Tools designed for Contractors, By Contractors™

Technology and the Construction Industry, Changing for the Better

Technology and the Construction Industry, Changing for the Better

Although we may not know it, technology is influencing every single aspect of our daily lives. More and more primary schools have smart TVs and iPads for each student to use. Doctors are taking notes on tablets instead of writing them down. You can even put your photo into an app and it will show you the best eyeglasses for your face type and let you order those glasses by pushing a button.

Utilizing technology showcases your company’s ability to embrace change, and often attracts the next generation of workers, whether in offices or on the construction site. Because the young workforce is entrenched in technology, they want to see that your company is adaptable. It gives future workers an opportunity to showcase their skillset; which you will need to stay competitive.

Technology is entrenched in both our homes and our businesses. The construction industry is no exception.

3D Renderings

One way that technology has impacting the construction industry is through the ability to have full insight on a job prior to starting it. Using 3D renderings can give project managers a complete look at a plan from start to finish. They can successfully predict the needs of the project, including materials and labor. By having full transparency, project timelines can be shaved, saving time and money.

Tablets and GPS Tracking

Using tools such as tablets on a construction project can also be handy for every person from general contractors to subcontractors. Equipment manufacturers are even starting to utilize tablets as a selling point. These tablets are complete with GPS systems for drivers so that they will have a hands-free way of finding a construction site. Many also accept payments on behalf of their respective companies. GPS tracking can also show where equipment is in relation to a job site. This can cut down on costly thefts and help with time management by being able to predict when a piece of equipment will arrive.

Drones and Action Cameras

Being able to capture a job site and the live movements of workers on site can have so many benefits beyond the construction project. Motion camera action can be used for later projects as well as future marketing materials such as social media photos and videos. Action cameras (such as go pros) and drones enable managers to see potential mishaps on a jobsite such as injuries or misconduct. Drone footage can also help architects and engineers prior to the start of a project by helping them understand the landscape and potential issues that may arise.

Smartphones

While smartphones have been a huge added value to most people’s personal lives, they can also be extremely valuable on a construction site. Smartphones allow you to easily communicate with the workforce on the site. Workers can also effortlessly take quick photos or videos needed. Now that there are wireless headsets, construction workers can communicate on their devices while being safe on site. With the increase of apps available for speedy food order delivery, everyone working on a job site will never go hungry (added bonus)!

As technology continues to become more advanced, every industry will continue to use these new developments to help them become more efficient. Construction is an industry that technology thankfully can’t fully take over, but it certainly adds a huge value to it.

Cross Merchandising

Cross Merchandising

Cross merchandising is a way to create interest in products that are related but would normally not be displayed together. An example is to add Safety Buckets in close proximity to the Shingle Eater display (see image 1). Or tools used to clean up the work site worked into the Shingle Eater product display (see image 2). These items are a requirement for roofing contractors but might not come to mind when they are focused on materials for the full roof install. This technique can be used in any product category. This needs rework: the basic rule is that the items added to the display add function to the anticipated end use of the display.

The following is a list of items that can be used in a cross-merchandising display.

  • Safety Bucket with Harness Included
  • Work site clean up supplies
  • Work gloves
  • Roofing nails
  • Sealant
  • Stapler
  • Staples
  • Utility Knife

 

Every store has a basic floor plan and customers like knowing the basic flow of a store. Utilizing merchandising techniques keeps your store looking fresh, introduces products to customers in different ways and promotes specific product without discount pricing. There are many merchandising tactics that can help drive sales to meet specific goals.

As always, your staff is your biggest asset. Discuss merchandising plans with your staff so they can answer questions related to the product displays and placement. They may also have suggestions to work into your merchandising rotation plan.

Merchandising Techniques

Merchandising Techniques

The basic premise of merchandising is to create interest in products and entice customers to purchase.   Effective merchandising uses product design, selection and pricing to create demand that results in increased sales.

The layout of your store and how the product selection is organized is the foundation of a merchandising plan. The goal of an effective floor plan is to encourage customers to walk through the whole store. In grocery stores, the most common items like eggs and milk are positioned at the point furthest from the door. The majority of people who walk in needing milk or eggs will have to walk by all the other aisles and will inevitably buy more items than just the milk and eggs they initially intended to purchase. This is an example of a merchandising tactic used to increase the average units per transaction and overall sales.

End Cap Displays

Creating an end cap display can increase the sales of the highlighted product up to 30%, even if you don’t change the price. Product that is clearly visible and by itself on an end of an aisle automatically catches the customer’s attention. End cap displays can be created for products that are over stocked, seasonally appropriate or create to a “story” with the goal of selling items that are cross functional. One basic rule is make sure you have enough inventory to keep the display well stocked. End cap displays are prime real estate in your store. Planning a monthly rotation of the endcaps introduces different products and keeps your store visually interesting to your customers.

Brand Consistency and Awareness: Never merchandise inventory on a competitor’s unit:

Maximize inventory on your displays- Empty Displays are a waste of space…

Investing in Customer Service Training

Investing in Customer Service Training

Retail customer service starts with eye contact. Making eye contact tells the customer you see them and are ready to help. If you are busy with another customer, eye contact and a quick head nod lets them know you’ll be with them ASAP. Customers interact with your staff each time they walk into your store. When a customer experiences exceptional customer service, it can result in a loyal customer who tells their friends and family about how well they were treated, and encourages them to shop there. Word of mouth advertising is the most powerful marketing tool.

Armed with product knowledge and different ways to approach customers, your staff will feel more confident in their ability to engage with the customers. In return, your customers will have confidence in the information and products you sell, your staff and ultimately your business. These are a few training topics to include in a customer service training program.

  1. Interpersonal Skills –Reading a customer’s cues gives insight into engaging direction a customer. Welcoming the customer in the store and politely asking if they need any help initiates the interaction. Based on the reaction, the conversation will either continue or the customer will browse for a while. Train your staff to know the difference between being helpful and being pushy. And to always listen to the customer and avoid multi-tasking when engaged with a customer.
  2. Product Knowledge– Your staff should be able to answer basic information about the products that you sell. Customers rely on your staff to know the features and benefits of your products so they can make an informed decision. Knowledgeable staff gives the customer confidence in their buying decision. When discussing a certain product, your staff should also take this opportunity to suggest other products that work with the product the customer is considering. As an example – suggest the Shingle Eater Junior to remove shingles in tight areas that the Shingle Eater Renovator 90 Tall Demo can’t reach.
  3. Answering Questions-Customers expect staff to be able to answer their questions. If a staff person disregards the customer’s question or is vague in their reply, the customer may lose confidence in your business and move to the competition next time. There may be questions that the staff is unable to answer, there is nothing wrong with admitting you don’t have the answer to a specific question. The key is in the follow through. Emphasize to your staff they should find someone who does know the answer or find a resource to provide the answer. In addition to obtaining the information in question, most customers will appreciate the honesty and extra effort shown by your staff.
  4. Employee Availability – One of the most frustrating shopping experiences is when a customer can’t find someone to help them. In fact, when a customer can’t find a staff person in a reasonable amount of time, they may just leave the store and never return. Scheduling the right amount of staff is a critical management process. Understaffing can result not only in frustrating the customer but also your employees. Also training staff how to acknowledge and “hold” a customer while you finish up a transaction will empower staff and make customers feel valued.

Retail can be fun and interactive for both your employees and your customers. Investing the time and resources into customer service training will have a positive impact on your overall sales and customer’s perception of your business. Word of mouth is the best marketing, so create a positive work environment where employees and customers are treated with respect. Building a reputation of great customer service in your community requires consistency and commitment to your staff and customers.

Why Roofers Love Shingle Eater Roofing Tools

Why Roofers Love Shingle Eater Roofing Tools

Ripping off the old shingles and removing the nails is usually the least favorite part of putting on a new roof. For that reason alone, any tool that makes ripping off the shingles easier and faster will always become a roofer’s favorite tool. That’s just one reason why roofers love Shingle Eater roofing tools.

While there are many rippers available, Shingle Eater roofing tools not only rip off the old shingles quicker and easier, the job becomes less physically demanding when using these tools. There is a slight spring in the steel handle to assist in pulling up the shingles and nails. The type of steel utilized allows the steel in the handle and the footplate to flex under pressure. A nail remover on the back side of the tool removes really stubborn nails. The best feature is the ergonomic design because it reduces physical stress and fatigue.

Shingle Eater tools are light yet tough because they are constructed with the highest-quality materials. The wider footplate strips more shingles at a time, while pulling nails too. The superior design and materials used to manufacture Shingle Eater roofing tools make them tough and efficient. Beats the competition every time!

This family-owned business operates and manufactures in the United States. That fact alone can be reason enough to choose products from Shingle Eater, it also provides the opportunity to maintain the highest level of quality control. They take pride in manufacturing the best tools and providing personalized service for their dealers. Their commitment to honest and transparent business interactions creates loyalty to the products and the company.

Shingle Eater roofing tools are designed for contractors by contractors. They’ve trademarked this tagline for a reason.  They know how much contractors rely on their tools to get the job done. And, they keep their promises to provide high quality tools with functionality and efficiency in mind.

 

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