by Anita Lum
Technology has been at the forefront of nearly every industry for the past decade and roofing is no exception. The industry is ripe for change and has been transforming rapidly as more and more contractors embrace the use of technology in their day-to-day operations. David Huval of National Roofing Partners interviewed Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law, Lynn Foster of AccuLynx, and Tom Whitaker of Harness Software, to learn more about the current issues, trends, and opportunities with technology in the roofing industry during the International Roofing Expo in New Orleans.
Both Cotney and Whitaker expressed a current challenge that the whole industry can resonate with – the lack of skilled labor. To combat that need, the adoption of technology in the workplace is critical. Technology can be used to supplement this shortage by doing more with less; there are currently programs geared towards all facets of construction, including project management, work orders and health and safety.
Opportunities for technology in the industry are plenty. With the integration of applications in the workplace, the industry as a whole can really go digital. For instance, smartphones and tablets have become part of our daily lives, so integrating it into our businesses should be the next step. As Foster put it, “…the next couple of years is really going to be the mobile revolution.” This technology will allow instant transmission of information from the field to the office, which is critical to increase efficiency, decrease risks, and drive performance.
Other trends in roofing technology include drones; “Drone technology has gotten so much better over the last few years and it’s going to continue to make a huge impact,” said Whitaker. Cotney mentions the use of blockchain, a new way of engaging in contract payment method, to improve productivity by cutting out the middlemen. According to Foster, integration is also set take off in the next couple years with “all these different entities getting together on one platform and integrating.” This will ensure much smoother processes by keeping all business information in one space.
While the roofing industry has been slow to adopt the new technology into their processes, this is beginning to change. With the technology tools identified by Cotney, Foster, and Whitaker, roofers can streamline workflows, manage clients, and share projects across the board, and ultimately grow their business.
Watch a recap of the interviews below.