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Support reference for Consumer :: Projects

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Support Consumer :: Projects
I'm not certain which contractor or service categories I will need for my project?
In most cases the project scan wizard will identify and suggest the most appropriate categories which should help simplify your selection process. This will help generate the response(s) you need but will rely on the details available within your project title. If you do not see all the categories you may need, change the title text (this will not modify your actual project title) within the input box to reflect the other services you may still require and click search.

If you have turned on advanced input mode for your project you will also have the option of using list search. This is normally useful for consumers with complex projects requiring specific categories that cannot be summarized within the limitations of the project title. From list search select the most likely general service categories you think you may need, and then the specialized (or sub-categories) from the screen that follows.

Normal wait times for a quick project response are about 2-3 business days, although it may take longer depending on supplier availability.
What do the icons mean, and how do I navigate the projects screen?
Consumer Portal icon and visual navigation cues (most icons when clicked have a navigation function)

Begin new project.
/ Navigate to the main project detail and edit screen, view and edit standard / rush project details.
Navigate to project dialog screen and view project responses. In project dialog screen, click to leave a response.
Project copy. If you have a project similar to an old one, or would like to circulate an older project one more time, use this function to duplicate data from an existing project creating a new record.

Edit / change function. Click to edit project information adjacent to icon.
Scan for suppliers based on project area and requirements. This function will compile the list of suppliers you can send an invitation to, and will also determine which suppliers will see your project listing on their portal.
Submit invitations. Use this function to broadcast an email notification of your project. Suppliers will be made aware a new project is in their portal, referenced by the project title.
Supplier profile. Click to view the indicated suppliers online profile and rating information.

Preferred Invitation. Normally a project is published using a compiled supplier contact list to generate and submit invitations. This project also includes a preferred supplier list from your saved contacts.
Subcontract offer. Project usually published by a contractor to hire other suppliers to assist with a project.
Feedback. Navigate to the feedback screen to rate your suppliers for this project.

Click to change your project status.
Project online and open for responses.
Project online, paused (responses blocked).
Project offline, expired or pending. This project may not be visible on the supplier portal.
Project offline, blocked. This project has an administrative block and can no longer be used.
Project closed, completed
Project closed, uncompleted.

Project services request. Click to submit a service request (to hire) the designated supplier for your project.
Service request transmitted, waiting for supplier response.
Project services request received and accepted by supplier.
Project services request received and declined by supplier.

Report Content. Navigate to the content form to report inappropriate or abusive content.
I can't input my city, or I keep getting an error message that my city cannot be found?
The ServisKEY system works by connecting consumers with suppliers based on area of location and areas of service, respectively. To simplify this system we use either major or outlining cities/towns in each zone (state or province). Your city or town may not be listed due to it being in close proximity to a larger city which is in the database, and in which most cases would cover your immediate area as part of the area serviced. When creating projects, include your actual city/town (if different from what you selected in the drop down) in the "additional information" section of the project create screen.

If your area of residence is a significant distance from any available in the city drop down, please let us know as it may be something we missed.
I am having a difficult time uploading documents and images for my project?
You can upload standard documents (i.e. spreadsheets, pdf, word, etc.) for your project documents, including standard image formats (gif, jpg, png). Files you are attempting to upload cannot contain symbols or spaces in the name. Some document types may not be supported for security reasons. When uploading images please review your image for size. Most cameras will take images at very high resolutions, much higher then is practical for uploading and viewing on a web site. You should reduce the size of your image to no more then 600px wide. Doing so will allow for more images to your folder while providing sufficient detail and clarity for viewing online.
How do I upload images and documents for my project?
Once you have enabled document uploading (navigate to project description, click the link next to icons), you can use either of the 2 icons to upload your files. To insert images right into your description use the image icon on the editor toolbar (there are size restrictions, images may be resized during upload to fit when needed). If you need to attach documents or larger images with links in your description, use the document insert icon also on the editor toolbar. You can upload most popular document and image formats, however there are restrictions for some file types that are considered a security risk.
What if I need to specify more service categories then is permitted?
If your project is large and will involve numerous suppliers, you may want to split the project up into parts or "phases". Larger projects are easier to manage in phases (i.e. framing carpenters and finishing carpenters are usually employed at completely different stages of a project).
I've changed my supplier categories and project scope, but cannot submit email invitations?
There is a per project limit to the interval between transmissions and amount of transmissions. If you recently submitted email invitations, you will have to wait for the next time interval, or if you have already exceeded the transmission amount limit, then you will not be able to transmit for that project any more. However, your project is still visible and can be responded to from within the supplier portal.

Once you generate your list of suppliers for a project, all suppliers on that list are considered "invited" regardless of email notifications, and your project will display when they log in to their portal.
What should I watch for when hiring a contractor?
  A: Top 10 Things to Consider when sourcing Contractors and Services:
  1. Are they adequately insured? Verify amount of liability insurance and expiry.
  2. Are they licensed? Most contractors, especially those providing a “skilled trade” are required to be licensed.
  3. Do they have references of their prior work? Ask for contact details to verify their references.
  4. How long have they been in business? Make sure the person or organization is reputable and has built up experience in the industry.
  5. Do they start and finish a job on time? Ask their references whether they adhere to their promised time lines.
  6. Do they provide a detail quote which outlines what you are getting for your money?(i.e. no hidden costs).
  7. Do they provide you with a written contract outlining all of the details of the job?(permits, time frames, conflict resolutions)
  8. Is a full guarantee provided on all of the work they do? How long?
  9. Do they come across as professional and courteous in your initial dealings with them, including responding to your questions in a straight forward manner?
  10. Do they clean up during and after the work is completed? Are they mindful of active or “in use” areas during a renovation.
ServisKEY provides ready and easy means for you to verify most of these key requirements during your process of communicating and deciding. Suppliers are encouraged to provide accurate and detailed information of their operating details, however this data is self-reported and should be verified in person during the hiring process.

The above are a few items to consider and will help establish a contractors’ or service providers’ expertise, credibility, and reliability. However, the ultimate indicator of workmanship and/or service usually comes from independent ratings and feedback left by prior clients. Under normal circumstances this would be the primary gauge of success and dedication, and your most reliable indicator of a satisfactory outcome.
Q: How are contractors (suppliers) pre-screened?
  A: ServisKEY employs a singular approach to screening contractors and services (suppliers). In place of performing individual item checks (we believe in some cases perhaps an inefficient approach), on supplier criminal records, liability insurance, etc., supplier credibility and qualifications are determined via licensing. Why? We leave it to the experts - local licensing authorities. Most if not all licensing bodies will require a clean criminal record and adequate liability insurance (and in some cases more) prior to issuing and/or renewing an operating license.

A comprehensive list of links to licensing authority web sites for verification are maintained online by ServisKEY. Suppliers are required to submit their licensing data and maintain a link for ready consumer verification straight from their online profile. With one click consumers have access to verify licensing validity which in turn will cover most other pertinent supplier business and service qualifications. In situations where standard operational licensing does not apply, checks are performed for the primary components.

In addition, supplier recognition and online reputation metrics are used to help establish a suppliers public reach and reputation, and perhaps the single most important component - ratings and reviews from customers on prior projects. Suppliers are universally interested on establishing and maintaining a solid online reputation!
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