I wanted to share some tips on navigating Vendor Web I've picked up over the years. I've been working for SG for a few years and have found that the VW interface is pretty easy to use, but there are still things you can do to prepare for the update and make life a bit easier.
1 - First thing I do after getting my photos in the right folder and resized for upload. (I use a photo optimization program to make the file sizes smaller-between 10kb to 80kb, and 640x480) I review all the photos and make any additional notes I need about damages or conditions that didn't get written down at the job site. I also use this opportunity to estimate my bids and confirm my photos support those bids. Making sure your photos show the cubic yardage of debris, the linear footage of damaged fascia, etc. Making notes at this point will help you not miss anything during the update process. And now is a good time to delete any undesirable photos - too dark, too blurry, TMI (pic of something you don't want to include in the update)
2 - On large jobs where you may have upwards of 200 photos, now would be a good time to separate the different aspects of the job into subfolders. I usually will separate the before and after debris removal into separate folders. I do this because the photos are in number sequence now and it's a lot easier to find where the befores and afters separate. Once uploaded, you lose that number sequence and it can get confusing. But if you upload the photos as you need them in the update, it's less confusing. Separate the damage photos and the general condition photos into folders. On VW the small photo size can make it hard to see if the photo of the ceiling is just that - a photo of a ceiling - or if there was a light water stain.
3 - While reviewing the photos, check to be sure you have the all important photos of appliances and HVAC equipment. I usually do this one prior to leaving the jobsite, but double checking never hurts. Also, be sure you didn't put any photos of another property in this jobs folder. (sounds silly to mention that, but it does happen)
4 - scan in any additional documents you need for this update. KYRL letters, third party receipts, dump receipts, pool cover invoices, etc.
Now, if you have your photos separated, all your job notes/bids/damages listed either on the printed copy of the work order or a separate piece of paper, you should be prepared to perform the update.
On the update:
1 - If the job wasn't particularly big and you didn't separate the photos into separate subfolders, I usually will try to get all the general property photos out of the way first. Then move on to the next biggest section of photos or the specific work performed. For instance, its a grass cut order, get the grass cut photos in place on VW first. Or if it was strictly a lock change, do that first. What this does, is get the photos you need to locate out of the way. The remaining photos are probably going to be damages or general property photos you missed getting out of the way. You can select a series of photos and place them in VW as a group. (click on a photo, hold shift, left click on a photo and you will select all photos between the two photos in series). Check your notes, make sure you have used all photos or deleted them.
2 - Just before you submit the update, you come across the page for comments. You can review your update and invoice by clicking on the respective buttons. I encourage you to do this - review the update and invoice. But, I also very strongly encourage you to do one more thing - if your not already doing it - save a copy of both documents in the job folder. When you click the view update button a new browser window opens to display the document. In the upper left hand corner of the browser window (at least in Windows IE) there is a tool bar. Has File, Edit, View, etc. Click File. Click Save As. Navigate to the correct job folder. Save the Document as HTML. Now you have the original copy of what you provided to SG. Trust me, this is important. How many times have you gotten an approved bid back and SG has either deleted or added verbiage to your bid description? Happens all the time. With your saved copy, you can verify if anything has changed and/or dispute the scope of the work you bid. And I will also tell you, VW does not keep your updates and invoices available to you indefinitely. And two years from now when they want to do a charge back or inform you of a lawsuit pending, it'll be nice to be able to review the original documents.
That's how we do it. Feel free to add tips if you have any.