by Amanda Parrilli, Director of Strategic Business Development, The Home Depot
Data is a critical component in strategically positioning your business for success. It’s instrumental in understanding your customer demographics and extracting insights to forecast trends. New technology data can also be used to track inventory, foresee costly repairs, streamline processes and help you make smarter decisions that will lead to more satisfied clients and an improved bottom line.
- Smarter Tools, Useful Data
You probably never thought about retrieving data from the tools in your team’s toolbox — but what if you could? Tools used on the job are an unexpected place to gather rich data. Some of the more advanced models in this current generation of power tools are designed with connectivity in mind.
Technology in power tools can unlock an entire world of data that can help you identify and minimize inefficiencies on jobsites.
Milwaukee’s ONE KEY™ is leading the pack of high-tech power tools with a custom-built, cloud-based program that allows you to modify, track and manage tools from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet. Create custom profiles for repetitive applications to help increase tool run time and accessory life, as well as keeping fastener and material breakage at a minimum.
The innovative platform can also help you be more efficient when managing inventory. It comes with integrated tool tracking and the app serves as a centralized place to manage equipment across your network of jobs and users. Imagine never losing a tool again.
Another way to collect data and increase efficiency for your business is using a high-tech measuring tool, like the new Bluetooth-enabled laser measure from Bosch. Instead of relying on writing everything down, this laser measure enables you to instantly transfer measurements to a computer or smart device that can be used to create digital floor plans. While this might seem like a simple upgrade, if used correctly, it can have a big impact on the time it takes to prep and measure each job, which is especially convenient for repeat projects at the same home or jobsite.
This high-tech tape measure can also help you take more complex measurements. With ten different modes, you can measure everything from length and area to single indirect length and combined indirect height. Bosch’s free app has an option to import and edit existing floor plans and export your results. You can also overlay measurements onto photos to use for future remodeling projects.
- Add Value with Smart System Recommendations
After arming your crew with tools that collect data, highlight ways your clients can incorporate data-gathering systems that may help keep their homes safer. Look for opportunities to integrate technology in current projects or upsell clients on ways they can better protect their home from water and fire damage. Not only is this an opportunity to strengthen your relationship, but it’s a great way to expand your scope on certain jobs. Demonstrate your expertise by recommending some of the most advanced detection systems and products available.
- Water threats: Water damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair, but the threats can be minimized with leak detection products. Suggest installing water sensors in high-risk areas like laundry rooms or near water heaters and sinks, especially if you’re already working on projects in or near those areas of the home. The water sensors can send push notifications to your client’s smart device at the first sign of a leak to offset potential damages.
- Fire hazards: Give your clients some peace of mind by upgrading their fire safety devices with the latest technology that retrieves data to help minimize risks. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors from brands like Kidde and Nest, which can send alerts to smart devices. Some models can be controlled from anywhere using a smartphone.
As you continue looking for ways to gather, analyze and leverage data, leave no stone unturned. Tools and alert systems have suddenly become a big part of the conversation — enabling you to identify and eliminate inefficiencies, as well as add value to customers. As a trusted advisor, you’re more likely to be top of mind when clients take on their next project or talk with friends and neighbors.
Follow through by taking advantage of the benefits of free in-store options like the Pro Xtra loyalty program and Text2Confirm, a feature that allows quick authorization of purchases via text message. You can also sign up for Pro Direct, a Home Depot program that enables you to buy certain products directly from the manufacturer in bulk for unmatched savings. By embracing technology and finding new ways to use data, you can ensure your business is operating as efficiently as possible.
About the author: Amanda Parrilli is director of strategic business development for The Home Depot. She is responsible for leading Connected Home strategy and strategic partnerships.