Editor’s note: Find out what Ray thinks about implementing the latest tech and her advice for making the switch from one software to another.
Megan Ellsworth: Hi everybody. My name's Megan Ellsworth. Back again for an influencer response. And today I'm with Rae July from Chinook Roofing. Hey Rae.
Rae July: Hey Megan, how's it going?
Megan Ellsworth: Going good. Today we're going to be talking about technology. This month's topic is what makes you try new technology? So, what makes you try new technology over there at Chinook?
Rae July: Well, as a millennial, it's kind of ingrained for me to want to try out whatever new technology or new software comes out. Our company's a very progressive company in that if there's something that can aid in our productivity, we want to implement that. And so actually just recently we implemented a new software-
Megan Ellsworth: Oh really?
Rae July: Company-wide that we've been using. That makes things a lot easier for us. And things that the guys can use in the field to store pictures or build up the reports that we send out. We like to use those kinds of things as well.
Megan Ellsworth: Very cool. May I ask what software you guys just implemented?
Rae July: So we just implemented Next Week. Prior to that, we were using QuickBooks, which is kind of antiquated. It just didn't serve the needs of our company because as our company grew, we needed something that can handle the amount of transactions that we're processing and again, as you grow, you have more needs developing.
And so we implemented Next Week and about two years ago, I think, just about, we started using CompanyCam, which is this it's a software program. It's kind of like a Facebook or LinkedIn. It's an app you download on your phone and the guys go out into the field. They can take pictures in the app. It geotags exactly your location.
And so we can build our customer reports from the app and it's all done in real time.
Megan Ellsworth: Oh really cool.
Rae July: So that's been really great for us, but we also use another program called FCS. We've been using that for a little while now, but yeah, it's been great to have these little new technologies. We actually also use Bluebeam to do our takeoff and prior to using Bluebeam, we actually did take off the old school way, by hand on a digitizer. And so it's been probably, I want to say maybe five years now that we've been using Bluebeam and that's been working great for us.
Megan Ellsworth: That's fabulous. So when you guys are realizing that there's like a new need for something, are there any points that you like the software to make? Do you want it to be portable? Do you want it to be on a cloud or on a hardware? What are some things that you guys specifically look for when you're trying out like a new software?
Rae July: It's a little bit of both. When we pick a software program, it's based on the end user. So we want to make sure... Not everyone is technologically savvy so we want to make sure that whatever we're getting it's trainable, it's easy for you to train someone using it. The user interface is one that's easily understandable. And so that's our starting point. Our ending point is usually, can it be something that's stored on a portable device? So is it an app that the guys can download on their phones and have access to? So the accessibility in the field is important as well.
Megan Ellsworth: For sure. Well that all sounds great. And it's really cool that you guys are implementing so many different types of softwares now.
Rae July: Yeah. And the roofing industry has changed in that there's a lot of new technology out there. RT3's, the Rethink Technology think tank. They're always looking at all the new stuff that's out there. And so we just try to keep up to date with what's going on because again, a new technology usually improves your productivity and if we can improve our productivity, that's our goal.
Megan Ellsworth: Brilliant. Yeah. That's great. And I'm assuming you're getting the RT3 newsletters and all that jazz.
Rae July: Yeah. I am.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. They're a great resource. Well, thank you so much. Any last words on trying new technologies?
Rae July: The only thing I would say is a lot of times we have the sense of changes are difficult and so we kind of want to, if you're comfortable using something, why change it if it's not broken. But I think as the industry progresses and you have that younger generation coming in, the younger generation is coming in with a technological mindset. And so we should embrace that mindset that they have because they bring fresh ideas and they may be the ones who might be developing the new technology. So I think embracing the change of technology is something that should be welcomed.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. Yes. For sure. It's on the forefront. It's coming, whether people want it to or not. So might as well roll with the punches.
Rae July: Absolutely.
Megan Ellsworth: Well, thank you so much and I will be chatting with you next month.
Rae July: Awesome. Thanks, Megan. Always a pleasure.
Rae July is an Estimator at Chinook Roofing & Gutters in Fife, Washington. See her full bio here.
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