Since its inception in 2012, Cotney Construction Law has expanded from one small office in Tampa, Florida to fourteen offices across nine states. As the firm has grown, we have adopted a number of technologies that allow our offices to collaborate seamlessly across nine states--without actually feeling like we are working across nine states.
This type of expansion is not unique to Cotney, and we’ve realized that the contractors we represent could also benefit from embracing technologies like the ones we use. We believe it is essential that contractors, both large and small, embrace technologies that will help manage projects, employees, and their day-to-day workload.
At Cotney Construction Law, we utilize a variety of integrated cloud-based technologies that would also benefit the businesses of the contractors we represent. G Suite by Google helps our employees stay connected throughout all of our firm offices. We use Dropbox to organize, access, and share important documents with people outside of the firm, such as clients. Because G Suite and Dropbox are both cloud-based, they enable us to work and collaborate with each other and our clients from nearly any location. The flexibility offered by cloud-based technologies is also highly valuable to contractors as they enable users to communicate and access important information from nearly any location, including the job site.
Our telephones are also internet-based, using Voice Over Internet Protocol (or VoIP). The company we work with, teleVoIPs, allows us to connect all of our offices around the country as though we were just down the hallway. We can also use teleVoIPs from our cell phones, so we can dial using our office numbers even when we are out of town. When we miss calls, teleVoIPs sends the voicemails (and transcripts of the messages) to us by email.
In order to help increase administrative efficiency Cotney has moved its employee time management and payroll system to the cloud. PayClock Online not only helps us expedite our payroll processing, it allows our employees to clock in and out from any location where they work, which ensures accuracy. Because this technology automates some of the most time-consuming tasks for payroll administrators, this type of tool would alleviate administrative burdens of contractors and allow them to focus more time on building their business rather than simply managing it.
At Cotney, we believe the most valuable aspect of any business is the customers it serves, which is why we recommend adopting a customer relations management (CRM) software. Our firm uses Lexicata to efficiently manage current client matters, as well as track potential opportunities, ensuring nothing gets left out. Any business that is able to successfully manage its customer relations is able to grow, so implementing a construction-specific CRM software will add value to any contractor’s bottom line.
When deciding whether to invest in a new technology at the firm, the first question we ask is what value will it add to the service we offer to our customers. It is important for contractors to remember that technology is a tool, not a one-size-fits-all solution. Adopting new technologies can be expensive and not every type of software or app will make sense for your business. It is crucial to research prospective technologies to ensure they will meet your needs before you invest time and money to adopt them.
In addition to choosing the right software or technology, it is also essential that contractors adopt policies to protect against the ever-present and growing threat of cyber attacks. At Cotney, we ensure that all systems are approved by our IT department before they are used to access client or firm files, and we never allow our employees to access sensitive information on unsanctioned devices. Just as physical construction sites have often been the target of vandalism and theft, a contractor’s virtual job site is now a target as well. Cybersecurity is just as important as physical security, which is why we implore that contractors stay current on best practices to help address any vulnerabilities and minimize risks.
Trent Cotney is the founder of Cotney Construction Law, specializing in roofing and construction law. .
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.
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