By Jacqueline Hinchcliffe—Technology is constantly evolving and updating, which requires new-and-improved software solutions to everyday business tasks in the flooring industry such as tracking leads, checking inventory and even giving customers the ability to try out products in their rooms via room visualizer apps.
Following is a sampling of new technology offerings showcased at Surfaces 2022:
Broadlume, parent company of Retail Lead Management, RollMaster and FloorForce, has created an all-in-one platform to help dealers streamline their operations. The new platform includes a component called Dealer HQ that has been updated to offer more valuable tools for the user. “As leads come in, someone fills out a form, it translates that form and [distributes] that information to anybody in the organization that has anything to do with it,” explained John Weller, CIO. “It will also take that form and say, ‘You know what, we found that person in the database and they also left a voicemail two weeks ago.’”
With the enhanced Dealer HQ program, users can look up anyone in the database and see all their store activity whether it be emails, phone calls, products that were visualized, etc. All this information gives salespeople the information they need to better assist the customer and close the sale quicker.
“What we’re doing is creating a platform to change and accommodate the shifting trends in consumer behavior but also arm the dealer with tools that help them actually engage in a contemporary way and separate themselves from the competition,” Weller explained.
New from MeasureSquare comes RenoPlan, an iPhone/iPad, iOS 10+ application that allows users to measure and create floor plans directly from their device of choice. Easily integrated with laser distance meters and AR/Lidar, the tool enables quick and accurate measuring while creating a detailed report with site photos for the project estimate.
“It’s a lightweight version of our regular MeasureSquare mobile application,” said Steven Wang, president. “It eliminates all those complicated flooring layout functions so it’s easy to do a quick floor plan.”
RenoPlan’s ease of use, according to Wang, makes it an attractive tool for a range of customers, including remodelers, home flippers and interior designers. “RenoPlan is a lot easier for the retailer to use and it’s faster and easy to learn,” Wang said. “The flooring stores can have their customers and contractors use it as well because it’s so easy to use and easy to create a floor plan.”
PinPoint Status, founded by Nick Began in 2018, is an app designed to keep direct lines of communication open between installers and customers. How it works: On the day of the installation appointment, a text is sent to the customer’s phone along with a photo and bio of the installer. The customer is also provided a GPS link they can use to track, in real time, when the service provider will be there. This way, the customer knows the installer’s precise position and can better plan her day accordingly. The customer and installer can also communicate directly over text. “It’s going to reduce the amount of phone calls back and forth to the office and it’s going to reduce your missed appointments,” said Marc Jerauld, chief revenue officer. “That’s one of the big positives.”
While on the jobsite, installers are able to take photos via the app, and once they’ve completed the job they let the app know, which sends a text to the customer asking them to rate their performance.
QFloors follows on the success of its innovative QPro software with the launch of QPro 2.0, an enhancement of the previous software iteration. “QPro is the next generation of QFloors,” according to Chad Ogden, president.
Ogden and his team have hired an entirely new team of developers to start building this technology from the ground up. “That’s why it has taken us so long [because] it’s a complete redo of the technology. Eventually our plan is to move all of our QFloors customers over onto QPro. It’s completely web based, meaning it was designed from the ground up to run in a web browser.”
Standout features in the new QPro 2.0 include an updated reporting tool boasting a more flexible module; an updated job-costing screen; and the ability to switch color themes and modify column names. Drag-and-drop commands are also available. QPro 2.0 also has multiple software programs integrated into it, such as a Skedit, a scheduling tool.
RFMS has added several new programs to its suite of software tools, such as Warehouse Mobile, an application that allows users to simplify common tasks right at their fingertips. Features include a mobile dashboard of open purchase order lines, the ability to scan numbers or bills of lading in order to receive e-commerce inventory more quickly and to move inventory to/from any of the locations within a store.
Next is Property Manager, which was designed as a solution for clients who manage multi-family properties or a builder-type business. A key feature of the app is it allows users to look at products, quantities and pricing across all of their properties, all in one place. “A property manager has to be able to look at those things and efficiently move through that, especially if they have a lot of different units,” said Fred Kotynski, CIO. “This application allows them to do this. It allows dealers to set up these property managers and gives them the tools they can use in the field.”
RoomVo is bringing a new room visualizer widget called the Roomvo Assistant—an extension that can be added to a retailer’s site within minutes. How it works: By clicking “browse all products” when using the tool, the customer can scan through products across all brands a retailer works with and visualize them in their home.
“This means that, for the first time ever, a retailer can showcase products across brands without sending the customer to 10 different websites to use 10 different visualizers where there’s dealer locators, so they’re sending customers off their site,” said Brandon Shidlowski, director of dealer operations, Roomvo.
The features don’t end there. Once Roomvo is added to the retailer’s site, they can add QR codes to samples in their showroom.