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.
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.