By Kathryn Brill, AccuLynx.
You’ve read about the benefits that new technology like roofing apps can bring to your business. So you’ve decided your team should get on board and start using technology to deliver more efficient and streamlined service. You’re excited to start reaping the benefits of the roofing app you’ve selected—but the process is just beginning.
Roofing apps like the AccuLynx Crew App save many roofers time and money. Not only do they help crews deliver better and more efficient service, these apps integrate with your project management software to help your production teams stay organized. But one of the most difficult parts of new technology adoption is getting the rest of your team on board. Whenever businesses use a technology for the first time, it can be challenging to get buy-in from the entire team. In particular, getting your crews to use a new app often takes time.
How can you help your crew adopt their new roofing app and ensure they’re using it effectively? Here are some techniques to help you—and your crew—out.
Successful technology adoption starts before you purchase a subscription. When you’re evaluating a software or an app for your crews, think about how they’ll be using it, and what barriers might hinder their successful usage. Whether or not you select a technology for your team should be influenced by how well you think the rest of your staff could use it.
This is true for all software, but it’s especially true for anything your crews might work with. Will the app function correctly out in the field, or will they be stuck waiting for a buggy app to load? Is it simple to use or does it require a lot of training? Is it easy to find the things they’ll need, like job instructions or directions to the site?
Before you pull the trigger on new technology, take a moment to walk through it from the point of view of a crew member. The easiest app to adopt will be the one that is intuitive and straightforward to use, and that contains all the elements your crews need to support their work.
Many crews communicate more effectively in Spanish, not English. Some may not speak much English, if any. In order for these crews to utilize a roofing app, this has to be kept in mind. An app that assumes the user is a fluent, native English speaker is not going to be a helpful app for your crew to use. In fact, it likely won’t get much usage at all.
Fortunately, some new roofing technology is able to help you overcome these language barriers and communicate with your crews. For instance, the AccuLynx Crew App has a Spanish-English translation function that enables bilingual usage of the app. Data in English can be translated into Spanish in the app for your crews, and anything they enter in Spanish can be translated to English. With features like these, your crew will be able to comfortably use an app, no matter their English fluency.
Your crew leaders and foremen are your allies in implementing any new tools. If you have these leaders on board, it’ll be easier to get the rest of the crews using the technology. They’re a bridge between you and your crews, so use them strategically to help with roofing app adoption in the field.
Get crew leaders up to speed on the new app and teach them the ins and outs of using it. But go beyond just the training basics. Walk them through how to troubleshoot the app for a crew member that’s having difficulty working with it. Make sure they’re equipped to answer questions about why, how and when the crews are using this new technology. You’ll have a smoother transition when you give leaders the tools they need to assist in implementation.
One of the biggest barriers to technology use is internal expectations. Is the whole office using the software in the same way? Is there a clear sense from leadership as to what the technology is for and which old processes it’s replacing? When are crew members expected to be up to speed on these changes?
If you want your team to adopt a new roofing app, you’ll have to stay consistent and clear. Use the technology yourself the way you want it to be used by the rest of your team. For example, if you used to communicate job instructions through text messages, but you want crew members to use the app to view instructions, make sure you stop texting notes about the job and start adding them to the job files within the app. When you tell your team to use a new process, but you continue to do business the way you always have, teams are left scrambling, wondering what you actually expect of them. Consistent internal usage of your new technology will go a long way towards adoption of that technology by your entire team, from leadership to office staff to crew members.
Why did you want to switch to a new technology in the first place? The reason is usually some pain point that has been plaguing your business. Maybe job details have been falling through the cracks, or it’s been difficult to reschedule your crews when weather hits. Maybe you’ve been having trouble documenting all the work done on a job site in one place. Whatever the case, this isn’t just another piece of technology—it’s a possible solution to an issue that’s made work more difficult.
Onboarding your crews to a roofing app is easier when you focus on the benefits of the new technology. These crews are likely experiencing the same pain points you are, and this tool will make their lives easier, not just yours. Adopting a new technology can be an annoying process—it’s hard to make a change from something you’ve done for a while, even if there are flaws in the old system. By framing the change in terms of what it helps and why it’s important, crews will take ownership of this technology usage and be more willing to make the switch.
Ultimately, technology only works to benefit your business if the entire organization is on board. Since roofing crews change all the time and often have little contact with the rest of the business, it can be especially difficult to help them adopt a new technology. But with a few strategies—and selection of a roofing app that is intuitive to use—you’ll be able to make the transition much smoother. And you’ll see the benefits go beyond your crews and extend to the entire office.
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