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Use Technology as Leverage to Grow your Business

Wendy Marvin Technology Stack
March 5, 2019

RCS Influencer Wendy Marvin says that when considering technology, ask around.

Technology is the leverage we use in our roofing businesses. It can administer tasks faster, store data, provide calculations, and so much more.  Technology and all the changes and headaches that it can bring, is necessary for a growing business. 

We live in a world of information.  Where names, details, numbers, and data are just plain too much for our brains to hold and still remain functional.  Ever have someone say, you have too many balls in the air and you're dropping some?  Technology can be a handy helper to eliminate this problem. 

In business – technology is necessary.  You need an accounting mechanism, even if it's an excel spreadsheet, to assess the health of your business.   We started with the standard accounting software that's available online and desktop.  It's robust for reporting and keeps accounts payable and accounts receivable updated.  You can balance your checkbook here too.  Problems arise however, as you grow with data growing exponentially with your company growth.  Slogging through all that data to give you daily information takes a robust backend program.  Most starting programs just can't handle the load.  Moving to a new system means hoping you chose an old system that allows exporting of data in a manner that's usable by your new system.  

All in all, although difficult and frustrating, I recommend that when choosing technology for your business, you consider your future growth and try to head off the frustrations of working with multiple systems that don't talk to each other.  Currently, my office has three places they have to place information before a bid can be processed.  The process is inefficient and costly.  We are designing our own system, to hold massive amounts of data, and then add apps around that data to allow us to run our business with efficiency and exceptional customer service. 

In operations - technology is also necessary IF you want to remain competitive and grow your business.  

  • Distribution:  We work with an app that confirms time and site of deliveries, show us pictures of the load and gives us the ability to pick up additional materials and add to the PO for a current job.  Most larger distribution companies now produce such apps for free. 
     
  • Estimating:  We use satellite-based apps that gather accurate information for us.  Our program notifies the customer when we're on the way, it gives our estimators a GPS map to follow, and sends and receives notes and pictures live.  We are also currently in working towards our Drone pilot certification.  We see drones as a "get going or get left behind" type of technology in our industry. 
     
  • Payroll:  We're moving to an app for payroll.  Instead of messy, water spotted and poorly written time cards, our data will now be supplied via geo-fencing (address is gathered when they're on site) and show that the roofing professionals has done the "clock in, clock out" onsite.  Yes, we still have to verify data, but it won't be ten hours of trying to get the information we need to process payroll.  Again, efficiency and cost savings for our company.

When considering technology, ask around. Identify the needs of your company (ask employees), and then find a company that meets most of those needs.  Expect customer service, as you'll need help setting up your company with whatever they offer.  Technology is expensive and choosing incorrectly can be frustrating.  Most of all, be patient with yourself, and with your employees.  We all have barriers to learning new things, but by sharing the payoff, and savings of technology, our employees often become advocates and assist us through the process. 

Wendy Marvin is CEO of Matrix Roofing. See her full bio here.

 



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