Tag: <span>Ken Kelly</span>

RT3 Makes an Impact at the International Roofing Expo

The group’s activities featured a meetup at Vanderbilt and moderating a contractor technology panel.

Members of the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the 2019 International Roofing Expo (IRE). They began the week by attending a live meetup held at Vanderbilt University and hosted by professor Larry Bridgesmith. After conducting a brief business meeting, the group was introduced to Robert Grajewski, Executive Director at the Wond’ry.

The Wond’ry is the ‘epicenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University.’ RT3 members were given a tour of the three-story, 13,000 square foot center that facilitates innovation between students and faculty from all courses of study, whether that be engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs or artists.

The RT3 team heard stories of innovation and creativity to solve problems and develop new and unique solutions using technology. One psychology PHD candidate used the Wond’ry to develop a never-before-heard-of treatment using virtual reality goggles to transport patients to another world to help them feel safe while dealing with their issues. It’s now being written about in medical journals and being adopted by more psychologists. The team was so impressed with what was happening at the facility that some even went back the next day to share the experience with some of their co-workers who were not able to attend the first time.

On the last day of the IRE, five contractor members of RT3 were featured on a contractor panel to discuss the technologies they are using in their businesses. Ken Kelly of Kelly Roofing, Steve Little of National Roofing Partners and KPost Roofing, Josey Parks of J Wales Enterprises, Michelle Boykin of Rackley Roofing and Gregg Wallick of Best Roofing participated. The panel was moderated by RT3 board member and RoofersCoffeeShop® partner, Heidi J. Ellsworth.

Discussions focused on how augmented reality will change field service, how robotics and automation both on the roof and in the air will impact the industry, how GPS and other tracking can save thousands and how technology will change the way the industry interacts with home and building owners as well as with insurance companies.

A question and answer period followed which enabled contractors in attendance to ask questions and learn further about how the technologies available today can have an immediate impact on their businesses. The room and the hallway were buzzing with curiosity and the desire to learn more about advancing their companies through the use of technology.

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RT3 talks tech: A Q&A with Ken Kelly of Kelly Roofing

The Roofing Technology Think Tank hosted a panel on roofing technology at last week’s International Roofing Expo in Nashville, Tenn. Panelist Ken Kelly is an RT3 board member and president of Kelly Roofing, a 47-year-old family business in South Florida. He shared his thoughts with Roofing Technology SmartBrief.

Roofing Technology SmartBrief: Tell us about Kelly Roofing. How long have you been in business, what part of the country do you serve, how big is the company?

Ken Kelly: Kelly Roofing was started in 1972 by my father, Joe Kelly Sr., in Naples, Florida.  We continue to operate in the South Florida market for decision-makers of existing roofs.  Our staff of 230 works on almost 10,000 roofs each year, offering both repair and replacement services to all kinds of roof systems and building uses.

RTSB: What is your role in RT3?

Kelly: As a board member of RT3, I assist with direction, decisions and our core focus.  It’s important to me that our industry’s disruption occurs from within in an inclusive and open way for all to participate.  

RTSB: What was your overall impression of the International Roofing Expo?
Kelly: The IRE is the pinnacle event for our industry. It’s the one event each year that showcases products, techniques, training and best practices for the roofing industry. As products are always evolving, it’s important to stay up on the changes so we are utilizing the latest products to help our customers.

It would be a mistake to miss out on all the show floor “how-to” events.  This is the quickest way to understand the techniques of successful roof performance. I believe in Kaizen, a lifetime commitment to learning and improvement, which is why attending the continuing education tracks is a must.

Unlike other industries, roofing is one big family full of big-hearted, dedicated people who love to help others.  The IRE is a great way to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and seek advice from those who have been there.

RTSB: Tell us about the RT3 meet-up at Vanderbilt University

Kelly: RT3 has several Task Teams.  From Future Workforce to Communications and from Technology to Showcases, our members scour the globe and bring back valuable insight that may have an impact on our industry.  Our meet-up at Vanderbilt University, like the others before it, was a chance for the Task Teams to present their hard work since our last time together.  It’s amazing to see the speed at which our world is changing and I’m glad to be a part of an organization dedicated to parsing out the noise to bring the best possibilities to our industry.

RTSB: You participated in the RT3 roofing technology panel. How was the response from attendees?

Kelly: As one of the largest attended sessions at IRE, it was clear just how thirsty roofers are for technology.  I’m impressed by the amount of technology already implemented by roofers and their willingness to invest in new possibilities.  The content shared by the panel was very well received and clearly succeeded in our mission of improving lives in the roofing industry.

RTSB: What was your role in the panel? What was your message?

Kelly: Each panelist took an emerging technology and spoke about its possibilities and current deployment.  I focused on augmented reality, a way to cast digital reference in the physical world.  My discussion was focused mainly around the Microsoft HoloLens product and how it could be utilized for training, inspecting and visualizing roofs.  This product and the work Microsoft is doing around it is very exciting and could easily improve our lives and the lives of others.

 RTSB: How important is adoption of new technologies to the future of the roofing industry?

Kelly: There’s an infamous quote from the movie “Tommy Boy” staring the late Chris Farley, “You’re either growing or your dying!”  I believe that quote perfectly sums up the importance of embracing new technologies in the roofing industry.

RTSB: What particular technologies do you see as key?

Kelly: We are still in the infant stages of drones, augmented reality, virtual reality, digital fabrics, robotics, Internet of Things, software automation, visualization, GPS and so much more.  The key is not to think about the technology and then apply it to our industry.  The key is to ask, “What JOB are we performing for our customers?”  Hint: It’s not putting on and maintaining roofs.

RTSB: What technologies has Kelly Roofing adopted?

Kelly: We are about to wrap up a 5-year partnership with Microsoft focused on business process automation where we have one software platform to run our entire business.  The software is a silent manager, ensuring the promises we made are delivered.  This includes marketing, estimating, sales, procurement, ordering, scheduling, accounting, HR, communications, billing and asset tracking.

RTSB: How have these technologies improved your business?

Kelly: Being selected as one of only 13 companies in the world to receive the Visionary Award from Microsoft in 2015 was a huge honor, but it is the opportunities we have created for our employees and the large group of loyal customers that I’m most proud of.

RTSB: What technologies on the horizon do you see as the next step forward for roofing?

Kelly: We are now working on an IoT project that we believe will make a big difference for roof owners and roofers.

RTSB: Anything you care to add?
Kelly: This was fun.

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RT3 Members Heading to Microsoft Headquarters for next Live Meetup

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) continues its focus on exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry with a planned live meetup on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington on November 5, 2018.

The group of progressive roofing professionals strives to inform contractors by learning about progressive and disruptive solutions that help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry.

The meetup is planned in conjunction with PowerObjects and will be hosted in Microsoft’s Internet of Things (IOT) lab.  RT3 board member and winner of the Microsoft Modern Small or Medium Business category of the 2015 Visionary Award, Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing, helped to coordinate the meetup for RT3.

Kelly learned firsthand how technology could disrupt his business model and result in more growth, increased efficiencies and better customer service. With the aid of Microsoft Dynamics, Kelly Roofing was able to double its business without increasing its staff. Able to be accessed remotely, (the majority of Kelly Roofing employees work outside the office), staff members are able to add notes to each file, receive reminder notices, and efficiently speed through the time-consuming daily tasks. The result? More time to spend with clients.

Following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Naples, Florida-based Kelly Roofing was able to use Skype for Business online to handle 4,500 calls the first week following the storm, direct customers in English and Spanish to its storm repair services, liaise with insurance companies, and train new hires. This efficient response earned kudos and cemented the company’s reputation for customer-focused service.

At the November 5 meetup, RT3 members will hear a series of Tech Talks starting with one from Venkat Rao, Capabilities Manager of Business Applications for PowerObjects, the company that Kelly worked with to help implement their technology solutions. Following Rao, Tech Talks will be presented by Kati Quigley, Microsoft Senior Director of Marketing and Communication for Business Applications, and Rob Nehrbas, Microsoft Senior Director if Business Strategy for Business Applications. Kelly will present last, sharing his story about how he worked with Microsoft to build his roofing software platform.

The morning wraps up with RT3 Task Teams providing update on their activities for the following areas: Future Workforce, Communications, Meetups, Technology and Membership. During the afternoon session the task teams will work together in small breakouts to discuss how what they learned in the morning can be applied to and shared with the roofing industry. They will also review how what their task teams have accomplished thus far can be shared with the industry and determine their goals for the coming year.

For more information on the event or if you are interested in attending, please send an email to Karen Edwards at info@rt3thinktank.test.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Elects Board of Directors

The newly elected board of directors will serve terms that range from one to three years in length.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced that it has elected six directors of the board at its May 9 virtual meetup.


RT3 was formed to act as a conduit for curating knowledge on technologies that can help roofing contractors and the roofing industry overall.  Formed in July of 2017, the group has grown from twenty founding members to over sixty.  The think tank was officially incorporated in 2018 and now is proud to announce its new board of directors.


Heidi J. Ellsworth, Partner, RoofersCoffeeShop.com and Karen Inman, Chief Operating Officer, Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, will serve three-year terms on the board. Steve Little, Head Coach at KPost Roofing & Waterproofing and Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing will serve two-year terms while Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law and Tom Whitaker, President of Harness Software will serve one-year terms.


The board will support the RT3 mission statement and work to successfully accomplish its objectives to support and advance the adoption of technology within the roofing industry.  According to its mission statement, “Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), is a consortium of thought leaders exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry, striving to inform contractors by bringing together progressive and disruptive solutions that help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry,”


The think tank meets six times a year, four virtual and two live.  Past live meetings included tours of Georgia Tech, BuiltWorlds and the U.S. Capitol.  Future meetings will continue to be held at innovative locations that will help enlighten the group on progressive technologies that can make a difference in the roofing industry.


“It is about education and the initiative to understand and then disseminate innovative technologies into the roofing industry,” stated Heidi J. Ellsworth.  “One of the ways to attract the new generation and a diversified labor force is to incorporate the use of technology including robotics, drones, software, cloud solutions and cutting-edge technologies that we are not even aware of yet.”


For more information about RT3, visit www.rt3thinktank.test.

Digital Content Marketing Has Rapidly Changed the Way Companies Acquire Business

By Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing.

Forget everything you knew about marketing. There’s a new trend sweeping the world and shaking the foundation of what we all know works. It’s called content marketing, and it is for real.

Content marketing differs from traditional marketing in its customer communication approach. Traditional marketing relied on disruption and attention-grabbing tactics. Content marketing focuses on providing benefit to the consumer during his or her time of research and helping the customer make a good buying decision.

Companies that understand content marketing start by changing the structure of their business. They no longer have one department for sales and another department for marketing. In order to deliver excellent UX, or user experience, these departments and positions are being combined into a new trend called “smarketing.” Smarketing departments and smarketing managers ensure that the company’s message is unified through all channels at all customer contact points. Let’s look at specific ways smarketers are using content marketing to succeed.

Traditional vs. Content Marketing

Quantity of leads vs. quality of leads. It used to be all about the number of leads marketing was able to drive into the company. It was then up to the sales team to work its magic and pressure the customer into a decision. Well, not anymore. Today’s customers do 63 percent of their large-purchase research prior to engaging with a company. Content marketing provides customers the information they are looking for, thus focusing on only those who are about to buy.

Marketing budget increase vs. competition score. Considered fact, it is a wide-held view that increasing the amount of money spent in marketing directly increases the company’s sales. Not true. There are market limits. An easy example would be trying to increase sales in your service and repair department. If it’s not raining, roofs aren’t leaking. It doesn’t matter how much money you dump into marketing. If there isn’t a need, sales will not increase. Content marketing focuses on winning every one of those customers who do have a leak, when they have them. Save your money and increase your win rate by directly targeting those customers at a time of need with helpful information that the customer will find truly beneficial.

Volume vs. targeted user. Not a week goes by where we don’t receive a spam email from some SEO expert promising to increase our website’s performance. Given the opportunity, they really can make it look as though your site is better, bigger and generating more traffic. But, is traffic really leads? Or, better yet, does increased traffic directly equate to an increased number for jobs won? Not in this case, no. So, when you review your KPIs, or key performance indicators, with your marketing team, don’t get excited when you see traffic increasing. Content marketers would look at only one metric: did it help us win more jobs? The key isn’t to blindly rank higher or increase Web size. The key is to target specific customer types so that they find exactly what they are looking for.

Amount of content vs. quality of content. I used to think it was important to provide customers all the information they could possibly need on our website. The concept was simple; if they have everything they are looking for, the customers won’t need to go elsewhere. However, it didn’t take long for my own consumer behavior to change my opinion on this. We are all busy and time is an increasingly more valuable resource. Consumers don’t want to go looking for things. They want it served up in a way that is easily digestible and actionable. Essentially, less is more. Content marketing is all about being concise and giving customers exactly what they will find useful. This concept doesn’t stop at websites either. Make sure your entire marketing message is concise and easy for the customer to benefit from.

Social activity vs. social media demographics. If you’re like many people trying to use social media for promotion, there is an air of confusion where to invest resources. Mastering social media is all about knowing your client’s demographics. Women tend to enjoy Pinterest. Google+ has an active user base of 73 percent males. Business owners focus their time on LinkedIn. Each of these social media streams has a different style of communication. To create a content marketing strategy, target your potential customers by creating specific campaigns that speak directly to each of their needs in the area they spend time.

Specifications vs. A/B testing. A high-quality content marketing strategy ignores jargon, specifications and promotional brochures. Content marketing focuses on quality original content, good design, frequent updates, and concise, omni-channel, responsive and truly beneficial deliverables that customers use to educate themselves on the path to good decision making.

Contact us vs. strong call to action (CTA). Every site has a “contact us” page, and it should. This is reserved for more general communications. Smarketing managers are using content marketing principles and making it easy for the customer to do business with their companies. One simple way is by creating strong CTAs. Each piece of content should have a link to gain more information or to enlist help. There is an entire science behind consumer behavior that goes into creating great CTAs. Everything from color, font, typeset, wording, images, layout, placement and size should be studied and considered when creating CTAs.

Note: This article is a condensed version of the one first published in Roofing Contractor Magazine and the full article can be viewed here.

7 Steps to Opportunity Automation in Roofing

By Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing.

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a software system designed to track potential customer interactions and help manage the sales process.  There are a number of players in the CRM space, but the two most robust offerings are Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.  The key to their success is the ability to automate and customize.  This article focuses on the opportunity.

Many companies call opportunities “leads.”   Opportunities are so much more.  Opportunities are a true request to provide a quote or potential quoting “opportunity.”  In the end, opportunities are either won or lost.  And, you can have multiple opportunities for each customer.  Now that we know what an opportunity is, let’s jump into the creating an automated opportunity process.

1 – Create the Opportunity. 

In most cases, a potential customer will simply call into your office, fill out a web form request or send an email request to have their roof looked at.  If a lead asks for an estimate they are now an opportunity.  Convert the lead to an opportunity and add in additional details about their specific need.  Details needed will include details about the leak or problem, contact details, who the decision maker is, budget, communication channel preference, type of roof, age of roof, time frame, presentation venue, advisors and material preferences.

2 – Set Estimate Appointment.

To truly automate the process there are online calendar systems that allow potential customers to request their own appointment time slot, much like making a restaurant reservation via OpenTable or similar app.  If your CRM program has an integrated resource calendar this is absolutely possible and quite easy to set up.  Set your CRM software to change the appointment duration based on the type of appointment.  Repairs may only take one hour while reroofs may take three.  Commercial projects could take the full day.  The system can use the job type to determine this.  The system can also automatically assign an estimator, sales coordinator and sales manager.

3 – Confirmation Automation.

Based on the potential customer’s preference, an automated confirmation should be generated from your CRM system shortly after the estimate appointment is created.  This communication is most often an email but could be a text or phone call.  I suggest including the detailed information you’ve collected from the potential client and ask them to review it for errors or omissions.   Many times, potential customers have told us what their objections are in a reply email to the confirmation.  Suggested items to list include names, phone numbers, email addresses, time of appointment, type of roof, budget, time frame to decision, decision makers, type of roof interested in, etc.  Also include information about your company to help give some background on what makes you unique.  As a final touch of professionalism, resend the confirmation 24 hours before the appointment and make it easy for the potential client to reschedule if needed.

4 – Estimate Automation.

Time is our most valuable resource.  Constantly spending it reinventing the same estimate wheel is a waste.  Have your CRM system do the heavy lifting for you.  For instance, if you use an aerial measurement service, have your CRM system request a report automatically via addressing.  The service can reply in kind using an importable file type that can then auto-generate estimates, prepopulate proposals and do most of the work without ever involving the sales team.

5 – After-Estimate Action.

Once the estimate is completed the system should be updated with the sales details.  Examples are percentage of probably win rate, likely decision time frame, adjusted budget amount, samples requested, next follow-up date, type of follow-up requested and anything you can think of that will help adjust the after-estimate actions.  Now that CRM has the information it needs, let the automation begin.  CRM can automatically order samples from distribution or manufacturers and have them sent directly to the client.  How about sending an after-estimate survey to see where the potential customer stands?  Send automated communications via snail mail, email, fax, text or phone call reminder to see if the customer has made a decision yet.

6 – Close Opportunity Lost.

Ever wonder what happened to that estimate you gave a while back?  Wouldn’t you like to know who won that big job?  Wouldn’t it be nice to look at a list of opportunities and only call on the ones that are still active?  This is where the Close Opportunity dialog comes in.  Close opportunities lost if they were truly lost, if the customer decided not to have the work done or if it wasn’t really an opportunity in the first place.  Have CRM send the opportunities an email with reply buttons in it.  If the job is lost, just have them simply click on “We’ve decided to not have the work done or have it done by someone else.”  This is a soft way for lost clients to let you know they went elsewhere.  Let the system do it automatically to avoid putting any more time into a lost cause.

7 – Close Opportunity Won.

The customer has just awarded you the job.  Now this is where automation really takes over.  Your CRM software can be programmed to pass over all the important opportunity, contact, account, roof and job-related details and automatically start preparing the project for production.  It’s time to automatically thank the customer and let them know what to expect.  Have CRM contact the customer with a special thank you message.  Include details on the specific job process, timeline of the project, what to expect, what they can do to prepare, what additional details are needed to keep things on schedule and so on.    And don’t forget to bask in the winner’s circle.  You deserve it.

Ken Kelly is president of Kelly Roofing in Naples, Fla. For more information, he can be reached via email at ken@kellyroofing.com.


Note: This article first published in Roofing Contractor magazine and the full version can be viewed here.

Seven Ways to Use Big Data in Roofing

By Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing.

The biggest buzz word in technology today is “Big Data.”  You may not realize it, but you already have big data on your business.  It’s nothing more than a collection of records.  It can be a collection list, list of past customers, accounting numbers, time sheets or any list with similar fields.

The key to big data is how it is used.  Most people who have access to it are too far removed from business operations to utilize it constructively and use the results to improve their processes, grow sales, increase customer satisfaction and expand the bottom line.  Since you are on the front line, learning insights through validation will provide immediate ideas and help with implementation.

Here are seven ways you can use it immediately.

1 – Hiring Sales People

Entering the busy season your sales team starts running into issues keeping up with all the leads the company is receiving.  Your immediate reaction would be to hire another salesperson.  But, that’s a $100,000.00 investment and burned leads during the new salesperson’s training period.  There has to be another option.  Look to Bid Data for help to quantify options.  Calculate how many leads come from each zip code and balance them out among the sales team.  By quantitatively keeping salespeople in relative areas with balanced demand you will gain efficiency, cut costs, put off hiring another salesperson and keep response times down.

2 – Ad Spend

Is your advertising money really being used in the best way possible?  Are you sure?  How do you know?  Bid Data takes the guess work out of the equation.  Start by tracking all leads that come into the company by asking customers how they heard about you.  Next, take the breakdown and compare it two ways.  One, cost of advertising by sales volume.  Two, cost of advertising by margin.  You now have the information you need to start saving costs immediately by pulling money from programs that only deliver “Blue Sky,” general brand sentiment, and put it in vehicles that deliver real jobs with higher margins.

3 – Picking the Best Supplier

Strong relationships and good pricing are not the only criteria for picking a good supplier.  Consider letting big data help.  How much is your supplier costing you?  It’s an interesting question for sure.  Look to the data and answer these questions: How many times does the supplier not deliver on time leaving your crew stuck on the job without materials to work with?  How much have you overpaid for because deliveries were short?  Are you getting the payment term discounts they touted, or is the 2% back only on a few items?  These are all questions bid data can answer.  My suggestion is to arm yourself with the numbers and facts, then shop the market with the knowledge.

4 – Happy Customers

Are your customers happy with your service?  How do you know?  Is your team really delivering a great customer experience?  My suggestion is to start gathering data, so you have data to support it.  Add points to each answer and use the score to gauge the customer’s true impression of your company.  This valuable information will help steer your business in the right direction using facts, not feelings.

5 – Gamification

This is an up and coming concept and is starting to gain real traction.  Gamification is the art of assigning points to activities to quantify performance.  A few examples are:

  • When entering a lead into your CRM system, give points for the number of fields filled in and weigh the more important fields, like the customer’s email address, more heavily to encourage good phone skills.
  • Grant points, based on job size, for completing early or coming in under budget. Tie this to a bonus structure give to the operations team responsible for the project.

6 – Controlling Costs

We already discussed your supplier’s, sales lead’s and advertising’s effect on the bottom line.  Let’s look at a few more examples.

  • Fuel: Replacing vehicles with a more fuel-efficient variant may offset the vehicle payment and lower maintenance costs.
  • Insurance: Comparing loss ratios and marketing your company to carriers may help gain entry into an aggressive dividend return program.
  • Labor: By analyzing hours worked to dollars produced you can apply Prado’s 80/20 rule and eliminate the bottom 20% of your non-productive employees, non-profitable systems and non-performing crews.

7 – BI (Business Intelligence)

BI is the method of turning raw data into actionable strategy.  Remember, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”  There are many software programs that can help automate and chart BI.  Or, it could be done by hand via looking through the data manually.  These are the two most important parts of BI:

  • KPI (Key Performance Indicators: These are a set of goals that are set and then used to gauge accomplishments.
  • Predictive Analytics: This is the use of past historical performance to plan for the future.

Note: This article was first published in Roofing Contractor magazine and the full version can be viewed here.

Photo credit: Roofingcontractor.com

Just What is The Cloud and How Can Contractors Use It?

By Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing.

The Cloud, a mysterious place heavenly in perception; an invention to make our lives easier.  In reality it’s a confusing concept fragmented by concepts.  But, it’s getting better. To simplify, the cloud is basically hard drive storage, hosted by a company and accessible via the internet. You’re already using it if you have any kind of smart phone running apps.

The most popular use of the cloud is for file storage so that all your files are accessible from multiple devices, anytime, anywhere that internet connectivity exists. Here are the top seven uses of the cloud:

1 – File storage.

Job files usually consist of photos, proposal, contract, purchase orders, invoices, receipts, permits and more.  Scanning any paper documents and adding them to a single storage folder in the cloud allows access from any internet-enabled device.  Services such as OneDrive, DropBox and Google Drive can host your files and offer free plans with generous storage.

2 – Email anywhere

Modern companies use email more than any other form of communication. Some popular cloud-based services include Outlook, Gmail and iCloud. They all offer ample storage and connect to the device of your choice. Outlook and Gmail’s GSuite allow domain masking so you can use free email with your company’s vanity domain (www.YourCompany.com) for a more professional appearance.

3 – Calendar sync

Having the ability to sync your calendar with multiple devices ensure high productivity and prevents missed appointments.  Just about every modern email service includes a calendar sync as well.  However, the key to maximizing performance is calendar delegation; allowing others the ability to view, add, delete appointments from your calendar.  All our field employee appointments are set from the office using this ability.

4 – Shared notes

When bidding a large project, you need input from the safety coordinator, purchasing, estimating and approval from the company’s president.  Since there are many things to discuss try entering notes into a shared note program such as OneNote, Evernote or Asana and sharing it with your collaborators.  Each time a note is made it is tracked with a date/time stamp and the person’s initials so you can gain valuable input and approval when it is convenient to each person involved.

5 – File sharing

File sharing allows you to share the files you have stored in the cloud with customers and production teams. I’m a fan of SharePoint.  It has everything you will ever need and is used by almost all Fortune 500 companies.  OneDrive has the ability to share, but without the automation component.  Google Docs is similar to OneDrive.  iCloud is yet more limited, but a great start for those in the iOS ecosystem.

6 – Document collaboration

This takes file storage and file sharing to the next level. If you upload a proposal to the cloud and share it with your sales manager, bot of you can work on the document simultaneously. Office 365 and Google apps both offer this capability.

7 – The internet

The biggest advantage of the cloud is access to the internet itself.  A virtually endless supply of services, location information, directions, storage, collaboration, communications, search and just about anything else you could need is now available right in your pocket.

This is really just scratching the surface of the cloud.  In the very near future, the “Internet of Things” will make the cloud part of everything we do in life.  I suggest making an effort to incorporate as much of these ideas as possible to stay in line with the new way society communicates.  Your customers will expect it and the level of productivity gained will only help increase profits.

Note: This article was first published in Roofing Contractor magazine and the full article can be viewed here.