2020 has arrived and it's the perfect opportunity to assess how your glazing business is using technology currently and what new tech trends you could implement to make your business run more smoothly. We've done some research on small business tech trends for 2020 and our top three tech trends for glaziers are...
- Utilizing 5G technology to run all aspects of your business on the road via mobile apps
- The use of drones and cameras on site for improved worker safety and monitoring
- More accurate data collection resulting in more informed business decisions
5G and the increased use of mobile apps for business management
The adoption of 5G mobile data will be a game-changer for many glazing businesses and contractors, allowing them to work remotely with the same efficiency and internet access as they would have sitting behind a desk. It is estimated by some experts that 5G could be up to 100 times faster than 4G — imagine what you could do with a connection that fast!
Having an ultra fast connection opens up the possibility of using software on the road that you'd usually reserve for the office like your accounting program or job management software. One major benefit of a fast, reliable connection is the ability to take payments for services on the spot, speeding up the time it takes to complete a transaction and wrap up a job — meaning less time spent chasing up customers for payment.
While Smart-Toolbox works well on standard connections and doesn’t require large amounts of data transfer, 5G will make your processes work even faster and more smoothly.
Improving site safety and data collection using drones
With drone technology improving and becoming more commonplace, it has become an affordable way for contractors to take photos on site, collect job data, scan the area for hazards and monitor conditions while their employees are on site or before installation even commences.
Drones with camera capabilities can be used to capture video footage on the job or even live stream footage back to the office. You could use drone cameras to document progress on jobs, record evidence of the work and help keep the customer informed, without having to spend precious time putting together lengthy updates.
With a 5G connection, it will be even easier to send that information to the relevant people or sync them to a cloud storage system. If you are a Smart-Toolbox user, you can store your job documents and photos in the cloud with Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive and access them through the Smart-Toolbox job diary.
Construction companies have been using drones for documentation and recording purposes for awhile now, and have noticed improved worker safety practices and reduced theft on job sites, particularly when working on a shared job site or with subcontractors.
In the not-too-distant future, it's possible that drones capable of lifting heavy sheets of glasses will be transporting them on job sites, particularly in multi-level buildings or at jobs in hard-to-access areas.
Collecting detailed data to inform decision making
While the concept of collecting data and using that to inform decision making processes in the business isn't a new one, the methods and extent to which this is being done is changing and it's time for small businesses, including glaziers, to take note.
A job management system like Smart-Toolbox has margin analysis tool that will let you see your exact margin on each job based on the data you input. It also allows you to compare supplier costs so you can ensure you're getting the best deal. This kind of business information helps you to make better decisions can lead to more profitability.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation software is becoming increasingly popular in small businesses, speeding up tasks like marketing and scheduling while collecting data and building up profiles of your customers.
Expect the discussions around data as a commodity to continue into 2020 and beyond as well as debates on how best to walk the line between data and privacy.
2020 is HERE
For some of us, it feels like the Y2K panic was just yesterday (instead of 20 years ago!), we've come a long way since then and our reliance on technology has reached all new heights. If your glazing business isn't embracing new tech trends, you could be losing valuable opportunities to reach new customers and maximize your interactions with them.
what to read next
Take a walk down memory lane and check out our top 3 tech trends for glaziers for 2019.
You can also filter all of our articles to just see articles about Smart glazing technology.