This is the story of how Northern Door & Hardware came to choose the Krinkle Fire Door® mobile app and reporting system to run their growing fire door and damper inspection and repair business.

Northern Door & Hardware is a commercial door hardware distributor that has been serving the Duluth, MN area for almost 40 years. Quality field services are a key component in Northern Door & Hardware’s business, which traditionally include hardware replacements, minor adjustments, door installations and more. Chris Benson is a forward-thinking Project Manager at Northern Door & Hardware, who is constantly looking for productive ways to help Northern Door & Hardware’s clients and increase the services they can provide them.

In 2020, Chris saw an opportunity for Northern Door & Hardware to break into the fire door inspection and repair industry. Multiple Project Managers at Northern Door & Hardware were certified NFPA fire door inspectors and repair technicians and they had multiple clients looking for these services. Chris knew that winning this business quickly was crucial, but he refused to compromise quality for the sake of time. While Northern Door & Hardware was new in this space, Chris realized that implementing a comprehensive fire door inspection and repair program would require consistent workflow in the field, automated professional reporting and a system with enough flexibility to adapt along the way. Together, these factors led Chris to begin talking to industry contacts and searching online for potential software solutions that would help drive this new business.

Chris began researching and testing mobile software solutions but was having trouble finding a system that was intuitive enough to be implemented quickly, thorough enough to satisfy even their most data-hungry clients and flexible enough to make any needed changes along the way. Additionally, Chris realized that the expectations of his clients about the deliverables (reports) they would receive varied greatly. Chris touches on this when he states, “From start to end, you have a ton of options. You have so much data and there’s so much to play with and so much of it that [clients] want to see. Some [clients] want to see everything we recorded and some [clients] just want to see if they passed or failed the inspection.” These varied client needs made it clear to Chris that what he needed was going to be a system that could quickly and cost-effectively change and improve. What Chris needed, was Krinkle Fire Door®.

Krinkle Fire Door® is an innovative software application that guides fire door and damper technicians to easily adhere to NFPA standards, speed up work and automate the inspect-Repair-Report cycle for fire door and damper inspections. The system tracks customers, buildings, fire doors (single and double), fire door frames and fire dampers, as well as all associated inspections. Krinkle Fire Door® goes even further (if needed) and tracks the repair process associated with deficiencies found in the inspections. Repair tracking includes parts and labor costs as well as “proof-of-work”. The mobile app comes with all the reports needed to thoroughly prove NFPA compliance. The professional reports provided clearly demonstrate the inspection data for every fire door and damper inspected as well as the repair data if the repair tracker is used. Reports automatically match the deficiencies recorded to their specific NFPA codes and lay them out for clients in an organized and easy-to-read manner. Together, these features effectively addressed all the professional requirements of Northern Door & Hardware, leading them to deploy and adopt Krinkle Fire Door®.

When asked about the process of implementing Krinkle Fire Door® Chris stated, “The process was smooth and quick, which was something we needed, because we had customers who wanted us to handle their inspections. We reached out to Krinkle, signed a deal and asked to get set up as soon as possible. Krinkle proceeded to train us and we were up and running quickly.”

Soon after implementing the new system, Chris began to see many more advantages of having software like Krinkle Fire Door® drive his business. Chris touches on this when saying, “The way the fire door app is set up is very repetitive, which is definitely a good thing. When you have a lot of inspections and you start to get rolling, it’s very easy to use. If we go into a building and there are 500 doors to inspect, and we aren’t using an intuitive, easy-flowing app, then that could burden our inspectors and waste our time and energy.”

Not only was Chris satisfied with how quick and easy it was to collect comprehensive data, but he was also impressed with Krinkle’s client-facing reports. Chris recalls this when he states, “The way you can utilize all the data that Krinkle tracks is very helpful not only for us but our clients as well. Other platforms have set reports and you can’t change anything. With Krinkle we really like how if we need a slight adjustment [to our reports] we can do that ourselves. We don’t have to develop something new.”

In the last year, Krinkle and Northern Door & Hardware have continued to develop their partnership and make improvements to the mobile app and reporting system. “Krinkle has allowed us to expand into a new sector that Northern Door & Hardware hasn’t been in before, involving fire door inspections. Using the app we’ve been able to dive into that world and help customers in a different way than before”, stated Chris. When asked to advise other businesses facing these challenges while attempting to implement similar programs, Chris offered the following: “My advice would be to do your due diligence and research the different stages of the app. There’s the data entry stage, and how easy and intuitive that is for your users. There’s a stage after where you have your data entered, but where does it go from there? Is it cloud-based? Is this secure? Am I stuck on one LAN computer?” With Krinkle Fire Door®, all these issues are handled, as professional software should.

Chris continues, “Then there’s the final stage of distributing the end result to your customer”. This is accomplished with the multiple styles of reports that come included with the system. Ultimately, the solution you should choose has to meet all these requirements. Krinkle Fire Door® meets and exceeds all these industry needs.

Mobile Epiphany, and its Krinkle brand of mobile apps, enable businesses to create and/or adapt existing mobile solutions rapidly and cost-effectively. Contact us today to see how Mobile Epiphany can help solve your business challenges.