start to finish, along with time-stamped hours of work and exact billing. The XOi program also allows customers to track serial numbers, identify missing parts, and pay invoices.
For Arizona based service provider Windy City Equipment, the XOi portfolio of solutions has been a game changer. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what is a 30 second video worth,” quipped Windy City’s CEO Josh Zolin. “We are now able to provide our customers with a time-stamped, recorded, Work Order and send it internally to the appropriate department to handle it. So, not only are we now able to provide a level of transparency that few other companies in our industry are able to, but we are also able to automate many of the processes that would previously require multiple redundancies.”
“We no longer have to struggle to justify when a unit isn’t worth repairing, now we can just share the video,” Zolin continued. “The same holds true for parts identification. Anyone in this industry knows that one letter or number off with the part number can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In short, it has built trust with our customers to the point where they feel many of the aforementioned needs, procedures, or precautions are no longer needed. They see what we see, they hear what we hear, and they know what we know,” Zolin concluded.
With the intrusion and inconvenience of COVID-19, where physical interaction was more limited than ever, virtual oversight became more important than ever. As the entire world shifted to video, through XOi, the technician and equipment service industry did as well. XOi also claims to extend the lifetime of costly equipment, a benefit made more valuable with shortages caused by the pandemic.
Based in Nashville, Tennessee, XOi Technologies offers further information at 800-520-9432 on both its educational and operational transparency. Demos are available for all interested service providers, through a team of customer service specialists across the country. Learn more at their website.