21 Dec 2017 Wrap Up: Technology for Roofing Contractors
Each year it feels like contracting technology gets more robust. There are more tools to learn and more ways to stay competitive in any industry. Although the learning curve can be daunting, technology in practice saves you and your business time and money. In this blog, we’re going to go over some of our favorite technology advances from 2017. We’ll also look forward to 2018 for applying technology to everything from safety to project management.
One challenge we often face is slow communication on projects. With all of the resources to stay connected, it can be difficult to manage incoming messages. That combined with all of the other business tasks you manage from day to day, staying ahead is difficult. One technological shift we saw this year was a better use of communication tools. New tech should help the construction process, not slow it down. Tablets, smartphones, mobile devices should work for you, not against you. Automated responses to common communications helps the technology work for you.
Safety is always a top concern, no matter how much technology advances. Roofing is a dangerous job in many ways, so any advance in safety practices are worth implementing. One trend we saw this year was the rise of smart wearables. Construction helmets, for example, have been a safety necessity since the beginning of modern construction. Depending on the level of capabilities, smart helmets can do things like project instructions to workers and record video to troubleshoot with coworkers off-site for an efficient explanation. Above all else, smart helmets are specifically engineered to alert all parties if it detects a fall or impact.
Another important wearable safety article is the common construction vest. With new technology, these vests serve as tracking devices for increased safety measures. Many vests also include emergency devices that allow the worker wearing it to send distress messages via the vest. Smart vests can measure the efficiency of workers, monitor heart rate and biometrics and serve as a warning device for dangerous areas.
Aside from the technology you can wear, new advances serve business purposes outside of the construction zone. Presentation software not only increases time efficiency in preparing presentations, but they add a level of professionalism to pitches and proposals. Without shuffling papers, presentation software does a great job of visually presenting plans, challenges, and solutions.
This next topic might seem a little old school, but if you’re not using it yet, you’re missing out on a lot of business opportunities. Facebook for your roofing business can help you find leads, spread brand awareness, interact with current or potential customers, and respond to questions or concerns. Although it has been around for quite a while, we felt it was absolutely worth mentioning in our 2017 wrap-up. Facebook is for much more than sharing family photos. It serves as a robust marketing and lead generation tool for your business. If you’re new to using Facebook for your business, head over to their learning portal to get started. A small investment in Facebook advertising will go a long way in spreading awareness and reaching new customers.
Another must-have technology for the modern roofing contractor is scheduling software. Maintaining project timelines is difficult for any project. One way to streamline the headache of time management is with scheduling software. There are many software options to choose from, but one thing is certain, in 2018, you must have software to assist in planning, scheduling, customer service, and overall project management.
Another great advancement in 2017 was the implementation of drones. Talks of drone use in roofing have been taking place for a while, but thanks to more drone options, better recording capabilities and ease of use, drones are indispensable for planning, tracking, and managing projects (they are a lot of fun to fly too). To add drone technology to your roofing projects, you need to become a certified pilot. It’s free to complete the course and will help you take better advantage of your drone. Just to go the Federal Aviation Administration website, and complete the requirements for earning your pilot certificate. If you need more information on the certificate, visit the FAA frequently asked questions to learn more.
We can’t talk about technology without mentioning solar panels. As we close in on 2018, solar panels are increasingly relevant for contractors, homeowners, and commercial businesses. There is a lot to cover on the topic of solar, but the most important thing to consider is efficiency and planning on implementing solar into product offerings. How will you meet the demand for solar in 2018? Stay up to date on our blog for more on solar panels in the coming weeks. What was the best technology advancement for your process in 2017, and what are you looking forward to in 2018?