Nearly every business these days depends on technology to some extent. And contractors are no different: From creating estimates to marketing to accepting credit card payments and more, virtually every contractor relies on technology in some way.
Now, technology promises to make contractors even more connected. Here are three emerging technology developments that are changing the way contractors do business.
Special apps for contractors
Today, contractors can take advantage of a wide variety of mobile apps designed to make a day on the job a little easier. Just a few include iRuler, which lets you use your iPhone or iPad to perform measurements; Construction Master Pro, an app for Android and iOs that lets you quickly and accurately generate estimates and more; and Quad Level, an app for Android and iOs that functions as a hyper-accurate level.
The “Internet of Things”
The “Internet of Things” refers to the ways in which physical objects with Internet connectivity and an IP address communicate among one another. Just one current example is the Nest thermostat. This piece of smart home technology allows you to remotely adjust the temperature with a mobile device. It also creates a special temperature-setting schedule based on your comings and goings.
Like homeowners, contractors will also be able to benefit from “the Internet of Things.” One current example includes machinery with advanced sensors that will be able to notify you of needed repairs before there’s a problem. This can potentially let you stay ahead of the curve and offer outstanding customer service. Another current example includes inventory management systems that can alert you when important business supplies are getting low.
Mobile management programs
Smartphones with mobile management programs create a truly connected workforce. So if one contractor needs a tool or could use an extra set of hands at an especially challenging job, he or she could see the real-time location of a colleague through applications like Find My Friends.
The contactor could then message the other person about stopping over rather than driving back to the shop or making multiple calls to see who can help at a given time.
Mobile management programs can also help contractors plan the most efficient driving routes to a job; send new work orders directly to a contractor’s phone; and keep customers in the loop by tracking a contractor’s progress on a given job.
Web-enabled devices, apps and programs certainly have the potential to help contractors run a leaner, more efficient business. But an increased reliance on technology could increase the risk of a data breach. Erie Insurance automatically includes Data Breach Response Expenses in its contractors’ policies. Talk to an Erie Insurance Agent to learn more about coverage to help you overcome a data breach.