The site finish crews of old used hammers with square-cut hardened flooring nails on long plank Douglas fir floors. The crews of today use air compressors with nail guns using glue assist on 7″ wide European white oak planks. For taking measurements, do you use the archaic, long, metal strip with numbers cased inside a plastic square box with a spring-loaded coil (AKA tape measure) or do you sport the newest laser measure to get your square footage? What about estimates? Are you still using handwritten quotes on a paper napkin left over from lunch or are you using digitally mastered estimates with terms and conditions, and payment options?
Technological advances have invaded almost every facet of the hardwood flooring installation and refinishing industry, and in order to run an effective flooring installation business, one must not only accept these changes, but fully embrace them and employ the available systems.
Footprints Floors is a flooring installation company with nearly 80 franchisees in more than 160 markets across 39 states that has embraced the latest technological innovations and employs these systems on a daily basis. One of the main goals for the staff of Footprints Floors is to equip its franchisees with the resources to install floors according to industry standards. One of the methods we use to reach this goal is to procure, develop, and employ cutting-edge technology systems. I am going to share three of the systems that Footprints Floors uses for education (Footprints Floors University), estimates (Client Tether), and elevation (Company Cam).
Education with Footprints Floors University
About three years ago, as Footprints Floors began to explode in growth, it partnered with the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) to employ their online training programs, which allowed us to develop unique online training exclusive to our franchise owners. This partnership has been pivotal in teaching Footprints Floors franchisees not only the importance of industry standards and how to install and finish floors correctly, but the “why” behind a correct method. Alongside the Footprints Floors University, there are one-stop-shopping calendars for our franchisees to view the latest NWFA webinars or attend in-person training that the NWFA and NTCA provide across the country.
We also promote various industry leaders who host webinars and in-person training for our franchise owners. Technology in education is one of the greatest resources that are readily available to any floor installation business.
Estimating with Client Tether
Once a flooring professional has the “know-how” and skill sets acquired to install a floor, estimating is considered to be one of the next most important aspects of customer acquisition. The Footprints Floors Franchise Support Team champions estimating software that provides franchisees with the opportunity to provide a professional, in-home estimate within just a matter of minutes of taking measurements from the jobsite. Potential customers want to know how much their project is going to cost. The sooner that estimate can be provided, the sooner the flooring contractor has the opportunity to win the job. Tether is a customer relationship management (CRM) system that Footprints Floors uses to accomplish this.
The other unique part of the estimating software that Footprints Floors currently employs is that we not only provide an on-the-spot estimate in the home, but this software also creates the work order for the crew at the exact same time. Franchisees create the proposal for the customer in the home, win the job, and create a work order for crews within only a matter of minutes. The process is extremely efficient and accomplishes multiple tasks at the same time.
Elevation Using Company Cam
After a franchisee wins the job by setting themselves apart, they are able to capture
the jobsite in a photo scene to create a before and after sequence. We have built a relationship with Company Cam to allow our franchisees access to a really slick way to manage photos. Company Cam equips our franchisees with the latest capabilities in capturing before and after photos that showcase projects. These photos also are organized automatically by the jobsite according to GPS coordinates. Another advanced feature within Company Cam is the ability to manage the jobsite with your crews through pictures. Finally, our website development company employs a widget that showcases local projects on our Footprints Floors franchisee’s websites.
Technology in education is so readily available that every flooring contractor should be engaged in NWFA, NTCA, and industry reps’ courses. Technology in estimating efficiency is a core tenet of our model that has been a key part of our growth during the past few years.
What software are you using to get customers an estimate in a timely fashion? Technology is not only another avenue that will highlight your craftsmanship and generate more revenue, it will elevate your business. Education, estimating efficiency, and elevation are three areas in which Footprints Floors leverages technology to advance quality hardwood refinishing and installations.
Chris Curtis is the director of franchise support for Footprints Floors, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.