The residential and commercial roofing industries have already seen numerous trends emerging in 2018 and many of the trends predicted at the end of 2017 are coming to fruition. Everything from an increased use in drones, environmentally friendly designs and products, and new marketing tools to help companies streamline their businesses are becoming staples for roofing contractors.
However, as the year goes on we are seeing even more trends emerge, including the use of virtual and augmented reality, robotics for faster and more efficient work, and the transition to a paperless workplace.
Trends in Virtual Reality for Roofing Contractors
Virtual and augmented reality are taking the world by storm right now, hovering right on the forefront of cutting edge technology. And while the first thing that comes to mind when you hear virtual or augmented reality might be 3D video games, it actually provides useful applications for the roofing industry.
One of the biggest potential uses for this technology right now are the ability to show homeowners what a project will look like when it is done. Virtual and augmented reality enable your sales reps or project managers to hand the customer a tablet with the end product displayed, helping them visualize what it will ultimately look like. This is particularly helpful during sales pitches when a client is being indecisive on product features. Not only do virtual and augmented reality applications help a job run smoothly, they also lead to higher customer satisfaction because the client can be sure they are getting exactly the look they want.
The second biggest application is for your crew to be able to look at a virtual representation of a project and be able to immediately identify potential issues and safety concerns before a project begins.
Robotic Applications for Roofers on the Horizon
Although robotics have not officially shown up in the roofing industry yet, they are certainly on their way. Already being used in the construction industry for applications like bricklaying, robots could soon be able to perform jobs like placing shingles in a fraction of the time it would take a person to do them.
This will decrease the time it takes to complete a job and free up your crew for more complex work as well as increasing overall efficiency. Using robotics for more dangerous tasks will also increase job site safety, preventing potential short and long term injuries and helping your crew stay healthy.
Creating a Digital, Paperless Workplace
The transition towards a paperless workplace has been going on for a while now, but never has it been as prominent as it is today. With an abundance of tablets and mobile devices to choose from, cloud based programs that allow the easy transfer of information from device to device, as well as endless programs and applications to perform almost any task you need is making paper obsolete.
Using software rather than paper helps keep your roofing company organized, reducing the chance that important documents get lost or damaged. This organization also makes it easier to find the information you need, saving you time and energy wasted rifling through file cabinets or searching pile after pile for a single piece of paper.
Furthermore, cloud based programs make it easier than ever to access your documents, allowing you to pull up documents in the field, in the office, or even in the middle of a sales pitch. Sharing information with teams or customers can be done with the click of a button and you can even sign contracts and official documents through email using eSign. Documents can now be auto-populated, sorted into categories, and tagged according to any number of criteria. These types of features are simply not available with plain old paper, or at least not with the efficiency and ease that they are with digital technology.
Part of the push towards paperless is not just its usefulness, however. Excessive use and waste of paper is not good for the planet and the movement towards environmentally friendly practices is a trend huge in the roofing industry right now, down to even the documents and information that lay at its base.
At the start of 2018, we provided Top Roofing Technology Trends for roofers, including Drone Technology, Safety Innovations, Environmental Efficiencies and new Marketing Tools.
Extreme Weather Creating New Trends in Material Supplies
One last trend we are seeing as the year progresses is more impact and weather resistant products. The crazy weather patterns happening lately have caused suppliers to release lines of products that can be applied in more extreme conditions and will hold better when weather gets out of hand. Companies like CertainTeed emphasize how their entire color line now comes with impact resistance, indicating there is substantial demand for such products. IKO also has a number of impact resistant products, as well as lines with improved and easier to apply asphalt. With suppliers already on board with these trends, you can be sure to see more impact resistant and extreme weather products throughout the industry soon.
From applying virtual and augmented reality to a job, utilizing robotics to improve efficiency, the continuing transition towards paperless offices, and increasing the weather resistance capabilities of products, many roofing industry trends have emerged in 2018. As the residential and commercial roofing industries continue to develop new technology trends, roofers need to be aware of both the implications and applications that can help grow their businesses.
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