Tag: <span>Microsoft</span>

RECORDING – RT3 Special Webinar #2: This week’s buzz and tactics for running your virtual roofing business

The Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) hosted their second webinar in its special series geared toward helping contractors successfully navigate running their businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Topics include:

Commercial Roofing Technology Expert: Michelle Boykin, Rackley Roofing

  • How Rackley Roofing made their commercial roofing company 100% virtual and an update on how the first full week went

Residential Roofing Expert: Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing

  • Technology that allows us to work from home and handling employee pay while at home
  • Securing materials for emergencies and for when things open up again
  • Leadership tactics and keeping employees focused and calm
  • Budgeting and cash preparation
  • Where I’m getting my information to make good decisions from

Commercial Roofing Expert: Steve Little, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing

  • Business and financial perspective
  • Update on the government programs and what he’s hearing from manufacturers and the industry

Marketing Expert: Anna Anderson, Art Unlimited

  • Google changes and opportunities with new NextDoor tools, renegotiating contracts for cost savings
  • Digital compliance, remote tools and virtual portholes

Sales Expert: Ryan Groth, Sales Transformation Group

  • How the market is responding overall to their efforts, in lockdown markets and non-locked down markets.
  • Best practices for sales leaders transitioning to virtual management
  • The technology and methods being used for prospecting and conducting sales appointments

If you missed the first webinar in the series, you can watch the recording here.

RT3 Member Kelly Roofing Featured for Use of Microsoft PowerApps

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3.

Microsoft recently shared in a blog post how RT3 member and recent recipient of Roofing Contractor’s Residential Roofing Contractor of the Year Kelly Roofing found success with a task-focused field application that keeps everyone update in real-time using PowerApps on Microsoft’s Power Platform Solution.

Kelly Roofing partnered with PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies company, to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2012, Field Service in 2015 and Dynamics 365 in 2016. Dynamics 365 allowed them to manage all of their customer and work order information for each roof repair and installation project. They had success managing the complex details and information needed for communications, dispatching, driving directions and status updates.

Their challenge came in needing a solution that would allow crew members in the field to provide status updates while on a job site. Not every job site has great cell service meaning they would need a solution that would allow updates and photos to be stored on the smartphone or tablet with the ability to sync later, when service was available.

Their existing process before Power Platform was inefficient and causing their teams to spend their days on the rooftops and their evenings on the computer, trying to find, organize and upload the day’s photos. Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing, wanted to find a solution that would ensure the “team is spending time bringing value to our customers, while improving the time we spend with our own family.”

Kelly evaluated software programs designed for capturing job photos but found them to be costly and would result in creating additional data silos, something they wanted to avoid. He turned to partner PowerObjects to help create a PowerApps mobile app that would simplify the process of job photos and status updates while in the field.

PowerApps was deployed to all 120+ crew members who have been using it since spring 2019 with much success. Crews take photos, before, during and after a job. They are stored offline and upload to SharePoint Online when the device has a connection. Photos are automatically named and include the status and location of the job.

In addition to photo organization, the PowerApps has allowed them to do even more:

Scheduling: Crew leaders no longer have to come to the office in the morning to pick up job tickets. The information is provided directly though the app and includes client information, job information, directions and details. They have realized a 25.8 percent reduction in trip time.

Reporting: Customers receive a Daily Job Site Report that let’s them know the status of the job and any notes from the crew. Before the app, crew leaders would need to find a WiFi connection and log into a laptop to provide status reports and customer communications. Kelly Roofing has seen a 36% drop in customer call backs since job information is available to everyone in real time.

Documentation: All documents related to a job are available to everyone from the contract to the purchase order and the entire job history is available.

Since implementing the Power Platform solution, Kelly Roofing has realized a 91% decrease in processing time because of the photo reconciliation time savings. Employees are pleased with the app as well. Frank Viera, project supervisor at Kelly Roofing, said, “I used to spend extra time in my home from 5 – 10 pm looking for pictures. I even had my son help me. Now I don’t have to do that!”

Read the complete case study and see screenshots of the application on the Microsoft blog.

Stay up-to-date with the latest roofing industry technology news when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-newsletter.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Goes to Microsoft HQ

By Jill Bloom, RT3 Member and Publisher, Roofing Contractor.


The Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) met Monday at the headquarters of Microsoft Corp. to talk tech and how roofing contractors can embrace the exciting opportunities it offers today and in the future.
The day consisted, in part, of a series of “Tech Talks” starting with Ken Kelly, president of Naples, Fla.-based Kelly Roofing, RT3 board member and winner of the Microsoft Modern Small or Medium Business category of the 2015 Visionary Award.

Kelly presented an overview of Microsoft’s Dynamics platform — how it’s changed his business by streamlining operations while growing, and has the potential to do even more. Microsoft Dynamics is a line of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software applications.

He used elevators made by Thyssenkrupp by example. Kelly said some of the elevators made by the company are equipped with technology that can run a test, create a service ticket, find a tech with the best credentials for fixing the problem and automatically schedules a service call – all without a human involved until the problem is actually being fixed.

Kelly said, “we can let our minds run wild on how we could use this technology in the roofing world.”
Kelly wasn’t the only one presenting at the RT3 meeting. Others included Scott Dwyer, business development director at Microsoft Power Objects, and Bill Kramer director of product marketing for Microsoft Business Center. They, too, addressed the potential of technology on various industries. At one point, a video demonstrated how a service technician could guide another person on how to perform a repair (in this case on a four-wheeler ATV) with both parties wearing virtual reality goggles.

The day also included a tour of Microsoft’s Internet of Things lab, where attendees of the RT3 event were able to see some of the amazing technology in the works — many aimed at addressing health and health care needs.

In the second part of the day, participants broke off into groups to develop a task list of how to promote RT3 and what members are learning about, along with ways to inform others in the industry about new technology for the industry.

RT3 was formed to act as a conduit for curating knowledge on technologies that can help contractors and the roofing industry overall. Formed in July of 2017, the group has grown from 20 founding members to more than 60 and incorporated as a 501c6 in 2018.

Source: Roofing Contractor

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.

The rise of AI in construction

These days, when people hear the term Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), they typically react in one of two ways:

  1. They imagine talking robots and movies such as The Terminator, The Matrix and Ex Machina.
  2. They start shuffling in their chairs uncomfortably and freaking out about having no clue what the term means.

But thankfully, A.I. doesn’t have to be so complicated. And it’s so much more (and right now, a lot less scary) than world-dominating robots and talking machines.

In fact, A.I. tech is already infiltrating the built world. From design, to project management, to jobsite safety, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is transforming the way we construct our world.

It comes at the perfect time – Statista.com is projecting a 27% increase in construction spending in the coming years due to grave infrastructure needs. Simultaneously, the construction labor force is shrinking. Leveraging A.I. will be essential to keeping up with demand.

When you consider the possibility of having machines design buildings and monitor the jobsite more closely than ever before, it rapidly becomes clear the positive impact that A.I. can have on the industry and that it will no doubt have a place in its future.

So, with all of that, we wanted to provide you with a roadmap.

BuiltWorlds recently partnered with Microsoft to put together a six-page research brief titled “The Rise of A.I. in Construction” to help you make sense of this new technology and its potential impact on your business and the broader industry.

Inside the brief, you’ll learn:

  1. How to describe A.I. to your colleagues and friends
  2. The differences between A.I., machine learning, and deep learning
  3. Case studies of A.I. technologies that are revolutionizing the design process, scheduling and productivity, project management and jobsite safety
  4. Fresh perspectives on A.I. from built world thought leaders and predictions for the future

Access the research brief.

Note: This article first appeared on BuiltWorlds’ website and can be viewed here.