When it comes to making use of technology in your business, adoption is everything. The best hardware or software won’t help if you or your people are unable to or refuse to “live in it” day to day. Here are some mistakes remodelers make that prevent them from getting the most out of their technology:

  • Investing in the wrong technology for the task at hand. There’s no industry standard for “estimating,” “scheduling,” or “project management.” If you have crews that need to go to several jobs in a day, a scheduling system that only allows “full day” scheduling, like home builders use, will be worthless. It’s logistics you need, so you can track multiple crews for short intervals.
  • Investing in the right technology but not in the necessary training. I’ve seen companies hire programmers to recreate dozens of reports (at $1,000 or more each) that were already included in their software. They didn’t know the reports were there or how to access them because they were too stubborn or cheap to also purchase the set-up or training help. If you have a budget, remember: the software/hardware is only part of the total investment, and sometimes it’s the smallest part.
  • Thinking only about “features” and not ease-of-use. If it’s the least bit unpleasant or confusing to use, people will not use it no matter how much you threaten or cajole them.
  • Already owning what you need. Along those same lines, I see remodelers buying into new products/services instead of upgrading what they already own. Just because the version of accounting software you purchased five years ago couldn’t produce purchase orders doesn’t mean the current version can’t.
  • Pounding finish nails with a sledge hammer. Big “integrated” software packages can be a tremendous tool, but only if you’re ready for what they have to offer. You’ll likely need an implementation plan along with it.

—Joe Stoddard is an industry consultant helping remodelers be successful with their technology. twitter.com/moucon; jstoddard@mountainconsulting.com

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