In this age of technology, we can often find ourselves feeling a little overwhelmed by the options and the never-ending release of new products. While the stone industry is small (but mighty), every business has their own goals and needs that software can help with. There is no one software recipe for all.
The Key to Successfully Implementing Software
It’s not a totally well-kept secret, but it is an important one. You must have a solid understanding of your shop’s process from sales to install. Once you have those steps, you should be able to see where there are bottlenecks that software can help solve. How could you know what software you need if you don’t know what needs to be streamlined better?
Okay, now you at least have an overview of your pain points, bottlenecks, and goals. Awesome! Let’s discuss the capabilities of available software out there for countertop businesses so that you know what to expect when talking to a software sales rep.
Why is this important? Because it can help your countertop shop see growth and maybe, just maybe, even get you some well-deserved time off on that beach you’ve got as your screensaver.
Estimating and Pricing Software
A lot of times we’ll see shops experiencing growth (great!) and get tripped up at this starting point of the sales process. Estimating software will keep your pricing consistent across your sales team and will be a saving grace when it comes to estimating material usage.
It should also provide a competitive edge because depending on the software you choose for quoting, you could be able to provide a professional quote same day and even face-to-face. With higher amounts of quotes going out comes higher amounts of jobs!
“Communication is key in every relationship.” Before you roll your eyes, admit that you know how true that old saying is! Communication within your team and communication between your team and your customers are two important elements to a seamless install. Missing information and mistakes lead to frustration, expensive reworks, and bad reviews.
If you find that the whiteboard and file folders aren’t cutting it, try a software that schedules all your shop’s activities, assigns the right individuals to the task, and provides different calendar views that are customizable for each team. If you choose software specifically made for fabricators, that’s even more ideal. Better communication and smoother installs will lead to a happy shop, happy customers, and a happier you.
Marketing and customer relationships aren’t often the areas that come to mind when you think of countertop fabrication. But just like any business, you need to keep track of past customers, current customers, and prospective customers. The opportunities to grow your business are unlimited when you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. From following up with leads to referral programs, be sure to look into this type of software. There are plenty of free ones out there to try out.
“I don’t see my bottleneck on this list”
The good news is that there are more and more specific software solutions being released for countertop fabricators. Really need an inventory program? Want a product that works with your scheduling software and labels your slabs? Need to keep track of your team? There are solutions for most specific issues like these but they require a strong and organized foundation for your shop’s process. The software areas listed above are the starting points for a streamlined workflow. Ask them for advice and recommendations, they should be a knowledgeable industry resource for you!
There is no one size fits all solution
This isn’t as depressing as it sounds, I promise! Each shop is unique in it’s size, style, and team. That’s why it’s so important to be able to customer whatever software you choose.
It’s also important for you to be armed with knowledge when you start researching software to help your shop get organized and grow. Knowing your bottlenecks and what your goals are will help you ask the right questions when talking to a software sales rep and will ultimately help you find the right fit for your shop.