This is perhaps the most modern minute in the history of the world. That’s no exaggeration. Technology is constantly evolving. Making the world a smaller place thanks to better communication. Making transport quicker and more efficient. Making business a 27/4, 365 days per year cycle.
Our industry is no different and technology has, and continues, to influence our sector on a daily basis. In this article I want to take a look at the different ways technology has affected our industry. It mostly been all positive.
One thing that technology has allowed us to do as an industry is to become more productive. Many major manufacturers have now established cloud-based software which allows their installation business clients to price up their products online. Thus, freeing up time for the manufacturer to focus on other things, and allowing installers to get their quotes out to customers much quicker.
Cloud-based software also allows installers to place orders with suppliers online. No more paperwork. Reduced mistakes by removing part of the the human process. It has allowed installers to reduce the time it takes to place orders and has reduced the time it takes for suppliers to process orders.
Although there is cloud-based tech for pricing and ordering windows, the composite door market is the best example of how online software allows both installers and suppliers to run as efficiently as possible.
First the was the phone, then email and text message and now social media. It is the latter that I would say has had the most profound effect in the last few years.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has allowed so many more parts of our industry to connect and communicate with each other. Something not really achievable in the past. Regularly, a large part of our industry tweets with each other, conversing about anything and everything. But on occassion, I have seen social media conversations actually end with companies striking new partnerships and creating new business. Not bad for free communication!
Social media has also proved a popular place for installers to show off their work on a daily basis. You only need to spend a minute on Twitter before you see installations being proudly shown off to the rest of the industry. This provides powerful free brand recognition and marketing for the suppliers of those products.
However, I would say that the rise of social media has added to the “always on” culture that we have now become used to. Work used to end at 5pm for most people. Now, with smartphones, tweets, emails, private messages and online pricing means we can continue the working day when we get home. Whether that is a healthy thing or not is up for debate. But it does allow for more work to get done.
Better facilities for home owners
One thing technology has done is to allow home owners to create and design windows and doors online and fashion them against their own property.
Before tech got involved, it was more difficult for home owners to imagine their potential new windows and doors in their home. Brochures could only do so much. The rest was down to imagination.
But software and apps like Solidor’s door designer, or Kolorseal’s colour generator, or Eurocell’s app which allows you to design and place windows and doors over an image have helped customers get to grips with our products in a way like never before.
It’s not quite the rise of the robots, kicking every human out of a job. But, it cannot be denied that technology has improved the way windows and doors are produced in our industry.
Following on from cloud-based ordering by installers, in some factories those orders are automatically sent into the production line, minus the people doing paperwork instead. Efficient, quick, less risk of mistakes. It makes sense to follow that trend.
We will find in the future that factories turn to technology to do the jobs people on a production line do now. Good for production time. Good for efficiency. Perhaps not good for jobs in the long run though.
Technology has had a profound effect on our industry in all aspects, and it will continue to do so. Mostly for the good, but not in every aspect.
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