Tag: <span>The Cloud</span>

Webinar Recording: Virtualizing Your Roofing Business in Light of Coronavirus

March 18, 2020 – During this worldwide pandemic, many owners of roofing companies have questions and concerns about their ability to thrive in this uncharted territory.

In this webinar recorded March 18, 2020 you’ll hear the following roofing industry experts share their insights on how a roofing company can virtualize their business to avoid the inevitable impact of the virus.

Marketing Expert: Anna Anderson, Art Unlimited
Sales Expert: Ryan Groth, Sales Transformation Group
Commercial Roofing: Steve Little, KPost Company
Residential Roofing: Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing
Legal Ramification Expert: Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law

Access the Master Resource Document here


10 best technology tools for a successful roofing contractor

By Anna Anderson, Art Unlimited.

Recently, I met with some of our tech-savvy roofing contractors from across the United States.
Using technology allows each of these businesses to have a strong, seamless integration with clients and team members. So what are the top tech tools these guys use to help further their success?

The contractors I sat down with include Ken Kelly (owner of Kelly Roofing in Naples, FL), Juan Reyes (owner of Pro Roofing & Siding in Marietta, GA), Brad Mosakowski (operations manager at Straight Line Construction & Roofing in Placerville, CA), and Taylor Yarbrough (owner of Quality Roofing in Austin, TX).

The common thread I found between these companies was they use technology as a tool to enable their staff to work smarter! They use technology to streamline business processes, empower staff with a strong backbone of technology at their fingertips, and also to engage with clients remotely. If you are looking at increasing technology usage in your roofing company, check out these options!

1. RoofSnap

RoofSnap is the top pick for Ken from Kelly Roofing when it comes to requesting detailed measurements for a roofing estimate. Reports can be automatically created to easily measure and estimate right on location. It works with Ken’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) and is optimized for use on mobile or big screens. RoofSnap allows for fast reports which in turn enables proposals to be created automatically. His sales reps simply review and customize proposals before sending them to clients.

2. Asana

Asana is a cloud-based project management solution which helps companies organize their tasks. It can also connect with countless applications through its robust API connection! Pro Roofing & Siding harnesses the Asana tool to help organize meetings and internal project management. Using the power of Asana, Juan is able to keep on top of internal business goals from anywhere!

3. Contractors Cloud

Contractors Cloud is a full CRM solution used by both Pro Roofing & Siding and Quality Roofing for their clients’ scope creation and project management. It enables team members to connect with client files, manage jobs and automate systems. Working with Contractor Cloud is a great solution for Roofing Contractors who are larger than 3 million in sales.

4. Skitch from Evernote

Skitch is a sweet tool which allows the team to highlight elements within photos that clients need to be aware of. Text and graphic elements are easily added to photos. In the past, Juan’s team at Pro Roofing & Siding would have to write out descriptions of problems. Now, by using Skitch, their clients immediately see what they are talking about through images! Tyler and the Quality Roofing team, like Juan’s team, use the Skitch platform when presenting clients with roof failures. The ease of use is astounding.

5. Dynamic BPM

Brad at Straight Line Construction & Roofing has worked countless hours refining their Business Process Management system with Dynamic BPM. They have custom workflows and automated systems propelling the team members through jobs much faster. Customers also receive the white glove pampering which owner, Jack Borba, knows is a vital reason why their company is growing by leaps and bounds.

6. OneDrive

Having a photo bucket system which integrates with the office, estimators, and project managers is critical. The Kelly Roofing team turns to OneDrive to store all of their job images, which are then connected to the clients’ profiles within the CRM.

7. GoldMine CRM

Every business needs a powerful CRM such as GoldMine CRM to manage hundreds of thousands of customer data. The entire StraightLine team uses the GoldMine platform within their day to day activities. All of the vital business data is in one place, enabling the team quick access to countless files.

8. SketchUp

SketchUp is a 3D modeling tool allows the Quality Roofing team to model a roofing job for clients and general contractors. It’s a must-have tool for the office staff!

9. Excel

Brad and the StraightLine team are not alone in using Excel. This is a common business tool referenced by multiple contractors when speaking about managing a thriving business. Excel is used to run countless jobs and business metrics.

10. Surface by Microsoft

Being able to connect to your files is critical so many teams turn to the Surface by Microsoft to power their business. The Surface is a lightweight, high powered computer that can be used on the job site or in the office. It’s a must-have tool for many of the Roofing Contractors our Art Unlimited team works with.

I hope you had fun reading about the available technology for roofing contractors which have ignited a portion of the success these 4 companies have earned.

If you have questions or are looking at using additional technology within your roofing business I’m sure you will find a new tool or two off of this list!

Source: Art Unlimited

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

4 Key takeaways from 2018 Projects LA Conference

Industry experts, startups, and technology innovators gathered in Los Angeles, California last month to explore how the process of planning and executing construction projects has been forever altered by emerging technologies.

With the growth and development of new technologies including drones, IoT, advanced software, A.I./machine learning the way construction projects are planned and executed is rapidly changing. Here are four key takeaways from the conference according to BuiltWorlds’ Matt Gagne.

1 – Industry and technology are in sync when it comes to innovation.

Gagne reports that industry and technology panel discussions showed that each side understands what is needed for success. APiO EVP and GM Tom Lineen said that in his company they “strive to make the user experience so easy that users can’t mess it up.” Stephen Knapp, VP of IT for Hollister Construction Services said, “these technologies need to bring some kind of value and it needs to affect the bottom line.” Companies want solutions that don’t disrupt their daily workflow but provide the ROI to justify change.

2 – A call for data standards.

A groupwide discussion took place on the value of connected job site technology. There is more data being collected from many, many sources that all have different formatting, requirements and standards. With new solutions arriving every day, the industry would benefit from one set of standards so the data can be analyzed on a broader scale.

3 – A strong assertion that interoperability and open API’s are the way of the future.

Gagne reports that “Enterprise-wide systems that don’t have API’s or interoperability with smaller point solutions are going to become challenged and fazed out in the world of the connected job site.” With the large amounts of data being gathered and communicated tech companies must focus on integrations first.

4 – We must address the needs of every stakeholder.

This was apparent in the Tech Ridge panel, which is a planned community that is attempting to be the first paperless job site. The entire project is being facilitated by busybusy, a tech platform based in St. George, Utah that collects data for the construction industry so companies can make better, more educated decisions. The company provides time and equipment tracking solutions, which are set to be used across the entire Tech Ridge construction project.

According to Gagne, it was apparent that everyone in the room was in agreement that they want to align specialty contractors, architect and engineers so that all stakeholders in the project are engaged with every system in use.

Source: BuiltWorlds.


Study Finds Construction Industry Can Benefit From Artificial Intelligence Adoption

A McKinsey & Co. study on artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the construction industry reports a combined use of machines and digital technology can enhance quality control, project scheduling, data analysis, and project cost savings, according to www.constructiondive.com.

The construction industry currently is the second-least digitized economic sector in the world, and the industry needs to lay the groundwork before AI can be widely adopted. The study identifies investment in data collection and processing tools like cloud infrastructure and advanced analytics as the first step.

There has been increased interest in sensors, cloud-based data sharing and mobile connectivity within the construction industry. Some employers already are using wearable sensory devices to monitor workers’ location and equipment at worksites. Data collected from the devices is transmitted to a cloud-based platform accessible from any compatible mobile device. AI algorithms advance the process one step further by deploying real-time solutions based on data analysis, helping employers ensure their workers stay safe on the job.

Industry employers may look to other industries that have successfully used AI to optimize processes, including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The study notes an AI algorithm is used by the pharmaceutical industry to predict medical trial outcomes; a similar algorithm may be used by the construction industry to forecast project risks and constructability. And image recognition algorithms used by the healthcare industry to support diagnoses may enable drones to assess construction site images for signs of defects or structural failures.

Note: This article first published on the NRCA website and can be viewed here.

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.

Benefits of a Digital Document Control System – Part 1

For an industry that is as physical as the construction industry, there is a ton of paperwork.

Historically, paperwork has been a part of doing business. Whether it’s a contract, design plans, change orders, or bank draws, it’s not official unless it’s in writing. This can create a myriad of issues. Items get lost. It takes a long time to correct documents. Collaboration is cumbersome. To generate the efficiency needed to keep projects moving, new solutions were needed.

Document control systems are not a new concept; however, digitizing documents and the system as a whole is relatively new. Much of the paper world is going digital and paperwork-heavy industries such as construction are being transformed. Contracts, financial documents, daily reports, and a host of other work-related documents are going digital.

If you are still on a paper system, consider the following benefits of going to a digital document control system:

Speed up approval by speeding up access

Digital document control systems allow for collaboration on design documents, project plans, and contracts, among other items. Since the documents can be accessed in real time, discussion and changes can happen at a much faster pace. Also, you are now able to see who accessed documents at any given time, which holds members of a group accountable for any changes. This can come in handy if a dispute arises and you need the help of a construction lawyer.

Reduce storage space

Let’s face it, paperwork takes up a lot of space. As a company grows, this paper has to go somewhere. It’s not uncommon for companies to rent storage facilities to maintain archival paperwork. However, years of information can be housed digitally at a fraction of the cost. All of this information can be accessed using keywords, which makes the search for documents faster as well.

Save money on printing

In tandem with reducing storage space, a digital document control system can save money on printing. Contracts are extensive and require a great deal of printing. Project plans are also long. When you are printing these and other documents over and over, the price begins to add up. Digital documents completely eliminate this cost. Also, it’s easier to employ a system for organizing documents because they exist on cloud or hard drive storage and can be accessed via the device of your choice.

This blog first appeared on Cotney Construction Law’s website and can be viewed here.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.