The Process is Supreme… Until It Isn’t

The key to designing a great workflow for your company is making it consistent and repeatable for every job. This creates the “groove” where your staff becomes accustomed to completing the steps  in order to accurately and efficiently complete a job.

Below is a simple, but typical workflow to manage every step of a roofing job.

Simple Roofing Workflow

However, not every job is the same and a manager may need to deviate from the standard workflow. The reasons for this are numerous but we see deviations due to job type (i.e. retail vs. insurance), unexpected trades, or even because of an opportunity to capture market share (i.e. your company is the first one in a “honey-hole” cul-de-sac).

With Contractor’s Cloud, we make it easy for a manager to take the workflow in a different direction with our “Questions” criteria. Below you can see the simple question of “Is this an insurance job?”.

If the sales representative answers “yes”, additional milestones/steps can be injected into the workflow that may require additional information to be uploaded, certain tasks to be assigned, or custom email/text notifications to be delivered.

Below, we can see the new “Collect & Review Insurance Paperwork” as been injected immediately after the previous milestone.

In this case, it appears two files are required to be uploaded (Materials & Colors Form and a Scope of Loss document). In addition, a task is created for the In-House Adjuster, Peter Parker, notifying him to start working up the claim.

Having a solid and consistent workflow is important. But being able to efficiently react to certain situations within  job is what differentiates a great contractor from a good one.

Contractor’s Cloud provides the most customizable and automated workflow system on the market. If you believe in having total control over your process, check us out today.

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Quickbooks Online vs Desktop. Which is right for you?

There is quite a debate nowadays on whether to use QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop for your business. In a nutshell, QuickBooks Online is easier to use and obviously more mobile. However, QuickBooks Desktop still way more powerful in its job costing, reporting, and other deep accounting functionality.

You are going to have to do your research to determine which version is best for you. Work with your accountant, your staff, and our account managers to determine what features and functionality are important for your company.

Here are some great articles I came across to help guide you in your QuickBooks decision making process.

In the article by Stacy Kildal, she references a comparison guide developed by Intuit employee Woody Adams. Below is the in-depth QB Desktop vs. QB Online comparison document:

Most of our Contractor’s Cloud customers use some version of QuickBooks and way over half of them integrate their QuickBooks Online or Desktop with Contractor’s Cloud. However, that number is quickly rising since the release of our QuickBooks Online integration.

Our QuickBooks Online integration is a true 2-way integration on most functions such as Customer Accounts, Items, Classes, Terms, Invoices, Vendors, and Bills. Accounts, Job Data, and Payments are kept as a 1-way export to better protect your sensitive QuickBooks data.

We hope this helps with your QuickBooks investment and feel free to contact us to learn more about how contractors are using their QuickBooks with Contractor’s Cloud.

Who Are The Top Building Materials Distributors?

Here are the 5 top building materials distributors used by Contractor’s Cloud customers.

Below is a graph of the top 5 distributors by percentage sampled from over 59,000 material orders by our top 500 customers between the dates of January 1, 2015 to November 1, 2017.

ABC Supply (19% of all materials orders)
Beacon Roofing Supply (15%)
Allied Building Products (10%)
SRS Roofing Supply (7%)
Home Depot (6%)

We did our best to combine all of the subsidiaries for each group. This falls inline with the analysis done by mdm competitive intelligence for wholesale distribution.

Contractor’s Cloud customers are able to create, schedule, and manage material orders within our program. This includes tracking suppliers, designating drop locations, creating special notes, and managing costs.

The Most Common Construction Sales Rep Titles

The titles you give your sales representatives are definitely a personal choice for your business. Maybe you spend a lot of time in determining your company brand which includes the titles you give to your staff. Or maybe, you have never given it a single thought.

Here is a list of common titles given to sales representatives sampled from the top 600 Contractor’s Cloud customers.

Sales Representative (80% of contractors use this)
Project Manager (7%)
Estimator (3%)
Salesman (1%)
Sales Consultant (1%)

Some honorable mentions are as follows:

Account Manager
Construction Consultant
Construction Manager
Damage Specialist

Now there is nothing wrong with using Sales Representative as a suitable title. One school of thought is there is a tremendous sense of pride being labeled a Sales Representative. Another school of thought is there is a stigma attached to the title. This stigma or the possible desire to bring a fresh approach to the industry have caused owners to become creative with their rep titles.

Here are some of the creative titles we’ve seen:

Roof Advisor
Field Agent
Client Care Specialist
Project Advisor
Project Associate
Project Director
Solution Consultant

Note: Within Contractor’s Cloud, our customers are able to create custom roles and titles for use throughout the program. This allows them  portray whatever brand and style the wish.

Here are the most popular shingle colors. Are you surprised?

Below is a chart of the 11 most popular asphalt shingle colors (out of roughly 215 shingle colors) installed by Contractor’s Cloud customers between January 1, 2015 to November 1, 2017. It’s probably no surprise, but at least we have quantified the data.

The data shows percentages of nearly 700,000 squares of shingles  installed by our top 250 customers from all parts of the United States.

Competition has driven most shingle manufacturers to come up with variations of the same color name. For instance, GAF, Tamko, CertainTeed all have a weathered wood color. Arguably, weathered wood and driftwood are the same.

Within Contractor’s Cloud, our roofing contractor’s are able to look up what colors are installed in a city or zip code within a report, and then give that to a potential customer for review. This provides an amazing value added service to the end homeowner.

Close Race for the Most Popular Asphalt Shingle in America

Below is a chart of the most popular asphalt shingles installed by Contractor’s Cloud customers between January 1, 2015 to November 1, 2017.

 

The data shows percentages of nearly 700,000 squares of shingles  installed by our top 250 customers from all parts of the United States.

All shingle styles above include their AR (Algae resistant), IR (Impact resistant), and designer models.

The CertainTeed Landmark takes first place (23.91%) followed closely by the GAF Timberline HD (22.86%). Coming in third and fourth respectively are the Owens Corning TruDef Duration  (14.16%) and the Tamko Heritage (10.77%).

Note, the top five makes and models installed are all architectural styled shingles. This shows that most American homeowners prefer the architectural style over the traditional 3-tab shingle style.

Even though CertainTeed takes the top shingle installed, GAF holds the most squares installed with 27.44% with their Timberline HD, Royal Sovereign, and ArmorShield II models combined.

Within Contractor’s Cloud, our roofing contractor’s are able to create, schedule, and manage all of their roofing work orders and material orders complete with colors, sizes, and costs. It’s an amazing and innovative way for them to succeed with their production efforts.

2017 Top Home Insurance Companies by Market Share verified by Contractor’s Cloud

Below is a chart of America’s top insurance companies for 2017. We know the year is not over yet, but this is a good representation of insurance companies by market share.

The data sample is the 13,500 largest claims entered into Contractor’s Cloud by our customers from January 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

State Farm has a vast majority of the claims (26.62%) followed by AllState (10.62%),  and Farmer’s Insurance (7.13%).

You can compare this data with a study done by Nerdwallet.com (April 7, 2016) and Insurance Business America (May 31, 2016). However, the chart closely resembles the study done by Insure.com (Aug. 1, 2012).

Our customers providing the data are mainly insurance restoration contractors that specialize in roofing, siding, gutters, and windows from all over the country. They are able to enter and track claim numbers, dates of loss, and deductibles for their customers (homeowners) within the Contractor’s Cloud claim tracking interface. This data greatly helps our contractors provide faster and higher quality service for their homeowners.

 

Where is your marketing focus? Let the Contractor’s Cloud data help you out.

You probably spend a lot of time determining where your marketing efforts should be spent. You hear you should do this or you’ve read you should do that. Well, let our general customer data help you focus your efforts.

Below, is a chart of common lead source categories based on a sample of around 400,000 opportunities from our top 500 roofing and/or exteriors restoration contractors.

As you can see, most of our customer’s opportunities come from a previous customer or referral. Therefore, this shows that taking care of your customer after the sale is extremely important. Not only will you gain work from someone whom you’ve already sold, but they in return they will become your best sales generator through referrals.

Coming in 3rd is the Internet category. This includes all of your Social Media, Website, SEO, etc. Since the writing of this blog, we have added Social Media as a stand alone category and will keep an eye on it for a future blog.

We ran this data for all opportunities prior to January 1, 2014 and again for all opportunities after January 1, 2014 and the results were similar except for internet based leads are climbing the chart.

Note: with Contractor’s Cloud, you are able to create custom lead sources using any of the above standard categories and track them within our versatile custom lead source report.

In conclusion, based off of what our customers are currently doing, if you are investing most of your marketing dollars in traditional methods such as telemarketing, direct mail, flyers, newspapers, and even email marketing, maybe you should rethink where your marketing dollars are going.

 

Experience Where it Counts

For nearly 8-years, we have been working with contractors all over North America. We know industry trends and have a vast amount of experience in how contracting businesses are being run today.

It’s been an amazing experience meeting contractors and helping them with the challenges they face. In fact, these challenges are the to-do list we use for our future development. More often than not, those challenges are similar in nature whether you are on the east coast, west coast, or somewhere in the middle.

If you are having issues with your technology based organization, give us a call today. It may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Help me Rhonda! Introducing our new Knowledge Base

Not sure who Rhonda is and how she applies, but it certainly is a well-known catchy phrase.

Regardless, we are proud to introduce our new interactive base. We are replacing all of our downloadable PDF training manuals with the interactive help. The entire idea is to make it easier and faster to learn Contractor’s Cloud.

Using the new knowledge base in addition with spending time with your account representative for real-time online training, you are guaranteed to learn the ins-and-outs of Contractor’s Cloud at a fast pace.

The new knowledge base allows us to update certain sections at a moments notice to keep topics fresh. It also supplies references to related help topics, help tickets (frequently-asked-questions), and external links about theory.

Also, you will be able to search any topic or phrase within our global search which makes what you are looking for faster and easier to find.