The Most Useful Tool for a Deck Builder? Your Phone.

With every new smartphone that comes on the market, the fact that they’ve become a necessity for people from all walks of life cannot be ignored. The idea that your phone should just be a phone is disappearing quickly.  Smartphones are even becoming essential for the people whose jobs are "low-tech."

Recently, Fiberon surveyed builders to delve a little deeper into the relationship between them and their smartphones. Our findings were right on track with what we expected. 100% of our responding builders stated that they have a smartphone and use it for business and that a smartphone has positively changed the way they do business. But how? Below are five ways our builders said they use their smartphones on the job:

[caption id="attachment_3219" align="alignright" width="240"]Image courtesy of http://www.devicemag.com/2011/12/24/smartphone-cameras-giving-point-and-shoot-snappers-a-tough-time/
Image courtesy of http://www.devicemag.com/2011/12/24/smartphone-cameras-giving-point-and-shoot-snappers-a-tough-time/[/caption]

1. Take and Share Photos and Videos On the Job Site

"A picture is worth a thousand words." "Seeing is believing." "Pictures or it didn't happen." There are many phrases society uses to express the importance of images in building trust. Pictures are even more important in the building industry, where so much of the success of a project is how it looks. Since things can change pretty quickly on a job site, being able to take and share job site photos with team members and homeowners can save a contractor time and money. And when it comes time to find the next job, those photos can be invaluable in proving your craftsmanship and skill to the next homeowner.

2. Never Miss a Lead

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Contractors, by nature, are very rarely in a traditional office environment.  They’re either on the job site, travelling to and from the job site or out picking up materials for the job.  As a result, it was very difficult to follow up with new leads as soon as they developed. They would need to wait until they could get to a computer to check their email, all the while knowing that it’s possible a competitor got back to them first.Contractors, by nature, are very rarely in a traditional office environment. They’re either on the job site, travelling to and from the job site or out picking up materials for the job. As a

With the adoption of the smartphone, all this changed. Now, instead of wasting time reading a magazine while waiting for his truck to be fixed, he can check his email, respond to new leads and build new business!

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3. Turn by Turn Directions

Nothing’s worse than showing up late to something because you got lost. Except when that something is a meeting with a potential client! With a smartphone, it’s never been easier to find your way through an unfamiliar neighborhood. Whether you prefer a third-party app like Google Maps or the GPS function that comes with your smartphone, you’ll have turn-by-turn directions in the palm of your hand.

4. Mobile Rolodex

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The Rolodex is a concept that has all but disappeared in the modern business world. Replaced by email address books, the days of keeping your business contacts on index cards at your desk are done. With the rise of smartphones, you can carry around every contact you’d ever need or want in your pocket…and they are easily searchable!

 

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5. The Power of the Internet in the Palm of Your Hand

Let’s face it. The internet is a pretty amazing place. Information on any topic you could ever care to know about is a simple search away. With a smartphone, that powerful search engine lives in your pocket, available whenever the need to know strikes.

Need to see those installation instructions, but forgot your hardcopy? Simply open a web browser and go to the company’s website!

Wondering what other builders are saying about that new tool? Google it. With a smartphone you have access not only to product information provided by the company, but reviews and where to buy and availability information as well.

With mobile usage on the rise, including a 35% jump in jobsite smartphone usage by contractors, it’s clear that the smartphone is here to stay.  What do you think of our list? Did we miss any major benefits of smartphones for contractors? Are there any apps that NEED to be included on this list? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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