Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible, but I’ve been involved with the roofing industry for over forty years now, with my first ten years as a contractor, over twenty years with a major materials manufacturer, and the last ten years as an independent consultant. Looking back over those forty years, I think the biggest change I’ve witnessed is the tremendous business opportunity that today’s computer software can offer for the long-term success of roofing contractors.
During the years I spent on the manufacturing side of the industry, I was deeply involved in the use of software to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and create a positive and uniform experience for customers. In particular, I remember working on a very large project nearly twenty years ago to automate all of the company’s transactions, including sales, production, accounting, and customer management into a single mainframe computer platform. The cost ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars and the results weren’t always what we expected. In many cases the software made us change time-proven procedures rather than make the software change to meet the unique needs of our business. And sometimes revising even one line of a computer-generated report required several months and thousands of dollars. Thankfully, this type of experience is now mostly in the past; and the effort required to combine all of a company’s important business transactions under a single software umbrella has become much more reliable — and a lot less expensive.